As I was reading through Greenwald's takedown of Bush's farcical speech, a thought occurred to me. Greenwald reminds readers of John Yoo's memorandum, written soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001, which read in part:
In both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution, Congress has recognized the President's authority to use force in circumstances such as those created by the September 11 incidents. Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.
That Memorandum also "conclude[d] that the Constitution vests the President with the plenary authority, as Commander in Chief and the sole organ of the Nation in its foreign relations, to use military force abroad" and hailed "the President's inherent constitutional powers to use military force" free of Congressional interference. It declared "the centralization of authority in the President alone . . . in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy." And while the powers of Congress are virtually non-existent, "congressional concurrence is welcome."
As I was reading through Yoo's memo, it dawned on me that he was actually advocating military dictatorship, a coup d'etat via the President of the United States. By refusing to recognize any legal or Constitutional authority to which the President is accountable, Yoo's memo is a detailed description of the overthrow of the United States government.
So, Bush was funny, although without meaning to be so. Greenwald notes the funny, and includes further possibilities for more laugh-track moments from our Clown-in-Chief, only to discover that Bush's reality has outstripped the ability of satirists to keep up. Yet, buried within the verbiage, from the hand of a current law school faculty member, is the justification for the military takeover of the United States Republic.
I realize that sounds pretty breathless, perhaps even over the top. Reread the pertinent parts of Yoo's memorandum, however, and think about it. Yoo is arguing that the limits of Congressional authority are reached when considering the President as Commander-in-Chief. As C-in-C, the President has "inherent" authority to do pretty much whatever he (or she) wants, as military commander.
This is the essence of military rule. This is the "silent coup" we keep hearing may happen.
Folks, it seems it already has.