The Bush administration, without court authorization, collects our telephone records and eavesdrops on calls involving U.S. residents to and from foreigners. It refuses to rule out wiretapping of fully domestic calls. Meanwhile, the administration is building military bases in Iraq and throughout the Persian Gulf. And now the president is about to formally militarize the southern border, the better to keep out Mexicans seeking economic opportunity.
To underscore grounds for concern, the administration has pronounced a theory of presidential power that should alarm anyone who wants government power limited. Under the Unitary Executive doctrine of the Bush Justice Department and many conservative legal theorists, the executive branch has enough implied and inherent powers during wartime to negate the checks and balances ordinarily provided by Congress and the courts. Considering that the Bush administration’s “war on terror” is vague enough to last indefinitely and assumes a global battlefield, the Unitary Executive doctrine is a blueprint for despotism that Napoleon would have envied.
Read the rest of my latest op-ed at The Future of Freedom Foundation website.