We are the 99%

December 23, 2005

Bush's War Against the US: Bush Sought War Powers IN the US

(The Most Dangerous Man in the World)

Those of you who see Bush for what he is may not be surprised. Those of you who will shrug this off or try to say that, "Clinton did it first" would not be swayed if Bush ate a baby live on TV.

From the Washington Post:

Daschle: Congress Denied Bush War Powers in U.S.

WASHINGTON--The Bush administration requested, and Congress rejected, war-making authority "in the United States'' in negotiations over the joint resolution passed days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to an opinion article by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., in Friday's Washington Post.

Daschle's disclosure challenges a central legal argument offered by the White House in defense of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. It suggests that Congress refused explicitly to grant authority that the Bush administration now asserts is implicit in the resolution.

The Justice Department acknowledged yesterday, in a letter to Congress, that the president's October 2001 eavesdropping order did not comply with "the 'procedures' of" the law that has regulated domestic espionage since 1978. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, established a secret intelligence court and made it a criminal offense to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant from that court, "except as authorized by statute."

[snip]

Yesterday's letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General William Moschella, asserted that Congress implicitly created an exception to FISA's warrant requirement by authorizing President Bush to use military force in response to the destruction of the World Trade Center and a wing of the Pentagon. The congressional resolution of Sept. 18, 2001, formally titled "Authorization for the Use of Military Force," made no reference to surveillance or to the president's intelligence-gathering powers, and the Bush administration made no public claim of new authority until news accounts disclosed the secret NSA operation.

[snip]

"Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text," Daschle wrote. "This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused."

Daschle wrote that Congress also rejected draft language from the White House that would have authorized the use of force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States," not only against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.


UPDATE: In addition to the above article, Tom Daschle also has an op-ed on this subject in WAPO called, "Power We Didn't Grant."

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