How Dick Cheney threw off his Constitutional carapace
Two out of three Powerline Monkeys agree: Dick Cheney knows that, when the going gets tough, the tough treat the Constitution like last weeks shopping list:
According to the report, before the end of the very day on which we were attacked, Cheney had put together a legal team consisting of David Addington (Cheney’s counsel), Alberto Gonzales, Tim Flanagan (Deputy White Counsel), and John Yoo of the Justice Department. Cheney’s team promptly came up with the “authorization for the use of military of force” that Congress approved on Sept. 18. Soon thereafter, it put into place, with the president’s approval, the program under which the NSA intercepted communications by al Qaeda into the U.S. without a warrant.
In doing so, Cheney kept various bureaucracies out of the loop. For example, he excluded John Bellinger, the ranking national security legal advisor in the White House, as well as the State Department’s legal team. Cheney and his team also out-maneuvered Bellinger and others when they persuaded President Bush to treat captured al Qaeda fighters as unlawful combatants with no rights under the Geneva Conventions.
The Post points out that Cheney’s efforts to bypass large chunks of the bureaucracy were inconsistent with his own philosophy for White House decision-making, as he had articulated it on various occasions in the past. Under the extraordinary circumstances created by 9/11, I find it commendable that Cheney did not feel wedded to his prior, hyper-cautious approach — let’s call it “growing in office.”
I’ve said before that these are the kind of people who start pondering cannibalism when the motor on the boat conks out ten feet from shore.
(Updated) Read this. War criminal isn’t strong enough term for Dick Cheney. One thing that comes through loud and clear is how gutless people in the Bush Administration were, and are, as Dick Cheney and David Addington continually rat-fucked them. George Bush, on the other hand, comes across a mindless non-entity within his own administration. That’s not exactly news.