While much of the mainstream media — Charlie Savage at The New York Times and John MacKinnon at The Wall Street Journal, among others — were reporting yesterday on how it would be virtually impossible to prove that the Bush administration’s lawyers’ approval of torture amounted to a crime (relying in large part on the opinions of conservative legal scholars such as Eric Posner at the University of Chicago), I had to wonder if they just haven’t been reading the evidence.
The Senate Armed Services Committee Report, as I wrote yesterday, is chock full of evidence that standard legal doctrine, as well as contradictory legal opinions from military lawyers who are experts on international humanitarian law, was deliberately ignored or dismissed.
And the Office of Legal Counsel memos that sanctioned the brutal interrogation policies so blatantly twisted the relevant law, as even Republican legal scholars such as Jack Goldsmith have acknowledged, that they raise serious questions about whether the memos were written in the “good faith” required. Sure, “the political officials would say they believed what they were doing was lawful,” as Professor Posner told the Times, but if the evidence shows that they instructed their lawyers to reach specific conclusions and to ignore law that dictated otherwise, then a jury may well not believe them.
And what to make of the recent revelation that the former aide to Condoleeza Rice, Philip Zelikow, submitted a memo to the State Department insisting that the abusive interrogation policies under consideration and approved by the OLC lawyers were clearly illegal? The issue here isn’t that someone disagreed with their policies; it’s that, according to Zelikow: “The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo.”
Can there be any better evidence of “bad faith” than seeking to destroy evidence of contradictory legal opinions?
President Obama may have all sorts of good reasons for not supporting a broad-ranging “truth commission” that inquires into the breadth of Bush administration policies in its war on terror, as he’s claiming now. But he has said that he’s not opposed to a criminal investigation of the lawyers who approved those clearly illegal policies and how they reached their conclusions.
Given the wealth of evidence that’s come out that those conclusions were not reached objectively or in the “good faith” that’s required, that’s one investigation that’s clearly warranted.
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan
Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.