I found this by reading Planet LZ a Blog "Planet" we made in High school that I forgot about.

Abuse of Power

Posted: April 18th, 2006, 11:03pm EDT by mathwizxp

For English class I have a do a five to seven minute speech on abuse of power. Everyone in the class had to pick a leader in history who had abuses power, and I chose George Bush. I spent hours researching Bush’s history and finding evidence that he had abuses power in various ways. I thought it would be beneficial to blog what I’m planning on saying to prepare for my speech on Wednesday, so that’s what I’m doing here. The following paragraphs are along the lines of what I’m planning on saying.

George W. Bush is a prime example of someone who abuses power in contemporary times. He lied to the American people about the threat of Iraq and Saddam’s ties with al Qaeda, he illegally invaded Iraq, he holds prisoners of war captive without charging them for anything and without allowing them access to a lawyer, and he has ordered numerous wiretaps without warrants, even though the law prohibits it. For all anyone knows George Bush has the best intentions in mind, but he bypasses both international and domestic law, and has indirectly caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, in order to accomplish his goals. For these reasons Bush has abused his power and needs to be stopped.

But before I get into all that, here’s some background on President Bush and his family. He comes from a line of United States politicians. His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was the senator of Connecticut from 1952 until 1963. Former President Richard Nixon considered Prescott his political mentor and consulted him before one of his famous speeches in which he denied getting illegal camping contributions. His father, George H. W. Bush, was the vice president under Ronald Regan from 1981-1989 and was president from 1989-1993. George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University in 1968 and then served as a pilot in the Texas National Guard. After his service he went to Harvard Business School, graduating in 1975. This is when Bush got involved in the oil and gas industries. Then in 1986 he got involved in his father’s presidential campaign, which ended up being successful, and in 1994 Bush was elected governor of Texas. In 2000 President Bush won the presidential election against Al Gore, becoming the fourth president in history to win without a majority vote. Bush was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States on January 21, 2001, then won reelection against John Kerry in 2004.

The first of the three major ways President Bush has abused power is by invading Iraq. Evidence shows that Bush had been talking about finding a way to invade Iraq since he was elected president in 2000. Then in the days following September 11, Bush reportedly tried to find a link between al Qaeda and Saddam, even though it was clear that there was none. He ended up giving up trying to find that connection and focused on invading Afghanistan, but once that operation was over he put his attention back on Iraq. Bush accused Saddam of having close ties with al Qaeda and of trying to make weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical, biological, and nuclear bombs. He told the American people and Congress that Iraq was an imminent threat and that if we didn’t act immediately, we would be attacked. The United Nations sent weapons inspectors into Iraq to try to find the reported weapons of mass destruction. At the same time the United States was trying to get a UN resolution passed to allow force to be used against Iraq. When France threatened to veto the resolution, President Bush decided to go it alone. He illegally attacked Iraq without the approval of the United Nations, without the weapons inspectors finding any weapons, and without letting them finish searching. On top of that he started bombing Iraq before Saddam’s ultimatum to leave the country was up.

One of the biggest pieces of evidence which proves the intelligence which led to the invasion of Iraq was fabricated was the Downing Street memo, which was leaked last year. This was an overview of a meeting among defense and intelligence figures of the government of the United Kingdom on July 23, 2002. In this meeting they discussed classified United States policy from the time. In the memo, Richard Dearlove was quoted as saying, “the intelligence and facts were being fixed [by the US] around the policy” of removing Saddam Hussein from power. This shows that the incorrect facts about Iraq’s nuclear weapons program and ties with al Qaeda weren’t just wrong, but intentionally wrong. The Bush Administration intentionally fixed the facts which justified the invasion of Iraq and lied to Congress and the American people to get their support. Although the accuracy of the document hasn’t been confirmed, it also hasn’t been questioned by any official source. Also, Tony Blair said, “That memo was written before we went to the UN,” which indirectly confirms that the memo was accurate.

The second way President Bush has abused his power is by unlawfully detaining and torturing prisoners. Ever since 2002, suspected al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners have been held in Guantanamo Bay, which is in Cuba. These prisoners have not been charged with any crimes and have not received legal representation. The government says they have evidence that these people are terrorists, so they feel that’s justification enough to hold them for years. Not only are they held, there are reports that the prisoners live in very poor conditions and that they might be tortured. Both holding the prisoners without charging them and torturing them are direct violations of the Geneva Conventions, which Bush tries to bypass by calling the prisoners “illegal combatant” instead of prisoners of war, which is what they really are.

The last major way President Bush abuses his power is by ordering warrantless wiretapping. How wiretapping works is our government can go fifteen days of wiretapping without a warrant, but after that fifteen days it needs to go to the NSA and explain why they need to continue wiretapping. However, after September 11, Bush decided that he has the power to wiretap without a warrant. So he started a program to allow wiretaps without warrant behind the back of the American people and behind the back of Congress, which went against the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. It would have been one thing if Bush thought the government should have the right to wiretap without a warrant and got Congress to pass a bill saying it was okay, but that’s not what he did. Bush ignored the law altogether and did as he chose. Information about this program was leaked in December of 2005, and then the next weekend President Bush confirmed the existence of the program in his weekly radio address. Bush claims that the wiretaps are only for fighting terrorism, but there’s no guarantee that it will always be used that way.

The reason all this is important is because if we let one president abuse his power, no one’s going to stop the next president from abusing power. And no one’s going to stop the president after that from abusing power. The more we give in and let Bush define his own laws, the more he’s going to do it and the less of a democracy we’re going to have. And even if Bush is using his self-imposed power in good, virtuous ways, how do we know the next person we elect is going to use those powers in the same way? The reasons we have checks and balances in our government is to stop one of the branches from getting too much power, and when bush bypasses the other branches, he puts our democracy itself at risk.

So ultimately the only thing that can be done to stop George Bush from abusing his power any further is impeaching him. Not only do all Bush’s actions need to be stopped, the American people also need to show the world that we do not agree with what Bush is doing. By going to war in Iraq and because of some of our other foreign policies, we have lost a lot of our allies and a lot of our credibility. The only way to get that back is to show that it was the American government, not the American people, that committed these crimes and that the American people know that what happened was wrong and that they want to do better in the future.