Because freedom can't protect itself
Should this story continue to unfold (which, in a moral country governed by the Constitution of the United States would be a gimme, but who knows), please let's not give a free pass to Bush just because Cheney ran this operation.
Why? Because of the real, actual meaning of the doctrine of a "unitary executive" under the Constitution. While the neocons have done their "sound bite best" to argue that their claim of a "unitary executive theory" somehow allows the President to wield astonishingly broad powers never before contemplated in the history of the United States (guys like Addington, Yoo and Cheney are the "thinkers" here, the likelihood of intellectual integrity is of course less than zero), that isn't what the doctrine really was meant to be about. The "unitary executive theory" actually does go back to the constitutional debates. It was about whether there should be an executive committee to share the load, or a single executive to focus accountability. And, in an environment that had a notable reluctance to do anything reminiscent of monarchy, it was Hamiton's view (Federalist # 70) that won out: to focus accountability and facilitate the laying of blame in order to encourage responsible executive actions, the Constitution is written in a form creating a single ("unitary") executive -- the President -- who has the singular responsibility of accepting the constitutional blame when his minions screw up.
This is yet another reason why Bush needs to be impeached. And another reason why Cheney should be pilloried for any number of his actions, not least of which would be the reports of his desire to "insulate" the President in order to create "plausible deniability" by running various nefarious operations out of his own office and supposedly without "involving" Bush. The fact is, Bush is involved up to the President's constitutional eyeballs whether Cheney tells him or not. To the extent the neocons want to seek to insulate their plans by the devious expedient of arguing that some "unitary executive" concept justifies their actions, it should at least be noted that not everyone agrees with the concept as they would define it -- and that the twisted and absolutist neocon articulation is utterly untrue to the roots of the concept (surprise, huh?).
U.S. 305,193,642 Estimated US Population
05:59 GMT (EST+5) Sep 19, 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
What fraction are you and yours?
Majority Rules Here in the USA
I am asking 50 Million Americans to contact
John Conyers- Chairman
United States House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
To open impeachment hearings now!
while President Bush and VIce President Cheney still hold office.
The goal now to establish a public record of the violations of law and the violations of international
law that have occurred.
Accountability will take place!
Don't let them get away with the constitution.
Thank-you for your work!
Please Contact John Conyers and ask along with me and ask
why isn't President Bush being impeached and tried for perjury,
"We did not anticipate the breeching of the levees"
President Bush lied to me!
Senator Clinton renewed her call for an independent commission modeled after the September 11th Commission to investigate the failures by government that left thousands of Americans stranded in the Gulf Coast.
“In the four years between the two events, the Bush administration promised the American people that they were doing everything they could to plan, prepare and prevent another tragedy, be it a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other unexpected crisis. In the aftermath of Katrina where thousands were left behind, we now know that wasn’t the case," said Senator Reiid
“Our Federal Government’s most important mission is to protect our homeland and American citizens,” said Senator Salazar. “Four years after 9/11, it is in excusable that our Nation failed in fulfilling its mission
What Has Homeland Security Cost? An Assessment: 2001-2005
Bart Hobijn and Erick Sager
We estimate that homeland security spending climbed
from $56.0 billion in 2001 to $99.5 billion in 2005.As a frac-
tion of nominal GDP,these dollar amounts translate into a rise
from 0.55 percent in 2001 to 0.80 percent in 2005.Increases in
federal government spending account for $34.2 billionof the
$43.5 billion rise in spending,while the remaining $9.4 billion
is attributable to increases in private sector resources de-
voted to homeland security.
These numbers point to a relatively small increase in the
share ofresources targeted to homeland security in the post
9/11 period. Given this modest increase—as well as the
robust economic performance of the U.S. economy since
2001—we conclude that the broader economic impact of
higher security spending has been very limited.
Composition of Homeland Security Outlays, 2005
and key assets
To put these figures in a historical context,we turn to esti-
mates from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that
shed light on homeland security spending in the years before
and after 2001.According to the GAO estimates reported in
Hobijn (2002),federal homeland security spending made up
about 0.1 percent ofGDP in the 1996-2001 period.This share
increased to 0.35 percent in 2002 and has remained relatively
Senators Collins and Lieberman have released a bipartisan, 737 page, report titled; “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared.” The report, which was passed by the full Committee today, is the result of a seven-month investigation into the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005. At the heart of the report are 86 findings that focus on failures at all levels of government to plan, prepare and execute appropriate, timely, and effective mitigation and relief efforts for the Hurricane Katrina disaster;
Posted September 15, 2008 11:00 AM
This is from the Houston Chronicle:
It didn't take long for the finger-pointing to begin.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency came under fire Sunday as emergency workers were left undernourished and dozens of trucks of water and food had yet to be set up at distribution centers around Houston and surrounding communities.
And no sooner had the agency -- widely condemned for its glacial response to suffering after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 -- drawn sharp criticism as its leaders and spokesmen began to say it was someone else's fault.
Earlier in the day, a FEMA spokesman said delays in setting up staging points to hand out needed provisions had been caused by blocked roads.
By the evening, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said it was the fault of state officials who handed his department the "unexpected challenge" of having to prepare distribution points in addition to delivering supplies.
State officials said that was a local responsibility, which came as a surprise to Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
"If I could have known something 18 hours ago, we could have made plans to pick up something a lot quicker, that's a fact," White said.
But he added: "Whatever the little drama was is only a matter of hours, not days."
Emmett agreed, calling the flap "much ado about nothing." The state could not set up the centers because it was overwhelmed in other areas, he said.
Several local and federal elected officials from opposing parties had a different take.
"I disagree with the leadership of the state in not participating in the (point of distribution) program going on tonight," said state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston. "I saw it in lines today at Galena Park. People are frustrated, they're scared, they're upset."
U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Houston, said he was told before the storm by FEMA officials that there was food and water already staged at the Ellington Air National Guard base.
"Now it's on the way? That doesn't make any sense to me," he said. "I don't know what happened ... The storm's been over for 30 hours.
"I hope some heads will roll in this," he said later, adding that the efforts of local mayors, judges and emergency responders should be applauded.
U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, said he was "outraged" at the agency because first responders at two staging areas are without food and water.
Impeach Bush and Cheney
Red + Blue = Magenta the Color of Common Ground
United We Stand Divided We Fall How Far?
Give Dennis Kucinich a hand! Kucinich.US
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