Howdy there! Come on in. By the time you read this my two terms of office will be over, and it will be history and you judging my performance as the 43rd President of the United States. I just want to go over some of my accomplishments, in case you forgot.
When I was elected President, it was the first time in over a hundred years that a candidate won the Presidency while losing the nationwide popular vote. The deciding electoral college state was Florida, which I won by a little over 2000 votes. That number was eventually reduced to 537 votes. Although the state law of Florida required a total recount in the case of an election with a margin of less than one half of one percent (it was 0.009%), and the Florida Supreme Court voted for a manual recount, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 vote that all recounts must stop. Effectively giving me the Presidency by judicial decision rather than being elected. My opponent Al Gore received 543,816 more popular votes nationwide than I did.
What I will probably be remembered for the most is lying to the American people about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and using that as the premise to go to war.
I was the President when America was attacked on September 11th, 2001 by terrorist, who flew commercial airliners into both of the towers of the World Trade Center and one airliner into the Pentagon. Another airliner was targeting either the White House or the Capitol, but passengers on the plane forced it to crash in a remote area of Pennsylvania. I used the fear that the American people had, and the need for security to remove more civil liberties than any President since the United States was founded.
Forty-five days after the attack, congress reacted to my request for special war powers by passing the USA Patriot Act. It allows the government to access medical records, tax records and even what books you buy or check out from the library without probable cause or a warrant issued by a judge. It also allowed the government to break into your home or office and conduct secret searches without telling you indefinitely. That one directly violated the fourth amendment of the constitution, but I felt it was important if I was to protect America.
We admitted to wire tapping international calls to suspected terrorist without a warrant, but denied doing it to domestic calls between American citizens. Later we had to admit that we were building a massive database on on domestic calls within the USA. This directly violated a federal law passed in 1978 requiring a warrant, but I said that it was legal and constitutional. Another oops you caught us, was the question about secret interrogation locations throughout the world, where we could use torture. Initially we denied this, but the Human Rights First organization documented over two dozen secret detention facilities worldwide.
I signed an Anti-Torture Amendment, a piece of legislation reaffirming the U.S. prohibition against cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. But I also issued a ''signing statement,'' or legal interpretation of the amendment, stating that it would not bind me in all circumstances. Further diluting the law was another amendment to the final defense spending bill that for the first time, allows information gained through torture to be used in military proceedings and restrains the ability of detainees to challenge their detention in federal courts.
Only ten months later, I signed the "Harsh Interrogation Law", authorizing the use of strong techniques of coercing information from terrorist. But I made it secret as to what will be allowed or banned. The American Civil Liberties Union called the new law, "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history." Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democratic Senator said, "We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation's history.
I could go on for quite a while, on things like holding people indefinitely without charging them with a crime or all of the pictures of torture by U.S. servicemen in the Abu Ghraib prison, but we'll close with the Geneva Conventions Treaty, which was signed by the United States in August of 1949. America has always held the moral high ground, by following the treatment of prisoners as outlined in the Geneva Conventions, even if our enemies did not.
On December 28, 2001, I received a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel making two claims: the US court system had no jurisdiction regarding the detainees at Guantanamo, and the Geneva Conventions did not apply to them. Acting on this advice, on February 7, 2002 I suspended Common Article 3 of those conventions-which, among other things, prohibits torture.
The Supreme Court found the tribunals in violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and their existence to be illegal, absent a basis in federal statute. The decision was handed down June 29, 2006. But I pushed a law through congress making prosecution of my administration impossible. I then made a compromise with Senators McCain, Warner, and Graham to pass a law that did make military tribunals legal, as well as prohibiting detainees from claiming rights under the Geneva Conventions.
Some say that I have gone too far in erroding civil liberties, allowing torture, and ignoring treaties like the Geneva Conventions in my War on Terror. But keep in mind that we didn't have another major terrorist attack on American soil for the remainder of my two terms in office, after September 11th. It will be up to you and history to decide if I went too far.
Later entry to this section (6/26/2008):
I came across an entry on BuzzFlash.com's discussion board. I give credit to the author of these comments only as tnoblette, the only name given on the post. These may be some of the things that history will write about or discuss of "Dubbya's" reign. I think we can safely assume that tnoblette is not a pro-Bush advocate.
Myriad reasons for impeachment
Submitted by tnoblette on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 3:08pm.