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Bruce Fein seeks to explain how Lincoln did it "properly", while Bush did not:

Accordingly, on July 4, 1861, Lincoln convened Congress on an "extraordinary" occasion under Article II, section 3, to review his actions. <snip>

With respect to the suspension of habeas corpus without congressional authority, Lincoln elaborated: "<snip> But the Constitution itself is silent as to which [Congress or the Executive] is to exercise the [suspending] power; and as the provision was plainly made for a dangerous emergency, it cannot be believed the framers of the instrument intended that in every case the danger should run its course until Congress could be called together, the very assembling of which might be prevented, as was intended in this case, by the rebellion. ... whether there shall be any legislation upon this subject, and if any, what, is submitted entirely to the better judgment of Congress." Congress retroactively ratified Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1863.

Mr. Bush flouted rather than followed Lincoln's Civil War instruction in the aftermath of September 11.


Mr. Bush preposterously claimed inherent constitutional authority to ignore FISA or any other statute constraining his ability to gather foreign intelligence, for example, laws prohibiting mail openings, breaking and entering homes, or torture.


In contrast to Lincoln, Mr. Bush did not bring his professed emergency measure to the attention of Congress. Nor did he seek legislation authorizing the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance, although Congress was present, willing and able to enact anything Mr. Bush proposed as indicated by the overwhelming approval of the Patriot Act.


Lincoln unreluctantly sought to act within the rule of law and endorsed checks and balances. Mr. Bush has turned Lincoln's example on its head, thereby endangering the constitutional order. When the nation needed longheaded statesmanship, Mr. Bush sallied forth with small-minded partisanship.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 12:51:27 AM EST

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