Smell that smoke? The Constitution is burning.
Hear that laughter? President Bush thinks he’s going to get away with it.
Have you seen those little fliers around campus that say “Impeach Bush”? Well that’s the beginning of our attempt to get your attention. We are Students for Impeachment, a new group on campus that seeks to prevent the president from destroying the Constitution.
Okay, so let me show you our reasoning. Have you heard about the National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless wiretaps scandal? If not, please allow me to fill you in on the basics.
Last December, it became known to the American people that President Bush authorized the ultra-secret NSA to eavesdrop on American citizens without getting a warrant. That means that there is no longer court oversight to protect our privacy — that kind of sucks. Despite a bipartisan outcry from constitutional scholars, elected officials and civil liberties groups, the president continues to authorize the clearly illegal program. President Bush’s defense of the program ultimately comes down to two words: “Trust me.”
If there’s one thing that we all can agree on as Americans, it is that only stupid people trust politicians.
These wiretaps violate the Fourth Amendment. The program is also a clear violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed by Congress in 1978, which explicitly limits any warrantless surveillance to the first fifteen days of a war. Anything more than that is illegal. Case closed.
There are two main issues here. First, there is the program itself, which authorizes the illegal wiretapping of American citizens without first getting a warrant. Second, there is the fact that President Bush didn’t get Congressional approval for this program, demonstrating a reckless disregard for the idea of checks and balances.
This is America, not North Korea. Therefore, we have a problem with the President’s illegal program. Shouldn’t everyone?
Oh, by the way, since this program is certain to be found unconstitutional by the courts, you can expect a lot of terrorists to go free because the evidence against them was illegally gathered. Nice job, Mr. President.
So we’ve started the group “Students for Impeachment.” We don’t trust the politicians, who are caught up worrying about party strategies and petty reelection campaigns, to voluntarily give this issue the attention it so sorely deserves. We can’t expect them to defend our rights unless we pressure them.
We demand that the president immediately halt the warrantless wiretaps. If he refuses to do so, we believe he should be impeached. He broke the law. He must be held accountable.
Please join us. We have meetings Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m in the UCen by Nicoletti’s. Can’t make it? Then come by the Arbor, where we are tabling four days a week between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Can’t make that, either? Email us at email@example.com. Finally, we need you to come to the Rally for Impeachment on March 2 at 12 p.m. in Storke Plaza. And just in case you forget, we’ll put up a few fliers to remind you.
We know that the odds are stacked against us, but we feel it is our duty as citizens to at least try to save our freedom from a president who apparently does not understand what freedom means. We will defend the Constitution to the best of our ability using what resources we have. What resources we have depend on you, the reader, who has just finished reading this article and now has a decision to make: To defend the Constitution, or not to defend the Constitution.
Jake Thorn is a third-year political science major.