Executive power and the War on Terror
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“”We have always been at war with Eastasia
In the War on Terror, it has become fashionable in certain circles to claim more and more unlimited powers for the chief executive of the United States. Through legislation such as the Authorized Use of Military Force Act and the PATRIOT Act, George W. Bush and Barack Obama became among the most powerful Presidents in American history via broader executive powers.
The granting of these increased powers was rationalized by the crisis of 9/11, and resulted in the creation of many secret detention facilities, as well as the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. While some of these means were reduced during the Obama administration, such as the removal of "advanced interrogation," Senators and Representatives (along with the White House itself) have been hesitant to undo some of the other infamous measures invoked by the Bush administration, such as Guantanamo; this is likely because of fear of terrorists being brought into state prisons.
And then there's the whole NSA thing.
While previous Presidents also exercised broad war powers, none topping those of Abraham Lincoln (who had to suspend habeas corpus) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (who detained thousands of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans without due process), the advent of the Internet and other globalized technology has allowed for some of the most intruding means of surveillance by any government through the passage of the PATRIOT Act.
- Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, for the "democracy-forcing" role of the Court.
- Military Commissions Act, for the failure of the rights-based analysis.
- Youngstown Tube and Sheet Co. v. Sawyer, on the institutional process argument.
- nothing to hide argument for a common defense.