Go to the Light!
January 4, 2006
By Sheila Samples
Folks at the White House stay pretty busy these days just trying
to untangle the lies George Bush keeps telling every time he opens
his mouth. For example, back in April 2004, Bush explained to a
cheering audience and an unchallenging press corps in Buffalo about
"eavesdropping" on Americans: "When you think 'Patriot Act,' constitutional
guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary
to protect our homeland, because..." he said earnestly while leaning
over the podium, his hand on his heart "...because we value the
Bush? I think not. From his actions and manner of speech, it is
doubtful that Bush has read either the U.S. Constitution or the
holy book upon which he placed his hand twice and swore to preserve,
protect and defend it.
After the New York Times reported last week that Bush authorized
the National Security Agency (NSA) to cast a wide net to spy on
American citizens' e-mail and phone calls without seeking warrants
from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, Bush
went on the offense, saying yeah, he did it, and he was gonna keep
on doing it, cause he was the president and - like he told the Washington
Post's Bob Woodward - that means he doesn't have to explain
to anybody why he does anything.
That apparently includes the FISA court, which has the audacity
to require "probable cause" before approving wiretaps on American
citizens. In Bush's defense, when you're huntin' and chasin' and
smokin' out evil lurkers and plotters and planners, you don't have
time to stop and fill out two or three million pieces of paper.
Like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says, the Constitution is
a quaint little thing, but we live in a new world order now, and
any constraints on "this president" are just too cumbersome.
In an October speech, Bush said, "Our country is at war, and the
executive branch has an obligation to protect the 'Merican people.
We are aggressively doing that. We are finding the terrorists and
bringing them to justice." Bush paused for effect, then added, "and
anything we do is within the law."
Vice President Dick Cheney agrees. He says they must have complete
control and flexibility and unlimited power, even if this means
they have to make up the law as they go along. While speeding home
from the Middle East in time to break a Senate tie on a bill that
raises Medicaid payments for the poor and elderly (while at the
same time allowing states to cut their Medicaid services) and cuts
child-care payments for social bottom-feeders, Cheney snarled that
there "is a hell of a threat" out there, and the president's authority
under the Constitution must be "unimpaired."
Cheney says "the vast majority" of Americans support Bush spying
on them, and warned that any "backlash" would not be against Bush,
but against the critics who dared question Bush's illegal and quite
possibly treasonous bits of derring-do. Cheney is adamant that he
- er, Bush - is above any court and outside any law. Those who disagree
can just go (insert word depicting doing sexual "wild thaing") themselves.
Besides, Cheney might have added, they've been doing it for four
years - collecting information on American citizens by tapping directly
into the U.S. telecommunication system's main arteries without first
getting warrants - and nobody seemed to care. According to the Times,
these corporate behemoths supported and assisted the spying operation,
storing information on citizens' calling patterns and giving it
to Bush since 9-11.
Got that, sports fans? Since 9-11. And the NSA is not the only
one. According to Capital Hill Blue's Doug Thompson, the FBI, the
Department of Homeland Security and "dozens of private contractors
are spying on millions of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a
week, 365 days a year."
It got so blatant that a former NSA agent who quit in disgust
over use of the agency to spy on Americans, told Thompson, "We're
no longer in the business of tracking our enemies. We're spying
on everyday Americans."
And, when there's treason afoot, one can hardly leave out the
vicious and wacky Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. A couple
of years ago, Rumsfeld had this great idea for not only spying on
Americans, but building a profile on every citizen who travels,
uses credit cards, talks on the telephone or works or plays on a
He called his new toy the "Total Information Awareness" (TIA)
Program, and put the disgraced Iran-Contra felon John Poindexter
in charge of it. When a furious Congress killed the program, Rumsfeld
said, "Fine. They can have the name." He then moved it to the Pentagon's
covert "black bag" program, out of Congressional sight or oversight,
and renamed it the "Terrorist Information Awareness" (TIA) system.
Thompson says the program is "alive and well and collecting data
in real time on Americans at a computer center located at 3801 Fairfax
Drive in Arlington, Virginia."
It's difficult to gauge either the height of awareness or the
depth of outrage of the American public because the corporate media
steadfastly refuses to shed even a glimmer of light on the myriad
of scandals this administration is hiding out there in plain sight.
The shock of 9-11 thrust the people of this country into a depressing
twilight zone, a "loyalty-oath" atmosphere where they stumble around
in the dark, afraid to speak - afraid to think. Any anger they feel
about the president of the United States committing an impeachable
offense by covertly spying on them and openly admitting it will
fade as the media psycho-flogs them into believing the criminal
here is the whistleblower who shone the light on the illegal surveillance,
not the traitor who broke the law.
The irony of Bush, the NSA and Gonzales whipping up a criminal
investigation into who dared tell the public that they were breaking
the law will be lost on far too many Americans. Those who do understand,
yet choose to stand mute and hope for the best should weigh the
loss of their civil liberties against the violence, murder, vicious
lies, and especially the sheer animosity Bush feels toward all but
the wealthiest Americans.
They should take a look at the backgrounds and goals of the beady-eyed
war vultures who control Bush; who are urging him to destroy everything
in his path - not the least of which is the U.S. Constitution. They
should ask themselves what they would do if they woke up in the
middle of the night to find an invader in their bedrooms, pawing
through their personal belongings. Would they silently bow their
heads, or would they turn on the light and scream bloody murder
at the top of their lungs?
Truth doesn't just radiate light - it IS light. If Americans would
raise their heads and look around, they would see there are flashes
of light everywhere - especially on the Internet.
Americans have come to a fork in the road and, like the great
philosopher Yogi Berra once said, they need to take it. They need
to go to the light.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian
US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor
for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.