Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Shorter Attorney General Gonzales
What we did was legal, or, in our opinion, could have been legal. Since there are arguments on both sides, we will rely on our opinion. However, we won't let a court decide the question, because then we wouldn't be able to rely on our own opinion. We won't answer hypothetical questions about what we can do legally or constitutionally. We also won't tell you what we've actually done or plan to do; hence every question you ask will about legality be in effect a hypothetical, and therefore we can refuse to answer it.
We won't answer hypothetical questions about what we can do legally or constitutionally. We also won't tell you what we've actually done or plan to do; hence every question you ask will about legality be in effect a hypothetical, and therefore we can refuse to answer it.
Linked to this here.
Cute and witty repartee sometimes provides keen analytic analysis. But, Jack, not this time. There either is, or is not, inherent constitutional authority of the President to conduct war. If the President concludes that he has such powers, and Congress disagrees, Congress can exercise the power of the purse, and Congress can impeach. Whining about interpretations that might be subject to criticism is a waste of time, especially when none of the readily available remedies are actually being pursued by presidential opponents in Congress.
What the AG did yesterday was skillfully, and yet with patience and humility, explain the legal grounds upon which a program of signals intelligence gathering could be justified under Constitution and statutes.
Brilliant work. Gonzales represents a serious threat to foundations of our democracy. His memo on torture began our downward slide.
Heh! It doesn't take much to lose one's credibility does it? Even for a pro-Bush hardcore "national security comes first" conservative like me, the "major organ malfunction" was way too much. The A.G. may be a very fine lawyer and patriotic American but I know longer trust his view or plan for America.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Mr. Gonzales is a damned liar and a criminal just like Mr. Bush and Cheney.
And frankly, I think at this point anyone who thinks there is any serious question about that is (at best) a fool.
Let's consider the expression "necessary and appropriate use of force [UF]". That language clearly implies the existence of four categories of UF:
1) UF which is both unnecessary and inappropriate.
2) UF which is necessary but inappropriate.
3) UF which is apropriate but unecessary.
4) UF which is both appropriate and necessary.
Seems to me that strictly speaking, the expression is literal nonsense: that which is necessary requitres no authoriztion, and that which is appropriate is necessarily a matter of deliberation and approval.
The real question here is did the AUMF actually authorize anything at all, and whatever it did authorize it is utterly ludicrous to suggest that the Congress has any authority to authorize the President to nullify the laws by fiat.
Would it be necessary and appropriate to use nerve gas and biological weapons if the President says so?
Would be necessary and appropriate to exterminate 6 milllion jews or 60 million muslims if the President says so?
Would be necessary and approriate for the President to suspend the federal elections if the President says so?
The answer to all of those questions is NO, and the answer to the problem we are facing here is to see to it the Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Gonzales, and all the rest of these neo-fascist criminals aretried and convicted for their crimes.
And their guilt is obvious from their public confessions, unless you'd care to pretend that there are no laws at all, in which case there is no United States at all, becasue the nation itself ie eniterly a creation of law.
So it seems to me at any rate.
Taking JkB's tack as if the attorney general himself speaking:
We thought the AUMF was justification for the program, though we only know generally what the program is and the president and I are protected in our executive right to order the program to operate the way it is unless congress cancels funding for the AUMF and cancels funding for the program.
We think we have the votes in the judiciary to keep the program running even if congress votes to cancel that program's funds.
We expect congress intelligence committees to hear more than we can tell the judiciary committee.
Congress needs to improve FISA, maybe make it a software program that issues reports to congress, or abandon it entirely as it is probably unconstitutional and we have the votes on SCOTUS to assure that it is declared so, or that it is vitiated enough to force congress to try some other approach like impeachment.
We know this is an impeachment weary congress having nearly completed three such procedings in the past 35 years.
JaO: You just don't get it: we're already there - the nation is in the hands of criminals, supported by a political party which largely beleives the crimes are just a good idea.
Congress has the ability to resolve the Constitutional question -- impeachment and conviction would be at least as definitive as any court decision
Well, yes, except even in that far-out scenario, Dick Cheney becomes President, and then you have to impeach him in turn.
Sensenbrenner 50 interrogatories; there are four weeks before Department of Justice reply is due. There is still one court stripping case being heard privately at SCOTUS though the Chief has recused, on February 17; and defense is asking full private hearing proceed as scheduled for March 28. The 17th is the DoJ's motion to dismiss. I don't see a reconstituted military commission declaring FISC disbanded, but the courts are going to tend toward a veritably congressional strength irrascibility if the replies to the 50 interrogs are anything shy of repentant.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
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