Friday, May 22, 2009

Hailing the leader as a War President and the powers that go with it

A Good Piece

By Glenn Greenwald

"In a February, 2004 interview with Tim Russert, George Bush provoked much derision by proudly declaring himself to be what he called a "war president." This week, Newsweek's Editor Jon Meacham interviewed Barack Obama, adopted Bush's label and applied it to Obama, asking him:

Can anything get you ready to be a war president?

Nothing excites our media stars more than saluting and fetishizing the President as a "War President" and "Commander-in-Chief"......

This is what being a "nation at war" and viewing the President as a "War President" --- first and foremost the "Commander-in-Chief" -- does to a country. Fear predominates everything. No government power needs to be limited. Blind faith is placed in presidential judgments, the assessments of the War President go unquestioned. Being in the military means following orders, so when all citizens start viewing the President in military terms -- he's "our" Commander-in-Chief -- that mentality of obedience is the natural by-product.

Most of the people at Guantanamo have now been kept in cages for seven years by the U.S. without any charges or trials of any kind -- based solely on the President's say-so -- and very few people seem particularly bothered by that. It's not really hard to understand why political establishments prefer this state of affairs to be permanent, and why Presidents are so eager to claim the mantle of "War President." What political leaders wouldn't be eager to receive the blind faith and virtually unlimited powers that the title entails?"

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