Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lacking a whole hell of a lot more than just polish

QUESTION: Is there anything you would have done differently?

YOO: These memos I wrote were not for public consumption. They lack a certain polish, I think – would have been better to explain government policy rather than try to give unvarnished, straight-talk legal advice. I certainly would have done that differently, but I don’t think I would have made the basic decisions differently.

Scott Horton of Harper's:
Yesterday the Obama Administration released a series of nine previously secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel to enhance the presidential powers of George W. Bush. Perhaps the most astonishing of these memos was one crafted by University of California at Berkeley law professor John Yoo. He concluded that in wartime, the President was freed from the constraints of the Bill of Rights with respect to anything he chose to label as a counterterrorism operations inside the United States.
Horton concludes his article:
We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.


Steve Bates said...

Many of us suspected, but the Obama administration released the memos, and Horton, among other journalists, did the homework. So now we know.

If the Bushists are permitted to get away with this, with no serious investigation, no charges if appropriate (how could they not be), no consequences of any sort, then the same malevolent, power-crazed crowd... which of course has not really gone away... will try again. And again. And again, until they succeed in establishing a permanent dictatorship in what remains of the United States of America.

This must be investigated, and repeat attempts must be prevented. Whatever Obama may think, it isn't optional: it must be done.

ellroon said...

EXACTLY. If you don't drive a stake ... several garlic-enriched stakes into the heart of the neocon agenda it will just go to ground and pop up again in 15 years talking about deregulation and unitary presidencies.... hoping we've forgotten the last disastrous mess its zealots created.

Neoconservatism has to be dragged out into the daylight, into the town commons and exposed for what it is: an ugly self-aggrandizing greedy petulant hateful chauvinistic racist sexist philosophy dreamed up by bunch of rich spoiled white frat boys drooling over the thought of world domination by torture and bigger and bigger bombs.

Kill it dead.