Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Protecting and Defending Constitution Passed Off to Legislative Branch

Once upon a time, and long, long ago and far, far away ... there was a Constitution that gave the President the duty of enforcing the law.

Today at around 10:30 ET, the 110th Congress issued subpoenas with the intent of seeing that those powers are not being abused. Since it seems as if the power of the Department of Justice is being used to interfere with judicial process, we need to examine carefully how firings were used in the removal from office of U.S. Attorneys. Some were involved in proceedings at the time that make their firings look very questionable. Diane spoke about this earlier. At correntewire, Chicago Dyke has several references including this one; Study: White House Guilty Of "Political Profiling" from Bob Geiger.

Sadly, we have presently in power an element much more interested in a presidential role of suborning the laws rather than protecting and defending them. There is no pretense in the White House that the truth is respected. Campaigning on the promise that he would not indulge in Nation Building, the cretin in chief has made that a major object of his regime, even to the extent of committing unilateral warmaking to do it. Most recently in ongoing lies, the cretin in chief promised during the congressional campaigns that Rumsfeld would stay. Ooops.

A major lie was committed in engineering war, as the entire executive branch involved itself in convincing the public, and Congress, that WMD's were a threat from Saddam Hussein -which all good intelligence showed it was not. A very Big Lie had to be created and then used against us to make that point. Now the GOP major meme is that the cretin in chief was ill-advised.

It is hardly a surprise that 'the truth' would be a problem for the executive branch in its chosen functions. Its major exercise has been the creation of lies to support criminal activity.

When the legislative branch became Democratic, it became a real problem for the executive branch. The power of subpoena changed into hands with a real interest in the truth. Watching the war criminals dig in reminds me most especially of the Nixon years.

At the time of Watergate, crimes had been committed. The executive branch knew that letting the truth get out would be the end. The Nixon White House made a deal to let Nixon resign, with a pardon to come, to get out from under prosecution for those crimes. A few of the Nixon cabal went to jail, but not nearly enough. Some of them are still in high places, and still trying to make the world safe for their crimes.

We're at the first step in a constitutional crisis with the shrubbery. The presser last night was designed to make a show of cooperation - an exercise which gives cooperation a bad name. Today's subpoenas are the right response to that evasion of the process for getting sworn testimony.

The conditions for 'allowing' aides to testify ensure that any story, no matter how ludicrous, will be accepted instead of a true detailing of the actual grounds for firing U.S. attorneys. Even more important, the grounds for establishing that their loyalty ranked above their oaths of office for the remaining U.S. Attorneys will be protected. There are many instances in which investigations appear to have been interfered with. Lambert's very excellent post yesterday gave a very chilling one in which a North Carolina congressman was protected from justifiable investigation in crimes against this country.

Crimes against the country are not the proper function of the executive branch. They are, however, increasingly the object of this one's functions and the modus operandi of its officials.

As Lambert at correntewire points out, this is a watershed. Once the obstacles thrown up by the cretin in chief have been trashed, the way is clear for the Democratic Congress to demand the truth from industrial strength liars. If we still have a functional judicial branch despite the liars' best efforts, the subpoenas will bring out testimony under oath and the inevitable punishment for crimes.

I am not entirely alone in thinking it will be a far, far better thing that this test comes now. We still have time to straighten out the executive branch, and wipe up after the war criminals. Our standing in the world is probably forever greatly damaged, but at least we can make the three branches of government function passably again.

The die is cast. (For you who love teh Latin, "Alea Jacta Est" - from the writings of Julius Caesar, of the original Long Knives.)

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