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Fake Checks & Balances

Friday, Jan. 20, 2006 12:03 AM

Despite headlines describing a Justice Department white paper as the, 'most detailed,' defense of the secret surveillance program bearing President Bush's signature, it all distills down to the same old line.

The President has the Constitutional Authority to do this, as well as implicit authority to do it under the Authorization of Force.

Excuse me while I call bullshit on this one, folks.

Remember, this is coming from an administration that has authorized clandestine prisons, approves of torture (including using a weasel statement on legislation to the contrary), and makes vague statements about responsibility in order to position its chief executive for a prime role in the history books.

The argument also suggests that if the 1978 law establishing the need for warrants runs counter to the president's power to protect the country in a time of war, well, the law is likely to be unconstitutional.

Mind, also, that the Bush Administration keeps trotting out the 'Justice Department review' line, equating it with approval.

Except that in our system of government, the Executive Branch cannot effectively review itself. The Judicial Branch is not the same thing as the Department of Justice. These checks and balances are not to be discarded on a presidential whim or fiat.

Unless we, as citizens, fail in our civic duty and buy into the Bush Administration's flawed argument.

The Ministry has received 2 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin - 2006-01-20 03:13:07
Something something ergo propter hoc? Because of this on account of this? I forgot the Latin term. But wow, the circular logic is stupefying. and scary.

Bob - 2006-01-20 19:02:30
You're thinking of "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc," or 'after this, therefore because of this.' The logical fallacy is in asserting that Event B happened because of Event A, most commonly expressed in benign superstition (it rains whenever I plan to barbecue).