Saturday, April 01, 2006
April Fool! (We Hope)
The Register has the scoop on a draft document "laying out the President's [sic] wartime authority to remain in office past 2008".
"The world changed on 9/11," a confidential DoJ memo obtained by The Register explains, "and no Administration in US history is better suited to adapt productively to those changes than this one. "The Attorney General supports the basic framework in the White House Counsel's draft proposal for a future Executive Order establishing a Continuity Presidency, with two provisos: 1. There must be at least the appearance of a time limit, which the AG believes might be satisfied by tying the duration of the Continuity Presidency to the duration of the GWOT [global war on terrorism]; and 2. The House and Senate Majority Leaders and the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees must issue a written certification that they have approved the plan. [...] A second memo leaked to The Register, this time from DoJ Assistant McIntyre to Jock Mahoney, Special Assistant to US Solicitor General Paul Clement, and to Philip Van Zandt at the White House, anticipates an immediate Supreme Court challenge to the scheme, and offers a few suggestions for defending the Administration's action. "We will be attacked on the basis of Article II Section 1, and on Amendment XXII," McIntyre writes. "Thus it is absolutely crucial that the anticipated Executive Order for a Continuity Presidency make no mention whatsoever of a 'Third Term.' This will eliminate appeals to Amendment XXII, and leave us free to focus our attack on Article II Section 1 alone. Thus, the Executive Order has got to be framed as a necessary - and Congressionally authorized - extension of the President's Second Term, so that we can base our arguments on the Joint Resolution and Article II Section 2. "Above all," McIntyre warns, "we must emphasize that the 2001 Joint Resolution, in which Congress empowered the President to 'use all necessary and appropriate force ... to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States,' and Article II Section 2 of the United States Constitution, give the President ample authority to issue an Executive Order for a Continuity Presidency for the duration of the GWOT, to exercise fully his mandate to protect the American people from harm." Now, this might not seem like much for the Bushies to pin their imperial hopes on, but the White House has already succeeded in expanding the 2001 Joint Resolution, and Article II Section 2 of the Constitution, to include virtually any step, legal and illegal, that the Administration wishes to take in prosecuting the war on terror. [...] Are they a hoax? We consulted renowned constitutional scholar Bud Jamison, of the prestigious Washington legal firm Horowitz Feinberg & Horowitz, for insight.... "If it ever becomes public, I suspect we'll find that the proposed executive order will postpone the 2008 elections - citing the exigencies of war - rather than attempt to do battle with Article II Section 1 and the 22nd Amendment," Jamison explained. [...] "But," Jamison continued, "Bush is so accustomed to having his way, and he exists in such a weird bubble of manufactured reality, that I can picture him believing that his second term could be extended. Still, I'm confident that someone among the gaggle of boot-licking toadies he's surrounded himself with will muster the nerve to sit him down and explain the facts of life. [...] "It shows incredibly poor judgment and galling arrogance on the Administration's part, but that's nothing new. And you can be sure that Bush and Cheney have got complete deniability in this little caper," he said. "And that goes for Gonzales, Miers, and Clement too. The five or six people involved will be sacked, and the press will be told that the affair was merely the unauthorized creation of a handful of over-zealous underlings acting on their own. The Republican-controlled Congress will decline to investigate, and the issue will soon be forgotten. A break in the Natalee Holloway investigation is all it takes for a story like that to be erased permanently from the news."Let's hope this is a hoax. Even if it is, it shows just how much the the Busheviks have blurred the line between satire and reality.
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