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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Deja Vu All Over Again

The Star-Ledger is joining a growing chorus of people calling for the reigning in of executive power in the Bush Administration. There's good reason.


Spying on Americans' phone calls. Shipping foreigners to secret overseas prison camps where torture may be routine. FBI surveillance of environmental and anti-poverty organizations. Keeping a Pentagon database on the activities of peaceful antiwar protests, including one at William Paterson University.


That's only the leading paragraph. Nor have we received any sort of apology from the President - or any of his cabinet members - for violating the moral values of the American people. Instead, we get a Machiavellian defense of "The Fox and The Lion". "I didn't want to do this - but I had to!"

Anyone who remembers "Tricky Dick" Nixon (or any parent of a toddler) should be entirely consumed in "deja vu all over again".

FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.


NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.


FROST: By definition.


NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.


WHEN THE PRESIDENT DOES IT THAT MEANS THAT IT IS NOT ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!!

That is absolutely wrong. The President is not above the law - to say otherwise is to totally ignore the totallity of American political theory and heritage.

There's a reason for the deja vu-ness here. The White House is virtually crawling with hold-over scum from the Nixon Administration. Here's a few links of key Administration figures to Nixon's cancerous abuse of power:

Dick Cheney:
Dick Cheney's political career began under the Nixon administration in 1969. He served in a number of positions, such as: Cost of Living Council, at the United States Office of Economic Opportunity (as a special assistant to Donald Rumsfeld beginning in the spring of 1969), and within the White House.


Donald Rumsfeld:
Assistant and Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Cabinet of President Richard M. Nixon, 1969-1970; Counsellor to President Richard M. Nixon, 1970-1973; Director of the Cost of Living Council, 1971-1973; Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 1973-1974


Paul Wolfowitz :
In 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon under pressure from U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson, who was unhappy with the SALT I strategic arms limitations talks and the policy of détente, dismissed the head of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and replaced him with Fred Ikle. Ikle brought in a completely new team including Wolfowitz, who had been recommended by his old tutor Albert Wohlstetter. Wolfowitz once again set to work writing and distributing research papers and drafting testimony, as he had previously done at the Committee to Maintain A Prudent Defence Policy. He also traveled with Ikle to strategic arms limitations talks in Paris and other European cities. His greatest success was in dissuading South Korea from reprocessing plutonium that could be diverted into a clandestine weapons program, a situation that would re-occur north of the border during the George W. Bush administration.


So, Ilke was hired by Nixon, who hand-picked Wolfowitz (who, incidentally, hand-picked his student, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby).

Stephen Hadley (National Security Advisor):
Hadley worked as an analyst for the comptroller of the defense department from 1972 to 1974, when Richard Nixon was in office, and as a member of the National Security Council staff under President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1977.

As a bonus, Mr. Hadley also:
served as counsel to the special review board established by President Ronald Reagan to look into US arms sales to Iran.


John Snow, the Secretary of the Treasury, also started out as an attorney in the Nixon White House - though you'll find sparse reference to it.

Andrew Card comes to the Bush Administration through Poppy's Administration, where he served as Secretary of Transportation. Prior to that, he was an "assistant to the President" and Deputy Chief of Staff for Poppy.

Poppy, of course, was so far up Nixon's butt he could tell you what Tricky Dick had for breakfast. He served as US Ambassador the UN and RNC Chair during Nixon's reign.

Of course, being hired by Nixon doesn't mean they were in on everything Nixon did. However, Nixon was notorious for wanting to fill his house with people who were loyal - or at least shared his philosophy. When your philosophy is "The President cannot, by definition, break the law," that's a dangerous house.

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