WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Heading into its final months, the U.S. Bush administration is moving to institutionalize controversial aspects of its "war on terror," political observers say.
By advancing a proposal to have Congress again formally declare the United States is at war with al-Qaida, the Taliban and other groups deemed to be terrorists, President George Bush wants to firm up his legal standing against challenges to his anti-terrorism tactics, say analysts quoted Saturday by The New York Times.
"This seems like a final push by the administration before they go out the door," Suzanne Spaulding, a former CIA lawyer, told the newspaper. She said another effect would be to "put the onus on the next administration" -- especially if it's a Democratic one headed by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois -- to justify rolling back measures that have drawn legal and political challenges.
Harvard constitutional scholar and Obama adviser Laurence Tribe said that with the proposed declaration, Bush "is trying to stir up again the politics of fear by reminding people of something they haven't really forgotten: that we are engaged in serious armed conflict with al-Qaida."