Bush Tries Again…

Oh, how my opinion of George W. Bush continues to fall.  I came across a story that deeply disturbs me in the Washington Post.  It is discussing how the Pentagon has trained the first of several brigades from the Army to be used in law enforcement capacities.  This is in direct violation of the 130-year-old Posse Comitatus Act, which specifies that the armed forces of the U.S. may not be used domestically as law enforcement personnel.

President Bush had tried to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act once before.  In 2007, the President supported the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007.  This bill included a provision that would have expanded the President’s power to declare martial law and take control of state National Guard troops without the authorization of the state Governors.  However, this provision was repealed the following year.

Why am I so opposed to having up to 20,000 U.S. soldiers trained for “domestic peacekeeping” roles?  Why do I feel threatened by the presence of military forces who have been trained, not to fight a foreign enemy but rather to fight angry U.S. citizens?  Let me take you on a hypothetical trip into the not-too-distant future to answer that question.

Imagine, if you will, that the growing loss of personal freedoms that have become prevalent in the last 30 years or so continue.  As our personal freedoms (such as private property ownership, free enterprise system of commerce, right to bear arms, freedom of speech, etc.) continue to be eroded and limited by the federal government, larger and larger segments of the population begin to feel disaffected and disenfranchised.  As resentment grows at this move toward more and more federal control of our lives, eventually civil unrest would likely break out.  Who will the government turn to in order to quell the uprising?  You guessed it…our very own “secret police,” the U.S. Army.  Shades of the formation of the KGB.  We are moving one step closer to becomming the U.S.S.A.

I would like to point out that I am very much NOT anti-military.  I proudly served in the 82nd Airborne Division for three years and have a lot of respect for people who volunteer to serve their country for meager salaries and high risks.  However, I also know that expecting 18-20 year old kids to know the difference between lawful and unlawful orders, and to have the backbone to stand up in the face of superior officer issuing those unlawful orders, is asking an awful lot.  How many times have we heard the excuse, “I was just following orders”?  What happens when those orders involve shooting U.S. citizens instead of Viet-Cong?

Maybe, just maybe, President-elect Obama will reverse this dangerous course when he takes office.  However, given that he is retaining Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense (a move I applaud him for, not because I like Gates, but because continuity is very important during a time of war), I would expect that the program moves forward at least until Gates is replaced.  If he doesn’t, I truly believe we will have taken a major step toward creating Socialism at the point of a gun, literally.  It gives me a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Published in: on December 1, 2008 at 11:17 pm  Comments (2)  
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What Happened to “Change”?!?

So I was looking over a list of people President-elect Obama has been naming to cabinet positions, and one thing has really struck me – the names are all familiar.  Obama ran on a platform of change…promised the end of “politics as usual” in Washington…and yet, when the rubber meets the road, he brings to the White House the same faces we have seen in Washington for decades.  The mixture of ex-Clinton cabinet members and current and former legislators reeks of yet another broken promise.  A rundown of the cast of charachters follows:

  • Chief of Staff:  Congressman Rahm Emmanuel – While Emmanuel is often listed as a moderate Democrat, he is also known for extreme partisanship.  He has a quick temper and has cussed out minority members of Congress.  He is also an ex-Clinton staffer.  The only up-side I see to his appointment is that Al-Jazeera (the Arabic TV station) was concerned that because he is Jewish and his father was born in Jerusalem, he would be “too pro-Israel” for their liking (I read the piece on their English website this morning, but now when I search for it, it appears they have taken it down).
  • Attorney General:  Eric Holder – A Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.  He supported the District of Columbia handgun ban during the 2008 Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller.  He was also instrumental in obtaining a last-minute pardon from outgoing President Bill Clinton for Marc Rich, who had been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for years for tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran while that country was holding Americans hostage.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services:  Former Senator Tom Daschle – Former Democratic Senate Majority and Minority Leader.  He was one of the most ardent supporters of Clinton’s failed universal health care system.  Served in Congress for 27 years.

Other potential cabinet picks:

  • Secretary of Homeland Security:  Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano – OK, finally someone not connected to Washington.  She has taken a tough stance against businesses that hire illegal aliens, signing a law that would strip them of their business licenses.  She also took her state from a $1 billion budget deficit to a $1 billion budget surplus without raising taxes.  Sounds like we could use a few more governors like her!

I could go on, but those are the more prominent picks being discussed so far.  So, out of five picks, only one is not a “politics-as-usual” Washington hack.  20%….yeah, that’s the kind of “change” we were hoping for…NOT!

I have to say, the hypocrisy of politicians from both parties really irks me!  A lot of people voted for Obama because he promised to change the way the government worked; instead he brings in a team that epitomizes the “old boys network” of Washington politics.  I am very disappointed.  But then again, the politician’s lips were moving, so I should have known he was lying.

Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 11:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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