May
04
2009
1

The New New McCarthyism.

Refusing to trust the lion’s mouth.

(H/t: Hot Air) The more often I reread this open letter by Andrew McCarthy declining the government’s invitation to a round table meeting on detention policy, the more depressed I get:

…in light of public statements by both you and the President, it is dismayingly clear that, under your leadership, the Justice Department takes the position that a lawyer who in good faith offers legal advice to government policy makers—like the government lawyers who offered good faith advice on interrogation policy—may be subject to investigation and prosecution for the content of that advice, in addition to empty but professionally damaging accusations of ethical misconduct. Given that stance, any prudent lawyer would have to hesitate before offering advice to the government.

Beyond that, as elucidated in my writing (including my proposal for a new national security court, which I understand the Task Force has perused), I believe alien enemy combatants should be detained at Guantanamo Bay (or a facility like it) until the conclusion of hostilities. This national defense measure is deeply rooted in the venerable laws of war and was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in the 2004 Hamdi case. Yet, as recently as Wednesday, you asserted that, in your considered judgment, such notions violate America’s “commitment to the rule of law.” Indeed, you elaborated, “Nothing symbolizes our [adminstration’s] new course more than our decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay…. President Obama believes, and I strongly agree, that Guantanamo has come to represent a time and an approach that we want to put behind us: a disregard for our centuries-long respect for the rule of law[.]” (Emphasis added.)

Given your policy of conducting ruinous criminal and ethics investigations of lawyers over the advice they offer the government, and your specific position that the wartime detention I would endorse is tantamount to a violation of law, it makes little sense for me to attend the Task Force meeting. After all, my choice would be to remain silent or risk jeopardizing myself.

It’s depressing primarily because I never expected that an administration could so thoroughly muck up what I naively thought was a bedrock concept of our system of government: that there were limits to how hard the game was played. And, yes, this is a game that the White House is playing right now. Badly.

(more…)

Jan
18
2009
3

What republics *really* can’t survive happening: proscription lists.

I cannot believe that the Democrats would elect a House Speaker that doesn’t know this in her bones.

Which is why I’m nonplussed on why Nancy Pelosi’s playing with fire, here. Via Ace of Spades HQ:

Pelosi Open to Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is receptive to the idea of prosecuting some Bush administration officials, while letting others who are accused of misdeeds leave office without prosecution, she told Chris Wallace in an interview on “FOX News Sunday.”

“I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it,” the California Democrat said. “And other things that are maybe time that is spent better looking to the future rather than to the past.”

(more…)

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