Skip to comments.The Nixon-Bush doctrine (When a duty to protect supercedes a duty to abide by the law)
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 ...
Liberal retreads are useless.
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.
Isn't the law objective and the perceived need to protect, fairly subjective?
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.
Yep, no bias here it was only an accident he did not call it the Lincoln-Bush or Carter-Bush or Clinton-Bush doctrine.
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.
And 80% of Americans happen to agree with him. What is so hard for the lefties to understand about that?
Well, FDR did imprison people for being Japanese Americans during WWII, just that they weren't "concentration camps."
I thought the internment of Japanese-Americans was upheld by the Supreme Court. How then was it unconstitutional? Old mush-mouth mumbled misinformation.
And Kennedy spied on Martin Luther King - and Clinton spied on Aldrich Ames.
Bush is spying on AQ!! Big difference.
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.
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.
Prove it, Bruce.
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.
So this isn't really the "Nixon Bush" doctrine. It's been the doctrine of Presidents for a very long time.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I'm 55yo, I really doubt I will see an end to terrorism in my lifetime.
I'm sure that's what our ancestors wanted too.