"I disagree with your assertion of unchecked power"
Transcript of today's
Nixon Bush press conference, via the Washington Post:
QUESTION: I wonder if you can tell us today, sir, what, if any, limits you believe there are or should be on the powers of a president during wartime.
And if the global war on terror is going to last for decades, as has been forecast, does that mean that we're going to see, therefore, a more or less permanent expansion of the unchecked power of the executive in American society?
BUSH: First of all, I disagree with your assertion of unchecked power.
BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.
There is the check of people being sworn to uphold the law, for starters.
BUSH: There is oversight. We're talking to Congress all the time.
And on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times.
This is an awesome responsibility, to make decisions on behalf of the American people. And I understand that. And we'll continue to work with the Congress, as well as people within our own administration, to constantly monitor a program such as the one I described to you, to make sure that we're protecting the civil liberties of the United States.
To say "unchecked power" basically is ascribing some kind of dictatorial position to the president, which I strongly reject.