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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Disastrously wrong....

Today's news....
Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials....

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

They were going to use the military to seize the Lackawanna Six? Later investigating by multiple sources showed these guys were nothing (NYTimes, NPR, Frontline,) but Cheney, et al, wanted to conduct an Army raid?

(I mean, if NPR can investigate and find these guys were nothing, what does it say that Cheney was freaking out?)

This would seem to suggest one of two non-exclusive things. Either 1) they seriously had no idea about the actual terror threat in 2002 or 2) Cheney's efforts to "expand executive power" extended far beyond anything we imagined.

An "execiutive power" claim like this,
Former officials said the 2002 debate arose partly from Justice Department concerns that there might not be enough evidence to arrest and successfully prosecute the suspects in Lackawanna. Mr. Cheney, the officials said, had argued that the administration would need a lower threshold of evidence to declare them enemy combatants and keep them in military custody.

So, Cheney wanted to yse the military to seize American citizens and ship them to Guantanamo because they couldn't find any evidence against them.

PS. "The memorandum — written by the lawyers John C. Yoo....."
Those who advocated using the military to arrest the Lackawanna group had legal ammunition: the memorandum by Mr. Yoo and Mr. Delahunty.

The lawyers, in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, wrote that the Constitution, the courts and Congress had recognized a president’s authority “to take military actions, domestic as well as foreign, if he determines such actions to be necessary to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and before.”

The document added that the neither the Posse Comitatus Act nor the Fourth Amendment tied a president’s hands.

John Yoo. The Constitution does not apply.


  • If these things are not investigated, and these attitudes summarily denounced as that antithesis of American ideals, then we leave it to future necon administrations to build on John Yoo's doctrine of constitutional nullification. We are setting the stage for the collapse of the American Experiment if we do nothing.

    Crest of the Empire... indeed.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:05 AM  

  • Well... History shows it's not just Yoo's and Neocons. Lincoln. Wilson. The CIA under Johnson and Nixon. The intel groups under VP Bush....

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:48 AM  

  • So does one excess built on another until we reach the tipping point of a domestic coup?

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:10 PM  

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