I was in meetings for most of the day today. And clearly a lot has transpired over the course of the afternoon. But I wanted to go back and clarify one point that I believe has become muddled a bit in the discussion of the White House’s legal argument with these wiretaps.
As near as I can tell, they’re actually not arguing that the Afghanistan War Resolution gave them the authority to override whatever laws or constitutional prohibitions exist against these warrantless searches/wiretaps. What they’re arguing is that the Resolution affirmed the president’s inherent power as commander-in-chief to do these things.
They really do seem to be arguing that the president’s powers as a wartime commander-in-chief are essentially without limits. He’s simply not bound by the laws the Congress makes.