In the Bunker

IN THE BUNKER….After taking stock of the Bush administration’s record over the past few months, David Ignatius is able to come to only one conclusion:

Bush and Cheney are in the bunker. That’s the only way I can make sense of their actions. They are steaming in a broth of daily intelligence reports that highlight the grim terrorist threats facing America. They have sworn blood oaths that they will defend the United States from its adversaries ? no matter what. They have blown past the usual rules and restraints into territory where few presidents have ventured ? a region where the president conducts warrantless wiretaps against Americans in violation of a federal statute, where he authorizes harsh interrogation methods that amount to torture.

When critics question the legality of the administration’s actions, Bush and Cheney assert the commander in chief’s power under Article II of the Constitution. When Congress passes a law forbidding torture, the White House appends a signing statement insisting that Article II ? the power of the commander in chief ? trumps everything else. When the administration’s Republican friends suggest amending the wiretapping law to make its program legal, the administration refuses. Let’s say it plainly: This is the arrogance of power, and it has gone too far in the Bush White House.

It’s downright Nixonian, and even in the mainstream media more and more people are starting to notice.