Friday :: Dec 23, 2005

The Ghost Of Conscience Past

by pessimist

"They are letting their prejudices blind them to the fact that unless we can maintain the principles of fair play and democracy at home, it will do little good to win victories for democracy abroad."

These words, written Jan. 21, 1943 by Lowell Clark Pratt, editor of the Selma Enterprise, resonate well with today's news stories, especially since the principles of fair play and democracy are at great risk under King George:

Bush confirms spying

Bush said his authority to approve what he called a "vital tool in our war against the terrorists" came from his constitutional powers as commander in chief. He said that he has personally signed off on reauthorizations more than 30 times.

Susan Low Bloch, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center, said Bush was "taking a hugely expansive interpretation of the Constitution and the president's powers under the Constitution."

James Bamford, author of two books on the NSA, said the program could be problematic because it bypasses a special court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to authorize eavesdropping on suspected terrorists. "I didn't hear him specify any legal right, except his right as president, which in a democracy doesn't make much sense," Bamford said in an interview. "Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law, which is illegal."

It makes it quite difficult to 'win victories for democracy abroad' if we aren't willing to live up to it at home:

"Because we are Americans and not Nazis and fascists we ought to remember that in the United States the individual citizen, regardless of their racial origin, enjoys certain rights that are bound up with the principles for which the United Nations are fighting."
- Lowell Clark Pratt, Selma Enterprise, March 5, 1942

Pratt quotes taken from Editor supported Japanese community

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