To the editor:
This president and his administration, notwithstanding his speech at Kansas State, have compromised the democratic coherence of this country in several ways.
1. The illegal and unwarranted war in Iraq has cost 2,200 American lives, and who knows how many Iraqi lives, mostly noncombatants (estimates vary from 30,000 to 100,000). The number of gravely wounded soldiers and civilians, lives broken forever, is incalculable.
2. In this country the number of people living in poverty - the working poor and unemployed - has increased by 5 million since 2000 and from 12.5 percent to 12.7 percent of the population. Likewise the number of people without health insurance has increased by a like amount (Census Bureau and Department of Health and Human Services). Conversely, the top 1 percent of income earners now has more disposable income than the bottom 100 million. That disparity can be expected to increase with the continuation of Bush's tax cuts for the well-to-do.
3. The warrantless eavesdropping on citizens, without approval of the Congress, flouts traditional presidential powers and the checks and balances between the three branches of government. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that the congressional resolution passed after 9-11 did not authorize such a program and said it was unlikely that any court would approve such a program. The president may have broken the law; he certainly has broken the trust between him and many ordinary citizens.
It may be time to use the tools of citizenship to protest.