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View Full Version : Rice urges Pakistan to return to Constitutional Government


John Galt
11-04-2007, 07:32 PM
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h1aBshjF1CnfJ4noaEXA_Vb8dm-gD8SMANS04

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — The Bush administration said Saturday it was deeply disturbed by the state of emergency in Pakistan and urged a swift return to a democratic and civilian government.

"The U.S. has made clear it does not support extraconstitutional measures because those measures take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.

Rice said that to her knowledge, U.S. officials had yet to hear directly from Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, after his declaration.

"Whatever happens we will be urging a quick return to civilian rule" Rice told reporters, and a "return to constitutional order and the commitment to free and fair elections."

Samuel Dravis
11-04-2007, 09:49 PM
One of the few times I agree with Rice. I hope no one (or at least few people) get hurt - earlier I read a story about this that said he had troops in the streets. Probably isn't going to end well.

SilentScope001
11-04-2007, 11:58 PM
Well, I am in contact with the exile community of Pakistan. I think that while they may or may not like Musharrash, they certaintly don't like the other Presidental candinates, Bhutto and that last President of Pakistan, because those two candinates were corrupt. Seems as though the exiles believe that while a democracy is a good idea, the people who get elected act corrupt, and try to milk as much money as possible from the Pakistani government.

At least the military won't get corrupted, they already got unlimited power.

Then again, this is the Exile community. Seems like they made the desicion that the best thing to do is leave Pakistan. And they only rarely regretted it.

Sabretooth
11-05-2007, 12:00 AM
The Bush administration said Saturday it was deeply disturbed by the state of emergency in Pakistan and urged a swift return to a democratic and civilian government.

"The U.S. has made clear it does not support extraconstitutional measures because those measures take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.
Pfft. Pakistan has been a "democratic" government only in name. They've always been a dictatorship, in one form or another, in one name or another.

It's painfully obvious that Musharraf is doing this to avert the political elections that had been forced onto Pakistan. Since that would jeopardize his position, he does some sneaky stuff, now Pakistan is extra-constitutional, and bang, the elections are "postponed" to next year.

John Galt
11-05-2007, 12:08 AM
Personally, I think any spokesman of the Bush administration telling another government to return to constitutional government is massively hypocritical.

SilentScope001
11-05-2007, 12:10 AM
Pfft. Pakistan has been a "democratic" government only in name. They've always been a dictatorship, in one form or another, in one name or another.

Wait, you're accusing Bhutto of being a dictator as well? Wow. You're pretty cynical. :)

Sabretooth
11-05-2007, 01:13 AM
Wait, you're accusing Bhutto of being a dictator as well? Wow. You're pretty cynical. :)
No, I'm Indian. :xp:

SilentScope001
11-05-2007, 01:19 AM
No, I'm Indian. :xp:

Understandable. :D

Corinthian
11-05-2007, 12:38 PM
Personally, I think any spokesman of the Bush administration telling another government to return to constitutional government is massively hypocritical.
Bush isn't a dictator. Learn the definition.

JediAthos
11-05-2007, 01:15 PM
From what I've read Musharraf did what he did to avoid possibly being thrown out of office:

"Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup and is also head of Pakistan's army, suspended the constitution on Saturday ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on whether his recent re-election as president was legal. He ousted independent-minded judges, put a stranglehold on independent media and granted sweeping powers to authorities to crush dissent." (From the AP article on Yahoo.com)

With our system of checks and balances it is unlikely this could happen in the US unless the president had the complete support of all the military commanders which is also unlikely.

At any rate, I don't agree with what Pakistan's President has done which was basically to preserve his own power base. He kinda reminds of me of a certain other dictator who recently swung by his neck.

Web Rider
11-05-2007, 03:39 PM
Bush isn't a dictator. Learn the definition.

And to be technically correct, neither is Musharraf, but the point was that the Bush administration has passed a number of "extra-constitutional" laws. And is now telling another country not to do it.

yes, they aren't the same and they aren't as far reaching, but the parallels are there.

mimartin
11-05-2007, 04:19 PM
Bush isn't a dictator. Learn the definition.True Bush is not a dictator, but he also is not great believer in following the document he is sworn to follow. Examples of Bush's signing statements (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/examples_of_the_presidents_signing_statements/)
So I agree with John Galt if I was Musharraf Iíd tell Rice, and Bush for that matter, to stuff it in their ears.

HerbieZ
11-05-2007, 04:51 PM
I am still unsure as to why only America feels it should advise Pakistan on what to do. Trying to put too many fingers into them middle eastern pies imho. :P

Samuel Dravis
11-05-2007, 05:51 PM
Whether it's hypocritical or not for the Bush administration to say it doesn't change the truth value of the statements in question. Pakistan should not be a dictatorship and I will agree with anyone who says so, be it Bush or anyone else. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I don't really see the sense of saying "well, this guy isn't the best example so he should be ignored." - especially when "this guy" happens to be right (if only in this instance). Valid criticism is valid criticism, whoever might say it.

No one should allow someone's reputation influence their evaluation of that person's actions. Even if it's Bush, and even if you think he's hateable. :)

John Galt
11-05-2007, 06:16 PM
I never called Bush a dictator, and he really isn't one, but he really has disregarded the constitution almost entirely. To quote Bush on the constitution: "It's just a goddamned piece of paper."

His criticism may be valid, but so is pointing out his hypocracy.

Corinthian
11-05-2007, 06:56 PM
Where'd he say that? I have NEVER heard him say that. And if he actually did say that, it'd be everywhere.

mimartin
11-05-2007, 07:18 PM
Where'd he say that? I have NEVER heard him say that. And if he actually did say that, it'd be everywhere.
It was reported by the Capitol Hill Blue that Mr. Bush said that in 2005 in the Oval Office to a group of Republican Congressional leader while talking about renewing the Patriot Act. Capitol Hill Blue (http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml)
Several other news sources quote this, but they all show this as the original source as far as I can tell. Iím not saying it is true, but I could not find a denial from the White House and I find that a little odd.

Iím more shocked by what former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is credited with writing while Attorney General in the article than the President's comment.

Corinthian
11-05-2007, 07:53 PM
Of course, there's no real evidence he actually did say that.

mimartin
11-05-2007, 08:00 PM
Yea, if you want to look at it that way then there is no real evidence that Abraham Lincoln ever said the Gettysburg Address either. After all it was not caught on video, just some people are said to have witnessed it.

Totenkopf
11-06-2007, 12:30 AM
Call me cynical, but I just love how the author claims he talked to three people, but fails to name them. Deep background, no doubt. Seriously, it's very easy to make all sorts of claims, but it detracts from the media's credibility when they make claims that aren't substantiated and then try to fall back on some journalistic prerogative of unnamed sources. Easy way to grind your axe. ;)

Note:maybe he said it, maybe not. That article fails to clear it up.

Corinthian
11-06-2007, 01:02 AM
No one in their right mind would ever call the constitution "Just a goddamned piece of paper." Particularly considering that Bush is at least a Christian in name, and thus would be hesitant to say "Goddamned." It doesn't click. Totenkopf's point is also quite true.

JediAthos
11-06-2007, 07:29 AM
Having perused the website a bit, I'm not sure I would exactly call the Capitol Hill Blue a reliable source of accurate information.

The reference to the Gettysburg Address above is inaccurate as well as there are several preserved drafts of the speech in the Library of Congress, a photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg, and reputable accounts from newspapers of the day detailing the speech.

I apologize for getting off topic briefly...I think that given that every slightly controversial move that any other politician makes, not just Bush, and not just in the the US, receives criticism from the UN and whomever else sees fit to throw in their opinion, why shouldn't Condi, and President Bush be allowed to have their opinion as well. It doesn't make them any different than anyone else in the world as far as I can see.

As far as charges of hypocrisy go, I would consider most politicians to hypocrites to be honest with you. Very few of them say what they mean or do what they say.

mimartin
11-06-2007, 11:12 AM
Never said that Capitol Hill Blue was a reliable source, just said they were the ones to report him saying it. I for one donít know if Bush said it or not (as I stated above). I also know that Lincoln did the Gettysburg Address. I am also sure there are secure transcripts and photos of President Bushís meeting with Congressional leaders that could answer if he really said this. Something we will never know for National Security reasons or at least for 50 years (and rightfully so).

Iím a Christian and I have unfortunately taken the lords name in vain, so I fail to see how that is proof.

I believe actions speak louder than words anyway and this administrationís actions speak volumes about their feelings for the Constitution. To me deleting our rights in the name of security only means the terrorist are winning. That is after all what they want, for us to sacrifice our values until we are willing to conform to their belief system. They donít know it, but that is why they will never win. As Americanís we are too hard headed to let anyone tell us what to do or think. So why should we expect to tell another sovereign nation what to do? What gives us the right to tell anyone how to run their nation? Is it because we are so good at running our own?

Sure the Constitution isĒ just a piece of paperĒ when it goes against your core values. It really upsets me that it allows people to burn our flag in the name of free speech, but for all its faults it is the best thing going.

Corinthian
11-06-2007, 12:31 PM
Yes, you did. You implied it by using it as a source.

mimartin
11-06-2007, 12:41 PM
Yes, you did. You implied it by using it as a source.Oh, really that not what I wrote. If you would have read what I wrote you would have known I was answering your inquire about where that quote came from. Never implied anything and I even stated that I didnít know if it was true are not.
Where'd he say that? I have NEVER heard him say that. And if he actually did say that, it'd be everywhere.It was reported by the Capitol Hill Blue... Iím not saying it is true....

Corinthian
11-06-2007, 01:10 PM
Ah, nevermind. John Galt was the one who made it sound like fact. My mistake, Mimartin.

Tommycat
11-07-2007, 03:31 AM
Why is it that no matter what the administration says someone always has to criticize them for saying it? I mean if Bush were to come out and say killing your wife is wrong and should be punished, some moron with an axe to grind will turn it around and call him a hypocrite. Those of you that criticize Rice on this statement, Are you saying that YOU support Musharraf casting aside their constitution? Or are you just so full of bile that you cannot even admit when they get something right in the administration.

Re the signing statements: Um those were LAWS not articles of the constitution that he criticized. In some cases rightly so. Some of the laws could have been used as a back door to gain information on sensitive operations. Heck you should see the things Clinton, Bush sr, Reagan, Carter did similarly so. This is not unique to this president. In fact this president has been more open about what the government does than the US government has ever been.

John Galt
11-07-2007, 11:30 AM
I think if Bush said that killing your wife is wrong, I'd agree wholeheartedly with him, and probably say that the administration is taking a step in the right direction...

I am an advocate of constitutional government. What I was criticizing is that he was urging someone else to return to constitutional government, when he has done more than any other president in recent history to undermine our own constitution. Frankly, I was an early Bush supporter, and I feel that those, like me, who supported Bush in 2000 based on his promise of a "humble foreign policy" have been as deceived as the Wyoming voters that Dick Cheney lied to about being a member of the CFR.

If you want to put this in Christian context, I am saying that Bush should mind the log in his own eye before pointing out the spec in Musharraf's. <= yes, I'm paraphrasing Jesus there.

LordRevan999
11-07-2007, 11:39 AM
Excuse Me.But as I am a citizen of Pakistan and I may not be so old I think you people don,t understand what is happening in Pakistan.First the days of musharraf were over only the decision of supreme court were left and although the parliament elected him(I might tell you that all the opposition has resigned from parliament long time ago)The supreme court was going to announce weather he was a candidate or not.Me and mostly all the citizens of Pakistan hate him So to have another year under his what can I say dictatorship he had done this.I honestley tell you no one in the parliament or the whole government or any politician is performing his role honestley all are desperate to get money.Ask me further about this if you like.I am only telling you because I could not bare that police forces were hitting lawyers and other people and old lawyers were mistreated just a 1 or 2 day ago.Still now many judges who didn't agree with musharraf are kept in their own houses and they are locked in their own house.And Many judges have resigned and what do you know new supreme court has been made very quickly after old judges resigned and what can I say all I can say is we are thankful to Bush that he has done what must be done.

mimartin
11-07-2007, 12:33 PM
Why is it that no matter what the administration says someone always has to criticize them for saying it?Is that not our right as American citizens to criticize our government, to criticize someone I voted for? I mean if Bush were to come out and say killing your wife is wrong and should be punished, some moron with an axe to grind will turn it around and call him a hypocrite.Only if he killed Laura Bush first and used an signing statement to get away with it. Those of you that criticize Rice on this statement, Are you saying that YOU support Musharraf casting aside their constitution? Or are you just so full of bile that you cannot even admit when they get something right in the administration.Isnít there also about 50 other options? I have no problem with the administration saying whatever they want, I just donít see where it our obligation to force or beliefs down anyoneís throats. I wouldnít want them over here telling us how to run our business. I believe in the adage ďdo unto others as you have do unto you.Ē So Iíd be hypocritical telling them what to do. That said this is my country and I can tell my government what I want them to do with my letter, call and most importantly my vote. So no I do not support Musharraf and yes Bush may be right, but he is still hypocritical.
Re the signing statements: Um those were LAWS not articles of the constitution that he criticized. And under separation of powers, Congress has the sole power to legislate in the United States. See Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution. I fail to see where in the Constitution the Executive Branch is above the law set forth by the Legislative Branch. However in Article 1 Section 8 I do see where by the power of the Constitution Congress is allowed to pass laws. The President has the power to veto any law, then the veto can be overridden by the Congress. However I fail to see how signing a piece a paper saying that you or people within the administration are not subject to a law, but everyone else is subject to the same law is Constitutional.

In some cases rightly so. Some of the laws could have been used as a back door to gain information on sensitive operations.Agreed, but when it goes to hiding information from congressional oversight then any President has over stepped their bounds and oath of office.
Heck you should see the things Clinton, Bush sr, Reagan, Carter did similarly so. This is not unique to this president.Iíve seen, yet I fail to see how two, three or a hundred wrongs make a right. Especially when the person in question ran on the he is going to clean up the scandals in Washington platform and that is the reason he got my vote in the first election. In fact this president has been more open about what the government does than the US government has ever been.Iím sorry I donít see it. Could you provide me with proof that President Bush has been ďmore open about what the government does than the US government has ever beenĒ? Outside the fact that a member of the administration divulged the name of a CIA operative I fail to see it.

JediAthos
11-07-2007, 03:25 PM
Here's a quick note on executive priviledge:


"In the United States government, executive privilege is the power (reserve power) claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain search warrants and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government. The concept of executive privilege is not mentioned in the United States Constitution, but some consider it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine, and/or derived from the supremacy of executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.[1]

The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon, but only to the extent of confirming that there is a qualified privilege. Once invoked, a presumption of privilege is established, requiring the Prosecutor to make a "sufficient showing" that the "Presidential material" is "'essential to the justice of the case.'"(418 U.S. at 713-14). Chief Justice Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch's national security concerns.

Historically, the uses of executive privilege underscore the untested nature of the doctrine, since Presidents have generally sidestepped open confrontations with the United States Congress and the courts over the issue by first asserting the privilege, then producing some of the documents requested on an assertedly voluntary basis." (from Wikipedia)



Now with that I don't believe that all of the administration's claims of executive privilege should have been invoked. The problem is that, as stated above, that once the privilege has been invoked it is up to the prosecutor to prove that the information requested is essential to the case.

I don't really believe that the President and Secretary Rice were trying to "force" anything on President Musharraf so much as they were urging him reconsider what appear to be harsh actions.

Tommycat
11-08-2007, 06:20 AM
To be honest, I don't even like Bush. I never like any politician more than I hate them less than the opposition. I just get tired of seeing the bile ridden comments. I've heard it for years and I'm just flat out tired of it.

As for how the current administration has been more open, from my own experiences(which mean jack to any of you, but mean a great deal to me) they have been the most cooperative with FOI requests. Anything not directly related to ongoing sensitive investigations has been freely given(I was doing some research on my own family, some of the information I have received the prior administrations flatly refused). They have released more information to the public than I have ever seen. Honestly can you show me an administration that has released MORE information than this one?