Jim Henley has been at his fiery best addressing the darker implications of the torture memo when it comes to presidential power. Read him “here”:http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_06_06.html#005415, “here”:http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_06_06.html#005417, and “here”:http://www.highclearing.com/archivesuo/week_2004_06_06.html#005420. Here’s the final stretch:
I think the Commander-in-Chief clause has been stretched like the elastic on your old underpants for decades at least, but the stretchers have gotten away with it. The only way to maintain a free society in the face of incipient dictatorial powers that flow from warmaking is a mass presumption against war. This does not mean you never fight them, but it does mean hoary old ideas like war as a last resort. Because if war maximizes presidential power, and presidents are flawed (human), and self-selected for ambition (politicians), then presidents have an incentive to start wars and perpetuate them. Causes will be trotted out to serve war, when it should be the opposite. So distrust causes. Make them prove it past the last shred of doubt before you sign on next time.
If you’re given the option.