Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the September 11, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Obama at the Crossroads:
The Unitary Executive Issue

by Nancy Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

Sept. 5—With his signature drive for Nazi health care in shambles, and a large proportion of the American people in a mass strike revolt against the Administration, President Barack Obama has arrived at a crossroads. On the one side stand Wall Street and London, and their representatives in the Administration, who are demanding that the President exert dictatorial powers, as established by Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, under the Unitary Executive theory, on behalf of their fascist austerity drive. On the other side, stands Obama himself, who wants to defend his prerogatives as President of the United States against any encroachments.

It is this friction within the Obama Administration which will determine the immediate future course of the United States, and thus, of civilization itself, said Lyndon LaRouche today. The splits within the Administration provide the crucial opening for patriotic institutional forces to bring the Obama Presidency under control, and permit the implementation of the dramatic policy shift outlined by LaRouche in his Aug. 27 statement ("Is the Democratic Party Already Dead?", EIR, Sept. 4, 2009), on how to save the Presidency and the nation.

The Unitary Executive

At the center of the battle is the issue of the Unitary Executive, the doctrine of imperial law which asserts that the word of the Emperor—in fact, the monetarist authorities of globalization—is law. Generally associated with Adolf Hitler's Führer Prinzip, the Unitary Executive theory actually derives from the history of Western imperialism, in which the international monetary power, like a global mafia boss, dictates terms to all its satraps, and loots them for the benefit of the Empire: The Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetian Empire, the Hapsburg Empire, and now, the globally extended British Empire, all operated in this manner—not as outgrowths of their various territories, but as centers of a global financial power.

The only nation to successfully counter this imperial concept was the republican United States, with its principled commitment to a sovereign national credit system for economic development—not a monetary system.

But with the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States, that U.S. resistance was substantially undermined. The imperial forces behind Sept. 11—the British and the Saudis, with the collusion of treasonous U.S. stooges—used the crisis to ram through Unitary Executive rule, exercised by Cheney and his puppet George W. Bush. Over the next seven years, the U.S. Presidency served as a tool of the British Empire, launching the perpetual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and dramatically undermining the sovereignty of the United States in every possible way, including economically. Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration also placed two champions of the Unitary Executive—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito—on the Supreme Court, to enforce the doctrine in perpetuum.

Candidate Barack Obama campaigned vigorously against the Unitary Executive concept, as reflected in his promises to shut down Guantanamo, end torture, and the like. But, from early on in his Administration, which he packed with Wall Street stooges, President Obama has found himself increasingly pushed in the direction of using those same dictatorial powers, even if not in name. On the Guantanamo prisoner issue, he has threatened to follow Bush in holding high-risk detainees permanently without trial. On the issue of a new allocation of money to the International Monetary Fund, he wrote a Bush-like signing statement saying he could interpret the allocation as he wished. This latter move prompted an unprecedented revolt from the Congress, which voted to repudiate his signing statement by an overwhelming majority, since it violated the Constitutional separation of powers.

With the health-care fight, Obama has also been impelled toward utilizing Unitary Executive powers on behalf of his Wall Street and London bosses. While appearing to yield the initiative to Congress, in fact, the Administration has been acting to force through a bill based on London/Wall Street demands—with the last indication being Obama's demand that Congress invite him to address a Joint Session of Congress—a demand which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found out about from the news media, and which impelled them to issue the invitation.

Cracks in the White House Facade

But, the London/Wall Street pressure on the Administration to act aggressively, in the face of the ongoing financial blowout, is having dramatic repercussions.

A senior Washington source reports on fissures in the White House, over how to proceed on health care (really on a broader array of issues, as will be apparent). The hard-core London-directed grouping of economic advisors—Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Peter Orszag—is fully committed to radical austerity policy, to satisfy foreign creditors that the deficit will be cut, despite the multi-trillion-dollar bailout, the Afghan War, etc. They cannot give up on the health-care "reform," and are demanding that Obama go forward with the full Hitler T-4 policy (a board of experts who decides who gets treatment, and who does not.)

There are others in the West Wing, especially senior advisor David Axelrod, and others concerned more with the President's crashing poll numbers, who are saying that the issue on the table is saving the Obama Presidency from early destruction. They are looking for a way out of the health-care policy mess and would be inclined to take some watered-down "victory" which does not meet the demands for austerity of London/Wall Street.

At the center of the divide, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is proposing, essentially, that they resolve their differences by wielding raw political muscle to win passage of a bill with the T-4, etc., by forcing the entire Democratic caucus in the House and Senate to bend to the White House will. This is perhaps the craziest position of all. This is what is building, leading up to Obama's Sept. 9 address to Congress.

The outcome is unknown at this moment, but one way or another, the splits in the White House are very pronounced, and there is a sharp fault line between those out to save the Obama Presidency, versus those committed to the London/Wall Street radical austerity plan, which demands dictatorship. The politicos are right, that if Obama goes ahead and pushes his Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) scheme for dictating health care (as he has been doing regularly of late), and the rest of the swindle, in his speech on Sept. 9, he will be faced with an even bigger revolt. At the same time, he is under great pressure to authorize more troops and more money for Afghanistan, which is totally at odds with what the American people want.

LaRouche's Way Out

Obama does, of course, have a way out, one that has been repeatedly offered to him by Lyndon LaRouche. In his Aug. 27 statement, LaRouche promised to protect the Obama Administration,

if the deeply emotionally troubled President himself will agree to cooperate with worthy advisors in what I propose will amount to a reasonable degree of 'adult supervision' for the purpose of protecting him against his own, already manifest, so far characteristic impulsive expression of greatly impaired judgment while in office.

Certain measures then would have to be taken immediately, LaRouche said, including dumping the likes of Summers and Orszag; pushing through a Pecora Commission and the measures required to cancel the authority of the Federal Reserve and replace it with a Hamiltonian National Bank; establishing a four-power agreement on an international fixed-exchange-rate credit system with Russia, China, and India; and canceling the bailout by relevant measures of bankruptcy reorganization.

Subscribe to EIW