Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tyranny and Treachery in the time of a President Giuliani

Glenn Greenwald paints a bleak portrait of what a Giuliani Presidency would entail:

A President Giuliani would inherit an office bestowed with such dark powers as indefinite detention, interrogation methods widely considered to be torture, vast warrantless surveillance authority, and an impenetrable wall of secrecy secured by multiple executive and judicial instruments. Set all of that next to a submissive and impotent Congress and an equally supine media—to say nothing of the prospect of another terrorist attack to exacerbate every one of those factors—and it is hard to imagine a more toxic combination than Rudy Giuliani and the Oval Office.

Rudy Giuliani showed he instinctively believes in autocratic leadership during his tenure as mayor of New York. Imagine him as a newly minted President.
Our political landscape has now tilted so heavily in favor of unchecked presidential prerogatives that even a lame duck, wildly unpopular, and universally discredited George W. Bush is rarely denied what he wants. With this framework now bolted in place, a newly elected, shrewd, and inherently aggressive Giuliani, whose certainty about his own rightness is matched only by his contempt for those who disagree, could easily run roughshod over any attempts to constrain his actions.

And not to put to fine a point on it, but:
In April, Cato Institute’s president, Ed Crane, asked several candidates if they believed the president should have the authority to arrest U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil, and detain them with no review of any kind. National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru reported Giuliani’s response: “The mayor said that he would want to use this authority infrequently.”

In aggressively rejecting that such a power could exist Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive.” Yet Giuliani’s instinct was to assume that he would automatically possess that tyrannical power.

When you are far to the right of Justice Scalia and he considers you out-of-bounds you have crossed the threshold of tyranny. Plainly. And simply.

Vote for Rudy at your own peril.

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