Thursday, September 07, 2006

Avoiding the pendulum swings of Congress and the president

Dana Priest writes in a WP story appearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 7, 2006 that:

the administration will ask the intelligence committees to give it guidance to draw up a separate, shorter list of harsh techniques it might still employee under certain circumstances.
The point, said one senior official, "is to make the program more durable" and not "subject to the pendulum swings" of Congress or the president.

This seems to me a very good idea. It is an instance of what I have been hoping for in this NYT magazine essay:

... the Bush administration should mark well that what lives by executive discretion also dies by executive discretion. If a comprehensive national counterterrorism policy — that is, a war on terror — is as important as the White House believes it is, then it merits the blessing of the legislature and ought not to exist merely at the discretionary whim of some future president.

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