Your Liberal Media
Thursday, February 07, 2008
AG: Torture, spying legal if POTUS says it is
Posted by neros_fiddle at 2:58 PM
Can't have one without the other
OK, Americans, here's the eulogy for your system of government:
The Justice Department will not investigate whether CIA agents engaged in torture by waterboarding detainees, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said earlier.
Ditto goes for the administration's warrantless wiretapping program, Mukasey added later, when asked by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) whether he would appoint a special counsel to investigate.
The question came after Mukasey had baldly asserted that it was not a "practical view" that the president could order someone to act outside the law. Nadler wanted to know if the president hadn't done just that with his warrantless wiretapping program, which had ignored the constraints of FISA.
Well, Mukasey said, the President had ordered that on the advice of the Justice Department that it was lawful. So, just as he will not initiate an investigation of waterboarding since the DoJ had given its OK, he will also not investigate whether the warrantless wiretapping was lawful, since it was legal, because the DoJ said it was ("there are views on both sides of that" he acknowledged).
And there you have it. It is not a "practical view" that the President could ask someone to do something illegal. It is impossible for George W. Bush to break the law. He is the law.
Somewhere out there, one of the Founding Fathers just collected on a bet concerning how long it would take for the system of checks and balances they set up to be dismantled. I guessing Jefferson lost, since I'm sure he thought it would happen sooner.
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