Bush vying for third term via little-known law.

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Interesting report today at The Register:
Bush preps historic Third Term - memo
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the office of the White House Counsel are preparing a draft document laying out the President's wartime authority to remain in office past 2008, The Register has learned.

The scheme is described as an emergency "continuity presidency," made necessary by the extraordinary circumstances and unique challenges of protecting the United States from the threat of international terrorism.
"The world changed on 9/11," a confidential DoJ memo obtained by The Register explains, "and no Administration in US history is better suited to adapt productively to those changes than this one.
"The Attorney General supports the basic framework in the White House Counsel's draft proposal for a future Executive Order establishing a Continuity Presidency, with two provisos: 1. There must be at least the appearance of a time limit, which the AG believes might be satisfied by tying the duration of the Continuity Presidency to the duration of the GWOT [global war on terrorism]; and 2. The House and Senate Majority Leaders and the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees must issue a written certification that they have approved the plan.

"AG does not believe that the plan will succeed unless those conditions can be met. Suggest you liase with [the White House office of] Legislative Affairs and get their sense of the liklihood that the key Members will work with us."

The memo is signed Christine McIntyre, Special Assistant to the United States Attorney General, and is addressed to Philip Van Zandt, Special Assistant to White House Counsel Harriet Miers.
Of course, The Register tried to verify the memo before publishing this and:
The Register contacted the offices of the US Attorney General and the White House Counsel, and both declined to comment. Neither denied the memos, however.

Are they a hoax? We consulted renowned constitutional scholar Bud Jamison, of the prestigious Washington legal firm Horowitz Feinberg & Horowitz, for insight.

"I don't think they're a hoax, but I also don't think that there's anything here for the public to worry about, except the sad comment it makes on the current Administration," Jamison told The Register.
Jamison sums it up with these words:
"But," Jamison continued, "Bush is so accustomed to having his way, and he exists in such a weird bubble of manufactured reality, that I can picture him believing that his second term could be extended. Still, I'm confident that someone among the gaggle of boot-licking toadies he's surrounded himself with will muster the nerve to sit him down and explain the facts of life.

"This proposal will never see the light of day. It may take a while for reality to sink in, but once Bush appreciates the potential for grotesque public humiliation that he's courting, he'll kill it," Jamison concluded.

As for the inevitable political fallout from the leaked memos alone, Jamison sees little for Bush to worry about.

"It shows incredibly poor judgment and galling arrogance on the Administration's part, but that's nothing new. And you can be sure that Bush and Cheney have got complete deniability in this little caper," he said.

"And that goes for Gonzales, Miers, and Clement too. The five or six people involved will be sacked, and the press will be told that the affair was merely the unauthorized creation of a handful of over-zealous underlings acting on their own. The Republican-controlled Congress will decline to investigate, and the issue will soon be forgotten. A break in the Natalee Holloway investigation is all it takes for a story like that to be erased permanently from the news."
And on that cherry note, happy April First!

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 1, 2006 5:13 PM.

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