Tuesday, June 08, 2004

That Torture That You Do Do, You Do So Well

So, the cover has been blown. Lots of other people have commented, but I'd like to say my piece.

There was something inevitable about the memo. I was waiting for it, and I'm sure others were too. The chain of culpability has finally after several weeks reached where we suspected it would all along: the top. All we had to do was wait. Now we've been rewarded with a brand new chapter in everyone's favorite nightmarish national fiasco. And, irony of ironies, they're betting on, of all things, the Nuremberg defense.

The memo is a how to guide on constructing the legal frame work to shield the president, his staff, and marginally the interrogators themselves, from charges of torture. Thanks to some fudging and a whole lot of acid the administration attorneys were able to pin new powers to the president. The memo argues that authority to set aside the laws is "inherent in the president." I guess if you're the A-Number-One-Head-Motherfucker-In-Charge then it would make perfect sense. The president can do whatever he wants.

But wait doesn't Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution say one of the president's duties is that "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Oh fuck! That says the complete opposite of what the memo says. Damn you constitution!

I can't believe they're trying to argue this. Its the ultimate executive power grab. Anyone who defends this logic is practically - no, undeniably - saying the president has no obligation to uphold or even follow the law. That the president is the embodiment of the state. Isn't anyone concerned that this sounds fascist? Its practically step by step the same defense used by Nazi war criminals. Just following orders. Only a handful of poorly trained soldiers. Torture is not official policy, etc. etc. Forget godwins law. Its no longer operable. Its not my fault these people have unpleasant historical company. Hopefully to be followed with unpleasant cell company.

This story probably will get even worse. After its all over people need to be put in jail for this whole mess. No pardons. Do not pass go. Do not collect two million dollar book deal.