Republic If You Can Keep It Congress

A Republic, If you Can Keep It

Congress has banned harsh treatment of terrorism suspects in US custody and demanded a quarterly report on such activities.

People like Dick Cheney who favor an imperial presidency should remember that Congress funds the government, and they don’t have to fund unconstitutional measures. that Dick had to interrupt his travels lately to pull a budget bill out by his teeth should send a chill through him in this regard. Congress should just cut off money for the Guantanamo Bay prisons.

The Senate agreed Wednesday to extend some provisions of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act for six months, as a compromise measure.

Supporters of American liberties in the Senate are declining to go quietly as Bush urges the retention of Draconian measures in the [anti] PATRIOT bill that contradict the Constitution. The Financial Times notes:

‘ Those fears were underscored by the revelation last week that Mr Bush had established a secret programme to allow the National Security Agency to monitor outgoing telephone calls and emails from the US without any court authorisation.

US media reported on Wednesday that one of the 11 judges on the US court that authorises government surveillance in intelligence cases resigned in protest over the programme. ‘

Note that

One thing that is increasingly clear is that the Bush administration is stuck in the Cold War. It is using illegal spying on US citizens to monitor the Catholic Workers . . .

[Tthe following incident turns out to be a hoax and is retracted, 12/25/05:

and interlibrary loan requests for Mao’s Little Red Book. (This library incident cannot be dismissed as a hoax on present evidence. It turns out that the student ordered the book over the phone. University authorities are looking into it.

The obsession with Catholic Workers is *so* 1950s, and demonstrates that the administration doesn’t really care about al-Qaeda and isn’t even mainly using the act to combat that sort of terrorism. In fact, with all its powers, it is hard for the Federal government to point to any successful domestic investigation and prosecution of al-Qaeda-type terrorists in the US.

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