White House Plays By Its Own Rules Again

We saw it with Yaser Hamdi and then Jose Padilla. We saw it with the military tribunals for Guantanamo Bay. And we are seeing it again with the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program.

Over the past few years, whenever the White House has seen or sensed trouble looming for its most controversial and tenuous positions in the legal war on terrorism, it has suddenly changed course, altered the playing field, or unilaterally declared itself beyond the purview of the prevailing rule of law. No legal defeats for this administration, no explicit concession of limits on its authority, just a series of tactical or strategic retreats that allow it to show to the world a visage of supreme executive branch power-- while at the same time allowing it at some future date to advance the same losing arguments. And all of it is done in secret, under the cloak of national security, so as to hide not just true secrets but embarrassing facts and legal opinions.

Why this three-card-monte tactic? Because once the Supreme Court formally limits White House power on domestic surveillance, or once the Justices or Congress declare the President's "enemy combatant" designations unconstitutional as they apply to U.S. citizens (like Padilla and Hamdi), the executive branch will have a much harder time regaining those powers at a future date than they would without those explicit setbacks. I think of it this way: when the White House sees that it is losing the match, it simply walks off the field and starts a new game, somewhere else, with different rules.

With Hamdi, the feds suddenly released him from custody as an "enemy combatant" when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor. After years of calling him a terror suspect too dangerous to even talk with his own attorneys, Hamdi was suddenly free and back home. With Padilla, the feds voluntarily (and almost overnight) moved him out of "enemy combatant" status when it appeared clear that the Justices would force them to do so. Padilla now stands trial in civilian court on relatively minor charges in Florida. When the Supreme Court last year declared illegal the government's plans to try the Guantanamo Bay detainees, the White House simply bullied Congress into approving a new set of plans that still contain significant legal deficiencies.

And now this: the government now is asking the federal courts to throw out a challenge to the NSA spy program because, the feds say, the program now is being supervised by the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court and thus is no longer the program that the American Civil Liberties Union had challenged. Moreover, the White House now argues, it didn't voluntarily change the nature of the spy program by asking the FISA court to get involved and evaluate surveillance requests, the court unilaterally did so. This is legally significant because of a legal doctrine called "voluntary cessation" which allows plaintiffs to continue their court cases against the government if the government simply (and perhaps temporarily) halts the challenged action as a result of the lawsuit.

Of course, we don't really know how the whole change in the program came about because, as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told legislators last week, he wasn't sure he could share those details with Congress (never mind the ACLU). Same as it ever was. Knowing that the program was constitutionally suspect, and knowing that a Democratic Congress was closing in, the feds ducked and now are covering. The courts should keep the NSA challenge alive and determine the constitionality of the program, then and now. We deserve more answers than we have so far received.

By Andrew Cohen |  January 26, 2007; 10:30 AM ET
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Comments

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This sort of intellectual dishonesty is the standard for this White House. It's the domestic political equivalent of picking up their legal marbles and going home. Sad and pathetic that our top lawmakers have no respect for the actual law.

Posted by: Dave | January 26, 2007 02:59 PM

Thanks Mr. Cohen for precisely describing the Administration's strategy.

As a non-lawyer, albeit a citizen with a large interest in both civics and the law, I am wondering: what can be done about this ?

If nothing else: how can we marshal the power of the majority opinion of members of the bar, which I believe would come down heavily against this behavior, so as to move both Congress and the Judiciary towards serious bi-partisan hearings and actions ?

-- Stanley Krute

Posted by: Stanley Krute | January 26, 2007 03:06 PM

This is not a democracy.

Posted by: Andy | January 26, 2007 04:00 PM

Maybe this has not occurred to anyone, but sometimes the obvious escapes us. Maybe the President of the United States and the Justice Department are trying to win a war against people who are trying to destroy us.

Posted by: gitarre | January 26, 2007 04:12 PM

We shouldn't have to destroy ourselves and our beliefs to fight terrorism.

You forget that we have fought tougher battles than terrorism before without throwing away the fundamental rights.

Posted by: jra | January 26, 2007 04:18 PM

It strikes me as a series of shortsighted acts by this adminisatration. They may believe that they will be in power forever but the Democrats will eventually take the executive office. If this administration thought logically (or competently) they would realize that they are setting a precedent for their enemies (the "Democrat" Party). But alas, this administration does not think at all.

Posted by: mattr | January 26, 2007 04:21 PM

A man who will trade personal freedoms for security deserves neither.

Posted by: mythra | January 26, 2007 04:54 PM

"Maybe this has not occurred to anyone, but sometimes the obvious escapes us. Maybe the President of the United States and the Justice Department are trying to win a war against people who are trying to destroy us."

Maybe you forget why we are fighting at all, instead of embracing the Radical and distorted view of Islam that Bin Laden and company want the world to.

ANY PRESIDENT that screws around with civil rights in the manner that Bush has is a far, far greater threat to my freedom than Bin Laden ever was or will be. Its clear the fact you aren't a terrorist has no bearing whatsoever with this Adminstration once they have initially desinated you as one. Maybe Bush has limited these abuses to people that are very unlike me, and won't extend these abuses to people like myself. BUT if Bush gets away with these abuses, you can be sure a future President will pick my or your group.

If you trust President Bush not to abuse you, would you trust President Hillary Clinton to do the same. I love Hillary, but I wouldn't trust my mother with the amount of power Bush thinks he has.

Posted by: Muddy | January 26, 2007 04:55 PM

"Maybe this has not occurred to anyone, but sometimes the obvious escapes us. Maybe the President of the United States and the Justice Department are trying to win a war against people who are trying to destroy us."
I would like to see the proof that they are trying to destroy us. Just because we are told it is so? Prove it to me, prove that they are the enemies. It reminds me of my daughter, who when asked why she bit her sister said "it is a secret"

Posted by: | January 26, 2007 05:21 PM

I was subjected to torture, yes torture by the Bush administration on U.S. soil using clandestine methods. I am not one of those people that Bush would call SandN*ggers. Bush's motives are his ego, economic theft, and peer pressure from his dirtiest cronies. There is no recourse to the law, there is no whistleblower protection, but someday, somewhere justice must be done.

Posted by: Andy | January 26, 2007 05:34 PM

It strikes me as a series of shortsighted acts by this adminisatration. They may believe that they will be in power forever but the Democrats will eventually take the executive office. If this administration thought logically (or competently) they would realize that they are setting a precedent for their enemies (the "Democrat" Party). But alas, this administration does not think at all.
Posted by: mattr | January 26, 2007 04:21 PM

What makes you believe "this administration" will allow anyone else to get into a position to take advantage of their precedents? One of the ways dictatorships happens is when a group in power so misuses that power that they can't afford to leave office. This administration may be one of them.

Posted by: WhatMeWorry? | January 26, 2007 05:54 PM

Has it occured to anyone that the single FISA judge to approve this new oversight may just be a victim of the illegal wiretap program. Oh, I forgot this adminstration would never blackmail a federal judge.

Posted by: domga | January 26, 2007 06:22 PM

Mr. Cohen is dishonest on several points including pretending that Hamdi and Padilla are promised rights to trial because they are US citizens. The Constitution states two exceptions to the right of Habeas Corpus. Mr. Cohen knows that, but in his contempt for his audience, he believes that we do not. Read the Constitution, and don't let these intentionally decietful pundits continue to misinform you.

Posted by: Sternberg | January 26, 2007 06:52 PM

Who stole my country? I want it back!

Posted by: WOW | January 26, 2007 08:38 PM

Sternberg seems unable to read accurately. I defy him to find the words "habeas corpus" in Cohen's article. If Sternberg really thinks the administration would have prevailed against Hamdi and Padilla in court, what is his explanation for the Bush gang's abrupt reversals? Or does he think a Supreme Court dominated by Bush/Reagan appointees is just too liberal to understand the Constitution as well as he does?

Posted by: wtyler | January 26, 2007 09:05 PM

Thank you for your comment Sternberg. In my copy of the constitution, remarkably enough, the two exceptions which allow suspension of Habeas Corpus are "rebellion" and "invasion". They're not mentioned because they're not relevant-or maybe you can tell me which one is the one that you feel applies today?

Posted by: Dr. Gonzo | January 26, 2007 09:59 PM

Sternberg, you shouldn't try to defend this fascist administration on habeas corpus and the constitution. On January 18, the attorney general denied Americans had a RIGHT to habeas corpus:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/011807.html

Responding to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18, Gonzales argued that the Constitution doesn't explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights; it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended.

"There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there's a prohibition against taking it away," Gonzales said.

Gonzales's remark left Specter, the committee's ranking Republican, stammering.

"Wait a minute," Specter interjected. "The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's a rebellion or invasion?"

Gonzales continued, "The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended ..."

------

Incredibly specious and flamingly dangerous. Or should I say: "Doubleplus ungood."

tb

Posted by: mrbrown | January 27, 2007 12:00 AM

The Bush administration can be described as a lawless bunch of incompetent faschists. Bush himself, decided on his own to kill over 700,000 people in Iraq, and is certainly in the same league with Idi Admin or Pol Pot, but certanly not on a Hitleresque scale yet. However, he wants to invade Iran, with nukes no less, so certainly George is capabable of rising to that level.

Posted by: cpwash | January 27, 2007 04:30 AM

Bush cannot belong to a republican party, he is clearly a monarchist.

Will he order the troops to take Washington, probably not, but as that is already conquered, perhaps they will take New York or Philadelphia, or more conveniently, Richmond.

Posted by: Won't say, it may get me renditioned | January 27, 2007 05:59 AM

Bush also changes the name of the game he is playing. At first it was the war against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Soon, it became the war to disarm Saddam Hussein and his *WMD's*. From there, it became the war to hunt down Saddam Hussein, and the *Regime Change*. Then, it became a war to stop anyone who was trying to stop us from turning Iraq into a US POSSESSION! Bush's war pitted him against Sunni's, Shiites, Kurds, Syrians, and Iranians. Now, finally, Bush has declared his mission to be a WAR against TERRORISM! This means that we will FOREVER be at war since anyone with a brain knows that terrorism will never end. This is the game that Bush and his gang of ideological neocons are playing.... keep us at war forever! That keeps the economy going and THEIR wallets fat, without having to sacrifice anything...... except their HONOR! They have devided this country with their games, and made us hated throught the world. They made OUR WORLD MUCH MORE DANGEROUS, thanks to their games! It all sickens me. I hope some day they will all be brought to justice since they don't seem to care about the will of the American people. The *DECIDER* is the *DIVIDER*, dividing this country and the world.

Posted by: Rosemary | January 27, 2007 07:59 AM

Sternberg obviously has not passed his conlaw course. The habeas corpus provisions are in Article I delineating the powers of Congress. It is up to Congress to suspend habeas not the President the Lincoln example notwithstanding.

Posted by: carl | January 27, 2007 09:05 AM

When the president said everything changed on 9/11 he was correct. He said Osama bin Laden hated our freedom and wanted to destroy us (Osama hates us, Westerners, because we have military bases in Saudi Arabia,we are on their holy land and because of our relationship with Isreal). Well, Osama succeeded without having to kill another American, our President and his neocons took care of that. Bush and friends have shredded the Constitution, the very document that he swore (twice) to uphold. He can tap phones, look at bank records, monitor emails, look at our mail. All violations of our Civil Rights. Bush is the best recruiting tool bin Laden ever had. He did just what Osama said he would; invade an oil rich Middle East Nation without provocation. Osama's organization grows as well as does anti- American sentiment across the globe. Bush ignores others that present him with information that does not fit his agenda or it isn't want he wants to hear (read Richard Clark's book). He governs by "his gut". Great if you have a business (or in Bush's case a number of businesses) that goes belly up and you walk away because you are born of priviledge and Daddy will help clean up the mess. It is different when lives hang in the balance. He tags anyone who doesn't agree with him and his gang as traitors, cut and runners, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or not smart enough to understand what it's all about. As he twists and turns the truth around to fit his point of view. He lied about not condoning torture (when you send "enemy combatants" over to countries that do torture, you are condoning torture). How much longer can American keep their heads in the sand and not see that the President and his admistration have been the greatest threat to our Democracy and our Constitutional rights. So much more so than any terrorist has been. I don't believe that taking away our rights will make us safer, it just makes us weaker and the people who govern us more dictatorial. Ben Franklin said it best: A man who trades personal freedoms for security deserves neither.

Posted by: wakeupamerica | January 27, 2007 09:36 AM

Mr. Cohen, thank you for your column on the Bush administration's flagrant violations of the rule of law. I am glad someone sees through this crowd's mindset and actions. I am just a country newspaperman old enough to have lived through Watergate and many other calamities. This current administration is the most dangerous one in my 62 years.

Posted by: Rick Gunter | January 27, 2007 09:56 AM

The attempt by the administration to overrun rights and freedoms that were won by battle and paid for with the blood of true patriots is a disgrace. It dishonors the the pillars of liberty that the nation was founded on and the beacon of justice,freedom and liberty the United States presented to the world for over 200 years. It is time for a change before the cconstitution and the power of congress is completely gutted by VP Cheney and his front man President Bush.

Posted by: nanjay | January 27, 2007 10:01 AM

Bush has never learned *Humility*.......

*Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.*...Dwight D. Eisenhower

A prayer for Americans, especially for our President and Congress:

*Help us oh Lord, when we want to do the right thing, but know not what it is. But help us most when we know perfectly well what we ought to do, and do not want to do it! Amen

Posted by: Rosemary | January 27, 2007 10:25 AM

I believe it was James Madison who said that (a paraphrase here): In europe, charters of power grant liberty; in the US, charters of liberty grant power." The Constitution was designed NOT to grant liberty to citizens, but to protect that liberty and the citizens from a government.

Although the current turnaround of this basic idea has been long in coming, the current administration has made it explicit. It is time to acknowledge that now power grants liberty in this country; do we accept this...or do we not?

I see the flawed and dangerous results all around us, and I cannot help but think that Orwell was right.

Posted by: Theron | January 27, 2007 10:31 AM

bush and cheney don't care about public opinion and will keep the iraq war going ,sacrificing our soldiers and iraqi civilians .and leave the mess to be handled by the next president.there wont be any mass protests or rioting ,like during the vietnam war,because most american families do not have someone in the military and the civilians dying in iraq are not americans.

Posted by: mz | January 27, 2007 11:22 AM

Hmm, so the Administration submits the NSA program for judicial review and they are playing by their own rules. How so, if, as I recall, the initial criticism was the lack of review and therefore the inability to determine constitutionality? Are Cohen and other Bush critics challenging the legitimacy of the FISA Court? They would have to if they want to continue criticizing the Administration over this program, since it is now being reviewed in that court. Or are they, as I suspect they always have been, clamoring for an official vindication of their own views from Congress or the Courts, regardless of the Administration's conduct. This seems evident from their continued criticisms, even when the Administration retreats, they still want a rebuke on what then has become a non-issue. I think the fact that niether Congress nor the Court has given them such a vindication is the real source of their anger, and why they view things like Hamdi's release or Padilla's criminal charges as tactical retreats, instead of victories for their side, because they didn't get the validation they so desperately want, and I think desperately need. For all their claims against this Administration, validation has been almost nonexistent, and every time the Administration wins, they accuse it of bullying or fear-mongering or smearing. Every time the Administration loses, its a tactial retreat or an insignificant loss, since, it would seem, a sweeping validation is not close behind. This constantly cynical criticism is both childish and ultimately useless, as it goes absolutely nowhere and serves no purpse other providing a constant source of righteous anger and indignation for those unable to sustain themselves on substance.

Trust always in Reason

Archimedes

Posted by: Archimedes | January 27, 2007 12:38 PM

It has concerned me for years that we base our thinking--and actions--by reading either in or out of what we want when referencing the Constitution or the Bible. One current example is the administration with it's Gitmo fiasco. Another is the NRA's tailored version of the Second amendment. And then we have the Bible with what it "says" (and doesn't say) about abortion, slavery, to name a few.

Posted by: bilfleisch | January 27, 2007 01:31 PM

I live in Austin, TX, was a republican until gw bush came to town and having known him since 72 I knew I could never vote for him and have not. I would like for some one to explain to me now after 6 years being the president; lied as he has, broke the constitution into small pieces and flushed it down the river, declared war on a group of people w/o cause, murdered thousands of people how can any one support him and the rest of his chroines? Please enlighten me if you can at the age of 70 I can not understand. He has nearly killed our nation. (arnoldbowers1@aol.com) the best of good byes from Austin, TX

Posted by: frank bowers | January 27, 2007 02:39 PM

Impeach and imprison Bush, Cheney and the whole corrupt, arrogant, power-hungry, greedy, bottom-feeding sorry lot of them.

We're living the nightmare. My dream is to see them all in orange jumpsuits doing the perp walk.

It's time to GET THEM OUT!

Posted by: A.J.P. | January 27, 2007 04:09 PM

A more benign view of the Bush administration's actions is that it learned from Bill Clinton. When Clinton asserted a privilege, he litigated it to the end - and lost virtually every time. Bush, on the other hand, simply quits litigating if he thinks he will lose in order not to weaken the office of the president. Arguably Bush is the more serious about preserving and protecting his successors' options.

Posted by: Ashland | January 27, 2007 04:58 PM

It is very simple--in a democracy, people who do not follow the law are criminals. Our Chickenhawk-in-Chief and his delusional puppeteer, Cheney, both of whom dodged the draft during Vietnam, should be taken from the White House in handcuffs.

Posted by: mikeasr | January 27, 2007 05:02 PM

I guess I should have taken the red pill...Wake up people: We are not a communist country! Talk is cheap! Why are we allowing ourselves to simply protest without taking a more active stance? Listen to what Bush is saying! He is abusing the role of his democratic position (created for the people by the people), by turning it into a dictatorship and us into a non-democratic nation. He not only showcases this by his actions (which speak much louder than words), but he has so blatantly stated publicly--and consistently that he doesn't care what "we" say, "HE" is the leader. HELLO!! That's not democracy!! Where are the lawyers??? It's time for us to run him out of town!!!

Posted by: MsAh | January 27, 2007 08:57 PM

IMPEACH HIM FOR ABUSE OF POWER.

Posted by: MsAh | January 27, 2007 09:12 PM

I think if anyone here is relying on Andrew Cohen to articulate accurately on ANY subject regarding politics, i.e., what the position is on anything coming out of the White House or any government agency, then clearly, they are relying on the wrong person (I don't call Cohen a journalist, because someone who fairly can be said to be a credible journalist actually does something other than parrot what is said by others, and/or engages in something other than ad hominem attacks- Cohen's specialty- but in reality only shows the level of his mentality-which is exactly zero).

I'm no fan of the White House, but I can't see what or why in Hades the Washington Post continues to employ this run-of-the-mill blogger -it does not speak well of the Post's hiring practices at all.

Posted by: Spaceexplorer | January 27, 2007 09:16 PM

The will of the American people is finally beginning to tear Bush's playhouse down, room by room. Hopefully they won't lose their nerve at the last minute, because he is a criminal and he should be in jail. I'm sure it's tempting to buy all that guff about how it would hurt America to hold the president criminally responsible for his destructive actions. Well, every time somebody says that to you, summon up a mental picture of the Top Gun President smirking, swaggering and preening himself on the deck of the ABRAHAM LINCOLN, under the Mission Accomplished banner. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

Posted by: Mark | January 27, 2007 09:50 PM

That the administration is finally backtracking on FISA doesn't immunize them from criticism for two very good reasons. First, they're the ones who staked out the position that their warrantless wiretapping was legal. They should defend that! If they don't, then we can conclude that they were wrong and deserve the criticism. Second, just because they stopped doing it doesn't mean their past actions are now forgiven. Not everyone can be O.J. Simpson.

Posted by: Rich Douglas | January 27, 2007 10:29 PM

A more benign view of the Bush administration's actions is that it learned from Bill Clinton. When Clinton asserted a privilege, he litigated it to the end - and lost virtually every time. Bush, on the other hand, simply quits litigating if he thinks he will lose in order not to weaken the office of the president. Arguably Bush is the more serious about preserving and protecting his successors' options.

Posted by: Ashland

Exactly Ashland, and this is the point in law which is so diabolical--Republicans in Congress are not happy, seems all the rules they instituted to keep the Democratic minority a 'silent minority' are now being utilized against them; this does not really give those citizens from those districts a real voice in government now does it. So Dubya wants to keep the power he has gained for the office of president--and whence did the power derive?, the people. Now as a person, might you perhaps wish that some court, staffed by 12 good citizens, should have a chance to look over the newly garnered gains by the executive branch? Just perhaps you might wish, as an American citizen, to both quantify and qualify what your personal rights are so that when some unitary executive theory type comes along you can explain the limits of said office? Just a thought...
Respectfully submitted,
Francis Jens Erickson

Posted by: Francis Jens Erickson | January 27, 2007 10:32 PM

Spaceexplorer, I for one am insulted that you would think that we are so mindless that anyone of us would have formulated such strong opinions after reading one articule, and decided to "let's hate them all together." If that was the case, I we would have jumped on your bandwagon, huh? I watch the news, I read the news. My husband is in Iraq for the 4th time (once a year since the war started). And, I didn't vote for Bush. I saw right through him from the very first; I never believed that there was a threat in Iraq that was so great that we had to rush to war, did you? This isn't about your dislike for the Washington Post or the editor, this is about righting a serious wrong, before it's too late. This is about giving American back our pride and our strength as a nation and a family. (Believe it or not, I haven't even read the article!)

Posted by: MsAh | January 28, 2007 03:01 AM

"I'm sure it's tempting to buy all that guff about how it would hurt America to hold the president criminally responsible for his destructive actions."

On the contrary. It would hurt America NOT to hold this man responsible.

America needs to know that justice will prevail, that everyone is accountable for his or her actions and that when you commit crimes against a nation from the highest office, you'll face the same consequences as anyone else in this country.

To say it would hurt America to do what's right --and hold this president criminally responsible -- is an insult to Americans.

To let this president slither away from prosecution would be a crime in itself.

Posted by: | January 28, 2007 08:08 AM

Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 "As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against..." http://www.legitgov.org/essay_southwell_arming_the_left_is_the_time_now_102203.html

Posted by: Lori Price, www.legitgov.org | January 28, 2007 01:40 PM

I think it is unfair to characterize the Administration, the President, and the Attorney General as anything but patriotic. The important thing to remember is that [Samuel, the original dictionary writer] Johnson's portrayals of Patriotism are topical, if not prophetic.

Especially http://www.samueljohnson.com/patrioti.html#408

Posted by: Guy Sherr | January 28, 2007 01:59 PM

Noting that Bush and Gonzoles seemingly have no regard for the next election is bothersome. Do they know something we don't? Does Bush's removal of Posse Comitatus tie in with their blatent attacks on our Constitution? I'm wondering whether our newly elected "Democrat" majority is as paranoid as I am about these GOP'er neocons. What's the next shoe they're planning to drop.

Posted by: Rufus | January 28, 2007 02:09 PM

I'm still trying to figure out why they call it "domestic" wiretapping. If I fly from the states to Paris, am I taking a domestic flight or an international flight???

Posted by: Pepsiholic | January 28, 2007 05:19 PM

Rufus, it's not paranoia when you realize that they are a corrupt bunch who have lied for greed, stolen elections, committed treason against America and more. There were no challenges and no questions answered as to their role in 9/11, which if truly investigated, could result in proving them murderers as well.

I recall Bush's speech to the UN in November of 2001, barely 1 month after 9/11. Here the president of the most powerfful nation in the world said in his speech, 'don't be concerned about conspiracy theorists'.

Odd and somewhat chilling that he of all people would convey such petty thinking to the United Nations and the world. The most horrific attack on American soil and his focus is on making sure we don't listen to any thoughts that might raise questions or doubts?

The power they have is in lying and then denying what they say and do. In the face of uncontrovertible proof they still play with our minds by marketing their spin.

Paranoid? We ALL should be paranoid. We ALL should be outraged. We ALL should be fighting mad and ready to do whatever it takes to get these people out of our government and into federal prisons where they belong.

Posted by: | January 28, 2007 06:13 PM

I have become very afraid of my own government. I am even afraid to write that I am afraid.

Posted by: Mr.Wright | January 28, 2007 09:26 PM

Gee, Mr. Cohen, the White House is playing "by its own rules." And after more than four years, you have just noticed. Or is it that now your editors will allow you to criticize He Who Makes Us Upper Middle Class And Not Hillbillies For Chrissake, So Shut Up And Write What We Tell You?

Posted by: J Marra | January 29, 2007 09:26 AM

Mr. Cohen writes about this as if Bush had just decided to change his tie color. White House Plays By Its Own Rules AGAIN, the title reads. Whoopsy, there go a few more civil rights! Is this a hardline, hard, hard, erect, fully masculine Presidency or what?

Posted by: J Marra | January 29, 2007 09:28 AM

I couldn't agree more with all the well thought out responses to how this administration is plundering our civil rights and our coffer of hard earned dollars for his own despicable ends. It appears that if the polls were based on the responses to this article about Bush his approval rating is virtually non-existent!

Posted by: mere from Michigan | January 29, 2007 09:31 AM

I couldn't agree more with all the well thought out responses to how this administration is plundering our civil rights and our coffer of hard earned dollars for his own despicable ends. It appears that if the polls were based on the responses to this article about Bush his approval rating is virtually non-existent!

Posted by: mere from Michigan | January 29, 2007 09:40 AM

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