Advisers to Bush: You Asked for It

Lawyers warned him that detainee policy would backfire
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2008 3:44 PM CDT
Since 2001, the Bush administration has been divided over what to do with al-Qaeda and Taliban members and others picked up in Afghanistan and elsewhere.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Bush ignored warnings that his detainee policy would spark a Supreme Court backlash, the Washington Post reports. Top lawyers both in and outside Washington said that jailing suspects without Congressional approval would push the court to rule on national security—but the White House either ignored the advice or disagreed.

The administration’s “misjudgment and overreaching” ended up weakening presidential authority, a former Bush official said. A senior staffer added, “They kind of reaped what they sowed, and now they have 270 habeas cases.” But a former insider defended the Bush strategy, saying it was undermined by the court’s “gross misreadings of the law and abandonment of sound precedent.”