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Limits of presidential powers

James Kellerman

This is a second try at this post, the first was rather naive and ill informed, though I believe was trying to make the right point. It appears to me that the fundamental question over whether President Bush has the authority to approve wiretaps without a warrant is a question of the limits of the war powers of the President. There is plenty of debate over this by some much better informed people, there is a great comment thread worth reading here The Attorney General, stated that
"Our position is that the authorization to use military force which was passed by the Congress shortly after Sept. 11 constitutes that authority,"
The authorization of force seems specific enough, and does not immediately make you believe that it was intended to allow for surveillance of domestic citizens.

Whereas such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
The powers of the president during war time are vast and necessarily so. However in a conflict such as the war on terror which has no definable end, no one to surrender, and may go on for a very extended period of time should the President be able to set aside peacetime laws as he pleases. More importantly perhaps should he be able to do so in secret. The citizens of a country have a right to know how they are being governed and what measures are being taken in their name.