Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Who Watches the Watchmen?

There is no need to watch the watchmen; they have the authority to do whatever they want. Horace Cooper, in an article at Townhall, argues that President Bush has the power to do whatever he wants if he deems it to be in the interest of protecting the United States.
The Iraq War resolution gives the President the authority to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons." And the Patriot Act, among many significant changes, included enhanced FISA surveillance of foreign nationals. Combined with his constitutional powers, the president clearly has the legal authority to carry out this surveillance.
One thing my clever readers will note is that the quote from the Iraqi War Resolution is not in fact from the Iraqi War Resolution. It is rather from a joint resolution "To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States. NOTE: Sept. 18, 2001 - [S.J. Res. 23]" Something to keep in mind.

That said, it certainly is optimistic of Mr. Cooper to assume that the legality of the President's actions are not in question. This is, of course, the old "pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain" strategy. Not always successful, and it doesn't seem like it will work in this case, except on those already inclined to give the President the benefit of the doubt.

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