Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who are the DOJ lawyers really protecting

By his forbearance to seek prosecutions as well as his continuation of many Bush-Cheney polices and claims to "unitary executive" style authority President Obama has made himself complicit in the subversion of international treaty law and the Constitution. The main legal protection that Bush-Cheney officials, and now President Obama, have are the distorted DOJ analyses that what was done or condoned was not technically illegal. This defense relies strongly on the notion that the DOJ opinions were not deliberately contrived in conspiracy with officials who otherwise might face war crime charges. Protecting Yoo and Bybee by asserting their good intentions is a necessary part of a broad defense strategy that apparent violations of humanitarian law were only innocent mistakes of judgment. Make no mistake, the main object is to protect not the CIA interrogators but the Presidents who are ultimately responsible. If it were just the CIA interrogators they might well be thrown to the wolves much as some of the military ones were. DOJ lawyers in both cases are not really judging government employees who are without influence in the DOJ. They are being asked, indirectly, to indict Presidents. An independent Judiciary, if we have such, might produce a more honest result but I am not hopeful that it would or could take jurisdiction.

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