The Imperial Presidency

To the Editor:

In the 1970s, Pres. Nixon was forced to resign under the threat of impeachment because of his use of unilateral powers and privileges - the creation of an Imperial Presidency.

Currently, Pres. Obama uses these very same powers and privileges openly without serious opposition and virtually no accountability, as described in the following:

1. WAR:

Nixon was charged that he evaded Congress' authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. Obama, in his invasion of Libya, declared that he alone defines what is a war. His position changes the provision of Art. 1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution (Congress shall have the power to declare war), into a President's discretionary power.


Nixon ordered a burglary to find evidence to use against D. Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Nixon was then accused of a plot to have the White House Plumbers incapacitate Ellsberg in a physical attack. Obama, based on his sole authority has asserted the right to kill any U.S. citizen without a charge or conviction, even though there is no evidence of a planned attack.


Nixon used surveillance without warrant which led to the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Obama has expanded warrantless surveillance to a degree that dwarfs Nixon's program, and initiating a program that captures communications of virtually every U. S. citizen.


Nixon was vilified for using the Espionage Act of 1917 in bringing a criminal case against Ellsberg. Obama has doubled such abusive prosecutions performed by all prior presidents. Nixon was accused of placing a few reporters under surveillance. Obama's Administration has admitted placing Associated Press reporters and a Fox reporter under surveillance.


Nixon was cited for obstructing and misleading Congressional investigators. Obama's Administration has repeatedly refused to give evidence sought by oversight committees for a variety of scandals. In one case, Attorney General Holder was held in contempt of Congress, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress stating that he offered the least untruthful statements he could think of. Obama's Administration has also been accused of searching Senate computers in an investigation of the CIA, and intimidating Congressional investigators.

Other characteristics of Obama's Imperial Presidency are the repeated circumvention of Congress in ordering unilateral changes to or suspension of Federal Law. We've heard this statement: "Trust us, we're from the government." James Madison warned: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." In other words, we now have a government that lies to us, and refuses to accept promises of good behavior or motivations from politicians. Time and again President Obama has returned to the theme that there is nothing to worry about in surveillance or wars or even the killing of U. S. citizens, because he promises to use the powers wisely. This promise is little more than the promise of best intentions - the very promise the Framers of our Constitution warned us never to accept from our Government.

Perry Green

Manchester Center


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