Presidential Power in Wartime

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Two days ago, on board Air Force Two, high above the Middle East after his surprise visit to Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney invited reporters up to talk about the power of the presidency. It eroded after Vietnam and Watergate, he said. But he and George W. Bush are bringing it back.

In threatening times like these, he said, the president of the United States needs to have his constitutional powers "unimpaired". Strong. Robust. War and war powers have always tested the boundaries of presidential authority.

Hear a conversation with David Gergen, adviser to four presidents, on the record of presidents at war as President Bush takes heat on domestic surveillance without warrants.


David Gergen, professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and former White House advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton

Laurence Tribe, professor of law at Harvard Law at Harvard Law School and constitutional scholar

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst

This program aired on December 22, 2005.


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