A Look Back at the Bush Presidency

Anthony Gregory of the Campaign for Liberty, the Independent Institute, and LewRockwell.com takes a look back at the all-too memorable details of the last eight years.

This presidency gave us:

• Two undeclared, unwinnable imperial wars, with hundreds of thousands of dead, including thousands of Americans, and many tens of thousands of Americans wounded, with the violence and occupations continuing to this day;

• Detention without trial or habeas corpus;

• A torture scandal and the institutionalization, from the top down, of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that offend basic standards of human decency;

• New precedents on “extraordinary renditioning,” whereby U.S. intelligence and military agencies hand off detainees to foreign countries where they are interrogated in ways that even the U.S. at Guantanamo will not use;

• Warrantless wiretapping of the citizenry conducted by the military wing of the government;

• Spying on peaceful political activists and putting many names on no-fly lists;

• The modification of Posse Comitatus and insurrection law to empower the president to order the military and national guard to impose order on the domestic population;

• More signing statements than any president before;

• Credit expansion that helped bring on the greatest financial crisis in many years;

• The largest expansion of welfare spending since the Great Society, specifically in the area of prescription drugs;

• The biggest bailout ever, so far, with frightening moves toward economic fascism in the financial sector;

• A doubling of the deficit and debt;

• The nationalization of airline security and the introduction of the color-coded terror system;

• The Department of Homeland Security;

• Sarbanes-Oxley and other posturing corporate regulation that hurts small firms while doing nothing to improve the economy;

• Signing McCain-Feingold into law, despite knowing it violating the First Amendment;

• The further nationalization of education;

• The 21st century version of the “unitary executive,” which concentrates ever more power into the presidency;

• Massive protectionism, secrecy, duplicity, socialism, corporatism, and growing reliance on police-state tactics;

• Terrible diplomatic blunders with North Korea, the Midle East and elsewhere;

• The failure to catch Osama bin Laden.

Well done.

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