So, the question is, was this the intent all along? Was the war (against Iraq, not against the 9/11 terrorists who had nothing to do with Iraq and is a whole other kettle of fish) a pretext to put all these totalitarian measures into effect? Was the religious right-wing desire for Taliban-like control of the populous to be implemented under the guise of safety and security, just like Hitler promised the Germans? If not, funny how it’s ending up that way.
George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the “foreign entanglements” that George Washington feared would destroy our experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
With the “war on terror,” Bush has asserted the right of the president to wage war anywhere and for any length of time, at his whim, because the “terrorists” will always provide a convenient shadowy target. That’s just the “continual warfare” that Madison warned of in justifying the primary role of Congress in initiating and continuing to finance a war — the very issue now at stake in Bush’s battle with Congress.
In his “Political Observations,” written years before he had served as fourth president of the United States, Madison went on to underscore the dangers of an imperial presidency bloated by war fever.
“In war,” Madison wrote in 1795, at a time when the young republic still faced its share of dangerous enemies, “the discretionary power of the executive is extended … and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.”