Bush has done it again: issued an Executive Order that gives him unprecedented power.
On May 9, he designated himself, and not Congress or the Supreme Court, as the insurer of the Constitution in the event of a national emergency.
And on July 17, he issued another Executive Order giving the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to freeze the assets of any person opposing Bush's Iraq policy who may have committed an act of violence, or even posed "a significant risk of committing" such an act, or "assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support" for others committing such acts.
These acts that are now verboten would have "the purpose or effect of: (A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or (B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."
So what could this mean in practice?
The Secretary of the Treasury could put a freeze on your financial assets, including your home:
If you were at an anti-Iraq War and the Treasury Secretary asserted that you might commit an act of violence.
Or if you threw a pie in the face of a legislator—say, Senator Lieberman—as a way of drawing attention to his support for the war.
Or if you set up a speaking engagement for, or bought a lunch for, an Iraqi oil worker who might have damaged a pipeline or burned an American flag to protest the oil bill that Bush wants the Iraqi parliament to pass—a bill that would give away that country's oil to ExxonMobil and other multinationals.
The language in this Executive Order is so sweeping that it could be used to nab just about anybody in an endless chain of repression. Any person who even is "purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly" someone whose property has been frozen by this order will also have his or her property frozen.
So the Treasury Secretary could freeze your brother's house on the specious grounds that your brother might be violent at an anti-war protest, and if you hired a lawyer to help your brother with his case, both you and the lawyer you hired could have your financial assets, including your homes, frozen.
There seems to be no limit to the Bush powergrabs.
What he can't get legislatively he's seizing by Executive Order.
He's got our democracy by the throat, and he keeps squeezing it.
And still the Democratic leadership in the House won't wave their hands for impeachment?
We have a renegade in the Oval Office.
He is subverting our Constitution.
And the only remedy is impeachment.
We must apply that remedy before it's too late.