Most of the news stories about the Meet the Press debate Sunday on President George W. Bush’s domestic spying program centers on comments that both Democrats and Republicans now feel the program is useless because al Qaeda knows the NSA is listening and they won’t use cell phones to discuss their plans.

But that’s not the real story that came out of the Sunday’s political circle jerk. The real story is that Pat Roberts, the arrogant Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told show host Tim Russert that he believes the President of the United States is above the law and can do whatever he damn well pleases.

Roberts, a staunch defender of Bush’s right to spy on who he wants, whenever he wants and however he wants, told Russert that Bush can, and should, ignore the law when he feels it is in the best interest of national security.

That prompted Russert to ask:

"Senator Roberts, let me ask you a very serious question. Do you believe that the Constitution gives the President of the United States the authority to do anything he believes is necessary to protect the country?"

To which Roberts replied: "Yes."
Roberts later said he believed the President’s authority was "above laws passed by Congress."  In other words, George W. Bush is a dictator with absolute authority and no one, not the law and certainly not Congress, has the power to question or override that authority.

Stop for a second and think about this. The Senate Intelligence Committee, and its counterpart in the House, are the only Congressional bodies that are told — and in most cases only in part — what the White House is up to when it comes to spying on Americans, ripping the Constitution to shreds or trampling on the rights of this nation’s citizens. And the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee believes the President has absolute power to do whatever he pleases with no Congressional oversight.

That smoke you smell is the Bill of Rights of the Constitution going up in flames. That pounding you may soon hear on your door is George W. Bush’s Gestapo, the so-called Department of Homeland Security, demanding your papers and hauling you away because you dared speak out about der Fuhrer’s policies.

If the rubber-stampers who are supposed to run things in Congress believe Bush is all powerful and his actions beyond reproach then America as a free nation ceased to exist the day these madmen took control of our government.

Roberts, like the other lemmings who appeared with him on Sunday, believes Bush’s spying program is useless now not because it was illegal and questionable in value. He and other blame the press for making the program public.

In other words, we’re the terrorists who threaten the absolute rule of their President, the man Roberts says is above the law.

As one of those who broke the story about Bush using the government to spy on Americans, I sincerely hope I did my part in undermining the program. And, until Dubya’s goose-stepping goons haul me away I will continue to do whatever I can to undermine Bush’s actions and authority.

Why? Because I’m an American — or at least I was when there was still an America left to defend.

Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.

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