Monday, February 06, 2006

License to kill
When did we start living in a comic book?
In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Steven Bradbury, acting head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, went to a closed-door Senate intelligence committee meeting last week to defend President George W. Bush's surveillance program. During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances.

This is not a pundit saying what they think the Pesident should do or a talk-radio host saying hwt they think would be cool. This is not John "five to the melon" Gibson shooting off his mouth without first checking to see if it's loaded. This is the acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. This is one of the most authoritative legal opinions in the country. He just said he thinks it's okay for the president to order assassinations on US territory.

Of course, he would never, ever do such a thing. The President stands second to none in his regard for due process, seperation of powers, and the Constitution, so we have nothing to worry about. And yet, when I close my eyes, all I can see are the last bits of a 200 year experiment in democracy swirling around a few times and then disappearing down the toilet. Bastards!

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