Given that this administration lies to its own politically appointed lawyers, it should hardly be a surprise that it lies to the rest of us too. Still, you might think that when they get caught doing something bad, announce that they are shocked to learn about it, and promise that they’ve put a stop to it, they might actually stop.
When Donald Rumsfeld said the Pentagon had stopped paying to plant favorable news stories in the Iraqi press, he meant to say that the Pentagon was thinking about stopping. His earlier statement was
a liemistaken and has been withdrawn.
Last week Rumsfeld gave an interview in which he said,
“When we heard about it we said, ‘Gee, that’s not what we ought to be doing,’ and told the people down there,”
But apparently none of that ever took the trouble to actually happen.
Reminds me of the joke we used to tell about Nixon:
Q: How do you tell if Nixon is lying?
A: See if his lips are moving.
Why should we be surprised? This is the same group that handled the Abu Ghraib photos by taking away their cameras.
There’s an obvious belief in the current administration that people just don’t understand what great things they’re doing and they just need to explain it better. Not that what they are doing could actually be wrong.
I’ve heard a real change of tone on the cable news talk shows these days. Pundits normally in support of Republicans have joined progressives to call this an incredibly incompetent group.
I will always think the success of the Clinton years was due to a relatively split Supreme Court, a Democratic presidency and a Republican congress. The current carte blanche held by the Federal government is ruining our country.
This is an issue of professional ethics. How can you seriously expect anyone to behave differently when John Yoo is a professor at one of the best and most famous law schools in the US. Basically this is a culmination of the ethic that the lawyer only represents the client, and that the job of the lawyer is to provide cover for the client. Before everyone gets up on their hind legs about my statement, consider the action of lawyers in the various scandels of the late 90s (Enron, etc.) and in the current justification of clearly immoral and illegal acts. The bar should clean up after itself.
Presumably the reason for seeking the legal opinion was to allow the administration to plausibly claim that its actions were legal in a court of law should this become necessary. There seems to be some confusion between a legal opinion and issuing carte blanche.
It appears that criminal charges are inevitable unless Bush issues a blanket pardon before leaving office. Murder and torture are federal crimes, there is no statute of limitations. I cannot see the legal opinions of Yoo et. al. as anything other than proof of criminal intent. The lengths to which the administration went to avoid receiving an honest legal opinion is itself proof that they knew their actions to be criminal.
Even if Bush were to issue pardons there are plenty of countries that claim universal jurisdiction for torture claims. The administration has argued that Guantanamo is outside the jurisdiction of US law because it is on Cuban sovereign territory. Presumably this means that they would not make any complaints about being given the opportunity to defend their actions in a Cuban criminal court. The lack of an extradition treaty need not be an obstacle as we are told that the President has the power to authorize extraordinary rendition.
One reason I have little sympathy for Whittington is that getting shot in the face seems to be an appropriate moral price to pay for socializing with war criminals.
Today the likes of Yoo are still the loyal facilitators, lets see what they say when they are no longer under Presidential protection. Then thwe will hear that they were only following orders.
This is why gwb will proclaim himself president for life. The unitary president is above the law and the constitution.
I think that this particular pattern of behavior is why Bush and Cheney will end up being impeached and why in the end the 16 or so Republicans necessary to convict will turn against them. All it takes is for the Democrats to get control of the house and hence investigation power in the mid terms.
The reason Bush threatened a veto over the sale of P&O to Dubai Ports is because he utterly refuses to admit any mistake and refuses to allow any party to dispute his decisions. He is not going to back down regardless of how wrong he is.
When Congress pushed through the anti-torture legislation and faced down the threat of veto Bush wrote a ‘signing statement’ that essentially says ‘fuck you’. When the details of his involvement in the war crimes and the fact that torture continued despite Congress taking action there will be Republicans who decide to protect the party rather than Bush.