The Silent Coup
How a nation ruled by law, becomes a nation ruled by man
“We are living in an era of extraordinary expansion of executive authority….”
United States Senator (Republican Pennsylvania)
“[the Adminstration] asserted a broad doctrine of presidential “inherent authority” to ignore the laws passed by Congress when prosecuting the war on terror. In other words, the rule of law is suspended, and the President is above the law, for the uncertain and no doubt lengthy duration of the undefined war on terror”
United States Senator (Democrat Vermont)
“If Congress doesn’t have the power to define the contours of the President’s Article II powers through legislation…//…If the President’s legal theory, which is shared by some of our witnesses today, is correct…//…Under this theory, we no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government, we have a monarchy”
United States Senator (Democrat Wisconsin)
“It is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up once the fighting begins. Once the war against Saddam begins,we expect every American to support our military, and if they can’t do that is to shut up”
There is a battle far from getting the attention it deserves considering the stakes – the rule and governing of the USA.
You would only notice with great difficulty and after spending a lot of time viewing hearing in various congressional committees, picking up a piece here and another there, and painstakingly putting them into a historical context in a far from obvious manner.
At the center is the question of presidential power vis-à-vis the congress, a group of embittered individuals set on making right what they consider a violation of the constitution. .
When many Americans saw a restoration of balance of power when Congress went after and eventually reined in the Executive Branch in the Iran-Contra Affair, others saw an unconstitutional and deeply offensive act of neutering. The same people saw the same unconstitutional usurpation of executive powers when, following the Vietnam War, laws were passed and investigations were launched attempting to explore and rein in what was seen as abuses of the executive branch’s wartime powers (e.g Church Committee, Pike Committee, War Powers Act ).