Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dethroning America's King George

The creation of a Bush monarchy by Administration lawyers was decried at week's end by Rhode Island's freshman senator, Sheldon Whitehouse.

"This nation," he said on the Senate floor Friday, in reviewing the need for FISA reform, "was founded in rejection of the royalist principles that 'l’etat c’est moi' and 'The King can do no wrong.'"

But, Whitehouse contends, White House and Justice Department lawyers have given their President unprecedented powers to decide what's legal in spying on American citizens. In effect, unless Congress acts to modify their usurping of authority to allow the Oval Office monarch to do whatever he wants, Bush is free to do just that without consulting Congress or the courts.

Reviewing the circular logic in "highly classified secret legal opinions related to surveillance" by the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice, Sen. Whitehouse arrived at a "nutshell" description of this new definition of President power:

"1. 'I don’t have to follow my own rules, and I don’t have to tell you when I’m breaking them.'

"2. 'I get to determine what my own powers are.'

"3. 'The Department of Justice doesn’t tell me what the law is, I tell the Department of Justice what the law is.'"

Whitehouse reminded Senate colleagues, "We are a nation of laws, not of men...Our Attorney General swears an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; we are not some banana republic in which the officials all have to kowtow to the 'supreme leader.'”

The Senator from a state that had its own version of the Boston Tea Party was urging them to correct "a second-rate piece of legislation passed in a stampede in August" and take away the powers that all the king's men have conferred on the monarch with more than a year to go on his White House throne.

1 comment:

Don said...

"We will shortly consider making right the things that are wrong with the so-called Protect America Act, a second-rate piece of legislation passed in a stampede in August at the behest of the Bush Administration."

As Babe might have said to Stanley," What a fine mess they got us into."