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02/16/2006

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» A must-read on the Big Time constitutional crisis from Fruits and Votes
Kingdaddy tells it like it is: Like hell he can (declassify any document). Sample passages (with my emphasis in bold, his in italic): If youre shocked, shocked to discover that Cheney wants to stretch Article II, section 2 even further [than... [Read More]

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CW

Sorry, but you are incorrect on this one. The Vice President has original classification authority, and any official with such authority also has declassification authority, dependent on relative position to the original classifier. Because Plame's status (if she had one, which is another question) (if it were truly classified, which is yet an additional question) would have been classified by the DCI and because the VP is senior to the DCI, the VP could declassify that status if he wanted to. This is not a constitutional question but a matter of executive policy - specifically EO 12958, I believe.

J.

CW, while you may be right that Cheney may have had declassification authority over the issue in question, the point still is, was the document declassified for the right purposes (i.e., an event had occurred or timeframe had passed that made it possible to declassify the information)? I suspect not. And if it were properly declassified, the question still remains as to why the VP told Libby to release the information to reporters and not just let it sit in the archives, like so much other data are.

mark safranski

"We've managed somehow to get through a Civil War, two World Wars, and the threat of nuclear armageddon without a dictator"

True, but the interpretation of the scope of the president's war powers by SCOTUS and the courts have always been extremely broad during wartime as opposed to the peacetime use of military force for missions less than war. " Deferential" is the phrase generally employed. There is some merit to that given that the Framers did seem to indicate the exceptional circusmstance of war or insurrection in several places in the text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

You need only look at the historical record of Lincoln, Wilson, FDR and the handling of nuclear forces during the Cold War to find war powers-based precedents that far exceed those of Bush. Truman received a strong rebuke over the Steel Mills but that was the exception and the issue there was tangential to war powers at best.

Ivan Carter

in response to the above post; yes, an Executive Branch's power may be somewhat larger, as directly related to acting Commander in Chief, in the absence of legislation one way or another. but note also that the Constitution demotes Congress' power with greater specificity than the executive branch's however. this aside, any such powers do not mean that the most basic clause of the constituion -- the separation of powers - that congress shall legislate,and the exeuctive branch shall administer, gets nullified during any war time

Lincoln acted in exceptional times, as our union was literally split in two and would have been the United States no more, but two separate countries. to analogize this and then state what are the best laws as we move forward, is wholly misplaced. it would require that the executive branch has specific legislative authority over congress in whatever regard it sees fit (see http://www.pressthenews.com/dancing_on_the_edge.html ), when this is expressly the opposite of the constitution's most basic provision and purpose.

why do conservatives hate democracy? http://www.pressthenews.com/mtpleaks.htm is it a hatred of it, or a misperceived belief that to "protect it" one must compromise it? http://www.pressthenews.com/misc_the_const.html which, of course, is not protecting democracy at all, but relegating it to subservient status to our own righteous opinions, views, and insecurities. which is not democracy.

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We think some merit to that given that the Framers did seem to indicate the exceptional circusmstance of war or insurrection in several places in the text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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Lincoln acted in exceptional times, as our union was literally split in two and would have been the United States no more, but two separate countries. to analogize this and then state what are the best laws as we move forward, is wholly misplaced. it would require that the executive branch has specific legislative authority over congress in whatever regard it sees fit

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