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A Law Unto Himself

For a long time we've known that President Bush does not see himself bound by the law. He and his cohorts have suggested that he can order such actions as torture, indefinite detention, kidnapping and warrantless electronic surveillance of any person, even US citizens. But the one thing that was never truly discussed was the legal basis on which the Bushies determined the President had these authorities. Often it amounted to "because he's the President", a statement which was usually followed by the questioner's patriotism being called into question.

But now we learn just what legal opinions the Bushies based their arguments on. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, took it upon himself to scour the Office of Legal Counsel and found that the office is rather superfluous since the Bushies have determined they do not need counsel, let alone consent.

Think Progress has Whitehouse's notes. According to the Bush administration:
1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.

Now Bush apologists would most likely claim these usurpations to be a good thing, that we need a robust executive during war time to "cut through the bull" as it were.

To that I have only one question: What if it were Hillary?

More reactions via Meme.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)