On Presidential Powers

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Ben Cohen
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by Ari Rutenberg


John McCain does not understand, or care about, the constitution.  For him it just another tool to abuse in his morally vacant, painfully awkward, no-pander-is-too-big candidacy.  According to his spokesperson, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, in order to prevent a terrorist attack "he [McCain] would do everything he could to prevent terrorist attacks,
“including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect
intelligence against foreign threats to the United States as authorized
by Article II of the Constitution.”"

The problem is that Article II does not grant the president that power.  The enumerated, or listed, powers of the president are very limited and specific.  Here is what it says about commander-in-chief powers:  "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the
United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called
into the actual service of the United States" (full text here)  Other than that, powers must be granted to him by the Congress.  He cannot simply assume that means he has the authority to do anything he wants in the name of national security as Mr. Bush has been doing. 

What is just as troubling is that neither the media or most of Congress is willing to stand up and point out this flat out lie.  I hope its a lie, by the way, because otherwise his understanding of this document is at a 1st grade reading level, or he willfully choses to ignore the truth in order to justify his ridiculous selling out to the corporate party.   Anyway you slice it, this is just another McCain gaffe.  The difference is that Bush started the lie, and no one called him on it.  And now McCain is repeating it but the press will simply let it pass because it would be too painful to acknowledge to true level of the failure of the press t to protect the public from a corrupt, criminal, and incompetent government.