Sunday, September 23, 2007

Presidential Factoids: Fascism on the March

The following facts describe an American president whose egregious policies and actions pushed this nation closer to fascism than it had ever been before.

*He said, "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the freedoms of ordinary Americans."

*A member of his cabinet and one of his closest advisers told USA Today, "The dirty little secret is that both houses of Congress are irrelevant. ... America's domestic policy is now being run by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve, and America's foreign policy is now being run by the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. ...when the president decides to go to war, he no longer needs a declaration of war from Congress."

*He signed an executive order granting the president dictatorial powers in the event of an "emergency" declared by the president. What would constitute such an emergency was never defined.

*He signed hundreds of executive orders in order to bypass Congress' constitutional role of providing "advise and consent" to the Executive branch. Many of these orders went far beyond his constitutional powers as president.

*He ordered the CIA to "destroy Al Quaeda." Under his orders, the CIA created a program of "extraordinary rendition" whereby terrorism suspects would be handed over to foreign nations "without strict human rights records" in order to circumvent American law. Many of these suspected terrorists would be tortured by our "allies."

*He used the FBI and IRS to go after political opponents, including opposition political and activist organizations.

*He oversaw the deregulation of the telecommunications industry, leading to increased concentration of corporate control over the nation's media and a narrowing of the available spectrum of opinion.

*He drew his party to the right, arguing that it should fall in line with corporate interests.

*He expanded the federal death penalty, making it applicable to dozens of new crimes. Among those new capital offenses were a variety of crimes that did not result in death, including drug trafficking.

*While a state governor and candidate for president, he left the campaign trail and returned home to personally witness the execution of a profoundly retarded death row inmate. This inmate was on antipsychotic medications, had been lobotomized, and was so blissfully unaware of the import of what was happening that he decided to save his dessert to enjoy AFTER the time scheduled for his execution.

*According to a Sixty Minutes report, former intelligence officials who worked on the program, and government officials from Britain and the European Union, he conducted a massive secret spying program that monitored the phone calls and e-mails of millions of American and British citizens. The NSA has admitted that this program collected and leaked more than 1,000 pages of information on a member of the British royal family. According to an EU report, some of the information obtained through this top secret program was sold to top political donors to be used against their competitors.

*His policies led to a 70% increase in anti-gay discharges from the military, costing the United States vital personnel, including Arab language translators.

The president? William Jefferson Clinton.

Never believe that the road to fascism began with George W. Bush. Never believe that the prior bad acts of previous presidents excuses the acts of this administration. What is happening in our country (and has been happening for decades) is an affront to our nation's values and the Constitution that created the world's oldest democracy.

It is no coincidence that our current Dictator-in-Chief is the grandson of one of the conspirators who plotted to overthrow the democratically elected president of the United States in a fascist military coup. Let's hope that George W. Bush makes the same mistake his grandfather and his co-conspirators did when they attempted to recruit the wrong Marine. Prescott Bush et al. underestimated Major General Smedley Butler's loyalty to his nation and his oath to protect her against all enemies foreign and domestic. Let's hope that there are Smedley Butler's still. And while we're hoping, let's actually do something about it.

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