Cheney - Unitary Executive Theory
From script --
"The Commander in Chief doesn't have to sell anything. He has the constitutionally unlimited power in wartime. And you must have the capacity to act in any way you see fit.
Barton Gellman of the Washington Post on "Frontline," October 16, 2007:
"They're all very skeptical of the idea that international law can bind a U.S. president, even though the whole structure of post-World War II international law, Geneva Conventions, the Hague, and so on, are the product of the United States and United States policy over decades. It was the U.S. government that led the way to the creation of international war crimes and international regulations of what is the law of war. It was a very explicit response to the crimes of Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II. And now you have in the White House a group that believes -- and they have a legal argument on their side that says the Constitution is the ultimate authority -- that international law, even law to which the U.S. government is signatory, cannot bind the president.
Likewise -- and this is probably the most radical position that Cheney and Addington are taking -- they believe that even the coordinate branches of government -- Congress which makes laws; the Supreme Court which interprets them -- cannot limit the president's authority as commander in chief because the president has an independent obligation to interpret his constitutional powers. Only he can decide what the limits are. …
You have to understand that David Addington, Dick Cheney, are true believers in what they are saying. They not only believe that the president has these powers, that the president has effectively unlimited powers as commander in chief, but that he has to; that if he doesn't, this country will be at grave risk."