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Commentary :: Human Rights
Lessons on Democracy from Bush?
16 Sep 2004
Those with a sensitive gag reflex should probably avoid reading about George Bush’s criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposals to cut back on democracy in his country in the name of fighting terrorism.
Talk about pots calling kettles anti-democratic!

Following word that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to clamp down on democracy in Russia, making the country's regional governors appointed instead of elected, President Bush has warned that "As governments fight the enemies of democracy, they must uphold the principles of democracy."

This statement, if it weren’t so completely outrageous, would be comical.

Bush, after all, is himself an unelected president, whom we all now know stole the 2000 election in Florida with the connivance of his brother, the governor, and his state campaign chair, the secretary of state.

Bush, recall, himself responded to the terror attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001 by almost immediately and in the dead of night, introducing legislation in Congress--the so-called USA PATRIOT Act---that undermined to some extent most of the Bill of Rights, and that introduced the concept of preventive detention and of indefinite detention without charge--things that American revolutionaries fought and died to eradicate. Bush's administration, in the name of combating terrorism, has effectively established the right of the president to revoke the birthright of citizenship, has thrown out the ancient British Common Law concept of habeas corpus, and has in myriad ways trampled on freedom and democracy by expanding domestic spying, arresting and detaining peaceful demonstrators against the president, and most critically, putting the country at war without a declaration of war or any threat of attack.

Only recently, the Bush administration actually floated the idea of postponing the November 2 election in the event of another major terrorist attack, and only backed down from that ultimate anti-democratic proposal because of a groundswell of popular outrage.

The last three years since 9/11 have been littered with examples of the undermining of American democracy by the Bush Administration and its allies in the Congress. Indeed, Putin, in making his draconian proposal, quite understandably cited the U.S. as a model of a country that was reducing democratic freedoms in order to "combat terrorism."

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .
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