It's not really terrorists George W. Bush wants to bug and torture. It's YOU.

It's not really terrorism he wants to fight. It's opposition from people he can't control.

It's not really US security he wants to protect. It's the power of his regime.

The Constitutional debate about whether these executive privileges are allowable in war is a smoke screen.

This isn't about war: It's about dictatorship. It’s about making power permanent by using private information against you, and by terrifying you with torture.

Team Bush believes it rules by Divine right. It has already re-defined "terrorist" to mean anyone who questions its power. It will use "anti-terrorist" wiretapping as a tool against anyone who dares oppose it.

All serious indicators show that "information" extracted by torture is virtually worthless in fighting terrorism. So is the information taken from wiretapping huge numbers of people, which Bush has been doing since before 9/11.

So ask yourself: if granted the power to torture, do you trust the Bush Administration---or any regime- - to refrain from torturing its political opponents? If granted the power to record private phone conversations, do you trust Karl Rove to not use this material against his political opponents?

Who will Bush go after first? Al Queda or the Quakers? Bin Laden or Cindy Sheehan?

If Bush gets away with this, then it's simple: if you are too outspoken in opposing this regime's destruction of social security, or the natural environment, or the economy, you will sooner or later be subject to torture.

If Bush's phone buggers pick up information or statements taken out of context that can incriminate or make you look bad, Rove will not hesitate to leak them to FOX and use them for partisan purposes.

The Constitution of the United States is absolutely clear about banning these abuses. The patriotic Americans who demanded the Bill of Rights knew these powers must be outlawed to retain any hope of preserving our freedom and democracy. That's why they did so, clearly and explicitly.

Those who support giving Bush these powers are undoubtedly ready and willing to be tortured and bugged themselves.

As for the rest of us, there can be no compromise with tyranny.

HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US is available at www. harveywasserman. com, as is HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, written with Bob Fitrakis.