Letters for Monday — February 06, 2006

• More research suggested

• No president is above the law

• Kaua’i loses one of its finest sons

More research suggested

Joseph Savino’s letter (TGI 1/31) makes some claims regarding President Bush’s supposedly “illegal” wire-tapping that need to be addressed, and presents some “facts” that are anything but.

First, Mr. Savino says this is not about tracking terrorists, even though the president says it is. This is the Bush-haters basic “Bush is a liar” premise. Start with a flawed and incorrect premise, and everything else that follows is of questionable veracity as well. Where’s your evidence or proof, Mr. Savino?

You make the claim that the president is breaching the Constitution, and then contradict yourself by saying the president already has the authority to track terrorists. Where do you think that authority comes from, Mr. Savino? Try Art. II, Sec.2 OF the Constitution. It says that the president is the Commander in Chief, not the president AND Congress, OR the courts.

Ancillary to that basic premise is the one that denies that America is in a war, and that the two Joint Resolutions are de facto declarations of war. Maybe you should re-read the Resolutions a little better, Mr. Savino:




Take special note of this sentence: “Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40);”

It is completely illogical to claim that electronic eaves-dropping on phone calls to or from suspected terrorists, both within and without the country, should not be an essential part of “deter and prevent” actions, and that the president should have to get permission from a court during a time of war to do so. It’s also dangerous.

As regards the supposedly “non-partisan” Congressional Research Service, one should take note of this fact: “The non-partisan status of the Congressional Research Service has been called into question in this instance by the fact that the study’s author, Alfred Cumming, donated $1,250 to John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as was reported by the Washington Times.” (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Production/files/schoenfeld0306advance.html ).

Letter size restrictions do not allow me to present many more actual facts that totally refute Mr. Savino’s “facts”. I would suggest that Mr. Savino do some serious research at places other than those run by his fellow Bush-haters, so that he doesn’t embarrass himself repeating the lies, distortions, and half-truths found there.

For your education, Mr. Savino:






  • Kent D. Gibboney

No president is above the law

Mr. Bush’s recent attempts to justify his illegal wiretapping of innocent American citizens is an outrageous display of arrogance and deceit far worse than anything Richard Nixon ever perpetrated while in the White House.

Wiretapping Americans without a warrant is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, as well as established, congressional and judicial, legal precedents, and Mr. Bush has admitted to having done and continuing to do exactly that.

This is not about tracking terrorists; it’s about a breach of Constitutional law and an illegal usurpation of authority, undermining the balance of power between the branches of our government. The administration claims that the spying program is narrow, and even said it’s limited to people with ties to Al Qaeda. However, The New York Times reported the facts differently, stating that the excessive data, often involving innocent American citizens, over-whelmed the FBI and other governmental agencies, causing them to argue against its relevance, efficacy and legality. Furthermore, Mr. Bush already had the authority to track terrorists and a legal system was and is in place to allow him to do so, with the necessary congressional and judicial oversight and checks and balances. But, he has chosen to ignore the law.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress believe the president may have broken the law. The White House is claiming that Democrats are the only ones objecting to the program, but there is strong bipartisan concern. Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, John Mc-Cain and Arlen Specter have offered some of the harshest criticism of the secret spy program.

Congress did not give the president authority to conduct the secret spying program. The White House has claimed the authority to conduct secret wiretaps because of a Congressional resolution passed after 9/11. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that the resolution did NOT authorize the program, and found it “unlikely” that any court would agree with the White House’s assertions and weak justifications.

For the reasons stated above, Congress MUST establish an independent investigation of these egregious violations of constitutional law by the Bush administration and restore justice and a balance of power to all three branches of our government.

No president is above the rule of law and George W. Bush is no exception.

  • Steven Ruddell and
    Mitchell A. Fleisher

Kaua’i loses one of its finest sons

Eddie Robinson was a gift to the people of Kaua’i. His generous spirit, infectious sense of humour, love for family and friends, kind service to the community, and hard work made Eddie a man we will miss dearly and always remember fondly as one of the most deeply cherished Hawaiian originals ever.

Aloha Eddie, and mahalo nui loa.

  • Leslie and Mark Burton
    Spokane, Wash

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