Friday, March 06, 2009
From Freedom To... Obama?
When President Obama took the oath as President of the United States of America, I was bummed to say the least, however I Publicly announced via my article 'The 44th President and Rumors of Change', that I would put my support to him; that is he is now the leader of my Country and even if I believe his policies to be in error, I will cross my fingers and hope that he will prove me wrong and strengthen our Country and uphold the founding principles of our Nation.
So far I am not impressed, He keeps offering plans to put us in further and deeper in debt with the possibility of Bankruptcy in the future. Of his campaign promises, (which I didn't believe Bush's and I definitely didn't believe Obama's; I saw what he did to my home state as Senator), very little has come to light and all that hype and buzz about changing things in relation to Human Torture like the Bush administration's policies of torture and cover-up and we get President Obama enacting the use of the 1998-1999 State Secrets Act.
What is the State Secrets Act? Well according to the Library of Congress; S.2533 A bill to enact a safe, fair, and responsible state secrets privilege Act.
In context, (or a mythical world), this means that this act would protect secret Government programs from Judicial and Public scrutiny, that may harm the National Security of our Nation, not necessarily a bad thing.
However, it seems people tend to forget the adage about 'Good Intentions', that things are never used as intended. Just like Nuclear Power, Einstein realized this when He found that his equations where to be used to Bomb Japan instead of the more pacifistic approach he had intended.
The thing that has become transparent, is that there is no stepping away from the Secrets and that being honest apparently is just a fad., and so is this tune by the Obama Administration.
"What was abusive and dangerous about the Bush administration's version of the States Secret privilege -- just as the Obama/Biden campaign pointed out -- was that it was used not (as originally intended) to argue that specific pieces of evidence or documents were secret and therefore shouldn't be allowed in a court case, but instead, to compel dismissal of entire lawsuits in advance based on the claim that any judicial adjudication of even the most illegal secret government programs would harm national security. That is the theory that caused the bulk of the controversy when used by the Bush DOJ -- because it shields entire government programs from any judicial scrutiny -- and it is that exact version of the privilege that the Obama DOJ yesterday expressly advocated (and, by implication, sought to preserve for all Presidents, including Obama). " [Glen Greenwald: www.salon.com]
"The case of Al-Haramain v. Obama presents one of the first direct challenges by a victim of the Bush National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program against government officials... So on Friday, in a move that Al-Haramain's lawyer called "mind-boggling", the Obama administration told the federal court, once again, that it did not have the authority to order the government to make the critical document in the case available to the organization's lawyers. The decision to reveal the document, wrote the government, "is committed to the discretion of the Executive Branch, and is not subject to judicial review." [Daphne Eviatar: washingtonindependent.com/]
I seem to remember in my Constitution Classes that there is supposed to be a level of Checks and Balances to every branch of our Government; of course contradictory and unconstitutional laws and amendments don't help the situation, and the list goes on. It is definitely sad that many of our Presidents and Senators and even Representatives keep on breaking their oaths of Office and on a daily basis.
There should be repercussions and penalties for breaking an oath of Office, specifically for the Office of the President of the United States of America, the Vice President, the Senators, the Representative and any held Public office in the United States.
If I break a law there are penalties that have to be observed and paid, whether fines or jail, etc. An oath of Office shouldn't be any different; especially when it comes to those leading our Nation, States, Cities and Towns.
The Office of the President of the Untied States is supposed to protect the Constitution, uphold the founding principles of our nation and protect the Rights of the Citizens which leads back to the Constitution; there seems to be a common and re-occurring trend of complete disregard.
We should as a Country hold a referendum to add an additional paragraph to all oaths of Office similar to this one from the Republic of Ghana: "I further solemnly swear (or solemnly affirm) that should I at any time break this oath of office I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it." [Wikipedia]
So some may not care or be concerned that the continuance of the State Secrets Act under Obama's Administration is an issue to be heard or even combatted. Some may not care that the Patriot Act and the Patriot Act II removes unconstitutionally our 4th amendment rights. Some may not even worry that our 1st Amendment rights are under constant attack today.
Eventually though, we may not even have enough rights to even wink at.
Well, in any case I hope this action by the Obama Administration doesn't go unnoticed and the Citizens start to worry and actually take a part in the Government that is theirs to administer.
R. William Holzkopf Jr.