As bad as we thought the Bush presidency was….

we may find out it was worse.

It is definitely worth reading this memo from the Bush justice department.  Recently released by the Obama administration, after being held secret by the Bush administration.  The memo leans heavily on resolutions from the Nixon administration and from three days after the attacks in 2001 to justify the president having extremely broad powers to take any action almost any where on the planet.

“Further, the President has the constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations. Finally, the President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.”

Reading the memo, it seems like the author continually goes to lengths to remove any restraint on the office of the president.  The focus does not seem to clarify the power of the presidency, it really seems it is to justify any action of the president as long as it can be remotely connected to countering a terrorist threat.

“Third, it should be noted here that the Joint Resolution is somewhat narrower than the President’s constitutional authority. The Joint Resolution’s authorization to use force is limited only to those individuals, groups, or states that planned, authorized, committed, or aided the attacks, and those nations that harbored them. It does not, therefore, reach other terrorist individuals, groups, or states, which cannot be determined to have links to the September 11 attacks. Nonetheless, the President’s broad constitutional power to use military force to defend the Nation, recognized by the Joint Resolution itself, would allow the President to take whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.

Read the entire memo, here. Definitely interesting. You’ll probably still read it before Bush does.