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Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:19 PM

"Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power"

Last month, the University Press of Kansas published “Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power,” by Malcolm Byrnes. The 448-page book documents, among other things, the central role that Ronald Reagan played in the illegal activities his administration engaged in, on opposite sides of the globe. More, it shows that Vice President George Bush was an active participant in these crimes.

I believe that the book -- based on over 15 years of research, and containing numerous, never before published documents -- is essential reading. This is not because Reagan and Bush were criminals who damaged our constitutional democracy, for we already knew that. Rather, it is a “must read” because our nation’s current policies in the Middle East are a direct consequence of the crimes of the Reagan administration.

This includes the shady role of international weapons merchants, and intelligence officers from several of the countries that are “in the news” today. Thus, while some of the faces may have changed, the agencies and governments involved then, are involved now. Also, some of those involved in the congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra scandals would continue to subvert the Constitution, and keep the United States involved in the never-ending wars in the Middle East -- Dick Cheney being perhaps the most significant.

Indeed, that congressional investigation is among the most cowardly betrayals of the Constitution in our nation’s history. As I noted in an essay here last week, one of Congress’s primary responsibilities is to inform the public. The Senate’s Watergate investigation remains the best example of this educational function in recent history. Indeed, the Senate Committee’s final report includes a good bit of information on this requirement. Congress’s later investigations into the intelligence community’s gross abuses of power, though flawed, were also good examples.

A decade later, those selected for the congressional investigation were primarily motivated to protect the presidency of Ronald Reagan. They also failed to pursue VP Bush’s major role in the criminal activities. Hence, the Congress’s oversight responsibilities, which were a key part of uncovering the wide range of crimes known collectively as “Watergate,” were severely damaged by the events of Iran-Contra. While Dick Cheney played the central role in that, the fact is that democrats went along willingly -- even though the issues involved were as much a reason to impeach, as anything that Nixon did.

That failure resulted in the failure of Congress to take action relating to the Plame Scandal, which should definitely have resulted in VP Cheney’s being impeached. Nor did they ever address the purposeful lies of the Bush administration, that resulted in the invasion of Iraq.

There is zero chance of a future administration (I am purposely not speaking about President Obama at this time) operating in the manner defined by the Constitution, when neither house of Congress fulfills its duties. This isn’t to imply that pre-Nixon, everything was working wonderfully. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s book, “The Imperial Presidency,” documents the history of the executive office’s abuse of powers, always relating to “war powers.” However, events from the post-Nixon era do show a definite failure on the part of Congress to honor the oath of office, and to honor the Constitution.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power" (Original post)
H2O Man Sep 2014 OP
cantbeserious Sep 2014 #1
H2O Man Sep 2014 #2
Half-Century Man Sep 2014 #5
benld74 Sep 2014 #3
pansypoo53219 Sep 2014 #4
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2014 #6

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 12:34 PM

1. The 1% Will Never Be Punished

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 01:52 PM

2. True.

The system is programmed to prevent justice in the cases involving the 1%.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:22 PM

5. Not through official means.

I am however concerned about what the future holds. More often than not, Oligarchies die hard.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 02:44 PM

3. And they sleep well at night,,,,,,

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:00 PM

4. bullshit always creates more bullshit. history is full of bullshit.

reagan created the largest pile of bullshit + still hasn't stopped.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 03:50 PM

6. There's always an effort to treat everything as a "policy choice"....

 

Including imprisoning without charge, torture, rape and mass murder.

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