Greenwald: “On every issue, Romney either (a) explicitly says that the President has the right to act without limits of any kind or (b) provides blatantly nonresponsive answers strongly insinuating the same thing”

“In yet another superb piece of journalism, the peerless Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe submitted to the leading presidential candidates a questionnaire asking their views on 12 key questions regarding executive power,” writes Glen from the merry hamlet of Greenwald in a Salon.com article titled Mitt Romney’s pursuit of tyrannical power, literally

But by far the most extraordinary answers come from Mitt Romney. Romney’s responses — not to some of the questions but to every single one of them — are beyond disturbing. The powers he claims the President possesses are definitively — literally — tyrannical, unrecognizable in the pre-2001 American system of government and, in some meaningful ways, even beyond what the Bush/Cheney cadre of authoritarian legal theorists have claimed.

After reviewing those responses, Marty Lederman concluded: “Romney? Let’s put it this way: If you’ve liked Dick Cheney and David Addington, you’re gonna love Mitt Romney.” Anonymous Liberal similarly observed that his responses reveal that “Romney doesn’t believe the president’s power to be subject to any serious constraints.” To say that the President’s powers are not “subject to any serious constraints” — which is exactly what Romney says — is, of course, to posit the President as tyrant, not metaphorically or with hyperbole, but by definition.

Each of the questions posed by Savage is devoted to determining the extent of presidential power the candidate believes exists and where the limits are situated. On every issue, Romney either (a) explicitly says that the President has the right to act without limits of any kind or (b) provides blatantly nonresponsive answers strongly insinuating the same thing.

Just go and read what he wrote. It’s extraordinary. Other than his cursory and quite creepy concession that U.S. citizens detained by the President are entitled to “at least some type of habeas corpus relief” — whatever “some type” might mean (Question 5) — Romney does not recognize a single limit on presidential power. Not one.

And even with regard to his grudging allowance that American citizens should have “some type of habeas relief,” Romney — and only he — implicitly endorses Alberto Gonzales’ bizarre claim that — despite the clear language of Article I, Section 9 — “nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus” (Question 9). Under this twisted Romney/Gonzales view, the right of habeas corpus — which Thomas Jefferson described as “one of the essential principles of our government” and “the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution” — is not constitutionally guaranteed to Americans but can be revoked at any time, for any reason.

In every area, Romney explicitly says that neither laws nor treaties can limit the President’s conduct. Instead, displaying the fear-mongering cowardice that lies at the heart of Bush/Cheney Republican power, Romney described the root of his view of the world this way: “Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive.”

Romney recited that cowardly platitude — what has now become the shameful flagship of the Republican Party — in response to being asked whether the President has the power to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants even in the face of a law that makes it a crime to do so. At its core, the defining principle of the Republican Party continues to be a fear-driven repudiation of the American ethos as most famously expressed by Patrick Henry, all in service of keeping the citizenry in fear so the President can rule without limits … etc.

Yuh-huh. Please see:

meet Team Romney’s security advisors: Cofer—17 Iraqis murdered in cold blood by Blackwater mercenaries—Black and General James “I will disregard the Laws of Land Warfare and stab you in the thigh” Marks

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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