Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sen. Whitehouse and the DOJ

Looseheadprop, in the ongoing discussion of torture, the Department of Justice, and the White House, shares some highlights of a speech by Senator Whitehouse last Saturday.
I see the torture memo as part of a disquieting pattern at the Office of Legal Counsel. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have had the opportunity to review secret OLC opinions related to the warrantless wiretapping program. Those opinions are also deeply troubling. I was so offended by three legal theories contained in those memos, that I fought to have them declassified and brought to light. Those theories are, as declassified by the Director of National Intelligence:

1) An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it;
2) The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II; and
3) The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.
I would hope y'all can see the problems inherent in this type of unconstitutional and anti-constitutional theorizing.

Read the article here.
--the BB

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