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Abstract

In responding to attacks on his handling of the broadly defined war on terror, President George W. Bush declared, "As President and Commanderin- Chief, I have the constitutional responsibility and the constitutional authority to protect our country. Article II of the Constitution gives me that responsibility and the authority necessary to fulfill it." Days later, the Administration again invoked commander-in-chief powers upon signing a congressional measure to ban torture, warning that "the executive branch shall construe the section in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief' and adding that "situations may arise, especially in wartime, in which the President must act promptly under his constitutional grants of executive power and authority as Commander in Chief." What exactly are these commander-in-chief powers to which the President repeatedly refers?

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