I was in meetings


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.

For more on this, see this September 25th, 2001 memo by John Yoo, then Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and this Newsweek article from a year ago, which discusses it.