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Bruce Schneier: Unchecked presidential power


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rGreat Op-Ed from Bruce Schneier:


Here is a piece of it, I recommend you read the whole thing though:

"The result is that the president's wartime powers, with its armies, battles, victories, and congressional declarations, now extend to the rhetorical "War on Terror": a war with no fronts, no boundaries, no opposing army, and -- most ominously -- no knowable "victory." Investigations, arrests and trials are not tools of war. But according to the Yoo memo, the president can define war however he chooses, and remain "at war" for as long as he chooses.

This is indefinite dictatorial power. And I don't use that term lightly; the very definition of a dictatorship is a system that puts a ruler above the law. In the weeks after 9/11, while America and the world were grieving, Bush built a legal rationale for a dictatorship. Then he immediately started using it to avoid the law.

This is, fundamentally, why this issue crossed political lines in Congress. If the president can ignore laws regulating surveillance and wiretapping, why is Congress bothering to debate reauthorizing certain provisions of the Patriot Act? Any debate over laws is predicated on the belief that the executive branch will follow the law."

I'm interested only in comments on the substance of the article, not ad hominem or partisan hackery.

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The title of the thread should match the title of the article.

Then place your comments into the thread itself.

Bruce Schneier: Unchecked presidential power

Edit: although the piece is an editorial he could have done the littlest bit of research out there to show.

What Nixon did and what Congress followed up with.

What Carter/Clinton did and what Congress followed up with.

What Bush now has done and what Congress will follow up with.

He also leaves out that "because" of this incident the Patriot act failed on certain parts and if found to have breached the law, more will be removed from Bush when it comes to the power he holds...

That in and of itself disputes the claim of dictitorialship...

I'd say more of a lame duck for the next 2 years/Lame Duck and Dictator are about as far apart as you can be.

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One point , Tbear

Can congress make a law to remove powers granted under the constitution? NO

The supreme court could rule the constitution does not allow these actions by a president,however they have avoided any such rulings for good reason.

This leaves only a constitutional amendment being passed to change the status quo.

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