Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.
Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."
"The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said, adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.
Old-line Republicans like Roberts have become increasingly disenchanted with the neoconservative politics of the Bush administration, which they see as a betrayal of fundamental conservative values.
According to a July 9-11 survey by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company, President Bush and the Republicans can claim a mere 31 percent approval rating for their handling of the Iraq war and 38 percent for their foreign policy in general, including terrorism.
"The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," he said. "You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda is not going to do it, it is going to be orchestrated."
Roberts suggested that in the absence of a massive popular outcry, only the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military could put constraints on Bush's current drive for a fully-fledged dictatorship.
"They may have had enough. They may not go along with it," he said.
The radio interview was a follow-up to Robert's latest column, in which he warned that "unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the U.S. could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran."
Roberts, who has been dubbed the "Father of Reaganomics" and has recently gained popularity for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War, regularly contributes articles to Creators Syndicate, an independent distributor of comic strips and syndicated columns for daily newspapers.