George W. Bush as Chief Executive

James P. Pfiffner

in Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780748627400
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671946 | DOI:
George W. Bush as Chief Executive

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President George W. Bush was willing to delegate large swaths of public policy to Vice President Dick Cheney. This chapter examines several cases of policy decisions that illustrate Bush's unwillingness to subject his policy preferences to expert scrutiny. It also considers his order that created military commissions to prosecute suspected terrorists in November 2001 and his decision to disband the Iraqi army in May 2000. Moreover, it demonstrates Bush's penchant to ignore or to dismiss the judgement of professionals in the executive branch by focusing on his decision to suspend the Geneva Conventions in the war on terror and his insistence that Saddam Hussein was connected to al-Qaeda and 9/11, despite CIA evidence to the contrary. Finally, it illustrates his broad assertions of presidential power with his order to the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on Americans, without the warrants required by law, and his unprecedented use of signing statements. Most of these policy decisions were made and carried out through Cheney's mastery of the levers of power within the executive branch of the United States government.

Keywords: George W. Bush; United States; Dick Cheney; public policy; terrorists; military commissions; war on terror; National Security Agency; surveillance; executive branch

Chapter.  5610 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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