Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More on signing statements, executive privilege, and the MCA...

Lotsa great sources for this week's toon, first on signing statements:
  • John Dean, Dave Lindorff, and Tim Harper on the more than 750 laws that have been waved away by a president who apparently believes (or, I should say, has been coached to believe, since there is no way he could comprehend such complex legal issues on his own) that the Constitution grants him all the powers of the presidency enumerated in Article II, plus all the ones in Articles I and III that supposedly talk about "Legislative Power" and "Judicial Power."

  • Charlie Savage, who broke the story wide open (or would have, if the rest of the mainstream media had bothered to pay any attention) with some excellent reporting in the Boston Globe.

  • Edward Lazarus on the general havoc wreaked by the administration on the Constitution, part of a "triple-whammy" where they systematically stamp out civil liberties and executive accountability while dramatically increasing government secrecy.
On executive privilege, or possibly related topics:
  • Think Progress with a clip of Cheney on the Stephanopoulos show, saying that neither he nor his little buddy would be appearing before Congress if subpoenaed.

  • Michael Dorf and John Dean on the administration's past experiences with executive privilege, mostly dealing with Cheney's Energy Task Force meetings.
And on the Military Commissions Act:
  • Two in a series of excellent essays by Joanne Mariner on the Bush administration's attempts to chip away at Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions, or at least their obligation to comply with it via the War Crimes Act.

  • Good commentary on the subject from Molly Ivins and Glenn Greenwald, and Nick Turse on the "American Prison Planet," with always disturbing little nuggets like this:
    Earlier this year, news broke that Halliburton subsidiary, KBR -- the firm infamous for building prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay and for scandals stemming from work in the Iraq war zone -- received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build detention centers, according to the New York Times, "for an unexpected influx of immigrants" or "new programs that require additional detention space."
    One Vietnam-era radical, former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg, grasped the implications immediately. "Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters," he said. "They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."

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