Cheney: Executive Power Has Been Restored genre: Polispeak

Vice President Dick Cheney spoke before the National Press Club yesterday and asserted that the efforts of the Bush administration have prevented terrorist attacks in the United States. He went on to say that the NSA domestic surveillance program is constitutional and that the expansion of executive authority was simply an effort to correct the imbalance that resulted from the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. Read the full article here.

“Nobody can promise that we won’t be hit," Cheney said. But he credited a determined offense against terrorists abroad, improved intelligence-gathering and preventive steps at home for thwarting or discouraging terror attacks on U.S. soil.

Answering questions at a National Press Club luncheon, Cheney also said that, when President Bush and he took office in January 2001, the balance of power in government was tilted in favor of Congress.

The unpopular Vietnam War and the Watergate scandals allowed Congress to take more authority at the expense of the executive branch, Cheney said. He and the president believed it was important to “have the balance righted, if you will. And I think we’ve done that successfully," he said.

Many have long felt that Cheney was the driving force behind the expansion of executive authority and his remarks certainly confirm his support for such efforts. Cheney failed to address the abuses behind the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that led to added Congressional oversight of the executive branch. Given the recent expansions, the executive branch is once again in a position to abuse authority due to a lack of oversight. Apparently Cheney thinks the Bush administration has restored "balance".

Cheney defended the NSA’s domestic eavesdropping program, which the administration calls its “terrorist surveillance program" as important in the war on terror, while conceding it was controversial.

“We have been engaged in a debate about the wisdom of the program and whether or not it’s legal, but it clearly is legal, we believe. It is consistent with the Constitution."

Cheney's assertion that the program is legal is consistent with the Bush administration strategy of taking an arbitrary position and making repeated supporting statements in order to sway public opinion. The claim that the program is legal is in conflict with the existing FISA court laws which require court oversight of domestic surveillance programs. The administration has argued that the President is acting consistent with his constitutional authority to protect the country.

Daniel DiRito | June 20, 2006 | 6:46 AM
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Comments

1 On June 20, 2006 at 10:47 AM, jimi wrote —

I have an argument why America hasn't been attacked too:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has protected us.

Works just as well, heh.

2 On June 21, 2006 at 7:29 PM, Daniel wrote —

Jimi,

Good to hear from you! This administration has been using 9/11 and terrorism to their advantage ever since the NYC and DC attacks. While I'm glad we haven't been hit again, I'm not sure one can attribute that fact solely to the actions of the administration. The terrorists have always been patient so it is hard to know if they have been thwarted or perhaps haven't yet decided to strike.

But hey, that Flying Spaghetti Monster sounds good to me.

Daniel

Thought Theater at Blogged

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