Attorney General Held Firm on War Policies
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 — Days after President Bush’s secret eavesdropping program was publicly revealed in December 2005, a battle-weary Alberto R. Gonzales stood before a room of reporters at the White House and asserted that “the president has the inherent authority under the Constitution, as commander in chief, to engage in this kind of activity.”
Time and again, as both White House counsel and attorney general, Mr. Gonzales would return to that theme: in a time of war, the president has broad powers to protect the country. It would become Mr. Gonzales’s mantra and, ultimately, by alienating lawmakers who accused the administration of overreaching, it would contribute to his undoing.
“He was not the intellectual father of those positions, but he shaped and articulated them at the White House, and he continued to take a very strong position on executive power as attorney general,” said Daniel Marcus, a professor of constitutional law at American University who was a top official at the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton.
It was Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser, David S. Addington, who, by most accounts, provided the intellectual framework for building up the power of an executive branch that they believed had been badly weakened by restrictions imposed after Vietnam and Watergate. They pushed for a radical rewriting of American policies on such critical issues as surveillance and detention of terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks, with virtually no oversight or input from Congress or the courts.
投稿者 funkyky 時刻: 13:21