Final Word from Thursday, February 12, 2015

Richard Nixon told David Frost in a famous interview in 1977 that, "When the president does it, it means that it is not illegal." He was justifying his decision to order wiretaps, burglaries, covert searches, mail openings and infiltration against antiwar groups and others. Nixon used a quote from Abraham Lincoln to explain to Frost why it was okay: "Actions which otherwise would be unconstitutional could become lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the Constitution and the Nation." The activity might have been illegal, but "if the president orders it, that makes it legal," Nixon said. The Czech president doesn't have the authority to go around breaking the law, but it's time for Czechs to accept that their head of state also has certain inalienable powers. These can best be summed up by the words, "If the president says it, that makes it true." If Miloš Zeman remembers reading "Hitler is a Gentleman" in Přítomnost 30 years ago, damn it, such an article exists. It must be found, even if it means turning back time and printing it. [Czech Republic United States Ferdinand Peroutka Presence]

Glossary of difficult words

mail openings - the opening of letters (which is normally illegal);

inalienable - unable to be taken away or given away by the possessor.

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