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Is There a Breach of Covenant?

Monday, March 13, 2006

I was thinking that the Constitution of the United States of America is a covenant between the people of the several states to form a more perfect union of their individual nations. In the beginning, there existed thirteen unique and different nations on the land mass known as North America. In an effort to pool their resources and to form a politically secure compact, they created a confederacy. After a number of years, it became apparent that this compact, or covenant, wasn't strong enough to compel the participating parties to "pay their fair share" to maintain it. So, the decision to rewrite it was made. That's where our current Constitution comes from. Over the years, amendments have been added, but the core constitution still exists.
Having laid out that ground work, I wanted to pose the following question: Do we have a breach of covenant on our hands? Can we argue that the Congress is in breach of covenant for failing to hold the Executive accountable for violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution? I'm not talking out of the side of my head here. I've studied and watched this blemish grow for the last couple of months.
This issue got legs in December of 2005, when the New York Times released an article explaining that the Executive had authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on communications of known al Qaeda members who were conversing with United States persons. Had these conversations been between foreign entities, it would have been no problem. The problem with the program stems from the fact that the subject of surveillance involved U.S. persons. At that point, the United States Constitution with it's prohibitions against illegal searches and seizures contained in the Fourth Amendment kicked in (Not to mention FISA). The Bush administration essentially instructed the NSA to ignore the law and the Constitution when it OK'd it's eavesdropping program.
After Bush's program was discovered, their was a call for him to stop and for there to be an investigation. To date, neither has happened. In fact, President Bush went before the American people and said that he would not stop and that he thought it was criminal for Americans to even be speaking publicly about his program. In his mind, we were giving away military secrets to the enemy. The Senate Intelligence Committee vowed to investigate whether Bush's spy program was legal or not. And we all waited.
On the very day that they were to meet to vote on whether to investigate, Senator Pat Roberts announced that they had struck a deal with the White House. There would be no investigation because the White House had tentatively agreed to legislation that was being formulated by Senator Mike DeWine. It turns out that Mike DeWine, talking on Fox News, doesn't really care whether the President broke the law or not. He's more interested in getting his legislation approved. He said, "You know, there's been some controversy about whether this program is legal or is not legal. I think we need to get beyond that and the vast majority of the American people think these calls need to be listened to. But, we don't want to have any kind of debate about whether it's Constitutional or is not Constitutional. So, I think we need to put that beyond this." In other words, he's saying that there will be no further discussion.
Here's my problem. Everyone that should know whether the law and the Constitution were violated have said they were. All one needs to do is go to the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Resources on Domestic Surveillance page and read any one of the number of papers they've archived there to reach the same conclusion. Or, you can read this excellent letter sent by the American Bar Association explaining how the President got it wrong.
Yesterday, Senator Russ Feingold announced his plans to introduce a Censure Resolution of the President in the Senate. A censure, as I understand it, is basically a hand slap issued by the Senate to get the President to stop breaking the law. In other words, it's a cease and desist order. Then, we hear Senator Bill Frist saying that it was bad, bad, and more bad (but not why it was bad) for Feingold to be introducing this. He said that by doing this, it gives the appearance to our enemies that we are not united in our fight against terrorism. Never mind the law, we must appear to be united before the opposition! I say that Senator Feingold should add a few more names to his Censure Resolution (Frist and DeWine for starters).
Am I wrong in thinking that We the People are not getting the justice we deserve? Am I wrong in thinking that our representatives are derelict in their duties to hold President Bush and members of his administration accountable for their actions? Am I wrong in thinking that a new Constitutional Convention may be in order due to the flagrant breach of covenant by government? What good is our Constitution if it's ignored? Hell, I'd be happy if I could just get someone to take his Oath of Office seriously and enforce our laws!


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