George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Cheney and many supporters
and detractors insist the Bush-Cheney usurpations and abuses were
key: warrantless surveillance targeting American citizens on American
soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(FISA); torture; detentions of enemy combatants without accusation
or trial; military commissions combining judge, jury and prosecutor
for the trial of alleged war crimes by noncitizens; extraordinary
rendition; and secret kidnappings, coercive interrogation and imprisonments
abroad shielded from legal or political accountability.
But the weight
of the evidence indicates the Bush-Cheney lawlessness accomplished
nothing that could not have been achieved by constitutional means
and, in some respects, made the United States more, not less, vulnerable
Fein is a constitutional lawyer with Bruce Fein & Associates Inc.
and author of Constitutional
Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy.