Friday, January 13, 2006

Gore to compare/contrast Nixon v. Bush II

Just posted by "The Nation" at 11:00 this morning:

"In a major address slated for delivery Monday in Washington, the former Vice President is expected to argue that the Bush administration has created a "Constitutional crisis" by acting without the authorization of the Congress and the courts to spy on Americans and otherwise abuse basic liberties..."

"...Don't expect a direct call for impeachment from the former vice president. But do expect Gore to make reference to Richard Nixon, whose abuses of executive authority led to calls for his impeachment -- a fate the 37th president avoided by resigning in 1974.
Gore's speech will add fuel to the fire that was ignited when it was revealed that Bush had secretly authorized National Security Agency to monitor communications in the United States without warrants. Gore will argue that the domestic wiretapping policy is only the latest example of the administration exceeding its authority under the Constitution.
With a Congressional inquiry into Bush's repeated violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act scheduled to begin in February -- and with Bush already preparing to pitch an Nixon-style defense that suggests it is appropriate for the executive branch to violate the law when national security matters are involved -- Gore will articulate the more traditional view that reasonable checks and balances are required even in a time of war. And he will do so in a bipartisan context that will make it tougher for Republican critics to dismiss the former vice president's assertion that the Constitution is still the law of the land. "

Here's the rest.

For more comparisons of Nixon v. Bush, here are some points & quotes I pasted together from ACLU (pdf files) and DNC (video) ads.:

Richard Nixon spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up in the name of “national security.” In response, Congress passed The FISA act to authorize surveillance of Americans in special circumstances.

George W. Bush spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up in the name of “national security.” He lied in April 2004 when he said, “Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act; constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”

Then he asked the NY Times to keep the story a secret because of “national security” -- which they did until well after the 2004 election.

George W. Bush says that what he did is not illegal. “Did I have the legal authority to do this? … absolutely.” (December 2005)

That sounds like Nixon when he said, When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” (1977)

Even Nixon’s lawyer, John W. Dean, thinks Bush II has gone too far. “Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope… reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.” That means the NSA has been able to secretly monitor any phone calls or e-mails you send outside the country.

Whether they're investigating the President’s possible abuse of power, the Justice Dept. will not say, but it is investigating the whistleblower(s).

Dean adds, “In acting here w/o Congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his Presidency is unchecked… utterly beyond the law. …what asserted powers will Bush use next?” (

Here’s a hint. Bush signed McCain’s anti-torture bill, then issued a signing statement when it seemed no one was looking. Legal experts interpret the statement as saying that although Bush is signing the law, he reserves the right to exempt himself from it if HE thinks it’s necessary.”

In America no one, not even the President, is above the law.

Using the power of the White House, unchecked by the Republican-controlled House and Senate, Bush is filling the courts with nominees like John Roberts, Harriet Mier and Sam Alito who share his vision for a powerful, almost imperial, presidency.

And now we're discovering that Bush's domestic spying program was authorized BEFORE 9/11. From out GREAT friends at

Happy Friday the 13th.

P.S Speaking of dates. According to my calendar, Feb. 1 -- the day after the President's State of the Union address is National Freedom Day. Let it ring.

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