I learned firsthand about the realities of executive branch power 40 years ago, when I discovered that a handful of U.S. executive leaders from both political parties, liberals and conservatives, had secretly destroyed the 700-year-old Plain of Jars civilization in northern Laos without congressional or public knowledge, let alone consent.
Sometimes history–and necessity–make strange bedfellows. The German general staff transported Lenin to Russia to lead a revolution. Union-buster Ronald Reagan played godfather to the birth of the Polish Solidarity union. Equally strange–but perhaps equally necessary–is the addressee of a new appeal signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright and many other leaders of the American peace movement: