Wednesday, September 05, 2007

l'etat, c'est bush?

A few quotes today for your consideration about the efforts of the de facto Cheney I mean Bush Administration and its approach to law, order, terrorism, and the American way.

"I was astonished, and immensely worried, to discover that some of our most important counterterrorism policies rested on severely damaged legal foundations." So writes Jack Goldsmith, a Bush appointee to the Department of Justice. Not some ACLU guy or some Democratic politician - a fellow conservative lawyer, albeit far more intellectually honest and conscious of the Constitution than Cheney legal chief David Addington and torture advocate John Yoo.

"After 9/11, they and other top officials in the administration dealt with FISA the way they dealt with other laws they didn't like: they blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations." Again, Jack Goldsmith.

"The president has already decided that terrorists do not receive Geneva Convention protections. You cannot question his decision." David Addington, in essence arguing that the decisions of the President are not subject to judicial review and that members of his Administration should shut up and take orders rather than honestly express their views. This is a "yes-man" administration - which might work better if the top guy wasn't marginally smarter than a moron and, in his disinterest for the sloppy details of running the government and faithfully executing his duties to protect the Constitution, didn't delegate so much to a guy (Cheney) who believes the US President should have about as much executive power as the old-time absolute monarch Louis XIV.

"He (Addington) and, I presumed, his boss (Cheney) viewed power as the absence of constraint. They believed cooperation and compromise signaled weakness and emboldened the enemies of America and the executive branch." Again, Goldsmith.

All the quotes are drawn from a new book, The Terror Presidency, by Jack Goldsmith.


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