The Presidency: Executive or Imperial Branch?

by Ivan Eland

More memos recently have surfaced that were written early in the Bush administration by John C. Yoo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — the man who gave us the administration’s horrifyingly narrow definition of torture. As difficult as it is to believe, the recently released memos are even scarier than the original torture memo.

Yoo boldly asserts that the president’s power during wartime is nearly unlimited. For example, he argues that Congress has no right to pass laws governing the interrogations of enemy combatants and the commander-in-chief can ignore such laws if passed, and can, without constraint, seize oceangoing ships.

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Why we have a Tenth Amendment

Guest Commentary by Dan Reale

You can ask anybody what the first amendment prevents infringement upon. They might know about one thing, freedom of speech, but incorrectly, tell you we are granted freedom of speech. Even then, most miss the other four inalienable rights the Constitution limits the federal government from violating.

Most are equally unaware of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and even of their status as militia under U.S. code. Most also don’t know that the third amendment prevents forced slumber parties with soldiers, and further assume that one’s right to be secure in his papers, person and effects can be waived by law – without a rebellion or invasion. They also believe that the seizure of life, liberty or property is okay without a warrant, just compensation or due process is legal.

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The Root of the Problem

Reports from the UK are talking about a British General lambasting US policy failures in Iraq. From the Guardian:

The bitter transatlantic row over Iraq intensified as another key British general lambasted the US for bungling the aftermath of the invasion.

Major General Tim Cross, the most senior UK officer involved in the post-war planning, said Washington’s policy had been “fatally flawed”. He also insisted he had raised serious concerns about the possibility of the country sliding into chaos with Donald Rumsfeld – but the then-US defence secretary “dismissed” the warnings.

Once again, the personalities and the media are concerned with the symptoms of our problems in Iraq – rather than the cause.

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The Military Draft: A Moral Abomination

by Michael Boldin

An article in Newsweek, “Why We Need a Draft: A Marine’s Lament,” stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest online recently. It was written by marine who fought in Fallujah, Iraq, and actually gave a pretty compelling overview of the practical need for selective service.

I’m sure the marine was right – forcing you or other people to kill or be killed next to him would have been good in the battles he fought in. In fact, I don’t doubt that a few million more soldiers would be quite beneficial to the military – and to the foreign policy ambitions of the US government.

On the other hand, many Americans also persuasively argue against the draft, saying it’s unnecessary or ineffective in defending America or engaging in foreign interventions. These arguments might very well be sound, and have their place.

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