Archive for January 5th, 2012

by lizard

For those who weren’t paying attention to the constitutional violations of the Bush administration (I’m looking at you, “conservatives”) John Yoo is a member of the neocon cabal who should appreciate Obama’s self-interested reluctance to hold those vultures accountable for their crimes.

Instead, Yoo has been somewhat brazen by defending his role in the post-9/11 assault against America’s alleged “principles”. Here’s a taste of an old Salon piece titled John Yoo Is Sorry For Nothing:

Portraying himself as a dedicated public servant whose legal opinions were simply part of a “prudent and responsible … careful contingency planning” for “a worst-case scenario,” Yoo sarcastically writes that to judge from the media coverage of the memos, “this careful contingency planning amounted to a secret plot to overthrow the Constitution and strip Americans of their rights … According to these critics, the overthrow of constitutional government in the United States began with a 37-page memo, confidentially issued on Oct. 23, 2001.” Yoo warns that if the Obama administration fails to do the same kind of “planning” — more to the point, if it continues to “seriously pursue” officials like him who did that “planning” — it will endanger America. Melodramatically conjuring up a Mumbai-like urban massacre, Yoo says that holding him and other Bush administration officials accountable will “restore risk aversion as the guiding principle of our counterterrorism strategy.”

Yeah, risk aversion. Because we can’t have anyone worried about stuff like laws and constitutional rights when prosecuting the war against terrorism, which now can include any one of us.

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That Salon piece is from March, 2009. Two months before that, Obama waffled and fluttered when responding to George Stephanopoulos on This Week. Maybe this clip included just enough stuttering of false teeth to make criminal sycophants like Yoo sweat a bit:

Since then, what could possibly entice an un-prosecuted enemy of the constitution like Yoo to stick his fat face above ground, to enter the fray? According to the title of Yoo’s recent dump at the National Review Online, it’s Richard Cordray and the Use and Abuse of Executive Power (I’m not kidding).

The opening is priceless:

Some think me a zealous advocate of executive power, and often I am when it comes to national security issues. But I think President Obama has exceeded his powers by making a recess appointment for Richard Cordray (whom I respect and have no problems with as a nominee) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But I think the crux of Yoo’s beef comes from this exorcised nugget of bullshit:

The president’s power over what are known as “recess appointments” stems from Article II of the Constitution, which grants him the authority “to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” The Constitution does not define what a “recess” is — the Senate adjourns for short periods of time, and the question becomes when an “adjournment” becomes long enough to turn into a “recess.” In the past, attorneys general and presidents have thought that an adjournment would have to be longer than at least ten days to become a “recess.”

But President Obama is making a far more sweeping claim. Here, as I understand it, the Senate is not officially in adjournment (they have held “pro forma” meetings, where little to no business occurs, to prevent Obama from making exactly such appointments). So there is no question whether the adjournment has become a constitutional “recess.” Rather, Obama is claiming the right to decide whether a session of Congress is in fact a “real” one based, I suppose, on whether he sees any business going on.

Obama can kill whoever without due process. And one of the architects who built the framework of legal cover for torture is trying to ring the constitutional warning bell over a recess appointment?

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The above is just a long lead-in to this poem and bonus tune by Leonard Cohen. Enjoy.

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ANY SYSTEM

Any system you contrive without us
will be brought down
We warned you before
and nothing that you built has stood
Hear it as you lean over your blueprint
Hear it as you roll up your sleeve
Hear it once again
Any system you contrive without us
will be brought down
You have your drugs
You have your guns
You have your Pyramids your Pentagons
With all your grass and bullets
you cannot hunt us any more
All that we disclose of ourselves forever
is this warning
Nothing that you built has stood
Any system you contrive without us
will be brought down

—Leonard Cohen

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