Please, Somebody Kill Me Now

Via Josh…frankly, I can’t even post coherently.  Just read:

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.

Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, “whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.”

But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege.

For a variety of reasons I’ve been loath to champion impeachment.  Oh, the bastards deserve it, but the realistic chances of success are not good.  But at this point, impeachment proceedings may be the only way to get any modicum of justice.

Much more to come tomorrow, I expect.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Please, Somebody Kill Me Now

  1. King George must be brought down a peg or 2. If impeachment is not begun, a dangerous precedent is set.

  2. jahf said it earlier, but it bears repeating here:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” (Thomas Jefferson)

    We can only hope that the Liberty Tree hasn’t already been cut down.

    This is truly getting ugly – and frightening.

  3. cfrost

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    I have a hard time imagining President Cheney, er – Bush, surrendering power willingly in 2009. The BushCo team is doubtless at work right now fishing for an angle in which their unitary executive theory bullshit trumps elections. At what point do we start dynamiting power lines?

  4. Benjamin

    Cfrost, want an honest answer to that question?
    When the people abroad and at home who’ve been killed, wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, or just plain disappear become more important to us than our morning cappuccino.

  5. I have a hard time imagining President Cheney, er – Bush, surrendering power willingly in 2009. The BushCo team is doubtless at work right now fishing for an angle in which their unitary executive theory bullshit trumps elections.

    I have been railing about this very thing for at least two years and have been called every type of lunatic you can think of for my troubles but go here and have a read of something that is bound to chill your shit. Of course they are not going to give up power. They got in by rigging the vote count and the elections but with 70% of the population against them they know they can’t get away with that shit again so……

    All you have to do is take a look at the so called ReThug “Candidates” and you should be able to see clearly what they have in mind. Never in it’s history has the GOP ever let such a bunch of clowns run around saying they represent the party and deserve the nomination. If they were going to have an election all this would have been settled long ago and the winner of the Nomination already picked and in place. Just as they have always done. But seeing as how it ain’t gonna happen they don’t give a shit. And on top of that this Pre-election crap just adds to the confusion and makes it even easier for them to justify taking over the whole government. So if you think Canada is a long way to go think about all those concentration camps Hlliburton has built out in the desert. They are a lot closer.

  6. Joe Bob Briggs

    Cfrost, want an honest answer to that question?
    When the people abroad and at home who’ve been killed, wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, or just plain disappear become more important to us than our morning cappuccino.

    Sadly, that will never happen. Ever. As long as people can get their morning cappuccino, they’re as happy as a clam. 😦

  7. Erin M

    GOM:

    I don’t disagree with you on principle (I’m currently divided between staying where I am in Europe or going home on my scheduled flight in two weeks and getting my carry permit), but I’m not sure that we’d really have a set candidate for any party 16 months before an election when there’s no VP/heir apparent.

    The only reason I say this is because I really want to convince other people to come around to this point of view, but when you’re trying to shock people out of their comfort zones you have to be letter-perfect or they will focus on the mistakes rather than on what’s correct.

    This is why, for example, I object to calling the current GOP Nazis. They aren’t, and they never will be. The National Socialist program wouldn’t make sense in the US because it was based on a totally different national myth. But fascists? Hell yes. That shoe is definitely starting to fit. I believe the only point missing from someone’s definition the other day was central control of industry, and frankly, I think the difference in the US model will be that industry will become indistinguishable from government, e.g. Pharma/FDA. There are plenty of people out there making evidence-backed and reasonable arguments to that end, and that’s what I want to get more of.

  8. Erin M.
    Don’t know what a carry permit is so I don’t know how important it is but I would think twice about going for certain. But if you do go remember to SEAL your baggage in Dublin because once it is out of sight these bastards can load it with anything and then “Find” it once you get to the US.

    I can’t recall ever calling these bastards Nazi’s but may well have done as I am quite aware of the difference, (My dear wife grew up under them in occupied Danmark.) but may have used it due to the fact that I’m not really certain of how many people actually know what the term “Fascist” means. It’s a combination of Government, Big business and the Church according to the man who founded it, one Benito Mussolini, and that sure as hell describes the present form of Government in the US to a T.

  9. Erin M

    A carry permit is for states where you can carry a concealed weapon. I realize the permit can be revoked more or less at will, but it comes from the state, not the feds, and if I have it in advance I can at least have something on hand if I’m caught out of my house when things get ugly.

    I’m not in Dublin (I’m leaving my location beyond continent undisclosed out of paranoia), but thanks for the tip. By seal are you suggesting I use plastic wrap around it or something? I’ve only got a regular ol’ suitcase, so I don’t know how much I can really do besides lock it.

    Sorry, the Nazi thing wasn’t directed at you, more of a generalized rant at people who are itching to make Hitler comparisons. I fear that people doing that are just giving the other side ammo in terms of them being able to say that it’s hyperbole. (“Hitler required every German to belong to a civic organization. You don’t see that here, do you?” Of course not, it would go against the individualist grain of American mythology.) I figured you knew better, living in Spain and all. Just something I wanted to get off my chest and a convenient place to do it.

  10. we had better get serious.

  11. Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday

    How many times does Congress need to read that before they fucking do something to stop this coup by a thousand cuts? I find it impossible to believe that even the majority of the GOP members aren’t beginning to think the wankstains in the White House are getting out. of. control.

  12. Ginger Yellow

    David B. Rifkin, who worked in the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, praised the position and said it is consistent with the idea of a “unitary executive.” In practical terms, he said, “U.S. attorneys are emanations of a president’s will.” And in constitutional terms, he said, “the president has decided, by virtue of invoking executive privilege, that is the correct policy for the entire executive branch.”Nothing fascist about that, not at all.

  13. Arkades

    Terrifying. This means they’re no longer even willing to *pretend* that we have checks and balances.

    GOM is right. Fascism is already here and in power. The big question is whether we can reverse course or whether it’s already too late.

    Unfortunately, even those who *would* fight back probably have no idea how to do so effectively, and that’s not even considering the chilling effect a government crack down on dissidents could generate…

  14. Erin M

    Ark –

    I have a few ideas, but I’d like a million or so other people there with me. Call it “moral support”.

  15. oddjob

    Last Friday John Dean wrote this highly relevant analysis which clearly indicates that THE CONGRESS DOES NOT NEED THE US ATTORNEYS TO FIND SOMEONE IN CONTEMPT AND TO ALSO ENFORCE THEIR VERDICT.

    If they want to play chicken they should get their metaphorical heads cut off.

  16. Conyers started making noises about inherent contempt about three days ago, I believe, and the WaPo article mentioned it, in greater detail than I expected. Let’s see who blinks first.

  17. Does anyone doubt the possibility – and now, perhaps, probability – of a scenario like this one?

    “Evidence” is found that suggests that Iran is doing something so bad that we need to take military action against it. The machine begins rumbling in that direction. We are then “attacked” by terrorists – something nasty in a major city (your pick). This is seen as “proof” that the United States is under attack and “at war.” Further aggressive action towards Iran is undertaken, including actual military attacks. A second “retaliatory attack” occurs on US soil. Bush declares martial law, and elections are cancelled in 2008.

    Repeat as necessary until Americans have gotten used to the new order.

  18. Pingback: William K. Wolfrum » Blog Archive » “I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain’t bad.”

  19. I won’t go so far as to say “probable,” Rana, but I can see the attempt. But I take heart in that right after the 9/11 attacks, Rudy Giuliani tried a power grab and the people of the city, who had undergone such trauma, rose up in a bipartisan way and said no–we’re having the damn election. It may be that there is still a step too far when it comes to power grabs in this country, and that involves elections.

  20. oddjob

    Rudy Giuliani tried a power grab and the people of the city, who had undergone such trauma, rose up in a bipartisan way and said no–we’re having the damn election.

    I only hope the country as a whole shows the same character! I really worry about a President Giuliani for exactly that reason!

  21. I only hope the country as a whole shows the same character! I really worry about a President Giuliani for exactly that reason!

    Giuliani scares me for the same reason, but I think the paranoia of the American people will win out in the end, at least in that limited respect. I don’t expect a mass protest over the theory of the unitary executive, more’s the pity, but tell them that they don’t need to vote, and you may well see riots in the streets.

  22. Erin, Don’t know where you will be departing from but most airports today have a machine that wraps your suitcase in sheet plastic so it can’t be opened without you’re knowing about it which is what I was referring to. And it’s a damn good idea to use it. These bastards can slip a couple oz’s of coke into your luggage and you are away for a LONG time.

    Loads of luck.

  23. Erin M

    Good to know, GOM. Thanks!

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  26. BGW

    Seriously the over-the-top conspiracy and paranoia are making me laugh so hard! LOL

  27. oddjob

    BGW, if you want to live in a land where the president can, on his own, without having to justify it to anyone, suspend your right to a hearing, I suggest you move to a dictatorship. I’m sure the fascism will suit you just fine.

    If you think that’s a wonderful thing to have here, you don’t belong in this country.

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  29. BGW

    You can’t be serious right? No one is that nuts….or are they?

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