Congress’s Complicity in the Imperial Presidency

The New York Times reports that the “Senate will investigate recent national security leaks to the news media after articles in The New York Times about a ‘kill list‘ for terrorists and the use of cyberweapons against Iran.”

Recent examples of the Obama administration’s overly broad use of Executive power have prompted talk about how Congress isn’t doing its job as a co-equal branch of government, one that provides checks to the authority and control of the president. Jeremy Scahill, in a discussion on MSNBC last weekend, said that “we have a dictatorship of the Executive Branch of government when it comes to foreign policy” and that “Congress is largely boxed out and also asleep at the wheel.”

And after successive, extremely public revelations about the Obama administration wielding inordinate power in the realm of foreign policy and national security, what does the Senate do? One would think, given their constitutional mandates, that they would launch an investigation into these unprecedented practices of extra-judicial executions, stripping of due process rights, aggressive cyber-terrorism, and borderless, unaccountable drone wars

Instead, they launch an investigation of the leaks that officials involved in the Executive overreach went to the press with. The moral and legal transgression that the Senate believes has been committed here is being too open with the American people about these king-like practices. Not, of course, that they are taking place. Far from being asleep at the wheel, Congress is complicit in the Imperial Presidency.

11 thoughts on “Congress’s Complicity in the Imperial Presidency”

  1. Actually, Congress is responsible for a lot, including all of the huge amount of draconian national security and foreign policy legislation whether passed de novo or as an extension of existing legislation, and it is responsible for the secrecy of the hearings of various of its committees, as well as the suppression or deep-sixing of evidence and testimony- e.g. re: 9/11. Both the Democrats and Republicans except for a handful or less of them, are responsible, and all of them must at some point be held accountable for it.

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  3. The vast majority, Democrats and Republicans, are more interested in cashing in on the last days of the empire than preserving what remains of the rule of law in this country. Just look at the treatment of Bradley Manning. This guy exposed serial abuses of power, illegalities on the part of government officals, and the murder of civilians by US soldiers, and he's the one thrown in the slammer, tortured, and put on trial.

  4. The U.S. government is, without a doubt, the greatest threat to the peace and liberty of both its' citizens at home and world at large.

    I would encourage mass civil disobedience, including not paying taxes, but I am afraid of doing so out of fear of being kidnapped, thrown in a cage and/or assassinated.

    In short, we're all f****d.

  5. Almost every member of that clique of grifters known as The United States Congress covet the office of the presidency themselves. Each looks at their "service" in the legislature as a mere stepping stone to that power (or bigger, more remunerative positions elsewhere within the MICC). That being the case, it goes without saying that they're not about to limit the power of an office that almost every last one of them aspires to.

  6. just get rid of congress and get rid of the delusion that they matter or that we have any say in what the empire is doing.

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