This editorial from the New York Times should be read in conjunction with Gary Wills’ trenchant analysis of Cheney’s aspiration for what conservatives have called ‘the unitary executive’, a doctrine that was responsible for nothing less than the catastrophe in Iraq, the torture, Guantanamo Bay, and scores of violations of the intent of the framers of the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Wills writes:
All these policies were driven by the unitary executive theory of the Constitution, which emanated from David Addington in Vice President Cheney’s office. Charlie Savage has documented that four Supreme Court justices are already enthusiastic supporters of the unitary theory—Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. It takes only a fifth justice to solder that theory into place for the foreseeable future. This would be the most thorough reworking and distortion of the Constitution in all our history.
The stakes are staggering. That is why