Party Over Constitution, Party Over War Crimes, Too?

Simulposted ay Daily Kos

Former Republican Congressmen: Republicans Put Party Over Constitution


Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.)…..

mocked members of Congress when it came to flexing their constitutional oversight authority. In particular, he lamented the House Republican lawmakers’ unified opposition to holding hearings to investigate the firing of U.S. Attorneys by the Bush White House.

“One of the most shocking things was when the House voted to hold [Counsel Harriet] Miers and [Chief of Staff Josh] Bolten in contempt because they refused to obey a congressional subpoena,” said Edwards. “Every single member of my party, except for three, walked out. Members of Congress walked out of the chamber rather than stand up as members of Congress so that congressional subpoena (would) be obeyed. Party trumped Constitution.

Former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) made the argument that if the Republican-controlled Congress had exhibited greater oversight during former President George W. Bush’s time in office, they could have prevented some of the most calamitous results of that administration and even saved thousands of lives.

“That would have alerted the administration to what was happening, the command authority to what was happening and it probably would have saved a 1,000 lives,” Shays said. Shays said the Bush White House abused its powers in a way that resulted in many of the domestic and international problems that have unfolded recently.

Roughly a dozen people in the White House, running an illegal invasion and Organized and Systematic program of torture. They got away with it because of roughly 250-300 Republicans in Congress, who corruptly decided that their raw power was more important than the Constitution.

Scott Horton at The Daily Beast follows up on the Newsweek piece on Holder….

Holder began his review mindful of the clear preference of President Obama’s two key political advisers-David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel-that there be no investigation.

But, then, Holder decided to take a close, personal look at the issues, and his perspective began to change. Holder is said to have been closely engaged with three sets of documents-a group of memoranda from the Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel, since repudiated by the Justice Department; the report of the Office of Professional Responsibility on these memoranda, which has been on his desk, awaiting review and release for months; and the report of the CIA’s inspector general reviewing in great detail the actual techniques used, guidance given by the Justice Department, and results or lack of results obtained.

Holder released the first set of memoranda and his Justice Department publicly suggested that it would release both the related report and the CIA inspector general’s report-often viewed as the Rosetta Stone of the torture controversy. As he read through the latter two documents, my sources said, Holder came to realize the focal and instrumental role that Department of Justice lawyers had played in constructing the torture regime and in pushing it through when career lawyers raised objection. He also took note of how the entire process was orchestrated from within the Bush White House-so that more-senior lawyers in Justice, sometimes even the attorney general, did not know what was being done. And he noted the fact that the United Nations Convention Against Torture, to which the United States is a party, requires that a criminal inquiry be undertaken whenever credible allegations of torture are presented.

One man, what if Holder had NOT read the documents?

From Michael Isikoff: Questions for the Attorney General

3. Your aides have said this is only about investigating operatives and contractors who went beyond the “four corners” of Justice Department legal memos on interrogations. In addition, they have told us your planned probe will not investigate senior Bush administration officials-at the Justice Department, the CIA, and the White House-who gave the green light to the “enhanced” interrogation techniques that were authorized in the memos. If that is the case, don’t you risk a repeat of Abu Ghraib, in which only low-level soldiers were court-martialed and their superiors walked free, with no penalties at all?

4. In a speech in Washington last March, you said the following: “Waterboarding is torture. My Justice Department will not justify it, will not rationalize it, and will not condone it.” Do you still stand by that statement? And if so, please explain how you square those words with your decision to exclude the individuals who designed, approved, and ordered waterboarding from the scope of your investigation?

One man, as MinistryOfTruth points out has the power to determine if the War Crimes of the Bush Crime Family are exposed and dealt with. This decision WILL change the world.

New York Times Editorial on the Bush Crimes…

We’ve known for years that the Bush administration ignored and broke the law repeatedly in the name of national security. It is now clear that many of those programs could have been conducted just as easily within the law – perhaps more effectively and certainly with far less damage to the justice system and to Americans’ faith in their government.

That is the inescapable conclusion from a devastating report by the inspectors general of the intelligence and law-enforcement community on President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. The report shows that the longstanding requirement that the government obtain a warrant was not hindering efforts to gather intelligence on terrorists after the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the argument that the law was an impediment was concocted by White House and Justice Department lawyers after Mr. Bush authorized spying on Americans’ international communications.

We know less, so far, about the Bush administration’s plan to send covert paramilitary teams to assassinate Al Qaeda leaders. But what is overwhelmingly clear is that there was no legal or rational justification for Vice President Dick Cheney’s order to conceal the program from Congress. The plan was never put into effect, apparently because it was unworkable. But it’s hard to imagine Congress balking at killing terrorists.

So why break the law, again and again? Two things seem disturbingly clear. First, President Bush and his top aides panicked after the Sept. 11 attacks. And second, Mr. Cheney and his ideologues, who had long chafed at any legal constraints on executive power, preyed on that panic to advance their agenda.

That same dozen or so Republicans in the White House, breaking every law they could find for no real reason except…..raw power.

And now the Democrats have that same raw power.

Will they use it to cover up the crimes of George Bush and Dick Cheney?

Or will they use it to expose them?

Think about it, we can have one world, where War criminals go free because of politics.

Or another world where justice and the Rule of law are more important than politics.

It really IS, underneath all the politics, all of the complexities of wielding raw power, that simple. Which world do YOU want?

It is all on Eric Holder’s shoulders.

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  1. Photobucket

  2. … but you may want to fix it over at the orange — typo in the title “consitution” instead of “constitution.”

    Now off to read your essay.

    • robodd on July 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    over Constitution and over war crimes.  

    The ruling class is circling its wagons.  I will be surprised if Holder goes after his own class. At least very directly.

    I think we can only hope that (a) he does name a special prosecutor and (b) he leaves enough discretion to a special prosecutor that he or she may follow the evidence where it leads.

  3. small airplanes in his future travels.

    • Edger on July 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I said it before, and I’ll quote it again…

    Who Is This New Attorney General, Eric Holder?

    February 10, 2009

    Eric Holder knows what Republican Senators Barrasso, Brownback, Burr, Coburn, Cochran, Cornyn, Crapo, Ensign, Kaybee, Hutchison, Inhofe, Johanns, McConnell, Risch, Shelby, Thune and Wicker, who voted against his confirmation by the Senate Monday, February 02, 2008, also know.

    Eric Holder knows that Bush and Cheney deserve fair trials.

    [snip]

    Eric Holder, Jr.If Mr. Holder, when he becomes Attorney General, is to live up to his own statements and retain the personal and professional integrity he has displayed in his law career thus far, and not by acts of omission become an accessory along with Mr. Mukasey and Ms. Pelosi to the crimes of Bush, Cheney and others in the Bush administration, he will have no choice but to accept the demands of the thousands of US citizens who have signed the Docudharma/Democrats.com Citizens Petition for a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush administration war crimes.

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    If he will not, Mr. Holder runs the risk of throwing away a lifetime of work in a so far illustrious career and all of his personal and professional integrity and becoming a fugitive with Mr. Mukasey and an accessory to these crimes along with and no better than the perpetrators and other conspirators.

    Given his professional record, I have every confidence that Mr. Holder, as Attorney General of the United States, realizes that he can make no other choice than to do the right thing.

    Mr. Holder knows that like any other accused criminals, Bush and Cheney deserve fair trials.

    And Mr. Holder knows that failing to give them those fair trials would be convicting himself.

    At least, I think he knows. But I’m running low on confidence in him these days.

    He either has to arrest and prosecute Bush and Cheney… or arrest and prosecute himself.

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