545 days left

I was in the middle of my daily perusing of blogs, when a tidbit on Glenn Greenwald’s site caught my attention. John Yoo, one of Bush’s key legal advisors, argued that the President has the legal right to torture children by crushing their testicles.

From a 2005 debate with professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel:

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

Keep Professor Yoo in mind when you think about Abu Ghraib, NSA wiretaps, rendition and Gitmo. He told our President that his power as Commander-in-Chief had no limits in the prosecution of war. It should then be no surprise that the Bush’s administration has not obeyed the limits of our established laws and treaties.

Abu Ghraib, NSA wiretaps, rendition and Gitmo are not excesses or aberrations in pursuit of our security, they are pieces of a larger policy that make Bush and any other president an autocrat during war. And how lucky we are to be in the middle of a “war on terror” that, by definition, will never end.

Since our illustrious Congress seems content with only annoying the White House and not truly reasserting the power of the legislative branch, we can only hope that our next president will not follow the precedent established by Bush.

And that’s what we’re dealing with, at least until January 20th, 2009.

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3 Comments

  1. Ian

    So hmmm, missing dead white girls post here now? Hawt.

    Anyways, Chris you’re absolutely right about this part:

    we can only hope that our next president will not follow the precedent established by Bush.

    This is something Republicans should be equally afraid of, I mean c’mon, imagine Hillary ignoring the laws like Bush and doing what she wants. Wouldn’t that be a conservative’s worst nightmare? I think I would vote for Hillary or Obama, but I wouldn’t want either to show such disrespect for separation of church and state, separation of powers, and checks and balances. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but its sort of Clinton’s fault, sort of. Let’s forget for a second that Clinton didn’t really commit any real crime, all morals aside. I’m sorry, lying about getting a BJ is not the same kind of perjury as someone lying about firing US attorneys or releasing a CIA operatives identity. Clinton basically showed that the president can do just about whatever he wants. He showed that the American people would rather not see congress waste so much time on a witch hunt. Bush took this to the next level. Granted he doesn’t have the high approval ratings Clinton had, but really, what difference does it make? You think we could all march up to the White House and demand he step down? Oh yeah, he has control over the courts (See Gonzales) and the military. He can do anything and just say, “Nyah nyah executive privilege” and no one can do anything about it except get mad. The problem isn’t Bush per say, the problem is the system is set up to give too much power to one branch of government. There is no real system of punishment for when one system gets out of control. They teach you there is when you are in school, but um, obviously there isn’t. The only course of action Congress can take against Bush is to impeach him, but it wouldn’t make a difference. The Democrats don’t have the numbers to do anything, and the Republicans are never going to vote out their own guy cause it would make their party look awful for decades. So the system is obviously seriously flawed. The President can break the law as much as he wants unless Congress has a high majority of the opposing party in both houses.

    So Chris’s title is apt, countdown the days til the next President is inaugurated, because theres no other way were getting rid of Bush.

  2. Chris

    Thanks for the comment Ian.

    I would like to challenge you on one point, however. I think our system was setup to prevent excesses from any single branch of government. If the President tried to grab more power, the members of Congress and the courts were supposed to be peeved about their loss of influence. The competing lust for power would create a balance between the three branches.

    The problem was that our system was not designed to withstand the type of sycophantic Congress we had for Bush’s first 6 years. A Congress that never once challenged the Dear Leader on any substantive issue, even if it meant surrendering their own power. That tag-team also sought the politicization of the legal institutions that remained to restrain the President. Thus no oversight of the Justice Department and courts stuffed with rightwing ideologues.

  3. Ian

    Lust for power should not be the driving force behind upholding the law. The law should be the law, and it should be enforced by a body that is actually free of party politics. Even the Supreme Court seems to be voting down party lines, its insane.

    And on a similar note, Alberto Gonzales’s testimony is just mind bogglingly painful to watch. Its hard not to laugh at how ridiculous it is, and how no one can do anything about it.

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  1. […] White House Link to Article white house 545 days left » Posted at Why We Worry on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 I was in the middle of my daily perusing of blogs, when a tidbit on Glenn Greenwald’s site caught my attention … our illustrious Congress seems content with only annoying the White House and not truly reasserting View Entire Article » […]