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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Soundbite: Bush administration proposed a ‘presidential dictatorship’

    President Bush may be gone, but we haven’t yet taken the full scope of his dictatorial ambitions. Secret memos from his term in office now being released by the Obama administration reveal a truly harrowing picture of an entire executive branch pushing the astonishing claim that the president alone had the right to decide what the rules were for his war on terrorism, and that no one – not even Congress -ÿhad the right to hold him accountable.

    An October 2001 memo released Monday revealed that the Justice Department secretly granted the president the power to use the military against citizens inside the United States – a “”power”” that even John Yoo strained to make remotely credible, since no president had ever claimed anything like it. Yale law professor Jack Balkin aptly called it “”a theory of presidential dictatorship.”” Another memo, from March 2002, claimed that the Constitution gave the president “”exclusive authority”” over holding prisoners in wartime. (Article 1 of the Constitution explicitly grants that power to Congress.) One can only wonder what further revelations lie in store for us; only the Freedom of Information Act, which Bush did his best to undermine, keeps us from being left in the dark even now.

    Justyn Dillingham is the opinions editor of the Daily Wildcat.

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