Let us hope these fools are prosecuted

Let there be no mistaking the gravity of the Bush administration's contempt for the Constitution of the United States. From the Post:
The number of major legal errors committed by Bush administration lawyers during the formulation of its early counterterrorism policies was far greater than previously known, according to internal Bush administration documents released for the first time by the Justice Department yesterday.


In one of the newly disclosed opinions, Justice Department appointee John Yoo argued that constitutional provisions ensuring free speech and barring warrantless searches could be disregarded by the president in wartime, allowing troops to storm a building if they suspected terrorists might be inside. In another, the department asserted that detainees could be transferred to countries known to commit human rights abuses so long as U.S. officials did not intentionally seek their torture.
There were no constitutional rights that Bush and Co. were not willing to disregard, and no powers that they were not willing to claim for their own. They have already shown their utter contempt for the balance of power, asserting executive privilege in an effort to shield themselves from all legislative scrutiny. Further, they are perfectly willing to destroy evidence of their crimes. From CNN (among countless sources):
The CIA destroyed 92 videotapes of terror-suspect interrogations, according to a court document filed by the government on Monday. The disclosure marks the first time the specific number of tapes has been made public.

The tapes were made in 2002 and showed the interrogations of two suspected al Qaeda leaders, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. According to former CIA officer John Kiriakou, some of the videos showed harsh interrogations, including the use of waterboarding, which is said to simulate drowning and is considered by most people to be a form of torture.
Let there be no doubt -- Bush and his cronies were willing to dismantle the very foundation of American liberty. They were willing to arrogate imperial prerogatives in the service of an unfettered executive. They deserve history's scorn, and whatever justice the new government can mete out.

1 comment:

  1. It is hard to improve on this:

    Anyone interested in President Obama's actual executive-power policies, however, should look at his position on warrantless wiretapping. Dick Cheney must be smiling.

    "Then again, we are relearning that the "Imperial Presidency" is only imperial when the President is a Republican. Democrats who spent years denouncing George Bush for "spying on Americans" and "illegal wiretaps" are now conspicuously silent. Yet these same liberals are going ballistic about the Bush-era legal memos released this week. Cognitive dissonance is the polite explanation, and we wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Holder released them precisely to distract liberal attention from the Al-Haramain case.

    "By the way, those Bush documents are Office of Legal Counsel memos, not policy directives. They were written in the immediate aftermath of a major terrorist attack, when more seemed possible, and it would have been irresponsible not to explore the outer limits of Presidential war powers in the event of a worst-case scenario. Based on what we are learning so far about Mr. Obama's policies, his Administration would do the same."