A Couple of Questions
The Bush administration believes in the power of the unitary executive, that the President stands "above all equals." The President has claimed broad, "extra-constitutional powers" in order to better "protect" Americans. Under these auspices, the executive branch has claimed the powers to "eavesdrop" on American citizens without a warrant. To collect all phone records, bank records, email records, library records of anybody they deem a "threat." Additionally, the President has claimed the authority to effectively operate outside of the law via "signing statements" that he believes allow him to conduct the "war on terror" outside of any binding Congressional oversight. In other words, if he views a law as an impediment, he can circumvent that law as the "Commander In Chief." Additionally, anyone deemed a "terror threat," regardless of their citizenship, can be held indefinitely, without charge or access to an attorney for an indefinate period.
Where does this end?
I don't mean that in a "slippery slope" kind of way. I mean, at what point is it no longer necessary for the President of the United States, any president from any political party, to exercise extra-constitutional authority?
Will there be a time when the officially undeclared "war on terror" against an undefined enemy (an enemy that operates outside of international borders) comes to an end? Will the President call a press conference and appear by the White House Rose Garden with his foot triumphantly on the chest of the dead body of the last terrorist and declare the end of the threat to all Americans? Will he/she then forfeit the power the executive branch has seized beyond the boundaries of the Constitution, power that has been used under the veil of secrecy and outside of any discernable oversight?
Will there ever be an end to the War on Terror?
Does this genie go back in the bottle?
Or did 9/11 really "change everything?"
Have the terrorists already won?
note: The second to last sentence of the first paragraph was added in an edit shortly after the initial posting.