Friday, December 16, 2005

Inherent authority

The Bushies are using the same smokescreen on domestic eavesdropping that they used for torture: saying they didn’t break the law, in an area where they also say (but not at the same time, so no one notices, they hope) that the law simply doesn’t apply. In today’s Gaggle, Scottie McClellan repeatedly insisted that they are abiding by the law while repeatedly refusing to answer if it is legal to spy on Americans. The Bushies believe (or claim to believe) 1) that the 2001 Congressional resolution on the “war against terrorism” gives them authorization to do literally anything, 2) that “the Constitution vests in the President inherent authority to conduct warrantless intelligence surveillance... of foreign powers or their agents, and Congress cannot by statute extinguish that constitutional authority” (according to a brief they filed in a 2002 case). “Inherent authority” = above the law.

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