Friday, April 14, 2006

General George?

The Constitution makes the President the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" in Article II, Section 2. The President is the "Executive power" in regard to the remainder of the Executive branch.

Through his mouthpiece, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, G.W. Bush asserts that his power to order the National Security Agency, a civilian agency, to conduct warrantless wiretapping derives from his inherent powers as Commander in Chief.

Does this mean Bush considers himself to be Commander in Chief of the entire Executive branch? Does this mean Bush fancies himself a banana-Republican military dictator?

This is not an idle matter of legal technicalities; it strikes to the heart of the Constitution and the rule of law. It is made worse by the fact that many Americans consider the President to be Commander in Chief of the country, not the military.

The latter is the thinking of subjects, not citizens.

General George is not King George; he just thinks like him.


Anonymous La_Libertine said...

Agreed - in fact, General George thinks he IS King.
I'm beginning to wonder if "Little Boots" will willingly leave office in 2009 even if he's NOT impeached (as he should be) before then!

This from Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean, in a recent interview by Tavis Smiley:
"No president that I can find in the history of our country has really ever adopted a policy of expanding presidential powers for the sake of expanding presidential powers. And I think that's what we have going on here in this presidency."
There's a great post about this, plus links to the video, at:

1:38 PM  
Blogger RtR said...

I cannot let the reference to "Little Boots" pass without comment. The analogy is crystalline. 2009 - President Jeb? That would be a precious double-cross of Sen. McCain by the royals for the umpteenth time. (I saw an hour of the Ian McKellan "Richard III" last evening. It could be coloring this post a mite.) If it's too soon for Jeb, perhaps manipulating the public to get behind a democratic candidate for a single term might also position Jeb well for 2012.

I watched the referenced Tavis Smiley interview with John Dean. It was a clear example of the journalist as anaesthesiologist. Immediately after Dean made the quote referenced in Libertine's post, Smiley subtly attacked Dean's credibility with the question of whether perhaps Dean may have been speaking either hypothetically or perhaps exercising a little hyperbole. Bottom line as I heard the nation's snores resume was the comforting assurance that "it can't happen here."

I just saw "Good Night and Good Luck" for the first time last night and it brought back a flood of memories and emotions. My Southern Baptist minister father was, and remains a committed and convinced supporter of the political factions that created and supported Sen. McCarthy. (For what it's worth, I cannot seem to get away from these roots. At present, I live and work within the metropolitan area that birthed Sen. McCarthy - Appleton, WI, where his bust remains on display in the courthouse and where the public remains supportive of him to this day - but I digress.) My first books on politics were such classics as: "None Dare Call it Treason," and "You Can Trust the Communists - To be Communists." I heard politics preached from the pulpit regularly. The point of this little side trip down memory lane is that I am trying to make some type of less subjective assessment of whether we are in the same political environment today, that we experienced in the mid 50s. I conclude without reservation that it is the same, if not worse. I would not want to be a semitic muslim in the United States today. There is no possibility of having a public dialogue that analyzes the geopolitical/economic dynamics (which the U.S. disproportionately influenced) that have brought us to our present state (see Ward Churchill). If anything, this government has unified race, religion and politics into the global boogeyman in order to justify dismantling the constitution and bill of rights. Even worse is that McCarthyism as a totalitarian means to govern was established in the legislative branch and he required the power of inquisition in order to rule. Little Boots, as the chief executive is perfectly placed to be able to rule in the way that McCarthy could only dream of.

11:15 AM  

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