Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush and Nixon: Above the Law

David Frost Interview of Richard Nixon, May 19,1977:

FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition.

NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.

Alberto Gonzalez, December 19, 2005:
"We believe that the president has the inherent authority as commander in chief under the Constitution to engage in signals intelligence of our enemy, against al Qaeda, but we also believe the president has statutory authority."

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