The framers of the Constitution were determined not to have a monarch like the king they rebelled against.The President's private monopoly over nuclear weaponry is evidence enough that the framers would be appalled by the transition since WWII.The attempt by Congress to push back with the War Powers Resolution,CIA oversight,and the FISA court did nothing to check Presidents defying the WPR in Lebanon,Grenada,Panama,Libya,Haiti,Kosovo,Bosnia and elsewhere.
Vice President Cheney and right hand man David Addington were devout advocates of presidential power for years before the 2000 election.As a member of Congress,he labored to squash opposition to President Reagan's attack on Libya in 1986.He and Addington wrote a minority report opposing any condemnation of the Iran-Contra operation of Oliver North.Cheney advised James Baker to end the War Powers Resolution.Addington said he would strangle the FISC(US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).The two men backed neoconservatives recommendations for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein during the Clinton administration.They brought Douglas Feith,Paul Wolfowitz into the Bush administration who were backed by William Kristol,Richard Perle,Norman Podhoretz,Midge Decter and Gertrude Himmelfarb.On the campaign trail Bush II sounded some old themes of Republican semi-isolationism.September 2001 changed that perspective and Addington and Cheney influenced him greatly to ignore Congress and the rest of the world.
Creating new intelligence procedures after 9/11,Cheney's office and Rumsfield's Dept. of Defense circumvented information past the CIA and NSA apparatus from Ahmed Chalabi and Richard Perle.This provided the false information about mobile bioweaponry labs and centrifuge tubes that let the administration call a halt to Hans Blix's UN inspection of Iraq for nuclear weapons.
Just as important for the panicky reaction to terror as this false information were the faulty justifications for military tribunals,suspended habeas corpus,extraordinary rendition,secret prisons around the world,warrantless surveillance of citizens at home,abrogation of Geneva Conventions,unilateral dispensation from treaties,and enhanched interrogation methods of waterboarding.The Justice Department on"orders" from the White House claimed the legal right to all these and other actions.The point of origin for these claims came from the little known but powerful Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Dept. John Yoo would become the producer of numerous documents that protected the Bush administration and endorsed the monarchy it created.Yoo would make the President more powerful than the monarch we renounced in 1776.
More from Wills soon.