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Intro: "The rule of law is rapidly breaking down at the top levels of our government. As officers of the court, we have sworn to 'support the Constitution,' which clearly implies an affirmative commitment on our part."

Ralph Nader doing an interview during his 2008 Presidential campaign, 08/01/08. (photo: Scrape TV)
Ralph Nader doing an interview during his 2008 Presidential campaign, 08/01/08. (photo: Scrape TV)


Obama at Large: Where Are the Lawyers?

By Ralph Nader, Reader Supported News

01 June 12


he rule of law is rapidly breaking down at the top levels of our government. As officers of the court, we have sworn to “support the Constitution,” which clearly implies an affirmative commitment on our part.

Take the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The conservative American Bar Association sent three white papers to President Bush describing his continual unconstitutional policies. Then and now civil liberties groups and a few law professors, such as the stalwart David Cole of Georgetown University and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, have distinguished themselves in calling out both presidents for such violations and the necessity for enforcing the rule of law.

Sadly, the bulk of our profession, as individuals and through their bar associations, has remained quietly on the sidelines. They have turned away from their role as “first-responders” to protect the Constitution from its official violators.

As a youngster in Hawaii, basketball player Barack Obama was nicknamed by his schoolboy chums as “Barry O’Bomber,” according to the Washington Post. Tuesday’s (May 29) New York Times published a massive page-one feature article by Jo Becker and Scott Shane, that demonstrated just how inadvertently prescient was this moniker. This was not an adversarial, leaked newspaper scoop. The article had all the signs of cooperation by the three dozen, interviewed current and former advisers to President Obama and his administration. The reporters wrote that a weekly role of the president is to personally select and order a “kill list” of suspected terrorists or militants via drone strikes or other means. The reporters wrote that this personal role of Obama’s is “without precedent in presidential history.” Adversaries are pulling him into more and more countries – Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other territories.

The drones have killed civilians, families with small children, and even allied soldiers in this undeclared war based on secret “facts” and local grudges (getting even). These attacks are justified by secret legal memos claiming that the president, without any Congressional authorization, can without any limitations other than his say-so, target far and wide assassinations of any “suspected terrorist,” including American citizens.

The bombings by Mr. Obama, as secret prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, trample proper constitutional authority, separation of powers, and checks and balances and constitute repeated impeachable offenses. That is, if a pathetic Congress ever decided to uphold its constitutional responsibility, including and beyond Article I, section 8’s war-declaring powers.

As if lawyers needed any reminding, the Constitution is the foundation of our legal system and is based on declared, open boundaries of permissible government actions. That is what a government of law, not of men, means. Further our system is clearly demarked by independent review of executive branch decisions – by our courts and Congress.

What happens if Congress becomes, in constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein’s words, “an ink blot,” and the courts beg off with their wholesale dismissals of Constitutional matters on the grounds that an issue involves a “political question” or that parties have “no-standing-to-sue.” What happens is what is happening. The situation worsens every year, deepening dictatorial secretive decisions by the White House, and not just regarding foreign and military policies.

The value of The New York Times article is that it added ascribed commentary on what was reported. Here is a sample:

- The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, quoted by a colleague as complaining about the CIA’s strikes driving American policy commenting that he: “didn’t realize his main job was to kill people.” Imagine what the sidelined Foreign Service is thinking about greater longer-range risks to our national security.

- Dennis Blair, former Director of National Intelligence, calls the strike campaign “dangerously seductive.” He said that Obama’s obsession with targeted killings is “the politically advantageous thing to do — low cost, no US casualties, gives the appearance of toughness. It plays well domestically, and it is unpopular only in other countries. Any damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long term.” Blair, a retired admiral, has often noted that intense focus on strikes sidelines any long-term strategy against al-Qaeda which spreads wider with each drone that vaporizes civilians.

- Former CIA director Michael Hayden decries the secrecy: “This program rests on the personal legitimacy of the president and that’s not sustainable,” he told the Times. “Democracies do not make war on the basis of legal memos locked in a D.O.J. [Department of Justice] safe.”

Consider this: an allegedly liberal former constitutional law lecturer is being cautioned about blowback, the erosion of democracy and the national security by former heads of super-secret spy agencies!

Secrecy-driven violence in government breeds fear and surrender of conscience. When Mr. Obama was campaigning for president in 2007, he was reviled by Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden Jr. and Mitt Romney – then presidential candidates – for declaring that even if Pakistan leaders objected, he would go after terrorist bases in Pakistan. Romney said he had “become Dr. Strangelove,” according to the Times. Today all three of candidate Obama’s critics have decided to go along with egregious violations of our Constitution.

The Times made the telling point that Obama’s orders now “can target suspects in Yemen whose names they do not know.” Such is the drift to one-man rule, consuming so much of his time in this way at the expense of addressing hundreds of thousands of preventable fatalities yearly here in the U.S. from occupational disease, environmental pollution, hospital infections and other documented dangerous conditions.

Based on deep reporting, Becker and Shane allowed that “both Pakistan and Yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the United States than when Obama became president.”

In a world of lawlessness, force will beget force, which is what the CIA means by “blowback.” Our country has the most to lose when we abandon the rule of law and embrace lawless violence that is banking future revenge throughout the world.

The people in the countries we target know what we must remember. We are their occupiers, their invaders, the powerful supporters for decades of their own brutal tyrants. We’re in their backyard, which more than any other impetus spawned al-Qaeda in the first place.

So lawyers of America, apart from a few stalwarts among you, what is your breaking point? When will you uphold your oath of office and work to restore constitutional authorities and boundaries?

Someday, people will ask – where were the lawyers?

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author. His most recent book - and first novel - is "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us." His most recent work of non-fiction is "The Seventeen Traditions."

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+39 # 2wmcg2 2012-06-01 08:52
Nader's right. Where are the lawyers? But where is Congress, too? Where are the media pundits?
+12 # John Locke 2012-06-01 12:35
2wmcg2: The Liars, whops excuse me “Lawyers” are in congress! I have been trying to convey this same notion about Obama for months now; he should be impeached for his imperial presidency...Th is kill list amounts to treason, Especially where an American citizen is involved, and to war crimes pertaining to everyone else, Children, Women and non combatants.
+8 # paulrevere 2012-06-01 14:28
Can't Hague o without going after the entire bushco criminal gang...rule of law is the ONE THING that keeps WETHEPEOPLE even on the fringes of the playing field and for these fools to continue to NOT LOOK BACK bodes dire for them in the long run...they can run but they sure can't hide!
+2 # 666 2012-06-02 07:29
Instead of the oath of office, I suggest all future presidents be given a lyre and the text of "the sack of troy"* so, like Nero, they can sing it while Rome burns around them.

*footnote: yeah, I know the text is lost. but so what, the spin-doctors can make something up...
+4 # gpick 2012-06-01 13:58
Many of the lawyers are in Congress,but they have forgotten their oaths "to Defend the Constitution against all enemies". They morphed into politicians whose interest first and foremost is to be reelected,and to hell with the Constitution.
The clowns in the Supreme court are all lawyers who have long forgotten; their duty to defend the Constitution and instead vote according to Party lines. In light of the above I applaud Obama's decision to kill by means of surgical strikes as many terrorists as possible. If is unfortunate that other casualties happen also. Would it be better to nuke a country or two? Where were the lawyers when Hirosima was decided??
By the way when was the last declaration of war by congress? In 1941. Since then we had not been at war with anybody.
+4 # 666 2012-06-02 07:18
I don't think they've "forgotten", I think they've consciously decided that the constitution is for the .01% -- and that everyone is not entitled to their rights.

That may sound crazy, paranoid, or delusional, but look at the facts and judge them by the actions.
+10 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 15:51
Media and Congress are controlled by security powers that influence them through deceit just as they have done to the public. The media has for the longest time been controlled through quid pro quo practice over the years. Those imbedded media people who were in Iraq and Afghanistan, were there at the behest of the government, putting out stories the government permitted and omitted those the government deemed "secure" topics.

Sounds ok on the surface, but the media was never practicing honest journalism because of their bias to their hosts. Such is the ongoing relationship with the media, they get tips, but are asked to downplay a story because of its "sensitive" content, and the media either ignores it or gives it some lip service but nothing of substance. Indeed, where is the media when the country is being taken down with tyrannical laws???

Congress has been gagged long ago, never expect them to fight the system that helps boost their narcissistic natures.
+3 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-06-02 09:10
Where are the people of this nation? Are we going to silently accept this vile attack on our Constitution? Bush said it was "only a piece of paper" and Obomba tosses it in the toilet.
+36 # jlohman 2012-06-01 09:19
"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
-- Frederick Douglass

It is what it is, until we change it.
+22 # HowardMH 2012-06-01 10:10
Right on, and the Stupid People haven't figured it out yet that they are being totallys screwed, and at the rate things are going by the time they do it will be to late.
+12 # John Locke 2012-06-01 12:36
It is already to late!
+11 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 15:59
Quoting HowardMH:
Right on, and the Stupid People haven't figured it out yet that they are being totallys screwed, and at the rate things are going by the time they do it will be to late.

It IS too late!! The system in place now has been incrementally put into motion for over 100 years. It is with current modern technology that instead of protecting the public, these government bafoons (elit-Eluminati ) have used this technology, eavesdropping, close circuit TVs, monitoring what we read, smart meters (for our homes) that can send info on what we watch on TV and more, against us.

We have been invaded by a shadowy group headed by the Council on Foreign Relations,Trila teral Commission, NSA, CIA, FBI, and those who pull the strings to make these people do whatever they want.

Unless we go out onto the streets as they did in Egypt last year, and demand to take our country back, we are doomed to being enslaved by these people.

Forget new legislation or new candidates, they are all controlled by this shadow government. All they would do would be to seem to appease us for the moment while they put the screws further deep into our backside.
+12 # Michael_K 2012-06-01 14:37
Quoting jlohman:
"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
-- Frederick Douglass

It is what it is, until we change it.

Yes, and the endurance of sheeple is practically limitless. Self-exile is my only choice, at this point, when I see all the people on this purportedly progressive website still supporting O'Bomber as the "only choice".
+5 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 16:21
Quoting Michael_K:

Yes, and the endurance of sheeple is practically limitless. Self-exile is my only choice, at this point, when I see all the people on this purportedly progressive website still supporting O'Bomber as the "only choice".

Michael, "self exile"??? Are you planning to live in the woods? Live off the land somewhere where they can't find you?

If so, I hate to burst your bubble my friend, but there is another agenda which will prevent you from even going into exile.

Its called "Agenda 21" which is sponsored by the UN, America and a few other countries are signatories to it, and its basically under the guise of saving the planet. An ecological rescue. To do this, they, the UN and their signatories, plan to eventually evict people from prairie lands by making them protected lands by the government. Also, the plan is to move more people into cities to control movement, and restrict travel to the wilderness.

This is not my definition, this is what Agenda 21 is about, and its slowly being a reality as communities buy into it believing its for "our good" ....just as the Patriot Act was for our good.

I'm afraid there will not be a place to "exile" one's self to in the coming years.
+6 # James38 2012-06-01 09:52
Naderl makes a statement strong on criticism and emotional appeal, but lacking in an alternative plan.

Mr Nader, (and everyone), lets develop a better plan to deal with the situation we face, and then we can suggest it to President Obama and the Nation, and develop a growing consensus for it.

One idea would be to have a program to greatly expand and improve education in Pakistan and all other countries where it is severely lacking. In Pakistan, the fundamentalist Madrassas are apparently funded by Saudi Arabia's fundamentalist Wahhabi groups. In many areas of the country these are the only schools available. Public education is non-existent. See this article:

Madrassas | PBS - Saudi Time Bomb? | FRONTLINE | PBS

In the face of this grass-roots, well-funded and established organization, the source of people trained and programmed to hate the US and ready to fight and die to overcome "the Great Satan" etc., is endless. Killing a few of them is pointless unless we counter the source.

This kind of absence of long term planning has plagued US foreign policy since the beginning of the country, and we must address it.

Nader has a point, but this is the greater point that underlies his criticism. It is systemic and must be changed.
+14 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-01 11:06
A program in Pakistan should be used to fix the problem of the US government trashing the constitution? I don't think so -- I think it's up to Americans to preserve and defend the US constitution -- not Pakistan or any other country.
+2 # John Locke 2012-06-01 12:44
bluepilgrim: Agreed, And I ask, what would happen if the state legislatures had the guts to pass resolutions succeeding from the Union! How would the Federal Government deal with that today...Would it employ Federal Troops against the State Troops? An interesting thought!

The first problem is the state governments, they bow to the Fed, the Federal Judicial system operates in reverse, a question of states rights when they conflict with the Federal Government is addressed in a Federal Court, why? Why not in a state court that is designed to protect the state right?...!
+8 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-01 13:53
I gotta say, if NC or Alabama is the example of state courts then I wouldn't hold out much hope.
I think the first problem iscapitalism, the wealth divide and fascism, and that runs through all states and nations -- it's world wide and systemic.

I don't recommend civil war and revolution at the same time; just the revolution will keep us all busy.
+3 # John Locke 2012-06-01 17:20
+2 # James38 2012-06-01 12:45
Preserving and defending the Constitution is one thing, but we must also deal with our position in the world. The vast Global problem of Climate Change demands major diplomacy leading to major international cooperation. The US needs to lead the way, not try for impossible isolation.
+2 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 16:15
James38, you are a prime example of a successful case of brainwashing by your media, Al Gore, George Bush, and a few others who want everyone to be exactly as you are, an apologetic pacifist who refuses to see the evolution from a free society into a tyrannical one.

Please James, take more time to read some facts on the subjects in this web site, and see how the leading consensus is that our rights are being taken and the more we protest, the more laws are put in place to prevent dissension.
-2 # James38 2012-06-01 17:17
So, Elusive, "take more time to read some facts on the subjects in this web site, and see how the leading consensus is that our rights are being taken"?

So IF I managed to find such "facts" and found such a "consensus", that would mean I should just agree? If I did, I would be brainwashed for sure. I couldn't give less of a damn how many crabby pessimists try to push the "just give up, its hopeless" nonsense. I am too aware of the positive developments that are taking place, through the efforts of people who won't quit when things get tough. For example, the group led by an Aussie Engineer who are working to build a solar tower wind generator in Arizona. See

Also the thousands of engineers worldwide who are working on the Generation 4 nuclear reactor designs that will use Nuclear "waste" as fuel, giving us energy for hundreds of years, and solving the major problem of high level "waste" storage.

You lump Al Gore in with George Bush? You are a prime example of conspiracy buff nitwit if you can accomplish that feat.

Apologetic pacifist? Bullshit. But how about we leave off the name calling. I find it absolutely fascinating to look for solutions to problems, not just quit, whatever level the problems are on.

I would like to see what you can come up with if you give yourself permission to try. The alternative isn't very useful.
0 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 19:09
James, you seem to resort to more vulgar name calling than I used. Calling you an "apologetic pacifist" is hardly the harsh choice of words I would choose here. Out of respect for the folks of Reader Supported News, and the other readers, I wont engage you in a name calling debate which will result in both of us being censored.

I don't have a clue what solar energy has to do with brainwashing. I do believe in conspiracies, but am not a "nitwit". So, getting to the core of this discussion, yes, I do believe that many of our new laws and those elected to implement those harsh laws are not an accident.

Its probably easy for you to call someone a "conspiracy buff nitwit" than to follow the suggestion to educate yourself on where I get my info from. Try my web page for starters and allow yourself some video watching time as well as reading the material I've amassed.

Once you have done so, and still don't believe or refuse to believe, I'll respect your decision, but not if you only choose to use name calling without justification. I've spent years finding out whats going on, but before I did, I was a good American flag waving American who supported wars and was an anti-terrorist until I learned the truth.

Don't believe my claims, do your own research and then we'll discuss "what a nitwit" is.
+2 # James38 2012-06-02 01:46
Well, Elusive, I will certainly look into your information with interest. However, I must say that, since you were the one who started the name-calling (brainwashed apologetic pacifist "who refuses to see the evolution from a free society into a tyrannical one") instead of asking me what I thought or suggesting topics and ideas to discuss, your reaction to my response is hilarious - "more vulgar name calling than I used"?? Really? Vulgar??

Perhaps you just don't quite get how offensive I found your choice of words used to express an idea of me that you had no reason to assume was accurate.

Have you read the book "Conservatives Without Conscience" by John Dean? He describes the evolution of the Republican Party from reasonable conservatism to authoritarian dogmatism, and points out that the cycle has happened before. Quite a good book, and an interesting evolution that man has gone through. Pretty fair trick to have survived and overcome the ordeal of being that involved in the administration of the most "vulgar" President (Tricky Dick) until the Supreme Treasonists inflicted GW Bush on us. Gack. I wish Obama could have gone ahead and prosecuted Shrub and Condi and "Boom Boom" Cheney and the rest of the war criminals who conjured up the "War of Lies" as their legacy of senseless slaughter - of Iraqis and US Troops. That is as vile an episode of US history as the senseless extending of the Vietnam War was.
+2 # John Locke 2012-06-01 12:38
James38: With all due respect, Obama doesn't care, you can submit any plan to him and it will be ignored, I was naive about government when I was in my 20's and 30's, I have matured since!
+2 # James38 2012-06-01 13:39
John, mature does not mean giving up. And I disagree, I think Obama does care, just not enough, through a lack of good input and understanding. But I have hopes he can be encouraged to make better decisions.

The entire planet is in dire danger. We can not give up. We owe the future generations our best effort to put the Climate back in balance. If we fail to educate enough people to throw their weight behind necessary changes, there will be no future for humanity. It can get that bad.
-2 # Michael_K 2012-06-01 14:40
O'Bomber doesn't care in the way that you think. He deeply cares... about delivering the goods for his military-indust rial-finance complex buddies. Just like his cousin, Dick Cheney.
0 # John Locke 2012-06-01 17:24
James I never said give up! I just stated that I am no longer naive to believe anyone in government wants to do the right thing!

They all have their hand out, and the banks provide the relish for their hot dogs!
+1 # paulrevere 2012-06-01 12:45
WETHEPEOPLE can't help others while our common mindset is distracted with fear and trembling.

The fact that o sits once a week and dictates life and death to folks in other lands is beyond appalling.

NO point of conscience, ethics or morals can condone that! He, like the entire crew of his predecessor, will justifiably find the view at the Hague dominant in their lives at some point in the future...he's 'earned' it...
+7 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-06-01 12:50
Nader's "alternative plan" is right there in the title of his article. The other two branches of govt.(impelled by We the People) need to bring legal challenge to this blatant executive illegality.
+6 # Michael_K 2012-06-01 14:35
Nader's plan seems to be to shame the lawyers into rebelling against this lawless Imperial Presidency. It would be a very good plan if it were actually possible for these people to feel shame.
+13 # James38 2012-06-01 09:53
Our present problem with the government in Iran is the result of a similar error. Short term interest in controlling the Oil industry in favor of what became BP led us to cooperate with Britain in removing the President of Iran, Mossadegh.

He was democratically elected, and represented the positive development of that nation's culture. By removing him from office and installing the dictatorial Shah Reza Pahlavi, the US set in motion the forces that resulted in the takeover of the country by the radical Islamic Mullahs and the present whole mess.

The real problem we have is learning from these huge errors, and creating a genuine long-term foreign policy that will improve life on this planet.

This goes along with the extreme necessity for the countries of the world to unite and work to change the energy use of the entire planet. If we fail to deal with that challenge, we will doom ourselves to Climate Change disasters that will make our present problems look like a Sunday School Picnic.
+17 # byard pidgeon 2012-06-01 10:13
The problem isn't that we don't have long-term policies nor learn from our errors. The problem is that our government is driven largely by corporate interests, rather than social interests, and corporate interests determine that we aggressively maintain hegemony over energy supplies.
Corporate/imperial policies don't care about climate change, unless and until there are no more resources to exploit. Business entities will evolve, as necessary, to exploit whatever resources are available in order to maintain the lifestyles of the wealthy.
+4 # James38 2012-06-01 12:41
We the people can, if we have the education and information we need, determine who and what policies are running our country and spending our money.

I am horrified when I see the Radical "Austerity" Right cutting education budgets. The US has already lost its edge in world education standards. As the right wing chips away at education, the US gets dumber and the situation becomes harder to fix.

We the people are the ones who need to understand Climate Change and other important topics, since we are the ones who put the leaders in power.

The corporate executives who fail to comprehend that the global disasters that are looming will destroy them and their wealth just as surely as the disasters will destroy everyone else are truly fools. We must not leave the reins of the future in their hands.

Everyone needs to read two excellent books.

"Storms of My Grandchildren" by Dr James E Hansen, eminent climate scientist with NASA.

"Power to Save the World" by Gwyneth Cravens.

These books clearly condense major amounts of information that is vital for all of us as we try to understand the dire situation we are in.
+9 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-01 14:00
The fascists who control the government like the people to be dumb. The solution is for we the people to educate ourselves (and take formal education with a grain of salt in many areas, keeping in mind it is also a often an instrument of propaganda).

We should be accessing and archiving what is ofered on the web, while it's still there, as well as holding teach-ins and using other resources of the people. One can't get credentialed from these, but one can get a very fine education if one first learns how to learn and do critical thinking.
+5 # James38 2012-06-01 16:08
Well said, blue. We need to pay attention at the local level, electing intelligent people to every office we can, with serious emphasis on Congress.
There are many seats that could be taken from the far right with enough local organizing.

I recommend that we all support Elizabeth Warren for Senate, and Tom Barrett in his effort to unseat Scott Walker.

Pessimism is too easy. Taking our country in a positive direction is the real goal.
+4 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 16:11
Quoting James38:

These books clearly condense major amounts of information that is vital for all of us as we try to understand the dire situation we are in.

Unfortunately, few will take time to read such books in favor of watching TV news or dumbed down sitcoms designed to pacify us. More of our citizens need to turn off their TV's and get online (before they pull the internet switch off) and read books by alternative authors who speak the truth.

Once weened off TV and Media, and educated, its time for the newly educated and awakened public to get out of their comfortable recliners and go out and protest.

Sitting at home, watching TV and feeding your face only appeases your endorphins and keeps you complacent to the true events taking place in our world. This is no time to sit idly and flip channels, its time to become knowledgeable and to ACT on it.
+2 # James38 2012-06-01 17:31
In order to have a better idea of how to "ACT", and in what direction, you need information. I fully agree with your statement "its time to become knowledgeable".

If you have not read these books, pleas do so. You will be quite amazed at the sheer amount of work and knowledge that went into them. And they are great fun to read, both of them.

The knowledge they contain will give people the positive focus needed to pull together to find solutions to the Planetary problem of Climate Change.

Humanity has the potential to deal with the mess it has produced. We have been moving along driven by convenience and profit, burning fossil fuels because they were easy and made lots of people rich. Now we have to wean ourselves off of the stuff, because we now know it is killing us.

The same thing happens when an otherwise intelligent person gets addicted to some drug - from tobacco and alcohol to the illegal ones (what a stupid law that is). Eventually the person realizes that what looked like easy fun at first has become a serious threat to health and survival. It may not be easy, but the intelligent ones quit. If we as a society keep on with our "easy energy" addiction, it will kill us sure as hell, and it will wipe out the rest of life on the planet if we go on too far. Read the books.
+4 # James Marcus 2012-06-01 11:36
You cannot make repairs ....with broken tools! The Lawyers...have their heads down, as 'Drones' are everywhere; and lawyers, too, have families, and their own lives, to protect. It IS that bad!!
The Murderers in the White House, and Congress , together with the Cowards in the Supreme Court, in wantonly violating the U S Constitution, unto the Death of the Rule of Law, are deliberately invoking Chaos, which they hope will affix them in their Positions of Power.
Their Financial OverLords, who control not only them, but most large Corporations, and Banks, as well as the Major Media Outlets (no wonder everyone seems so 'dumbed down') have succeeded in Undermining, through purchase, almost everything we hold sacred.
I believe it may be too late for Lawyers to 'fix things' through Law. The Supreme Court is waiting to halt any such attempts via the Legal Route.
+3 # kitster 2012-06-01 12:10
if you think this is egregious, and it is, give a thought to what the situation would be like under a president/jingo ist mitt rominee(tm)(an acknowledgement to jon stewart).

the teabagging congress is so focused in foiling every policy put forth by a black (read illegitimate) president, the constitution has taken a back seat to a faux apostle's creed. and people and their rights, even in this country, are nothing more than collateral damage.

as long as we turn our backs on people, here and abroad, our paranoia grows and government will scapegoat real and imagined dangers abroad to preserve our preverse sense of democracy and freedom.

this festering "fighting for our country" fanaticism will only escalate as the "onward, christian soldiers" crowd commands the conversation and the ballot box.

i am a "check out" (in my waining years) so i may never experience the blow back from this disasterous dimunition of the democratic principles on which this country was founded. but it will happen, as recorded history has proven its reoccurance.

i fear for my children and grandchildren
...and so should every thinking american.
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-01 14:11
The situation would be the same in that it would require the same solution. It's like if your house was hit by a hurricane and is unsound and collapsing or if it were hit by a flood and even more collapsed: you still need to level it and build a new house. The one you have can't be lived in -- like where the US is now.
-5 # Billbb 2012-06-01 12:33
Let us remember that as bad as it is under Obama, he is giving cover for future presidents far to his right that could abuse these super-powers even more.

Sadly, I'm still in favor of his reelection given the alternative.
-2 # Michael_K 2012-06-01 14:42
Quoting Billbb:
Let us remember that as bad as it is under Obama, he is giving cover for future presidents far to his right that could abuse these super-powers even more.

Sadly, I'm still in favor of his reelection given the alternative.

"Far to his right" isn't possible... there's "there, there".. Attila the Hun is to the left of O'Bomber.
+2 # Jerry 2012-06-01 17:33
His alternative is Rocky Anderson. We have 5 months to make it happen before considering throwing in the towel.
+6 # Elusive Pimpernel 2012-06-01 15:42
Ralph Nader ends with..."So lawyers of America, apart from a few stalwarts among you, what is your breaking point? When will you uphold your oath of office and work to restore constitutional authorities and boundaries?

Someday, people will ask – where were the lawyers?"

...Now, I ask Americans, where were you when you followed alternative news and discovered that conventional media has been keeping the truth from you and failed to inform you of your incremental loss of your rights?

Will you blame it on politicians, or will you take full credit for your apathy? It might be too late by then!

Its time for the people to rise in protest in large numbers now. Forget belonging to a certain group. You don't have to be an Occupy something or with the Tea Party, just be Americans protesting in unity against the tyrannical legislation which permit the president, the CIA, FBI, FEMA, Homeland Security and others to dissolve your constitutional rights and turn you into an object which can be jailed without due process.

Just ask yourselves, what action did YOU take when you learned the truth?
+2 # CandH 2012-06-01 17:34
"As a youngster in Hawaii, basketball player Obama was nicknamed by his schoolboy chums as “Barry O’Bomber,” according to the WP. [...] The article had all the signs of cooperation by the three dozen, interviewed current and former advisers to President Obama and his admin."

Greenwald has an excellent explanation for this today, "Tough Guy Leaking: Iran edition:"

"The revelations this week about the President’s “kill list” sparked more widespread condemnation among at least some progressive writers than any other single episode in quite some time […] Why would the administration want to leak information that causes such widespread revulsion among some of the President’s normally steadfast supporters?
It’s because, aside from the tried-and-true strategy of Democratic politicians benefiting politically from provoking criticism from the “Left,” Obama officials (and their apparatchiks) are eager to depict him as a violence-wieldi ng aggressor. […] That’s because huge numbers of America’s independents, “moderates” and Good Progressives are extremely aroused by these sort of displays of manly presidential “toughness”: witness the stiffened spines and puffed-out chests as they hail their leader for dumping bin Laden’s bullet-riddled body into the ocean or creating piles of other corpses throughout the Muslim world. The more objections from liberals and others, the better."
-3 # Noni77 2012-06-01 22:27
Rabid partisanship has made people into blithering idiots, if undermining the Constitution by Bush was CRIMINALLY WRONG, and I believe it was, how is yet more blatant assaults on the Constitution and ALL of our freedoms by Obama's minions NOT equally WRONG? Face it, Bush AND Obama are wolves in sheep's clothing. Do you understand that the Nazis made sweeping changes to the German Constitution in the 1930's that allowed them to "legally" sieze power and dismantle that Democracy and turn on their own people and slaughter them? Wake up, be Americans. Even Bill Clinton manned up and criticized Obama for attacking competence and business acumen - a Communist mantra.
+2 # Listner 2012-06-02 10:39
As I read this forum over and over, I see valid questions being raised. I see a list of possible solutions being offered by people who have given the issue some serious thought. If say 75% of this forum were to agree on a plan to effectively get money out of politics, limit spending, allow specified time limits on T.V. time for all candidates, have complete transparency for ALL contributions, how then would that idea be presented to the American people.
Would Fox news be willing to run our idea at dinner time ? Would CBS or ABC ask the people how they felt about our idea ? Not likely. How can people garner attention with political solutions and ideas the same way a gunman grabs the spotlight with some insane act of cruelty?
How can we make people see that these attacks on our constitution and the decisions handed down by the Supreme? court will destroy our country just as sure as the sun comes up every morning?
We need SHOCK value in our message. We need a spotlight that hasn't emerged yet. OWS is the last little glimmer of sunlight in an ever darkening world. In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, "somebody better investigate soon".

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