December 20, 2005

Bush Rules, OK?

In the coming weeks you will probably be hearing a lot of discussion about the John Yoo memo. Here's an excerpt:
In both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution, Congress has recognized the President's authority to use force in circumstances such as those created by the September 11 incidents. Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.
An old Newsweek article said this memo may have been laying the groundwork for the Iraq invasion long before it was discussed publicly by the White House:
The memo, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, argues that there are effectively “no limits” on the president’s authority to wage war—a sweeping assertion of executive power that some constitutional scholars say goes considerably beyond any that had previously been articulated by the department.
Links courtesy of Josh Marshall, right on the ball as always.

Marshall also links to an interesting letter (a.k.a. a get-out-of-jail-free card) from Senator Rockerfeller, Ranking Member of the senate intelligence committee, basically complaining that he cannot determine the value or legality of Bush's illegal eavesdropping program because he was not legally allowed to discuss it with anyone, not even his lawyers.

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