Watching the Constitution Fade Away

The Bush administration has done more damage to Americans and more harm to America's reputation than any other administration in history. Yet, a majority of Republicans still support Bush. This tells much about blind party loyalty.

By encouraging the move offshore of American jobs and manufacturing, Bush has run up tremendous trade deficits that have undermined the world's confidence in the dollar as the reserve currency. Recently, both Chinese and Russian government officials warned of the dollar's shaky status. The fall in confidence in the dollar is evidenced by the sharp run-up in the price of gold. In January 2001 the price of gold was about $240 per ounce. Today the price is $660 per ounce.

The price of gasoline has risen from around $1.30 per gallon to over $3.00 per gallon. Obviously, Bush's war in the Middle East did not ensure the oil supply.

On Bush's watch, three million US manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Tens of thousands of highly qualified US engineers have lost their employment. US job growth has fallen six to seven million jobs behind population growth. Recent college graduates are employed as waitresses and bartenders.

Illegal immigration has continued to explode. While Bush spends $1 trillion and many lives trying to control borders in the Middle East, America's borders remain undefended and over run. Bush advocates amnesty for the illegals who have invaded America while Bush invades distant countries.

On false pretenses Bush invaded Iraq, a country that comprised no threat to America. American high explosives have devastated Iraq and its infrastructure and killed at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians, people who Bush claims to be bringing freedom and democracy.

All stability has disappeared from Iraq. Iraqis now live in fear of one another as well as fear of American troops. On April 28 Iraqi vice president Adil Abdul-Mahdi said that 100,000 Iraqi families have been uprooted by the sectarian violence unleashed by Bush's overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Not content with the uncontrollable mayhem he has brought to Iraq, Bush hopes to expand the catastrophe by attacking Iran. The US Secretary of State, sounding like the warmonger she is, says the US may ignore the United Nations and attack Iran on its own initiative. This would be the second time that the Bush administration initiated wars of aggression--war crimes under the Nuremburg standard established by the US.

Bush claims that he is higher authority than both US law and international law. In the past, US presidents vetoed laws with which they disagreed. Bush signs the laws and ignores them.

Bush has declared himself to be the sole judge of the limits of his powers--a claim that violates Bush's oath of office to uphold the US Constitution. Bush has set aside the Bill of Rights by detaining people indefinitely without charges, by kidnapping and torturing people, and by spying on Americans without warrants. These are actions that are illegal under law as well as unconstitutional. All of these violations of law and the Constitution are serious impeachable offenses.

Yet. Congress is supine as the Bush regime exercises dictatorial powers. The exercise of these dictatorial powers by the executive is a far greater danger to American liberty than are Muslim terrorists.

Bush's apologists claim that only terrorists have anything to fear. However, unaccountable executive power is inconsistent with free societies. America is no exception. Unless Bush is impeached and turned over to the war crimes court in the Hague, Americans will never reclaim their liberties from an executive branch that has established itself as the sole judge of the limits of its powers.

As Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation wrote last month, "we now live in a nation in which the president has the omnipotent power to ignore all constitutional restraints on his power." Bruce Fein, a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration said that Bush "is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."

The Bush regime's practice of excessive secrecy and denial of information to Congress allows the regime to avoid judicial review of its power claims. Bush ignores Congress and evades the courts.

When President Richard Nixon made excessive claims for presidential powers, principled Republicans revolted and helped to bring down Nixon. Today's Republicans are loyal only to power. They have no principles. By supporting Bush, Republicans are bringing down America.

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Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington;  Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.