The least dangerous branch
Random political and legal musings of a decidedly leftist bent, interspersed with neat underwater pictures (because somebody has to do Friday fishblogging)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
We have jumped the shark
From here (my emphasis).
Department of Defense spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said force-feeding is done "in a humane and compassionate manner," using a method that is consistent with procedures used in U.S. federal prisons.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
John Yoo, being honest for once in his life
Amidst a maelstrom of disingenuousness, lies, and disinformation in a WSJ Op/Ed, we have this little nugget of truth from John "Crush Kid's Testicles" Yoo:
If the House or Senate vote contempt motions against Ms. Taylor or Ms. Miers, a U.S. Attorney must enforce them, and since they're all Bush appointees, nothing should come of it.Nice of him to be honest. Of course why should we take alarm that the Dubya maladministration would block any attempt to examine the legality of its doings and make it conform to the rule of law? Hell, even if someone in the executive committed murder, as long as it was on the preznit's behest, prosecuting them would just mean interfering with the preznit's co-equal status and ability to do his job as he alone sees fit, free from any unconstitutional interference by the co-ordinate branches. And doesn't he have absolute power to dictate which crimes will be prosecuted? That's "prosecutorial discretion", dontcha know? I mean, really.....
Yoo defends this obstruction of Congress with the following 'logic':
The president has every right to order his prosecutors not to bring charges against officials who defend his legitimate constitutional claims.No. If they're "legitimate constitutional claims", that will come out in a court of law. Blocking any legal review of the question, outside of Dubya's l'etat c'est moi say-so, is no way to demonstrate that they actually are legitimate constitutional claims.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Dubya maladministration logic
From a scathing Washington Post article:
Briefing reporters yesterday, Frances Fragos Townsend, Bush's homeland security adviser, took issue with the suggestion that the president had ignored warnings from the intelligence community that attacking Iraq would stimulate al-Qaeda's drive for recruits and influence.I'd say that it's a good thing that Townsend's title doesn't include the word "intelligence" anywhere in it. That would be a misnomer. And, just as a FYI, don't go to any picnics with her....
"You're assuming it's a zero-sum game, which is what I don't understand," Townsend said. "The fact is, we were harassing them in Afghanistan, we're harassing them in Iraq, we're harassing them in other ways, non-militarily, around the world. And the answer is, every time you poke the hornet's nest, they are bound to come back and push back on you. That doesn't suggest to me that we shouldn't be doing it."
Speaking of non-zero-sum games, was she suggesting that the Iraqi misadventure was good for Dubya, and good for bin Laden? Ummmm, let me think about that one.....
Explaining Dubya's failing Iraq policy in two short paragraphs
While there's many explanations (none exclusive of all others) and every situation is complicated, and Glenn Greenwald makes a good case for one alternative (see here as well), I think this explanation by Josh Marshall for Dubya's Iraq behaviour (and the continuing Republican support for it) is about the most succinct I've seen:
So at the outset it was that Iraq and al Qaeda are connected and either did attack us together (as Dick Cheney frequently suggested) or could in the future (as everyone else did). Then the beginnings of the insurgency were not a problem because we were drawing al Qaeda into Iraq to fight them on our own terms. Then we couldn't leave Iraq because doing so would hand it over to al Qaeda.
As the cycle progressed there was an mounting tendency for the administration to argue that we could not abandon its policies precisely because of the scope of the failure of those policies up to the present point -- a veritable perpetual motion machine of disaster and incompetence. But setting that aside, the enduring pattern has been for the White House to ask us to make our decisions about Iraq not based on what is happening in Iraq but on what happened in New York and Washington on 9/11.