Compare and contrast time, my darlings.
Back when Bush was a burden, we had to watch supposed lawyers fuck the law up the back passage without lubricant, and his supposed lawyers are still trying to do so today:
David Shuster and Harper’s Scott Horton break down John Yoo’s poorly written op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, defending his part in allowing the Bush administration to spy on millions of Americans under the guise of keeping us safe from terrorists.
From The Anonymous Liberal–John Yoo: Still Lying:
In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, John Yoo has an op-ed defending himself from the malpractice charges set forth in the recent Inspecter General’s report. As with the opinions themselves, the op-ed is deeply disingenuous and misstates the law repeatedly.
Not surprisingly, Yoo begins the op-ed with a collosal straw man. He points out how important it is to intercept al Qaeda communications and writes: “Evidently, none of the inspectors general of the five leading national security agencies would approve.” Of course, the issue is not whether intercepting communications is a good idea, but whether the program violated the law. Yoo was not a policy maker. He was a lawyer. His job was to state what the law was, not what it should be.
Last week, Assistant Attorney General David Kris and Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to talk about Military Commissions. David Kris got into a little bit of a discussion with Sen. John McCain because McCain was shocked to learn that the Constitution may operate in ways that apply to non citizens. In his defense, McCain is not a lawyer, but I didn’t think this was a novel concept. Yet, Kris had to patiently explain the fundamentals:
Ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) questioned Assistant Attorney General David Kris about his remarks on the appropriateness of administering the Miranda warning to terrorist suspects captured abroad. “It is the administration’s view that there is a serious risk that courts would hold that admission of involuntary statements of the accused in military commission proceedings is unconstitutional,” Kris said in his opening statement.
“Does that infer that these individuals have constitutional rights?” McCain asked Kris.
“Ah, yes,” Kris answered.
“What are those constitutional rights of people who are not citizens of the United States of America, who were captured on a battlefield committing acts of war against the United States?” McCain asked.
“Our analysis, Senator, is that the due process clause applies to military commissions and imposes a constitutional floor on the procedures that the government sets on such commissions …” Kris said.
“So you are saying that these people who are at Guantanamo, who were part of 9/11, who committed acts of war against the United States, have constitutional rights under the Constitution of the United States of America?” McCain asked.
“Within the framework I just described, the answer is yes, the due process clause guarantees and imposes some requirements on the conduct of (military) commissions,” Kris said.
If you click the above link, you can watch Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson wipe the floor with Joe Lieberman, who “respectfully disagrees” that terrorists can and should be tried in the same civilian courts that have been trying and convicting terrorists by the truckload for a good many years now. ‘Tis a thing of beauty.
I think we can all concur with the following sentiment:
I am gratified to see that New York Times thinks Messrs Kris and Johnson have provided good legal counsel to the Committee. From the Times editorial page:
After years of watching government lawyers undermine the rule of law, it has been especially gratifying to see President Obama’s lawyers urging senators to do even more to create a system that will fairly try prisoners and no longer shame Americans.
I know that Obama’s not perfect. I know that there’s vast room for improvement on several aspects of his national security policy. But the improvement over the last administration is remarkable. And I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that we didn’t elect that mega-fucktard John “Do Terrorists Really Truly Have Rights?” McCain.
You made a good choice this time, America. Keep up the excellent work.