Sunday, December 21, 2008


Vice President Dick Cheney, interviewed today on Fox New Sunday by Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: ...Biden has said that he believes you have dangerously expansive views of executive power.

CHENEY: ... if he wants to diminish the office of vice president, that's obviously his call.

... WALLACE: If you could conceptualize it for me, sir, what do you think are the powers of the president relative to Congress and relative to the courts during war?

CHENEY: ... I think you're fully justified in setting up a terror surveillance program to be able to intercept the communications of people who are communicating with terrorists outside the United States.

I think you can have a robust interrogation program with respect to high-value detainees.

...The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States.

He could launch a kind of devastating attack the world's never seen. He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts....

Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero (1985):

When we get to Rip's apartment on Wilshire, he leads us into the bedroom. There's a naked girl, really young and pretty, lying on the mattress. Her legs are spread and tied to the bedpost and her arms are tied above her head.... Spin digs the syringe into her arm....

"Oh God, Rip, come on, she's eleven."

"Twelve," Rip corrects.

"Yeah, twelve," I say, thinking about it for a moment.

"Hey don't look at me like I'm some sort of scumbag or something. I'm not."

..."It's ... I don't think it's right."

"What's right? If you want something, you have the right to take it. If you want to do something, you have the right to do it."

And while I'm talking about the Cheney interview, this, from Dan Eggen in The Washington Post, is not helpful:

In discussing his views of broad executive power on national security issues, Cheney ... said that all U.S. presidents since 1973 have viewed the War Powers Act -- which gave Congress the role of declaring war -- as unconstitutional.

Is it too much to expect that the Washington Post reporter assigned to write this story would know that the freaking Constitution gives Congress the role of declaring war?

The Congress shall have Power ...

To declare War....

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