Why Bush isn’t as out of line as most liberals think
Consider what the Bush administration has done:
Collection of telephone records
Suspension/elimination of civil liberties for “enemy combatants”, a legal category that no one had ever heard of before the Bush administrationThe Patriot Act (which was actually passed by Congress)
Much of this are of dubious legality.
However, consider what other Presidents did in time of war. First, Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. Not even Bush dared do that – when the Supreme Court ruled against him, he dared not defy its ruling. But
Now fast forward to the 20th century. During World War I, Woodrow Wilson jailed dissidents such as Eugene Debs under the Espionage Act of 1917, the very same law that is today being used to prosecute two former employees of AIPAC. Debs had been one of
Franklin Roosevelt also supported massive violations of civil liberties, most notably the internment of Japanese-Americans and the confiscation of their property. But he also used the IRS to target at least one prominent political opponent, publisher Moses Annenberg (who was an inviting target in part because he didn’t have a particularly clean past), engineered the replacement of Henry Ford with his grandson, Henry Ford II, as head of Ford Motor Co., and seized many of the assets of Montgomery Ward, replacing its chairman, Sewell Avery, who was also a political opponent.
Thus Bush’s actions are not excessive compared to at least three wartime presidents. There is, however, the question of whether the