papers please" has long been a phrase associated with Hitler's Gestapo.
People without the Third Reich's stamp of approval were hauled off to Nazi
Germany's version of Halliburton detention centers.
Today Americans are on the verge of being asked for their
papers, although probably without the "please."
Thanks to a government that has turned its back on the US
Constitution, Americans now have an unaccountable Department of Homeland
Security that is already asserting tyrannical powers over US citizens and state
governments. Headed by the neocon fanatic Michael Chertoff, the
Orwellian-sounding Department of Homeland Security has mandated a national
identity card for Americans, without which Americans may not board planes or
enter federal buildings.
There is no more need for this card than there is for a
Department of Homeland Security. Neither is compatible with a free society.
However, Bush, the neocons, Republicans and Democrats do not
want America to any longer be a free society, and they are taking freedom away
from us just as they took away the independence of the media.
Free and informed people get in the way of power-mad zealots
It is the agendas that are supreme, not the American people,
who have less and less say about less and less.
George W. Bush, an "elected" president, has
behaved like a dictator since September 11, 2001. If "our"
representatives in Congress care, they haven't done anything about it. Bush has
pretty much cut Congress out of the action.
In truth, Congress gave up its law making powers to the
executive branch during the New Deal. For three-quarters of a century, the
bills passed by Congress have been authorizations for executive branch agencies
to make laws in the form of regulations. The executive branch has come to the
realization that it doesn't really need Congress. President Bush appends his
own "signing statements" to the authorizations from Congress in which
the president says what the legislation means. So what is the point of
As for laws already on the books, the US Department of
Justice [sic] has ruled that the president doesn't have to abide by US
statutes, such as FISA or the law forbidding torture. Neither does the
president have to abide by the Geneva Conventions.
Other obstacles are removed by edicts known as presidential
directives or executive orders. There are more and more of these edicts, and
they accumulate more and more power and less and less accountability in the
The disdain in which the executive branch holds the
"separate and equal" legislative branch is everywhere apparent. For
example, President Bush is concluding a long-term security agreement with the
puppet government he has set up in Iraq. Prior to September 11, 2001, when the
president became The Decider, a defense pact was a treaty requiring the
approval of Congress.
All that is now behind us. General Douglas Lute, President
Bush's national security adviser for Iraq, says that the White House will not
be submitting the deal to Congress for approval. Lute says Bush will not be
seeking any "formal inputs from the Congress."
"There is no question that this is unprecedented,"
said Yale Law School Professor O. Hathaway.
Bush can do whatever he wants, because Congress has taken
its only remaining power -- impeachment -- off the table.
The Democratic Party leadership thinks that the only problem
is Bush, who will be gone in one year. Besides, the Israel Lobby doesn't want
Israel's champion impeached, and neither do the corporate owners of the US
The Democrats are not averse to inheriting the powers in
Bush's precedents. The Democrats, of course, will use the elevated powers for
good rather than for evil.
Instead of having a bad dictator, we'll have a good one.
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