Friday, June 30, 2006

Addington/Yoo Doctrine Slapped Down By Supreme Court

This blog has never been reluctant to point the finger of blame for the trampling of the Constitution toward the right suspects, especially David Addington (see inter alia, A Kook By Any Other Name, Geneva Convention Rule To Be Bypassed, Cheney, The Loose Cannon, Ignatius On Kook Addington, and Cheney--Not Intelligence Pros--Wanted CATCH-ALL Program) and John Yoo (see Architect Of Eavesdropping and Torture Policies Unrepentant, Justice Refuses To Provide Legal Rationale for Warrantless Spying To Senate, and Republican Enablers Of Warrantless Eavesdropping).

Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling seems to agree (from Unclaimed Territory):

The Hamdan decision represents, in my opinion, a fatal blow to the Addington/Yoo theory of executive power. 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.

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.

And the Hamdan opinion completely eviscerates the administration's only other argument in defense of the NSA surveillance program, i.e., that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) somehow authorized the circumvention of FISA. The Court notes that "there is nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization set forth in . . . the UCMJ." All you have to do is substitute "FISA" for "UCMJ" and you know exactly what the Court would say about that argument.

May Addington and Yoo's names join Ehrlichman and Haldeman in historical ignominy.


Post a Comment

<< Home