Monday, January 05, 2009

Did you notice this appointment?

Photo courtesy of the faculty bio at
Maurer School of Law
Indiana University, Bloomington

Would you like some cause for hope? Some glimmer of light in the enveloping darkness?

How's this?

Our system does not work when the executive branch secretly determines not to follow enacted statutes—or interprets them away under extreme constitutional theories. This is not to deny the executive branch its constitutional authority. It is to assure that in our constitutional democracy, where the rule of law is paramount, all branches of government and the American people know what the law is.

--Dawn Johnsen, Obama appointee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, in "her criticism of the way the Bush Administration used secrecy to bypass statute"

h/t to Emptywheel

How about this passage from Johnsen, cited by Glenn Greenwald?
Is it possible John Yoo alone merits our outrage, as some kind of rogue legal advisor? Of course not.

As Dahlia points out, Bush has not fired anyone responsible for devising the legal arguments that have allowed the Bush administration to act contrary to federal statutes with close to immunity--or for breaking the laws. In fact, the ones at Justice who didn't last are the officials (like Goldsmith) who dared to say "no" to the President-which, by the way, is OLC's core job description. . . .

The correct response to all this? Marty has several good suggestions to start. And outrage. Directed where it belongs: at President Bush, as well as his lawyers.

I commend to your attention Greenwald's entire article.

I hope for great things from her.

--the BB

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