Friday, February 05, 2010

Where there is no accountability there is no rule of law

Obstruction of justice:
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

--U. S. Code. Title 18. Part I. Chapter 73. § 1505

Emanuel viewed many of the legal problems that Craig and Holder were immersed in as distractions. “When Guantánamo walked in the door, Rahm walked out,” the informed source said. Holder and Emanuel had been collegial since their Clinton Administration days. Holder’s wife, Sharon Malone, an obstetrician, had delivered one of Emanuel’s children. But Emanuel adamantly opposed a number of Holder’s decisions, including one that widened the scope of a special counsel who had begun investigating the C.I.A.’s interrogation program. Bush had appointed the special counsel, John Durham, to assess whether the C.I.A. had obstructed justice when it destroyed videotapes documenting waterboarding sessions. Holder authorized Durham to determine whether the agency’s abuse of detainees had itself violated laws. Emanuel worried that such investigations would alienate the intelligence community. But Holder, who had studied law at Columbia with Telford Taylor, the chief American prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials, was profoundly upset after seeing classified documents explicitly describing C.I.A. prisoner abuse. The United Nations Convention Against Torture requires the U.S. to investigate credible torture allegations. Holder felt that, as the top law-enforcement officer in the U.S., he had to do something.

Emanuel couldn’t complain directly to Holder without violating strictures against political interference in prosecutorial decisions. But he conveyed his unhappiness to Holder indirectly, two sources said. Emanuel demanded, “Didn’t he get the memo that we’re not re-litigating the past?”

That’s what human rights are to Rahm Emanuel–mere distractions, speed bumps on his road to nine wins or–in the case of health care reform–epic failure.

--emptywheel, quoting Jane Mayer

Rahm Emanuel is just bad news for progressive governance, change one might believe in, and America in general. He is definitely bad news for the Democratic Party. He is, perhaps, Obama's biggest mistake but I fear this nation must pay for that mistake.

Yeah, I loathe the guy.

So don't say I only carp about Republicans.

--the BB


susankay said...

Rahm makes for strange bedfellows -- you and Sarah in agreement.

Grandmère Mimi said...

My heart sank when I heard that Obama appointed Rahm. He's bad news all around. I am thoroughly disgusted with the way the Democrats have frittered away a year. Good Dems have tried their best to move a progressive agenda forward, but certain Democrats are as obstructionist as Republicans.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...