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What I now ask of you is military success, - I will risk the dictatorship

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:46 PM
Original message
What I now ask of you is military success, - I will risk the dictatorship
What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.

Bob Woodward of Watergate investigation fame reported in the Washington Post on Sunday that on May 1st, 2006, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued a secret memo entitled Illustrative new 21st Century Institutions and Approaches.

In a key paragraph of that six-page memo, Secretary Rumsfeld made the following statement:

It is time to consider a new Hoover Commission to recommend ways to reorganize both the executive and legislative branches, to put us on a more appropriate path for the 21st century. Only a broad, fundamental reorganization is likely to enable federal departments and agencies to function with the speed and agility the times demand. The charge of incompetence against the U.S. government should be easy to rebut if the American people understand the extent to which the current system of government makes competence next to impossible.

In short, Secretary Rumsfeld believes that the failings of the Defense Department in the war on terror are not his fault as secretary but rather are structural in nature and require ominous sounding fundamental changes not only to the executive branch of our Federal Government but also the legislative branch which is composed of the United States Senate and the United States Congress. More ominous still is the fact that the structure and powers of both branches, which Secretary Rumsfeld seeks to change, are strictly defined by the United States Constitution.

In light of the Bush Administrations perpetual efforts to expand and consolidate all power within the executive branch, one can only assume that the Secretary is seeking that yet more unchecked power be bestowed upon the President and himself.

Upon reading Rumsfelds memo, I was immediately reminded of another memo this one written during the Civil War. This memo was sent from President Lincoln to Major General Joseph Hooker on January 28th, 1863.

In it, Lincoln wrote the following:

I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a dictator. Of course, it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.

Lincolns words of wisdom ring as true in todays war on terror as they did in the much more serious crisis he faced - the Civil War.

We do not need dictators we need military success.

If Secretary Rumsfeld doesnt understand this, then its time for him to resign.

by,

Douglas J. De Clue
Orlando, FL
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well considering Rummy sold the North Koreans Nuclear
buiilding material.....we hopefully will be getting rid of his Nazi ass...

Rummy is at the center of this debacle.....
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
31. Cite, please?
Not that I doubt you, I just want a reference to cite in discussions.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great post.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 07:52 PM by MJDuncan1982
But I disagree that the "structure and powers of {the Executive and Legislative Branches} ... are strictly defined by the United States Constitution."

The Legislative Branch is the most detailed branch and the lack of clarity within even that branch is summed up with the Necessary and Proper Clause. Constitutions aren't statutes...Constitutions are more broad and have to be.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Except that you are forgetting the 9th and 10th Amendments
which state that all unenumerated powers are reserved to the States and the People respectively and that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Therefore, if the Constitution were properly obeyed, the powers of the Federal government would be as Madison wrote in Federalist #45, "few and defined". If it's not written in the powers clause of Article I Section 8 or Article II Section 2, then it's not a power the gov't should possess according to the Constitution.

These two Amendments are highly important in blocking the Bush Administration and we liberals ought to make better use of them.

When a conservative asks you where the right to privacy is in the Constitution point them to the 9th Amendment.

Doug De Clue
Orlando, FL
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The problem is not differentiating between enumerated and unenumerated.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:03 PM by MJDuncan1982
The problem is defining the scope of what is and what is not enumerated. The Articles of Confederation granted only express powers and it failed horribly, and resulted in the Necessary and Proper clause.

The central problem is that the Constitution did not come with a definition section.

And I agree that the IXth and Xth are ignored...blame the Supreme Court. For some reason it just either doesn't know what to do with them or doesn't care.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Enumerated means "written"
It means explicitly written in the Constitution.

There is no problem in defining enumerated.

Doug De Clue
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. (Edit: Agree). What is "interstate commerce"? What does it mean to
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:11 PM by MJDuncan1982
"declare" war? (These are the problems I'm referring to)

The Constitution may say that Congress has the power to do X. Alright, X is an enumerated power. But what is the extent of that power and what does it exactly mean? That's the problem.

Again, I'd kill for a definition section.

Edit: I'll concede that separating enumerated from unenumerated can be done. My second reply stated that. The trick is the next step.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. That's why we have the Federalist Papers..
They are the owners manual and the source notes for the whole document.

It is clear that the President has far overstepped the intended bounds of the Framers.

Doug D.
Orlando, FL
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The Federalist Papers definitely help but they are not binding...only
authoritative.

And I agree that this President has pushed the definitions to the breaking point.

The Supreme Court, back when it was the little wimpy branch, steered clear of politically charged questions. That practice is now institutional and I think it is a disgrace. They need to step up and do their job: Define the Constitution.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. SCOTUS rulings are binding but the Federalist Papers should
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:27 PM by ddeclue
guide their decisions.

Doug D.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Right. But even if the Federalist Papers are very clear on an issue, the
Supreme Court does not have to follow them.

How about an amendment declaring the FPs binding?
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. No...I don't think so...
If we can't have that much faith in the wisdom of the 9 wise men (women) then there isn't much hope left for the Republic anyways.

Supposedly, all the so-called conservatives of the SCOTUS claim to worship the FP anyways.


Doug D.
Orlando, FL
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. They do it all the time. If an issue is too rough for the Court they
declare it non-justiciable. To me, it's a remnant from earlier times when no one really had to listen to the Supreme Court.

I have faith in them for the most part. My main point is that the Constitution lacks a definition section. The Supreme Court is the de facto definer of the Constitution.

Words in the Constitution are not explicitly defined (such as the enumerated powers) and can thus change.

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. The words are carefully chosen and actually fairly well defined
Many of the framers were actually great legal scholars and took great pains with choosing the right word.

The problem is not that the words are poorly defined, it is that we have such a poor command of the English language and a poor knowledge of history and therefore do not understand the words in their original historical context.

Doug D.
Orlando, FL
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Well defined? Kindly point me in the direction of the definition section
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 11:11 PM by MJDuncan1982
to the Constitution again...(most is defined now due to the Supreme Court).

And I agree and think the assumption is correct that they knew the importance of words. But that brings up all types of problems in itself, such as the lack of "herein granted" regarding the grant of executive power. The words are there in Article I. Assuming each word (and lack thereof) has meaning, what does this mean? Some, such as pro-executive legal scholars, point to this as evidence that the executive power granted was the full extent of the theoretical executive power while the legislative power is only as great as was granted.

But regardless, the Constitution has no definition section. We can know what the words meant at the time (Scalia's MO) but that is only one possible way to interpret the Constitution.

And I think it is a bit off the mark to suggest that the academic legal community in the U.S. cannot figure out what the document originally meant.

Again, my whole point is that the document is malleable and this creates opportunity for abuse - especially when the Supreme Court backs down from tough questions.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. It's not perfect but much much better than you give credit to it for.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I guess I haven't exactly conveyed how accurate I think it is. Some words
(not all or even most) have a larger degree of definitional wiggle room than others.

I don't believe that the powers of the various branches are strictly defined. That's a high bar.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. I can tell you just how hard it is to write a document to fit all occasion
as I am a software developer.

The Founders did an excellent job, allowed for "patches" while making the process very difficult (which is a good thing) and allowed for a Supreme Court to decide the interpretations for that which was not immediately clear to the mere mortals among us.

All and all, a high bar that was reached.

Doug D.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #17
33. The FP were marketing materials
Not legal instruments. And Hamilton, Madison, and Jay didn't agree with each other on everything. You'd wind up with contradictory binding documents.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. I wasn't seriously advocating that. But they are more than marketing
materials. The Supreme Court regards them as authoritative.

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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #5
32. is it too late to write a definition section?
Definition:

Person/Citizen: is male/female, of all races, homo sapiens, resident within the borders.

Domestic Tranquility: "a private life safe from ALL intrusions of government, with liberty
and inclusion in the civil consensus, without noise from motors, without artificial lights
at night, at peace and quiet in one's own garden under the divine sky; when every family
and person has shelter in their own garden without fear of being turned out to the street.
Were no person suffers needlessly pain."

our Posterity: "leaving this planet better at our deaths than when we were born, and not
ever leaving our children a stockpile of weapons from our war."

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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. Politically, I think it is definitely too late. It would clear up some
things though.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. "Competence is next to impossible"
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 07:56 PM by Jack Rabbit
That, it seems, has nothing to do with the Constitution. It is the inevitable result of having of having incompetent and dishonest people like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld in power.

They should be removed as soon as possible.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. From your mouth to God's ear.
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cui bono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. hm... this thread is double posted... I thought I was going crazy!!!
Couldn't find my post.

Do you have a link to the original WaPo story on this?
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The World According to Rummy, Sunday October 8, 2006
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

I tend to post in both General Discussion and General Discussion Politics because many people tend to only read one or the other - particularly when I put a lot of effort into it.

Doug D.
Orlando, FL
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cui bono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. ok, thanks for the link. n/t
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theanarch Donating Member (523 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. while one can hardly argue with...
...the assessment of Dumbsfeld as a raging incompetent whose idea of "reforming" the Constitution is the equavalent of throwing out the baby while keeping the bathwater, i must comment on the applicableness of Lincoln's suggestion that what we need are military successes. Military successes are a dime a dozen in both Afghanistan and Iraq--if measured by military yardsticks: number(s) of dead; square footage of territory occupied; how full the jails (e.g., torture centers) are. Hell, we "won" the battle of Fallujah at least three times by now...by leveling the city and forcing some 300,000 civilians into "relocation" (a polite euphanism for 'concentration') camps...and that is precisely WHY we're losing the war.

Militarizing our response to 9/11 was the biggest possible mistake to be made in countering what is (inaccurately) called Islaamic radicalism (anti-imperialist resistance is a more honest term--from 'their' perspective, if not ours). Stormtrooping through countries (with ties to "terrorism" or not) only stirs up the proverbial hornet's nest; and the more violence we use against them, the more "terrorists" we create--wasn't this the conclusion of the latest NIE? The ultimate military "success" against a people's war is genocide; dealing with the legitimate grievances of those who resist our militarism--the economic, political, social problems--in a spirit of respect and constructive reconciliation is the ONLY way to achieve an end to the "terrorism"...anything less than that is simply perpetuating Junior's never-ending WoT under equally self-defeating policies.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. I think you misunderstand me (and Lincoln) sir..
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:32 PM by ddeclue
Lincoln had tactical successes from a variety of generals but strategic success eluded him as of the time of his letter to Hooker as strategic success will forever elude George Bush.

Lincoln's problem was bad generals.

Bush's (and Rumsfeld's) problems can be found by looking in a mirror.

I absolutely agree with your assessment of the war on terror. Check out my previous blogs at brainshrub.com:

www.brainshrub.com/blog/121/vietnam-redux-partone
www.brainshrub.com/blog/121/vietnam-redux-parttwo

You will actually have to go to

www.brainshrub.com/blog/121

and then browse to the earliest articles to find these pieces.

Doug D.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. URL correction
Hey Doug!

I'd like to point out that the URL you gave is wrong. I noticed hits from DU to your blog, and they are not going to the correct page.

It should be:

www.brainshrub.com/vietnam-redux-partone
www.brainshrub.com/vietnam-redux-parttwo
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Yeah..why is that??
I noticed that while you were MIA and never got around to asking about it...

What do you think of my new piece?

Doug D.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Because, technicaly, your bogs name is:
Because, technicaly, your blogs name is: "blog/121"

Everything after that simply brings people to the frontpage of your blog.

And I like this article quite a bit.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Can the # operator be used to jump to a particular article then?
I've seen it used in HTML before to jump to a particular part of a particular page before.

Just curious.

Doug D.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. nt
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. Yes, but if you have the URL that shouldn't be necessary.
Let me via email if you want me to put one in for you.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
34. Excellent point.. talk about your Pyrrhic victories...
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. Correction: It was Jan 26, 1863... sorry for the typo...
Doug De Clue
Orlando, FL
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
36. These people display absolute contempt for democracy ...
The Constitution and our democratic republic stand in their way.

:puke:
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Exactly what the Framers intended....
that the Constitution was to be an obstacle to tyranny, not an instrument of it.

Doug D.
Orlando, FL
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