A few days ago I stumbled on an article (an article I can’t find now) that detailed a subtle change in the oath of secrecy that is rendered at the CIA and NSA. The article went something like this. The original oath;
I swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that I will obey the lawful orders of the President of the United States
had been changed to;
I swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that I will obey the
lawfulorders of the President of the United States
Now this is very subtle, and makes the assumption that the President is issuing legal orders. But is it strikes at the heart of the oath. The uses of the word ‘lawful’ removes the honor that is required of the oath taker. That he or she is required to understand the meaning of lawful, with regards to the Constitution of the United States. It also strikes blow a for tyranny in that it is tantamount to an oath of loyalty to the President and not to the laws of the United States. An oath of fealty to President Bush.
In my search to find the original article I came upon this as further evidence that I was not misplaced in my fear that something was amiss in the subtle change
And the limited criteria represented with this change was to relinquish the responsibility of the individual to interpret the legality of orders from the president and place into presidential control all liability for the interpretation.
It’s roughly the equivalent of a soldier saying “I was only following orders” at the Nuremberg trials.
And then I stumble upon this article Sworn fealty to the president as the answer to everything and realized that this subtle change was exactly what Bush requires from his staff, his ‘serfs’. Loyalty, not to the constitution, or the truth, or to the American people. But loyalty to GW Bush. The same loyalty that would be due any tyrant, by that tyrant.
It also goes far in explaining the purge at the CIA. All the previous staff having sworn using the old oath, the one requiring the oath taker to interpret legality, are being purged and replaced with personnel sworn to fealty to Bush.
That should scare everyone. We are not worried about a dictator in the U.S. we already have one.