Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Lance hears the echoes.

I heard the same thing in this response to a question about secret prisons and torture:
Without confirming or denying the existence of such prisons, Bush said, “Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people.”

He pointedly noted that Congress shares that responsibility with the administration.

“We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice. We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do ... to that end in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture,” Bush said.

...and since a group of very smart and loyal people has determined that the joint resolution of September 14, 2001 gives the president permission to do whatever he decides is necessary to fight terrorism, anything he does is legal by definition. There's really no understating the threat this doctrine poses to a free society. I'm more and more convinced that the Bush gang was who Franklin had in mind when he answered:

"A Republic, if you can keep it."

It's clear that the president understands his personal authority in a zero-sum manner, and any oversight or check, whether by Congress or the press, necessarily detracts from his ability to do his job. As with his petulant treatment of the UN, he seems unable or unwilling to grasp that genuine consultation, even the simple willingess to engage in it, could actually add to his, and the United States', authority.

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