Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bush leads the world by example

Countries around the world whose citizens enjoy a modicum of civil liberties can thank President George Bush as they watch those liberties take a hike. He has become the person that leaders point to when they justify ripping personal freedoms to shreds, the rationale being that "if Bush can do it, we can do it, too".

The latest example is Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has just signed into law a little number known as the Interception of Communications Bill, which gives Mugabe's government the authority to eavesdrop on Zimbabweans phone, internet and regular mail communications.

Here's the story from VOA News via Crooks and Liars:

Zimbabwe President Signs Eavesdropping Bill
By: Nicole Belle
on Saturday, August 11th, 2007 at 10:03 AM -

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday signed into law the controversial Interception of Communications Bill, which gives his government the authority to eavesdrop on phone and Internet communications and read physical mail.

The legislation has drawn outspoken opposition from the political opposition and civil society organizations as trampling on the civil rights of Zimbabweans.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai called it an addition to “the dictator’s tool kit.”[..]
Human rights lawyer Otto Saki told VOA that the law interferes and undermines the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution and is a sign Mr. Mugabe wants to consolidate his power by “any means necessary or unnecessary.”

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe said Zimbabwe is not unique in the world in passing such legislation, citing electronic eavesdropping programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

Wannabe dictators look at Bush's success here in the U.S. in stripping away the civil rights guaranteed to us in our Constitution, aided by a very compliant Congress and an equally compliant media, and are emboldened to pull similar shit on their people. How can anyone object? Isn't the United States the greatest democracy on earth? No complaints are being heard from us, so its gotta be all right. Right?

This may be Bush's true legacy, as the "Father of Tyranny" for the modern age, earning a place in history along side others of his ilk, a pantheon that includes Genghis Khan, Vlad Dracul, Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Joe Stalin, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, and of course, Caligula.

What a shame and a pity that we continue to allow Bush to remain in power. As you can see, his actions have far-reaching effects. It's not just us sliding into darkness, but much of the world, too.

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