June 11, 2004

The End Of The Last Best Hope

Joshua Micah Marshall, following the Wall Street Journal, reports that a Justice Department memorandum, planning strategies by which officials accused of torture should defend themselves, claims that the President of the United States has inherent authority to set aside laws. This is breathtaking.

That claim alone should stop everyone in their tracks and prompt a serious consideration of the safety of the American republic under this president. It is the very definition of a constitutional monarchy, let alone a constitutional republic, that the law is superior to the executive, not the other way around. This is the essence of what the rule of law means -- a government of laws, not men, and all that.

Is this the end of the American experiment, that last best hope of mankind?