Bush/Cheney, having been caught red-handed breaking the law and violating the Constitution, and having no reasonable excuse other than a blatant power grab, have had to lay down the gauntlet. In the simplest terms possible, they are claiming that the President has unlimited, unchecked, dictatorial powers during wartime. He is above the laws and, indeed, according to them, he IS the law. This would seem to ignore the obvious fact that we are not truly at "war." Congress never declared war on Iraq. In fact, the "war" on Iraq is no more legitimate than the "war on poverty," or the "war on drugs." He has for an argument the fact that his legal advisors, Gonzales, and Yoo, have told him so. But as both of them are obvious toadies willing to tell him anything he wants to hear this will probably not wash when it comes right down to it. I am no lawyer, and not even a student of the Constitution, but I know there is nowhere in American law or the Constitution anything that gives the President dictatorial powers anytime at all, including at times of war (which we are not in at the moment in any case). This is a claim that is absurd on the face of it.
There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this is true. The crucial question, however, has to do with whether anyone cares enough anymore to do anything about it. It doesn't seem to me that much is likely to happen. Democrats may complain (but who listens to them anymore), a few Republicans may pretend not to like it (but probably won't do anything about it), and the American Public will simply go back to Lost (a good description of where most of them are - lost in a sea of television nonsense and credit card debt). I hope I am wrong about this as it is a matter of absolutely monumental significance to the American political system.
There is a piece on Buzzflash today discussing a program where Russert is interviewing Brokaw and Koppel. I must say they come across about as intelligent as your normal fourth grader. Among other things they claim that Clinton would have gone to "war" just as Bush did if he had been President at 9/11. Does anyone believe that Clinton would have attacked and invaded Iraq because the problem was Osama bin Laden? I find the claim so ridiculous as to not be worthy of comment. Clinton may have had his problems, and he may have done things he should not have, and he may have even been overly militaristic, but he was/is not stupid like our present so-called Commander-in-Chief who might have qualified as a dogcatcher somewhere in Texas. I swear most of our "hot-shot" television anchors and reporters are nothing but yes-persons who are willing to just parrot back anything they are told by this criminal administration. They are just as responsible for this obscene, disgusting, illegal, immoral, unnecessary "war" as Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocons.
Will justice be done in 2006? Don't count on it but do pray for it.