portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article united states

government | human & civil rights | imperialism & war

Senator Robert Byrd stands up for our Constitution

Quoting Senator Byrd from the newswire: "In the newly published 'National Security Strategy of the United States,' the document which I hold in my hand... date: September 2002, the document in which the President of the United States outlines the unprecedented policy of preemptive deterrence which the Iraq resolution will implement--the President asserts that: 'The constitution has served us well.'

"There you have it, 31 pages, and that is the only reference to the Constitution of the United States that is made in this document titled 'The National Security Strategy of the United States of America.' He asserts that: 'The constitution has served us well.' That's it. That is the alpha and the omega of the reference to the Constitution, this great Constitution of the United States which creates the Presidency of the United States, which creates a bicameral legislative body, which creates the judicial branch of this great Nation--provides for it. That is all it says about the Constitution. He asserts that 'the Constitution has served us well.'

"And note, too, that the word 'constitution' as mentioned in the President's document is in lower case. It doesn't begin with a capital letter, it begins with a lower-case letter, 'the constitution.' ... This administration doesn't believe that it merits a capital C even, and only mentions, as I say, one time in passing that 'the Constitution has served us well.'"

"That, apparently, is what this administration thinks of the Constitution. And it references the Constitution as though it were some dusty relic of the past that needs to be eulogized before it is retired. And so it says: 'The constitution has served us well.'" [ Full Transcript ]

[ Audio of Senator Byrd's final speech ]