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New Legal Strategy to Fight the GWOT?:
In an interesting op-ed in last Thursday's Washington Post, John Hamre argues that we need to rethink the legal strategy behind the GWOT with Congress taking the lead:
This is an opportunity for constructive bipartisanship. The election is over. Instead of defaulting to the blue-ribbon-commission model, we should ask Congress to work on this problem. Let's ask the leadership to create a special select committee, made up of the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Judiciary committees, to work together for six months. They should assemble a panel of advisers consisting of politicians and jurists of excellent reputation -- people such as Sandra Day O'Connor, Sam Nunn, John Danforth and John Glenn.
  This is a very interesting idea, albeit one that obviously would be opposed strongly by the Bush Administration. I'm half-way through John Yoo's new book, War By Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror; if Yoo's views are any sign of the views held by bigwigs in the Bush Administration, the chances Hamre's proposal would get their support are essentially zero. As Yoo describes it, the other branches need to step out of the way when it comes to fighting wars: only the Executive Branch is competent in this arena, and any restrictions on its authority imposed by Congress or the courts are unwise if not unconstitutional.

  More on Yoo's book when I finish it, which should be in a few days.
Anderson (mail) (www):
I'm half-way through John Yoo's new book

So sorry; hope you're feeling better soon! ;)
11.20.2006 3:11pm
Greedy Clerk (mail):
I've read Yoo's book. It is simply not hyperbole to say that Yoo's view of the Presidency is that of an elected King of England pre-1600 (arguably even pre-Magna Charta). As Orin has pointed out, his views have evolved from when Clinton was President when he believed in a strong executive, but still believe din checks and balances. I think we need to recognize Yoo for what he is: a political hack who dangerously masquerades as a "serious" scholar. But he is neither serious nor a scholar.
11.20.2006 4:12pm
Tom Holsinger (mail):
Note the phrase, "bi-partisan". This is classic evidence of an intent to diffuse responsibility.
11.20.2006 4:22pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
I would have thought any questions related to the competency of the Executive Branch would have been settled by the empirical evidence by this point...
11.20.2006 4:24pm
Just an Observer:
Early this year, I hoped that principled Senate Republicans would lead a serious challenge to lawless presidential behavior in this area. That did not happen, because they chose the primacy of enforced party loyalty to the White House. The "GWOT" became just one big political wedge issue.

For the most part, that left only congressional Democrats in opposition, as shown in predominantly party-line votes staged shortly before the election on the Military Commissions Act and the legalization of domestic surveillance. President Bush followed through as expected in the campaign, painting the opposition as soft-on-terror. The result of the referendum: Not a single Democratic incumbent was defeated.

Perhaps congressional Republicans now will distance themselves from Bush. The first indicator may be whether they attempt to legalize the surveillance program in the lame-duck session, as Bush has asked. The line on that divisive request -- made between "bipartisan" photo-ops immediately after the election -- seems to be running against the White House, as this rather sketchy U.S. News article asserts.

Meanwhile, no one reading the recent speeches by Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Gonzales could think the administration is the least bit interested in bipartisanship over executive power and the war on terror.
11.20.2006 4:49pm
BoBo (mail):
What's GWOT?
11.20.2006 5:11pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
What's GWOT?

The Gathering War on Tehran, I'm afraid.
11.20.2006 5:33pm
Jeff Shultz (mail):
Global War on Terror. Something the Democrats forgot was declared.
11.20.2006 7:36pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Global War on Terror. Something the Democrats forgot was declared.

Thanks for stepping out of your bell jar a minute, Jeff.
11.20.2006 7:43pm
PersonFromPorlock:

Global War on Terror. Something the Democrats forgot was declared.

It wasn't, really. At least not by us. Congress just kind of got real interested in its shoes, shuffled around a little bit and mumbled "well, yeah, if you want to bomb somebody go ahead."
11.20.2006 9:16pm
Mark Field (mail):

Global War on Terror. Something the Democrats forgot was declared.


Someone declared war on a noun?
11.20.2006 9:48pm
hashofet:
Oy GWOT !!!
11.20.2006 11:26pm
therut:
Please Danforth and John Glen. At least put some Conservative people in the list. Not surprised the Post would suggest left of center and mushy middle types.
11.21.2006 1:25am
Tom952 (mail):
Pat Buchanan's suggestion of an Iraqi referendum on whether the U.S. should withdraw is worthy of consideration, IMHO. If they vote yes, we clear out. If they vote for us to continue, our mission there gains credibility.
11.21.2006 8:39am
Mr. X (www):
In an interesting op-ed in last Thursday's Washington Post, John Hamre argues that we need to rethink the legal strategy behind the GWOT with Congress taking the lead:


I think that the legal strategy described here (examining nearly 400 combatant status tribunals and finding that not a single one failed to confirm the person's status as an enemy combatant) and here (examining audio of a combatant status tribunal for a man acquitted by the Bosnian Supreme Court) are working just fine, don't Yoo?
11.21.2006 10:13am
BoBo (mail):
I like acronyms too. They're nifty.
11.21.2006 5:34pm