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How Presidents Of The United States Overstep Their Bounds And Defy The Constitution

1659 words - 7 pages

Wesley Clark, a former United States Army General and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, states in his book Winning Modern Wars that “Defeating terrorism is more difficult and far-reaching than we have assumed....We may be advancing the ball down the field at will, running over our opponent's defenses, but winning the game is another matter altogether.” He also stated in the preface of the book “that the Bush administration had rushed us, pushed us, mislead, and manipulated us into war with Iraq with at the expense of the real war against Al- Qaeda.” Clark in writing stating this is essentially telling us we (The United States) have somehow overstepped our boundaries by acting in this “War on Terror,” and while he might have made a gutsy statement, he is correct. One would have to agree with Clark’s theory, our president, George W. Bush, who initiated the “War On Terror” essentially went into this war believing that armed forces were going to step into the terrorists backyard mow the lawn and come back home in one piece. Well, he was wrong, our troops have yet to come home and those who have did not come back in one piece; they came back with psychological bruises and others without their lives. Nevertheless, the impetus of this war was the lack of presidential checking that our Congress neglected to do. What caused it was that our former president, George W. Bush, unofficially expanded his powers as president, and acted impulsively rather than logically, which should have never and should never happen again. By discussing the original powers of the president as enumerated in the United States Constitution, as well as discussing how these powers have been changed, amplified, and taken advantage of during the “modern presidency” and the War on Terror, one will be able to understand why sticking to our constitution would have been smart and appropriate in these situations.
The powers of the president as written in the United States Constitution, signed into effect in 1787, are not many, as the constitution elaborated more on the powers of congress than any other branch. However, it did mention some; in Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution it states that the president can hold executive power for a four-year term and one reelection. Section 2 also states “the president shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States…He shall have Power, by and with the Advice of Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, appoint Ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, Judges of the Supreme court, and all other Officers of the United States.” This essentially means that the President has the power to give delegates powers to others and that he, too, can create his own cabinet of officials that will help him throughout his term in different matters of the country. Nevertheless, our founding fathers stressed that the powers to initiate war should be divided in between the Congress and the President, which made it harder to go into war,...

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