"Are there any neo-conservatives left anywhere who are capable of engaging in a single political discussion without insinuating that those who disagree with them are either terrorists or terrorist allies?"
For the last four years, the Bush administration has been advancing the theory, both publicly and in its internal legal memoranda, that, as Commander in Chief, the president has the sole discretion to make all decisions regarding war-related issues, even when a duly enacted statute purports to limit his authority. This legal theory serves as the basis for not only the system of military tribunals at Guantanamo, but also the NSA program and the interrogation methods endorsed by the administration.WaPo (via AmericaBlog) gets essentially the same conclusion from two Reeps:
But if a statute can place valid and enforceable limits on the president's power to try foreign enemy combatants captured on foreign soil, then can there really be any doubt that a statute can place similar limits on the president's power to conduct surveillance of U.S. citizens within the United States? Of course not.
"There is a strain of legal reasoning in this administration that believes in a time of war the other two branches have a diminished role or no role," Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who has resisted the administration's philosophy, said in an interview. "It's sincere, it's heartfelt, but after today, it's wrong."
Bruce Fein, an official in the Reagan administration, said the ruling restores balance in government. "What this decision says is, 'No, Mr. President, you can be bound by treaties and statutes,'" he said. "'If you need to have these changed, you can go to Congress.' This idea of a coronated president instead of an inaugurated president has been dealt a sharp rebuke."