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The Nixon-Bush doctrine (When a duty to protect supercedes a duty to abide by the law)
CNN ^ | Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | Bruce Morton

Posted on 02/08/2006 8:58:35 AM PST by presidio9

Presidents, in wartime, tend to think they're above the law; commanders-in-chief who rule absolutely.

President Lincoln abolished habeas corpus (the right to a trial) during the Civil War -- clearly unconstitutional, but he did it. President Franklin Roosevelt imprisoned Japanese-Americans -- U.S. citizens -- in concentration camps during World War II -- clearly unconstitutional, but he did it.

Richard Nixon probably put the case most clearly in an interview with David Frost back in 1977.

Frost: "So ... what ... you're saying is that there are certain situations ... where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal."

Nixon: "Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal."

Frost: " By definition."

Nixon: "Exactly, exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security ... then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating a law."

President George W. Bush, commander in chief in the war against terror, is squarely in the Nixon camp. He has asserted his right to hold American citizens indefinitely without charging them with any crime if he labels them "enemy combatants." He holds detainees of other nationalities at Guantanamo, some with access to lawyers, some not.

His attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, has referred to the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war as "quaint." Bush has asserted America's right to torture prisoners. He has asserted its right to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens because they might be talking to terrorists.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cnn; dinosaurmedia; impartialjournalism; junkjournalism; wtfk

1 posted on 02/08/2006 8:58:38 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Bruce is really on top of things here. It's Vietnam and Nixon all over again, see?

Liberal retreads are useless.

2 posted on 02/08/2006 8:59:58 AM PST by Reactionary (The Moonbats Need an Enema)
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To: presidio9
And here I thought it was illegal to change the Constitution without amending it!

The president's constitutional war powers were debated and defined in the convention in 1787:
"FRIDAY AUGUST 17th. IN CONVENTION
...Mr. MADISON and Mr. GERRY moved to insert "declare," striking out "make" war; leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.
Mr. SH[E]RMAN thought it stood very well. The Executive shd. be able to repel and not to commence war."
The vote was 7 to 1.

3 posted on 02/08/2006 9:00:55 AM PST by mrsmith
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To: presidio9
Correction, this is by Bruce Moron. Utterly absurd analysis. The Viet Cong were not infiltrating the USA and had not committed the worse mass murder of US Civilians in History. Nixon spied on his political enemies, Bush is spying on OUR enemies. Contrary to the hysteric lies of Moron and his crowd, Bush DID obey the law. He operated under his Section 2 powers as Commander in Chief. There is not one intellectually defensible statement being made by Moron in this article.
4 posted on 02/08/2006 9:04:22 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: presidio9
Well, it is obvious that Dem Presidents haven't a clue how to protect us, since 9/11 happened after 8 years of threats and bombings by OBL, under Clinton.

I'll take President Bush's record on protecting us anyday.
5 posted on 02/08/2006 9:05:48 AM PST by roses of sharon ("I would rather men ask why I have no statue, than why I have one". ) (Cato the Elder)
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To: presidio9

Isn't the law objective and the perceived need to protect, fairly subjective?


6 posted on 02/08/2006 9:05:52 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: presidio9
Obviously the Congressional authorization to use all force necessary against AQ gave Bush the right to tap their phones, even when talking in the US.

But beyond that, the Congress and the Executive branches are "co-equal". Meaning that one does not have power over the other. So an argument can be made that the President can flaunt the will of the Congress.

It's the Constitution that is over both, and if the Congress wants to limit the Presidents power, then they'd best put their limits in a Constitutional Amendment.

Of course the lawyers will disagree with my opinion here because of precedent. But who cares. I can read the constitution for myself, and the SC could set new precedent any time it wishes.

7 posted on 02/08/2006 9:06:20 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: Reactionary

Yep, no bias here it was only an accident he did not call it the Lincoln-Bush or Carter-Bush or Clinton-Bush doctrine.


8 posted on 02/08/2006 9:07:47 AM PST by JLS
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To: Reactionary

OK, let's get this clear: Bruce Morton hates President Bush and he hated President Nixon. End of story.

BTW, Bruce, you are irrelevant and your sense of history is laughable.


9 posted on 02/08/2006 9:08:05 AM PST by RexBeach ("There is no substitute for victory." -Douglas MacArthur)
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To: presidio9
He has asserted his right to hold American citizens indefinitely without charging them with any crime if he labels them "enemy combatants."

And 80% of Americans happen to agree with him. What is so hard for the lefties to understand about that?

10 posted on 02/08/2006 9:12:09 AM PST by subterfuge ("The Kennedys are not real Democrats. They have their own party." --Tip O'Neill)
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To: MNJohnnie
There is not one intellectually defensible statement being made by Moron in this article.

Well, FDR did imprison people for being Japanese Americans during WWII, just that they weren't "concentration camps."

11 posted on 02/08/2006 9:15:06 AM PST by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does)
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To: presidio9

I thought the internment of Japanese-Americans was upheld by the Supreme Court. How then was it unconstitutional? Old mush-mouth mumbled misinformation.


12 posted on 02/08/2006 9:16:50 AM PST by Dilbert56
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To: MNJohnnie

And Kennedy spied on Martin Luther King - and Clinton spied on Aldrich Ames.

Bush is spying on AQ!! Big difference.


13 posted on 02/08/2006 9:18:38 AM PST by CyberAnt
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To: presidio9
His attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, has referred to the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war as "quaint." Bush has asserted America's right to torture prisoners. He has asserted its right to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens because they might be talking to terrorists.

Is Howard Dean ghost-scripting this? President Bush has not asserted a right to torture. AG Gonzales said some provisions of the Geneva Conventions, like setting up exercise fields, are "quaint". President Bush has asserted the right of the government to listen to phone numbers linked to Al Qaida who might be talking to American citizens. That's very different than the lies Brucie is spewing.

14 posted on 02/08/2006 9:20:27 AM PST by Dilbert56
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To: presidio9

Here's the jest of the whole argument, if the President can't use his article 2 authorities because he must go through FISA first then FISA is unconstitutional and must be repealed. If the Rats want to continue to play with the notion that there is no statuary exception to FISA and they manage to win the claim in court then FISA must immediately become unconstitutional and everyone convicted with evidence obtained by a FISA warrant gets to walk free.


15 posted on 02/08/2006 9:27:58 AM PST by Wasanother (Terrorist come in many forms but all are RATS.)
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To: presidio9
Bush has asserted America's right to torture prisoners.

Prove it, Bruce.

16 posted on 02/08/2006 9:31:13 AM PST by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: presidio9
"So ... what ... you're saying is that there are certain situations ... where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal."
Yes brucie old buddy, that's what it means. If what he does is so terribly illegal the people will take corrective measures. Lincoln's illegal moves ended with victory. Roosevelt's illegal move ended with victory. People don't see these moves as being permanent. They understand the difference.
Also I find it interesting that the rat is now so desperate for ammunition to shoot at Bush, that he will now even admit the FDR did illegal and unconstitutional things.
17 posted on 02/08/2006 9:38:32 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (We will never murtha to the terrorists. Bring home the troops means bring home the war.)
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To: presidio9
I see what this crap is, CNN can't prove the President broke the law because he didn't and to CNN everyone knows he did but they'll let him slide on this one because after all it was in the best interest of the country. Give me a freakin break CNN, Comatose News Network.
18 posted on 02/08/2006 9:47:50 AM PST by Wasanother (Terrorist come in many forms but all are RATS.)
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To: jmaroneps37
Bruce is just a perfect example of how the Modern Left operates. They figure if they scream the lie often enough people will accept it is true. It is still a lie to state it was an "illegal act", no matter how often they scream the word illegal. What Bush did was perfectly in keeping with is Constitutional powers as President. That lunatic political bigots like Bruce Moron don't like that he has those powers is just too bad for them.
19 posted on 02/08/2006 10:38:08 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: presidio9
I haven't made up my mind on Bush's wiretapping program yet, but I do know that this comparison is utterly fatuous.

Nixon abused his powers as the executive by ordering wiretaps and police action against his internal political enemies. This interview with Frost was rationalization and Nixon let some of his true feelings (WRT the head of the executive as monarch) slip out: if the President orders it, it's not illegal.

I haven't heard Bush claim to be above the law in all of this. Indeed, the assertions of his team have taken as their premise that he has the constitutional authority to conduct such activities.

We shouldn't be all that surprised at this article, though. The average "journalist" is generally not bright enough to recognize more than a surface likeness in any case.

20 posted on 02/08/2006 10:40:58 AM PST by NCSteve
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To: presidio9

So this isn't really the "Nixon Bush" doctrine. It's been the doctrine of Presidents for a very long time.


21 posted on 02/08/2006 10:44:20 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: stuartcr
Isn't the law objective and the perceived need to protect, fairly subjective?

Nope. The authors OPINION of the law are subjective based on his personal political feelings. Since he is neither Judge nor Legislator his OPINION of what the law means is just so much hot air. Since the President is the chosen Representative of the people HIS opinion of what the law means is one of the few that matters here.

The President is invested by the people to exercise certain powers on our behalf. His opinions have legal standing. Bruce Moron is just some self important twit writing on a website, his feeling about the matter are irrelevant babbling. The President's opinions are the only ones that count between the two.

The President, our chosen Representative, has said, "I have these powers". Some in Congress are objecting to his position. Someone will bring suit and the Courts will decide which branch is correct. That is how our system of Checks and Balances works.

All the screaming about "illegality" by website authors and self proclaimed legal "experts" is just so much meaningless noise. Just cause Bruce Moron, based on his political prejudices, want to claim it is illegal is irreverent to the facts at hand. He has no standing to rend any such judgments. The President does. Therefore Bruce Moron is wrong.

22 posted on 02/08/2006 10:52:53 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: MEGoody
Nope. It might be called the Washington Doctrine since he was the 1st President to make use of these powers invested in the President as Commander in Chief
23 posted on 02/08/2006 10:55:02 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: NCSteve

Exactly, The power of the Commander in Chief to use all power of the US Govt to respond to an attack on US Civil Society clearly cover this matter. The Hysteric Leftist position, as advanced by Bruce Moron in this article, are intellectually indefensible and absurd.


24 posted on 02/08/2006 10:57:55 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: MNJohnnie

OK


25 posted on 02/08/2006 11:07:38 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: presidio9
A litle history may be in order.

Prior to WWII, the US broke the Japanese diplomatic code, and regularly read messages between spymasters in Japan and Japs in the US. There were several hundred Japs in the US who were prepared to commit sabotage and espionage if war broke out. One reason given for the "relocation" of West Coast Japs was that if the government picked up only the ones we knew were disloyal, and ignored the rest, it would tip off the Japs that we could read their messages. (Doesn't mean I agree with the relocation, but that was part of the reason given.)

During WWII, the US interecepted and read messages between Soviet spies in the US to their spymasters in the Soviet Union. Many of the results have been published as the Venona Transcripts.

During the fighting in El Salvador, the US intercepted and read messages between the the Communists in ES and their supporters in the US.

No one seems to have been upset, then or since, at the government intercepting messages between enemy agents in the US and their contacts overseas. Why now?

26 posted on 02/08/2006 11:18:26 AM PST by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: stuartcr
Going to be really interesting to see how this all plays out. 9-11 was really a world changing event. Our current political system really isn't designed to cope with Terrorism. It is not formal war yet it takes more then police action to combat it. We have to craft some new structures to deal with it. The Bush Administration has put forth an idea of what that structure should be.Whether that stands or is replaced with a different vision is yet to be decided.

Kind of exciting for us History nerds to watch. Going to be a real live demonstration on how the system of checks and balances will work going into the 21st Century. I am continually in awe of how brilliant (or lucky?) our founders were. That our system works so well some 220 some years later is simply amazing.

27 posted on 02/08/2006 11:30:28 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Vote Democrat-We are the party of reactionary inertia".)
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To: MNJohnnie

I'm 55yo, I really doubt I will see an end to terrorism in my lifetime.


28 posted on 02/08/2006 12:14:28 PM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
I to am 55 and I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. I hope my children and grandchildren fare better.
29 posted on 02/08/2006 4:45:59 PM PST by K-oneTexas (I'm not a judge and there ain't enough of me to be a jury. (Zell Miller, A National Party No More))
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To: K-oneTexas

I'm sure that's what our ancestors wanted too.


30 posted on 02/09/2006 5:13:14 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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