Truth to Power

Read ‘em and weep

The Obama DoJ yesterday released nine “legal” documents from the Bush administration, legal being in quotes because scant little Bush did in his tenure was actually legal, and just the titles alone are enough to make you wonder what sort of madmen ran our country:

Memorandum Regarding Status of Certain OLC Opinions Issued in the Aftermath of the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (01-15-2009)

Memorandum Regarding Constitutionality of Amending Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to Change the “Purpose” Standard for Searches (09-25-2001)

Memorandum Regarding Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities within the United States (10-23-2001)

Memorandum Regarding Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Provisions of the ABM Treaty (11-15-2001)

Memorandum Regarding the President’s Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captured Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations (03-13-2002)

Memorandum Regarding Swift Justice Authorization Act (04-08-2002)

Memorandum Regarding Determination of Enemy Belligerency and Military Detention (06-08-2002)

Memorandum Regarding October 23, 2001 OLC Opinion Addressing the Domestic Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities (10-06-2008)

and my personal favorite:

Memorandum Regarding Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a) to Military Detention of United States Citizens (06-27-2002)

Legal scholars will spend years going over these testaments to tyranny, but even a causal glance shows us as living under a military dictator, not a president. These documents gave cover to placing Bush above the law, as Commander in Chief, free to ignore the standards of FISA, the Posse Comitatus Act, and any sort of subpoena. It is also crystal clear that these documents were “made to order”- meaning that the writers of these judgments, such as the jackal John Yoo, were merely scribes who injected a proper amount of legalese and alarmist terminology to make Bush’s continued assault on the Constitution appear to be legal.

Take the Bybee memo, which contains legal consul on how to avoid accepting any responsibility for outsourcing torture:

To fully shield our personnel from criminal liability, it is important that the United States not enter in an agreement with a foreign country, explicitly or implicitly, to transfer a detainee to that country for the purpose of having the individual tortured,” Bybee wrote.

“So long as the United States doe not intend for a detainee to be tortured post-transfer, however, no criminal liability will attach to a transfer even if the foreign country receiving the detainee does torture him,” he wrote. </em>

And as could be expected, the gutter dwelling “good Germans” of the right spared no time in denouncing the publication of these documents, calling Obama a traitor for allowing it, and calling for his death. Impotence and fear can do ugly things to a person, but watching the GOP and its “base” fondle each other in the mud of a once great nation is an embarrassing and nauseating spectacle.


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