I am too thoroughly depressed by recent events to post anything about the capitulation of the power centers of the Senate to the administration’s program of lawlessness, torture, with the undermining of one of the great success stories of international legality thrown in for garnish.
Fortunately, others are made of sterner stuff.
Marty Lederman, The Torture Chorus
Marty Lederman, Senators Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory: U.S. to be First Nation to Authorize Violations of Geneva
Marty Lederman, Three of the Most Significant Problems with the “Compromise”
Stanford Levinson, Legal Realism 101 and the McCain Capitulation
The Carpetbagger Report, McCain, Warner, and Graham cut and ran
The Democrats, having until now largely chosen to stay quiet on grounds of political expediency, now face a moral choice about how hard to fight the destruction of habeas corpus and the ratification of de facto unreviewable power to torture.
First option, block this horror — filibuster if needed — and risk paying a political price: For a taste of the ‘vote for us or die‘ campaign that’s in the works, see this utterly repulsive ad already being run by Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT). And recall that Johnson is supposedly one of the nicer Republicans (and a new friend of Sen. Lieberman’s).
Second option, do the usual infective stuff and pay a different political price (the base will turn on you, as will anyone else with some decency). Plus earn a black spot in history.
Let us be blunt here. The legal profession has to take up arms against this horror. And that means throwing torturer fans like John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales and co. out of the bar as morally unfit. And frankly that means the folk at law schools leading the charge against this unacceptable moral depravity. And that means the courts doing the same.
How can Nancy Johnson get away with outright falsehoods like that? Why do we have people so ignorant of how the goverment (and FISA law works) that this is effective?