Monday, February 06, 2006

FISA is a one man law

Look, Bush and his cronies have for some time been pushing the idea of the "unitary executive." The term, you'll remember, was pivotal during the confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito, who supports the concept. Bush himself has inserted the term into his "signing statements" repeatedly, writing, for example, that he would implement the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President judges necessary and expedient."

In a nutshell, this idea of unitary executive means that everyone in the executive branch--the people whose job it is to enforce the laws and regulations of the United States--must enforce those rules according to the president's wishes. In other words, Bush and Alito and Gonzales and the rest believe that the president is the executive branch and, whether or not he can change the law, can change how laws are enforced.

The question, though, is this: For whom but the president could the law requiring warrants to wiretap American citizens be designed, especially if you believe that the president is the executive branch. Wouldn't that mean that the law is saying, "Mr. President, the people in your charge must get warrants before tapping the phones of American citizens?" If you believe in the "unitary executive," then you have to believe that the law isn't just a blanket statement for law enforcement, but a direct statement to the president which limits his actions.

If you believe in the "unitary executive" and you don't see the law this way, then the only possibility left is that the president simply cannot be restrained by law.


Blogger california_reality_check said...

I watched most of the hearings. Well, the dems mostly. Here's the only way he could not be lying and COULD make some sense. Suppose that what he says is true. Consistent with FISA, authorized by Use of Force and the Constitution. Okay? How could that be done? The answer is by using another country overseas to do the dirty work so we only get the work results. Israel? Massad? Hell, we control Iraq / Afganistan and use our buddy Pakistan like we own them. Just another black op.

8:00 AM  

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