'Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III,' says U.S. Constitution scholar

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May 27, 2008, 9:02:54 PM5/27/08
Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III

Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Press Release: Massachusetts School Of Law


Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III,
Constitutional Scholar David Adler Contends
The Bush administration has arrogated powers to itself that the
British people even refused to grant King George III at the time of
the Revolutionary War, an eminent political scientist says.

“No executive in the history of the Anglo-American world since the
Civil War in England in the 17th century has laid claim to such broad
power,” said David Adler, a prolific author of articles on the U.S.
Constitution. “George Bush has exceeded the claims of Oliver Cromwell
who anointed himself Lord Protector of England.”

Adler, a professor of political science at Idaho State University at
Pocatello, is the author of “The Constitution and the Termination of
Treaties”(Taylor & Francis), among other books, and some 100 scholarly
articles in his field. Adler made his comments comparing the powers of
President Bush and King George III at a conference on “Presidential
Power in America” at the Massachusetts School of Law, Andover, April

Adler said, Bush has “claimed the authority to suspend the Geneva
Convention, to terminate treaties, to seize American citizens from the
streets to detain them indefinitely without benefit of legal
counseling, without benefit of judicial review. He has ordered a
domestic surveillance program which violates the statutory law of the
United States as well as the Fourth Amendment.”

Adler said the authors of the U.S. Constitution wrote that the
president “shall take care to faithfully execute the laws of the land”
because “the king of England possessed a suspending power” to set
aside laws with which he disagreed, “the very same kind of power that
the Bush Administration has claimed.”

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Adler said, repeatedly
referred to the President’s “override” authority, “which effectively
meant that the Bush Administration was claiming on behalf of President
Bush a power that the English people themselves had rejected by the
time of the framing of the Constitution.”

Adler said the Framers sought an “Administrator in Chief” that would
execute the will of Congress and the Framers understood that the
President, as Commander-in-Chief “was subordinate to Congress.” The
very C-in-C concept, the historian said, derived from the British, who
conferred it on one of their battlefield commanders in a war on
Scotland in 1639 and it “did not carry with it the power over war and
peace” or “authority to conduct foreign policy or to formulate foreign

That the C-in-C was subordinate to the will of Congress was
demonstrated in the Revolutionary War when George Washington, granted
that title by Congress, “was ordered punctually to respond to
instructions and directions by Congress and the dutiful Washington did
that,” Adler said.

Adler said that John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel,
wrote in 2003 that the President as C-in-C could authorize the CIA or
other intelligence agencies to resort to torture to extract
information from suspects based on his authority. However, Adler said,
the U.S. Supreme Court in 1804 in Little vs. Barreme affirmed the
President is duty-bound to obey statutory instructions and reaffirmed
opinion two years later in United States vs. Smith.

“In these last eight years,” Adler said, “we have seen presidential
powers soar beyond the confines of the Constitution. We have
understood that his presidency bears no resemblance to the Office
created by the Framers… This is the time for us to demand a return to
the constitutional presidency. If we don’t, we will have only
ourselves to blame as we go marching into the next war as we witness
even greater claims of presidential power.”

The Massachusetts School of Law is a non-profit educational
institution purposefully dedicated to providing an affordable, quality
legal education to minorities, immigrants, and students from economic
backgrounds that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend law
school and enter the legal profession.

What Would America's Founding Fathers Do?

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents,
there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that
original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive
forms of government ... The citizens must rush tumultuously to
arms, without concert, without system, without resource;
except in their courage and despair ...

The natural strength of the people in a large community, in
proportion to the artificial strength of the government, is greater
than in a small ... the people, without exaggeration, may be said
to be entirely the masters of their own fate.
-- Alexander Hamilton

We in America do not have government by the majority.
We have government by the majority who participate.
-- Thomas Jefferson

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good
conscience to remain silent.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of
the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe
-- Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
-- Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.
-- Thomas Jefferson

As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now
let us show them we can fight like men also.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going
to do.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the
Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will
delineate and define you.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on
does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which
they draw their gains.
-- Thomas Jefferson

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied
corporations which dare already to challenge our government to
a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
-- Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our
liberties than standing armies.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government
those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations,
perverted it into tyranny.
-- Thomas Jefferson

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