Since Nixon Dick Cheney has pushed for more executive powers





In July 1987, then-Rep. Dick Cheney, the top Republican on the committee investigating the Iran-Contra scandal, turned on his hearing room microphone and delivered, in his characteristically measured tone, a revolutionary claim.

President Ronald Reagan and his top aides, he asserted, were free to ignore a 1982 law at the center of the scandal. Known as the Boland Amendment, it banned U.S. assistance to anti-Marxist militants in Nicaragua.

"I personally do not believe the Boland Amendment applied to the president, nor to his immediate staff," Cheney said.

Most of Cheney's colleagues did not share his vision of a presidency empowered to bypass U.S. laws governing foreign policy. The committee issued a scathing, bipartisan report accusing White House officials of "disdain for the law."

Cheney refused to sign it. Instead, he commissioned his own report declaring that the real lawbreakers were his fellow lawmakers, because the Constitution "does not permit Congress to pass a law usurping presidential power."

The Iran-Contra scandal was not the first time the future vice president articulated a philosophy of unfettered executive power -- nor would it be the last. The Constitution empowers Congress to pass laws regulating the executive branch, but over the course of his career, Cheney came to believe that the modern world is too dangerous and complex for a president's hands to be tied. He embraced a belief that presidents have vast "inherent" powers, not spelled out in the Constitution, that allow them to defy Congress.

Cheney bypassed acts of Congress as defense secretary in the first Bush administration. And his office has been the driving force behind the current administration's hoarding of secrets, its efforts to impose greater political control over career officials, and its defiance of a law requiring the government to obtain warrants when wiretapping Americans. Cheney's staff has also been behind President Bush's record number of signing statements asserting his right to disregard laws.

A close look at key moments in Cheney's career -- from his political apprenticeship in the Nixon and Ford administrations to his decade in Congress and his tenure as secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush -- suggests that the newly empowered Democrats in Congress should not expect the White House to cooperate when they demand classified information or attempt to exert oversight in areas such as domestic surveillance or the treatment of terrorism suspects....

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DeWayne Edward Benson - 12/12/2006

Cheney as a well known anti-Constitutional individual would be well aware that the dictitorial power of the Executive Office is not in ignoring the US Constitution, it is in the un-Constitutional "Emergency War Powers" found nowhere in the Constitution, and therefore completely illegal under US Law.
This "Emergency War Powers" was most famously used during the Civil War, when do to division there was not a legitimate majority found in the US Legislature. To keep gov going Lincoln issued Emergency War Power Executive Order's.
It was not until Pres-FD Roosevelt that this power was illegally re-instated.
This Presidential Executive Orders under Emergency War Powers still has America under the emergency of three past wars, not to mention a number of undeclared wars.
It has been used illegally for everything under the sun since 1943, on occassion illegally used to use US-Military against US citizens, the most dastardly in my opinion was in the murder of WACO Davidian women and children.
Does Congress have the power to terminate this un-Constitutional Presidential (DEM/GOP) power, yes. Have they ever terminated this un-Constitutional Emergancy War Powers... no.


DeWayne Edward Benson - 12/12/2006

Cheney as a well known anti-Constitutional individual would be well aware that the dictitorial power of the Executive Office is not in ignoring the US Constitution, it is in the un-Constitutional "Emergency War Powers" found nowhere in the Constitution, and therefore completely illegal under US Law.
This "Emergency War Powers" was most famously used during the Civil War, when do to division there was not a legitimate majority found in the US Legislature. To keep gov going Lincoln issued Emergency War Power Executive Order's.
It was not until Pres-FD Roosevelt that this power was illegally re-instated.
This Presidential Executive Orders under Emergency War Powers still has America under the emergency of three past wars, not to mention a number of undeclared wars.
It has been used illegally for everything under the sun since 1943, on occassion illegally used to use US-Military against US citizens, the most dastardly in my opinion was in the murder of WACO Davidian women and children.
Does Congress have the power to terminate this un-Constitutional Presidential (DEM/GOP) power, yes. Have they ever terminated this un-Constitutional Emergancy War Powers... no.

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