Police State Republicans

If you doubt my Cheney-centric view of Bush scandals, read this account from today’s WaPo article that I referenced below.

For months, Olson and his Justice Department colleagues had pleaded for modest shifts that would shore up the government’s position. Hamdi, the American, had languished in a Navy brig without a hearing or a lawyer for two and a half years. Shafiq Rasul, a British citizen at Guantanamo Bay, had been held even longer. Olson could make Cheney’s argument that courts had no jurisdiction, but he wanted to “show them that you at least have some system of due process in place” to ensure against wrongful detention, according to a senior Justice Department official who closely followed the debates.

The vice president’s counsel fought and won again. He argued that any declaration of binding rules would restrict the freedom of future presidents and open the door to further lawsuits. On June 28, 2004, the Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in the Hamdi case that detainees must have a lawyer and an opportunity to challenge their status as enemy combatants before a “neutral decision maker.” The Rasul decision, the same day, held 6 to 3 that Guantanamo Bay is not beyond the reach of federal law.

The veep quite literally believes that the Executive branch can imprison any American, torture him and never answer about it to any court. You or anybody you know could find yourself naked in a cell one day and never see a lawyer or contact family. They could hold you until you die. Assuming that a Cheney-approved “review” process resembles Guantanamo, which seems if anything optimistic, prisoners could face a presumption of guilt, no access to their defense counsel and no right to review the evidence against them. Cases that the accusers lose can just be re-tried again and again until the government gets the result that it wants. Defense counsels who take their job too seriously would get punished as an example to others.

The whole premise would sound laughable, like some Kafka parody, if it was not happening today on American soil. The upshot of the Cheney-approved review process is that you don’t need any link to terrorism to find yourself locked up forever. Just the accusation, flimsily supported in a sealed brief, is more than enough.

It would really make my day if those few Bush fans who still back this drifting derelict of an administration would grow some balls and be honest about what they are defending.








Bush to America- I Signed What?

It seems like Bush doesn’t even know what the hell he is signing:

The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, President Bush’s office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn’t specifically say so, Bush’s order was not meant to apply to the vice president’s office or the president’s office, a White House spokesman said.

The issue flared Thursday when Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) criticized Cheney for refusing to file annual reports with the federal National Archives and Records Administration, for refusing to spell out how his office handles classified documents, and for refusing to submit to an inspection by the archives’ Information Security Oversight Office.

The archives administration has been pressing the vice president’s office to cooperate with oversight for the last several years, contending that by not doing so, Cheney and his staff have created a potential national security risk.

Bush amended the oversight directive in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help ensure that national secrets would not be mishandled, made public or improperly declassified.

The order aimed to create a uniform system for classifying, declassifying and otherwise safeguarding national security information. It gave the archives’ oversight unit responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of each agency’s classification programs. It applied to the executive branch of government, mostly agencies led by Bush administration appointees — not to legislative offices such as Congress or to judicial offices such as the courts.

“Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government,” the executive order said.

This really is this incompetent administration in a nutshell. Bush doesn’t know what he signed and thinks he can just say he is exempt and that covers all the bases (he is the decider), Cheney is arguing that he is part of the legislative branch and is loking like a complete moron, and this is a battle neither of them needed to fight and makes both look exceedingly petty, arrogant, and stupid.

Bush issued the executive order. If he wants Darth Cheney and his mini0ns exempt, he can just reissue a new order clarifying. Instead, dumb and dumber are going to wow us all over the next few weeks with a neverending parade of silly and indefensible excuses.








Transparently Stupid

I really can not get over how ridiculous the latest Cheney bullshit is, and it makes me wonder what is really going on and if these folks really will just say anything. Article II, Section 1 is pretty clear:

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:

That is pretty explicit and straightforward, yet Cheney and company would have you believe otherwise:

Mr. Addington did not reply in writing to Mr. Leonard’s letters, according to officials familiar with their exchanges. But Mr. Addington stated in conversations that the vice president’s office was not an “entity within the executive branch” because, under the Constitution, the vice president also plays a role in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate, able to cast a vote in the event of a tie.

Waxman rejected that argument. “He doesn’t have classified information because of his legislative function,” Mr. Waxman said of Mr. Cheney. “It’s because of his executive function.”

Mr. Cheney’s general resistance to complying with the oversight request was first reported last year by The Chicago Tribune.

In January, Mr. Leonard wrote to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales asking that he resolve the question. A Justice Department spokesman, Erik Ablin, said tonight, “This matter is currently under review in the department.”

Why am I not surprised that Abu Gonzalez’s department has needed 6 months to rule on this issue?

I guess what really just floors me is not only will they say this stuff- but they don’t care that they are saying it. They are not even remotely ashamed. And they have supporters cheerleading them the whole way. It is mind numbing.

From now on, I am just voting with the smelly dirty hippies.