In their public policies and speeches, the Bush II administration in general and George W. Bush in particular place tremendous emphasis on the ideals of freedom and democracy, and yet their actions consistently work to undermine those principles. (Note: maybe this should be renamed "...anti-Constitution"?)
- They have worked to stack the court at the highest levels, as well as the offices of attorneys general and other key "gatekeepers" of the legal system, with cronies who will follow the official line.
- They have suppressed scientific inquiry where it did not meet their political goals.
- They have encouraged media consolidation under owners who are sympathetic to their administration and willing to influence their outlets' content to match the administration's position, thereby eliminating honest journalism from the top down.
- They have worked to undermine the effectiveness of the free market system, by awarding huge no-bid contracts to companies they favor.
- They have repeatedly emphasized the idea that dissent is equivalent to treason, which goes against the idea of freedom of speech (one of the cornerstones of the US Constitution).
- They have worked to centralize power in the presidency, undermining the constitutional separation of powers.
- Science, the courts, free markets, and the media are all accountability arenas; by targeting these institutions, this administration shows a clear pattern of attempting to suppress dissent and eliminate any possible accountability for their actions.
- This administration has also displayed, routinely, at least 13 of the 14 common characteristics of fascism.
Undermining Freedom of Speech & the Press
- 2005-12-01 Bush's War on the Press: "America's leadership is waging a war against the journalistic standards and practices that underpin not only a free press but our democracy."
The administration's actions and policies have led to skyrocketing secrecy and a tremendous decrease in governmental transparency – both being complete reversals from the trends under Bush's predecessor.
- 2007-07-20: DeFazio asks, but he's denied access: "Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack. As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents. On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED."
- 911blogger.com: some further discussion, info, and links
- 2006-08-21: Cold War Missiles Target of Blackout: "The Bush administration has begun designating as secret some information that the government long provided even to its enemy the former Soviet Union: the numbers of strategic weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during the Cold War."
- 2006-02-21: U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review
- 2005-12-01: Gutting the Freedom of Information Act
- 2005-09-02: "Government secrecy has reached a historic high, even compared to the Cold War (San Diego Union July 3). Federal departments are classifying documents at a rate of 125 per minute... or two per second... and inventing new kinds of classification, while declassification efforts that peaked under the Clinton Administration have slowed to a crawl." ( 2005-09-02 entry)
Suppression of Criticism
- suppression of scientific data where it doesn't agree with their agenda
- Squelching of constructive critical discussion (e.g. "public dissent is strongly discouraged by the White House" mentioned in ; use of IRS as a tool for preventing dissention); also Eliminating Dissent in the Media
- Repeated incidents of action against whistleblowers:
- Bunnatine Greenhouse: The Washington Post The Carpetbagger Report (possibly problematic links:  )
- 2004-11-14: Bush Plans to Purge the 'Disloyal' at CIA: "The White House has ordered the new CIA director ... to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush..." (a clear case of Equating the Individual with the Office) (also another source)
- The Plame affair [W]
- redirect template:links/smw