Among all the allegations that are thrown at the architects of the US war in Iraq, perhaps the most far-reaching and unexpected is this: that they broke the US government.My head hurts.
Let's be precise. The charge is that, by driving through the war policy in the face of opposition from Secretary of State Colin Powell; by keeping Congress in the dark; and by creating policy - for instance on the transfer and interrogation of suspected terrorists - in secret, and based on a radically broad interpretation of presidential powers, the war party in the administration has damaged, perhaps fatally, the complex web of authorities and inter-relationships that have constituted the national security policymaking apparatus of the US government since World War II.
The three elements of the charge each implicate a different institution or set of institutional relationships: The National Security Council failed to create policy coherence on the war; congressional oversight of administration counterterrorism policy appears to have been cursory at best; and underpinning the other two, what critics have painted as a radical re-interpretation of the president's war-time powers has led to the creation of a body of secret laws and regulations of as-yet unknown size and effect.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Have we done in the balance of power?
Oh, scary thoughts from Shaun Waterman in his Costs of War: Little shop of legal horrors at ISN.
Posted by Peter A. Stinson on Tuesday, May 06, 2008