Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's the Constitution, stupid

Paragraph 8 of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution of the United States is:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

This is the Presidential oath of Office. It does not say, as the President did tonight, that his "most solemn responsibility is to protect our nation".

This is the problem. We have a President in a bubble, who will brook no dissent, who wants to do as he pleases, without oversight by the supine senate or the irritating courts - even the secret ones.

When the President said that Saddam Hussein "was given an ultimatum and he made his choice for war", what I heard was the excuse of a bully, a bully who made a demand carrying a threat, with the intention of starting a fight with a weaker opponent. Now he says, as bullies do, that it was the opponent's fault. What's more, he had it coming anyway - right, Mr. President?

But that was the first of the two 21st century Iraq wars, not the current one. In the first of these wars, the opponent was defeated: the mission was accomplished, but did not realise its goals. The war now is not the Wolfowitz war, not the war the Neocons promised, not the PNAC war.

Along the way, in support of this "Noble cause", we have seen the Administration define away torture, the applicability of the Geneva Conventions, and chemical weapons; compromise covert CIA operations to try to stifle dissent; and spy on Americans without oversight. The Senate has just begun to ask the questions about this.

I am one of those who objected to the original war before it began. I thought that Hans Blix was doing his job, and doing it well; that Hussein was cooperating (ibid.); I thought that Senator Bird's objections during the debate to authorise the President to start the war whenever he wanted to, were likely to be right, and I think the Senator's worst fears have been borne out. It's not defeatism that is at the heart of the opposition: it's the human cost of the amorality, the illegality, the greed, the cronyism, the corruption, and the countless lies.

Without a Constitution, there is no United States, no nation to protect. The Constitution and the rule of law must be restored.

You left out the key part - he was to defend the Const. against all enemies, "foreign and DOMESTIC."

He'd have to arrest himself.

Stop by GI for some perspective!Best
Except that the oath stipulated in the constitution is exactly as I present it, and the oath that you're referring to is taken by members of the armed forces.

Thanks for dropping by, GI.
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