It seems we have a country where illegal immigrants have constitutional rights, retired military officers have none, and the commander in chief isn't subject to any law whatsoever.
A Boston Globe story from Sunday tells us that:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
I've written quite a few articles about Mister Bush's outrageous claims of absolute powers in his capacity as America's executive officer and the commander in chief of its military, but I hadn't realized that he's told the legislature to pack sand more than 750 times.
Is it legal for him to do that?
Apparently so, if he's decided it's up to him to decide what's legal and what isn't. The GOP controlled Congress isn't likely to tell him otherwise, and the Supreme Court seems too busy looking into whether Anna Nicole Smith is entitled to pursue a share of her late billionaire husband's estate to make any judgments on whether Mister Bush's arbitrary fiats on constitutionality are constitutional.
Filling the vacuum left by the Supreme Court is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Mister Bush's lawyer in chief, whose job appears to be to tell his boss that whatever he wants to do is legal.
How many wars are we in now? Are Iraq and Afghanistan separate wars, or are they part and parcel of the so-called Global War on Terror? What's Iran going to be?
I see now where the friends of the Bush administration are starting to liken Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler. I recall a time not so long ago when Saddam Hussein was being compared to Hitler. How many Hitlers is it legal to have at the same time? Is there a rule on that, where once you have one Hitler in custody and on trial that somebody else can become Hitler?
I also see where Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has compared Mister Bush to Hitler. How does that work? Is it one of those deals where each side of a conflict is allowed to have one Hitler? I guess that makes sense, in a world where the "evil doers" are squared off against the "Great Satan."
There's been quite a bit of discussion in the wake of the retired generals who have called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over whether retired retire military officers are subject to discipline under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for publicly criticizing Mister Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other "officials." At the crux of the issue is whether or not military retirees receive "pay" or "pension," and whether or not commissioned officers who retire are still commissioned officers.
Commander Jeff Huber, United States Navy, had quite a few legal authorities under the UCMJ. Commander Jeff Huber, United States Navy (Retired) has none. So does that make the retired commander subject to discipline under the UCMJ article that states:
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Hard to say, but the whole issue becomes moot in light of the fact that Mister Bush appears to be able to apprehend and hold any and all American citizens, retired military or not, as an enemy combatants, and deny their rights to due process.
In a separate but related issue:
Illegal immigrants are staging demonstrations across the country today to protest America's immigration policy. Apparently, it's legal for the illegals to do that.
What kind of country do we live in when illegal immigrants can protest government policies, but retired military members who are U.S. citizens--and who have done as much as anyone to earn their rights of citizenship--cannot?