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Oh. Now he’s a Free-Trader
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Free trade, is, of course, a wonderful thing. And I've criticized the Bush Administration for years for imposing tariffs and quotas (softwoods, steel, textiles) whever there were domestic votes to be had for doing it. So, when push comes to shove, why does the Bush Administration make this the big free trade issue?
Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement.

The president on Tuesday defended his administration’s earlier approval of the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to Dubai Ports World, despite concerns in Congress it could increase the possibility of terrorism at American ports.

The pending sale — expected to be finalized in early March — puts Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
There are some times when free trade may not be the best policy when it comes to national security. Quite apart from the fact that DPW is a state-owned company, and not a private sector firm, which raises some separate questions, are we really sure that, at this point in time, having a firm based in the Mideast running major port operations on the east coast is the wisest idea from a security standpoint?

Just asking.

The president, of course, is quite confident...as he always is.
"If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward," Bush said.
Huh. Well. I feel so much better about it now. Those good feelings don't extend to Congress, apparently, or, as a matter of fact, among other Republican bigwigs, either.
[Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist said Tuesday, before Bush’s comments, that he would introduce legislation to put the sale on hold if the White House did not delay the takeover. He said the deal raised “serious questions regarding the safety and security of our homeland.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked the president for a moratorium on the sale until it could be studied further. "We must not allow the possibility of compromising our national security due to lack of review or oversight by the federal government," Hastert said.

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich, during a tour of Baltimore’s port on Tuesday, called the deal an "overly secretive process at the federal level.
And that's just the Republican criticism.

Undaunted, Pres. Bush plans to press forward.
"I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction," the president said. "But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully."
Oh. He's looked at it carefully. Well, that's like totaly different, then. And the president is so confident in the careful review given by his administration, that he's essentially telling Congress to go screw themselves.
Bush said that protesting lawmakers should understand his approval of the deal was final.

"They ought to listen to what I have to say about this," the president said. "They’ll look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they’re going to do. But if they pass a law, I’ll deal with it with a veto."
So, after 5 years of vetoing nothing from Congress, this is where the president decides to put his foot down.

Well, in the real world, the president's word is not final. Yeah, he can veto a bill from Congress. And they can override his veto. So, in point of fact, Congress' approval or disapproval of the deal is final, not the president's.

And, Congressmen from both sides of the aisle are concerned.
Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

They say a port operator complicit in smuggling or terrorism could manipulate manifests and other records to frustrate Homeland Security’s already limited scrutiny of shipping containers and slip contraband past U.S. Customs inspectors.
Really? They could? But...but...the Administration reviewed the deal. Carefully and everything! But those congressional sticks in the mud don't seem impressed.
Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., and Democrat Schumer said Tuesday they will introduce emergency legislation to suspend the ports deal. King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the government "cannot consider approving this contract until a much more thorough investigation takes place on this security matter."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., said they would introduce a "joint resolution of disapproval" when they returned to Washington next week. Collins heads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Harman is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Bush’s veto threat didn’t stop local efforts to block the deal. New Jersey’s governor, Jon S. Corzine, said Tuesday the state will file lawsuits in federal and state courts opposing the agreement. Corzine, a Democrat, cited a "deep, deep feeling that this is the wrong direction for our nation to take."
You know, you have to congratulate the president on one thing: when you get Pete King, Chuck Schumer, Jane Harmon, Susan Collins, and John Corzine all on the same page, that's quite an accomplishment. I guess the president is changing the tone in Washington.

I guess W really is a uniter.

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt writes:
Majority Leader Frist just told my audience that an override of a presidential veto of legislation blocking the port deal was possible. Looks like a showdown, and it isn't one the president can win.
So, what is the president thinking? Is this deal that important? Is this some keystone of a strategy to forge closer ties with Arab governments, in the hopes if increasing their cooperation on the war on terror? Is this so important that he needs to pick a big fight with his own party in Congress?

Why is this the issue that the President has decided to go to the wall on?
 
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Why is this the issue that the President has decided to go to the wall on?
You’re expecting logic from someone who is an intuitive, gut-feel decision maker. Even he can’t answer the question you posed. He just knows it "feels right" to him. Probably based on some of his personal exposure to Middle Eastern leaders.

The man has gone on gut-feel his whole career, and he doesn’t see any need to change now given how far he’s come. I might have thought the Meirs episode would have sunk in, but I guess not.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I agree that it ought not matter who ’technically’ owns the company running the port as the feds are in charge of security regardless of where the profits from running the shipyard end up. Perhaps knowing that suspicious Arabs are running the show might actually encourage the feds to get their act together. And let’s not forget that American workers and American owned companies don’t all have stellar records when it comes to sacrificing dollars for any reason, national security included... during Clinton’s term, we had companies selling data to the Chinese and look at the amount of drugs and counterfeit goods that make it past port security right now.

Having said that, Bush is incredibly tone deaf. He’s letting the Democrats run to his right on a national security matter. The public won’t buy his claim that Arab owned companies ought not be subjected to any greater standard than are Great British (sic) owned companies. He’s picking a fight with leaders in his own party at a time he needs to be helping them win their upcoming elections (unless, as is claimed, this is all part of Rove’s grand strategy) and, unlike Clinton on welfare reform, without any support from the other side of the aisle. His trustworthiness ratings are in the toilet, so his suggestions that he ought to be trusted on this will go over as well as when Nixon proclaimed he was not a crook.

Engaging in a bit of armchair analysis, I think Bush is still drawing the wrong lesson from the 2004 election. The people didn’t pick him as much as they rejected Kerry. It’s not as if we really liked what Bush is doing, it is simply that Kerry scared us more. And I wonder if Bush drawing the line in the sand on this issue is his revenge for the Senate rejecting Miers, when he asked the Senate and the people to trust him and we and they said no. The difference is now he doesn’t need the Senate to do anything and he thinks he can negate Congressional action with a veto.

Of course, with the Democrats in almost total support of blocking this and enough Republicans, a 2/3 vote to override his veto is not out of the question. Actually, looking at the lineup of those opposed to this deal, I wonder if predictions of a unanimous override would be that far off.

If he was looking for an issue that would mark the start of his being a lame duck, I am not sure he could have picked any better.
 
Written By: steve sturm
URL: http://thoughtsonline.blogspot.com/
Think about it from this perspective:

When you put quotas on steel/textiles/timber, you are mainly hurting those wishing to trade with the USA (and mainly in the Far East.) Sure, there are repercussions, but mainly you have made some men at Posco and Baosteel depressed for a couple of days.

When you mess with this kind of investment, though, the signal becomes that the USA is not a fair investment climate...and since we need continuing and strong investment in this country, it would be far worse than any product specific quota or trade dispute.

In the first case, I as a steel factory investor re-consider my investment in China. In the second case, I re-consider my investment in the USA.

By the way, I deal with steel a lot at my work...and it was very strange that steel prices were at record lows right before the tarrifs were applied. Every steel producer was hurting.

Then right after the tarrifs were applied steel prices shot up in the Far East...I never understood how that would happen in an economics term as supply would suddenly be more than demand in the Far East shouldn’t prices have gone down? Could it have been a psychological assist to the industry that was going to have to raise prices anyways?

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Oh, and yes, of course the consumer and the importing users of steel get hurt, too. But the same could be said for consumers and port users who might have to pay higher user fees from a US domestic company.

Also, what’s the difference between a Dubai company running the port, and say, Dubai individual investors opening a US company to run the port? Are we going to ban foreign ownership of US companies involved in this business as well?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Final Point: Bush is not running for re-election in 2006/2008. Could that be the reason he’s standing up more now?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I encourage everyone to go over to RealClearPolitics and see what they’ve written on the subject. They’ve done quite a bit of work here, and presented a pretty balanced picture.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
I understand what Bush is thinking, he even has some valid reasons for it......but uh oh. I don’t know if I should respect him for taking an obvious stand regardless of polls here or shake my head in disbelief at his choice of fight.

(Leaning towards head shake)

He’s actually creating a situation where Hillary and the Dems can get to the right of him on national security.

Not good.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I can’t wait for the retalliation...say a US base closed in Qatar or a decision by UAE not to allow US suppliers to their oil fields.

Why not? Obviously its a huge risk for an Arab nation to rely on US suppliers who cannot be relied on...maybe even spying for the CIA?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I understand what Bush is thinking, he even has some valid reasons for it......but uh oh. I don’t know if I should respect him for taking an obvious stand regardless of polls here or shake my head in disbelief at his choice of fight.
Oddly, I would respect him. In making this decision, Bush had to know he would be criticized - unless he is totally insane, which is possible. Nevertheless, he is standing up for a politically unpopular position. In that sense, he is taking a principled stand.

Bush is part of a larger transnational elite. It stands to reason that his loyalty is to members of this class, not to his nation. After all, that is the culture in which he was raised. Points that non-Bush lovers have been making all along.

BUSH’S LOYALTY IS TO HIS CLASS, NOT HIS NATION.

Dale, you seem to take somewhat of a principlced stand. But I imagine that if President Keery let UAE run the ports, even though UAE paid one of the 9/11 hijackers while he was training to become a hijacker, you would be going apesh**.

But once again, you treat the Bush administration with kid gloves.
So, what is the president thinking? Is this deal that important? Is this some keystone of a strategy to forge closer ties with Arab governments, in the hopes if increasing their cooperation on the war on terror? Is this so important that he needs to pick a big fight with his own party in Congress?

Why is this the issue that the President has decided to go to the wall on?
Dam* Dale - you look at this as a political issue, not a national secuirty issue. Why? Goddam* it. This is a national security issue.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Sigh.

1) DPW may be technically "state-owned," but it’s run pretty much like any corporation, a fairly respectable one by all accounts, and its management is international. (If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...) The only other bidder for P&O was a Singaporean version of pretty much the same thing.

2) This deal is a change in capital ownership. Nothing about how the port is managed is likely to change.

3) Don’t you think it’s just a little insulting that you believe the fact that company is based in the Middle East is sufficient to be suspicious of it? I mean this is Dubai we’re talking about here! I don’t like to level this kind of accusation lightly, but I can’t help but feel this is motivated by knee-jerk suspicion of Arabs more than anything else.

4) Bush is absolutely right to do this, and everyone in the Senate and Congress are making asses of themselves. There is no compelling reason whatsoever for this. In addition to being an unwelcome interference in commerce, this basically sends the message that "we don’t trust you Arabs." How on earth could sending this message this be in the US’ interests?
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
The real issue here is not capital or investment or origin of ownership but is the perception that a deal involving a well known area of security risk would not have had public scrutiny before a deal was cut. This was essentially kept under wraps until it was a done deal. I think people are getting a little weary of secret backroom programs at the Whitehouse. Perception is important!
 
Written By: John Kee
URL: http://
While I’m sympathetic to wariness of Middle East State ownership of our ports [UPDATE: technically, it’s not even "ownership of ports". They’re just leasing docks, as far as I can tell], I’m leaning towards Matt’s POV here. Aside from practical considerations of local governance, I suspect that a Middle Eastern State would be very wary about letting something happen to the US on their watch. As Thomas Knapp points out here, if a US company screwed it up and let something bad happen, there would be fines, loss of the contract and maybe jail time. If the UAE company screws it up...
There won’t be fines. There won’t be a few random jailings of culpable executives. Instead, the State Department will add the UAE to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, the President of the United States will freeze and/or seize not just the Dubai Ports World investment, but every UAE asset in the United States, and the armed forces of the United States may just decide to locate a shiny new crater where Dubai used to be.

Now, tell me: Which company do you think is going to be more particular about genuine port security?
Plus, I’m keen on the idea of further economic entanglement and connectivity. I’m open to suggestions that this would fatally compromise our national security, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
What if this deal INCREASED port security via classified side-deals? That’s the speculation of AJStrata at Strata-Sphere. Is it correct? I have no idea, but it’s worth thinking hard about WHY Bush seems to be standing firm.
 
Written By: Scott Lawton
URL: http://Pajamasphere.com/
Plus, I’m keen on the idea of further economic entanglement and connectivity. I’m open to suggestions that this would fatally compromise our national security, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate.
Presumably any company that runs a port has access to information about that port, and its operations, that is not available to the general public. Presumably, then, such information would end up in some corporate office in the U.A.E. The concern is that persons employed by that corporation could be sympathetic to the interests of those who would seek to do us harm, and would hand that information over to those who would seek to do us harm. That would seem the to be the obvious risk. Does that risk exist with a corporation not headquartered in an Arab country? Yes, but the risk would seem to be less.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
First: This was not a "whitehouse" deal, P&O offered up it’s shares a long time ago, the brokering for it has been going on amongst the parties involved for months and months.

The sale was approved by P&O’s board of directors, the investment bankers of both parties, etc. It is a done deal, BUT the control over the U.S. ports portion of P&O’s stake had to be approved by the Foreign Investment Board...which it was.

DP World jumped through all the hoops and passed the test.

This is much ado about facetime.

From my 30minutes on the DP World website and visiting their financials and performance record, I welcome them. They have shown growth and efficiency improvements beyond what "other" companies have done.

It is Arabaphobia. Period.

They are an ally, treat them as such. Or, to play the devils advocate: Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies close. meh.

 
Written By: navtechie
URL: http://
I think those who are opposed to this deal liken the company - which is state owned - to Arab governments generally. No Arab government is a monolith. There are elements within each that are more friendly to the West than other elements. The same thinking would apply to the company, state owned in this case. The company itself may be pro-Western in the aggregate. But there may be elements within it that are more anti-Western, or are associated with such. Again, why take the chance.

This isn’t an equal rights issue, after all. The U.A.E. has no right to these ports. If there is a risk, why take the chance. I, for one, haven’t seen any guarantee that there wouldn’t be a risk, nor do I think one is possible.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Presumably any company that runs a port has access to information about that port, and its operations, that is not available to the general public.
What kind of information would that be? This is essentially a lease to a dock, not ownership of the port. What kind of national security-sensitive information do dock-leasers have that ought not fall into the hands of the US workers or the foreign owners?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

2) This deal is a change in capital ownership. Nothing about how the port is managed is likely to change.

3) Don’t you think it’s just a little insulting that you believe the fact that company is based in the Middle East is sufficient to be suspicious of it? I mean this is Dubai we’re talking about here! I don’t like to level this kind of accusation lightly, but I can’t help but feel this is motivated by knee-jerk suspicion of Arabs more than anything else.

4) Bush is absolutely right to do this, and everyone in the Senate and Congress are making asses of themselves. There is no compelling reason whatsoever for this. In addition to being an unwelcome interference in commerce, this basically sends the message that "we don’t trust you Arabs." How on earth could sending this message this be in the US’ interests?
This is all so true. But I am incredibly amused to see Republicans demanding congressional inteference, and threats that that body will override any Bush veto.

Port control is a national security issue, and we are at "war." The President has absolute "inherent authority" to do as he sees fit in protecting us, and Congress cannot tell him how to go about those duties in any measure at all. It cannot, for example, through FISA, dictate that Bush obtain warrants when he wants to protect us from terrorists, and the FISA law is moot as it pertains to Bush. Lots of people at The Corner, Hewitt, and Powerline have told us so.

But Congress can, and should —many of them now shrilly insist — tell Bush he may not hire a global company, that has simply changed ownership hands, to manage our ports. It would imperil national security, and so Congress must — and apparently has the authority to — stop Bush.

John Yoo, where are you with your theories of absolute presidential power when Bush most needs you? His acolytes are (hypocritically) abandoning your arguments.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
What kind of information would that be? This is essentially a lease to a dock, not ownership of the port. What kind of national security-sensitive information do dock-leasers have that ought not fall into the hands of the US workers or the foreign owners?
All sorts of things, I suppose. When are hazardous substances coming in or leaving, for example. But more importantly, it would seem, is intimate knowledge of some of the vunerablilities - e.g., when security is light, what ships are checked more than others, what would be the best method of camouflaging something, etc. Maybe most of this is public knowledge, although it shouldn’t be.

And again, maybe we can trust U.A.E. - on the other hand, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Tenet testified in front of Congress that in 1999 we had the opportunity to kill bin Laden, but didn’t, because at the time he was meeting with members of the U.A.E. royal family and we didn’t want to harm any of them. Call me crazy, but handing over any interests/control of our ports to a company that is more or less owned by bin Laden’s buddies seems like a bad idea.

Again, the burden here is on the proponents of this deal. The problem is that there is no way anyone can guarantee that there will be no downside to this. And without such a guarantee, why take the chance, particularly when there are companies owned by non-bin-Laden associates capable of doing the job?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
All sorts of things, I suppose. When are hazardous substances coming in or leaving, for example. But more importantly, it would seem, is intimate knowledge of some of the vunerablilities - e.g., when security is light, what ships are checked more than others, what would be the best method of camouflaging something, etc.
Seems to me all of that would be easily discernable through visual surveillance, by working at the docks, or by checking with the owners of the ships that offload there. And the vast majority of those ships and companies are foreign owned already.
Again, the burden here is on the proponents of this deal. The problem is that there is no way anyone can guarantee that there will be no downside to this. And without such a guarantee, why take the chance, particularly when there are companies owned by non-bin-Laden associates capable of doing the job?
I’m not sure that any owner could guarantee port security, which, in any event, is still a function of the Coast Guard. Do you suggest the US nationalize all dock terminals?

In any event, since this is a sale of a private foreign owner to another private foreign owner, I think the burden is necessarily on the critics.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
A few years ago (under the Clinton Administration, iirc), there was a move to lease parts of the port of Long Beach, CA, to a Chinese firm. Actually, it was to a Hong-Kong based firm, Hutchison Whampoa, iirc, one of the bigger "hongs," but HW was headquartered in post-reversion Hong Kong.

One wonders where folks stood on that at the time? (I suspect Republicans went bonkers, and Democrats were lukewarm.)

Also, the Chinese (possibly the same firm) now administer both ends of the Panama Canal.

The point? Port administration (including dock leasing) is, strikingly, a major aspect of globalization. If you support globalization, either you accept foreigners administering parts of your ports, or else you enunciate why ports are exempt from the trend.

Meanwhile, it might be interesting to determine why certain groups (e.g., the Chinese, Arabs) are focusing on port administration, whereas previous maritime powers (e.g., the US, the UK) are getting out of the business.
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
Jon,

It’s slightly curious that you are using a MAD-like deterrence theory to suggest why the government of UAE would want to be especially helpful. Especially when considering that a non-state actor isn’t really subject to that calculus, and double especially where such a conflagration might be their end goal.

Not saying you are wrong in your overall assesment (I just don’t know myself, there’s undoubtedly a xenophobic aspect to my visceral distrust of this deal, which worries me), but I think you might be overselling the incentive/deterrent aspect of it.
 
Written By: Pooh
URL: http://sethyblog.blogspot.com
Seems to me all of that would be easily discernable through visual surveillance, by working at the docks, or by checking with the owners of the ships that offload there. And the vast majority of those ships and companies are foreign owned already.
Again, I am not saying this information could not be gathered thru other means. I am simply saying is that you make it even easier to do so if you allow them access to the blueprints.

If there is even a one in a thousand chance that our security could be decreased, why take it? There are all sorts of things American companies are not allowed to do in Arab nations. So why can’t the Arab companies understand they are not allowed to do business of this kind in the United States?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I’m not sure that any owner could guarantee port security, which, in any event, is still a function of the Coast Guard. Do you suggest the US nationalize all dock terminals?
I think there are really two issues which are getting shoehorned into ’port security’ in this discussion. One is the security of the port facility, which I’ll fully grant is a Coast Guard issue. However, the more worrisome is security related cargo and personel entering the country through a port, and this is where the administration of a port might have a great deal of hands-on effect. Once again, I really don’t know enough to express anything more than conjecture as to how that would play out, but I think it’s important to recognize which security concerns are valid and which aren’t with respect to this issue.
 
Written By: Pooh
URL: http://sethyblog.blogspot.com
It’s slightly curious that you are using a MAD-like deterrence theory to suggest why the government of UAE would want to be especially helpful. Especially when considering that a non-state actor isn’t really subject to that calculus, and double especially where such a conflagration might be their end goal.
Well, the state actor is the one with whom we have an opportunity to deal. It’s the State which will have responsibility for the terminal, and any activity that goes on within. If a non-state actor chooses to take advantage of that terminal, it will be the UAE who has to answer for it.
Again, I am not saying this information could not be gathered thru other means. I am simply saying is that you make it even easier to do so if you allow them access to the blueprints.
What blueprints? Do these docks contain some sort of top secret passageways of which I was previously unaware? Do we maintain missile silos inside them? What mysterious element is here?

Ships pull up there and unload cargo. Security is provided by the Coast Guard and US Customs, while the unloading is done by union workers. Maybe the terminal owners could provide terrorists with boat schedules, though — again — so could a lot of people, most of whom are already foreigners. This is not classified information.
If there is even a one in a thousand chance that our security could be decreased, why take it?
Same reason we ought to release some of the detainees at Guantanamo.

Kevin Drum has a very good round-up on this subject. Essentially, other than a somewhat understandable aversion to Mid-Eastern actors, there just doesn’t appear to be much to worry about in this transaction.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Port control is a national security issue, and we are at "war." The President has absolute "inherent authority" to do as he sees fit in protecting us, and Congress cannot tell him how to go about those duties in any measure at all. It cannot, for example, through FISA, dictate that Bush obtain warrants when he wants to protect us from terrorists, and the FISA law is moot as it pertains to Bush. Lots of people at The Corner, Hewitt, and Powerline have told us so.
No. They haven’t. That may be what you think they said, but not what they wrote. The argument, which has been solely confined to the NSA warrantless wiretaps, has been that the president has inherent constitutional authority to conduct intelligence surveillance on our enemies’ communications. The reason this is so is because such intelligence gathering is organic to waging war on them. The 2003 review of the FISA Court itself supports this reading of the Constitution. To argue otherwise, is to argue that the MAGIC communications intercepts between the German government and its agents in the United States was unconstitutional. It is to argue that intelligence gathering on our enemies is an activity divorced from waging war on them. Such an argument is not just nonsense, it is nonsense on stilts.

I am aware of no one at the organs you’ve cited who has argued that the president has plenary authority over all aspects of National Security, and I defy you to point to anyone who has.
But Congress can, and should —many of them now shrilly insist — tell Bush he may not hire a global company, that has simply changed ownership hands, to manage our ports. It would imperil national security, and so Congress must — and apparently has the authority to — stop Bush.
Yes. It’s called "the regulation of interstate commerce". No, really. There’s a whole paragraph about it in the Constitution and everything. It is an explicit power of Congress, and Congress can remove it from the president’s purview at any time they desire.
John Yoo, where are you with your theories of absolute presidential power when Bush most needs you? His acolytes are (hypocritically) abandoning your arguments.
Again, that might be true if John Yoo had argued that the president has plenary authority to do anything he desired at any time. But, since Mr. Yoo did not, in fact, make that argument, this is, again, completely nonsensical.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dale,

So the interstate commerce powers count but the power to create rules for the armed forces don’t? Why isn’t the administration of ports an organic part of waging war? I’m not trying to be snarky, it just seems that you are cherry picking authorities a little bit.
 
Written By: Pooh
URL: http://sethyblog.blogspot.com

 
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