Apparently, we’re still kicking him around.
President Bush’s refusal to let two confidants provide information to Congress about fired federal prosecutors represents the most expansive view of executive privilege since Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee told a federal judge Thursday.
Lawyers for the Democratic-led panel argued in court documents that Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers are not protected from subpoenas last year that sought information about the dismissals.
The legal filing came in lawsuit that pits the legislative branch against the executive in a fight over a president’s powers.
The committee is seeking the testimony as it tries to make a case that the White House directed the firing of nine U.S. attorneys because they were not supportive enough of Republicans’ political agenda.
“Not since the days of Watergate have the Congress and the federal courts been confronted with such an expansive view of executive privilege as the one asserted by the current presidential administration and the individual defendants in this case,” according to the House’s filing.
The idea that Miers could disregard an order to appear at a hearing simply at the president’s request suggests a return to the sentiment expressed in Nixon’s statement, as quoted in a 1977 New York Times interview, that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” the House lawyers wrote.
My goodness. Why in the world would the Bush Administration be so incredibly secretive? Could it possibly be that they are also hiding something nefarious? Not just about the fired attorneys, but about many other things? Things that could be, well, illegal under our Constitution and international law?
Like, perhaps, this?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.
We have replaced the paranoid, drunk, dictatorial President Richard Nixon with the paranoid, drunk, dictatorial, warmongering, face-shooting, torturing President Richard Cheney.
I’ll tell you something: it’s not an improvement. Because Cheney learned from Nixon’s mistakes: he corrupted the Justice Department immediately upon taking office, and had Bush push through as many right-wing federal judges as possible while the Republics were in the majority.
Now, despite the Democrats’ efforts to hold this Administration accountable for clear and obvious criminality, it may be impossible to circumvent all the roadblocks put in place by our new Tricky Dick and his trained monkey. The reason the subpoenas of Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten were not enforced in the first place was that the Justice Department refused to enforce them. The House then filed contempt charges, which the Justice Department again refused to enforce. At that point, the House decided to sue in federal court, and this is where we are.
I just have one eensy request: If we’re going to repeat Richard Nixon’s greatest hits, can we play my favorite one?