Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bush's worst legacy

Glenn Greenwald in Salon:
Yet again, the ACLU has performed the function which Congress and the media are intended to perform but do not. As the result of a FOIA lawsuit the ACLU filed and then prosecuted for several years, numerous documents relating to the Bush administration's torture regime that have long been baselessly kept secret were released yesterday, including an 81-page memorandum (.pdf) issued in 2003 by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo (currently a Berkeley Law Professor) which asserted that the President's war powers entitle him to ignore multiple laws which criminalized the use of torture ....

The fact that John Yoo is a Professor of Law at Berkeley and is treated as a respectable, serious expert by our media institutions, reflects the complete destruction over the last eight years of whatever moral authority the United States possessed. Comporting with long-held stereotypes of two-bit tyrannies, we're now a country that literally exempts our highest political officials from the rule of law, and have decided that there should be no consequences when they commit serious felonies. John Yoo's Memorandum, as intended, directly led to -- caused -- a whole series of war crimes at both Guantanamo and in Iraq.
Read the whole thing. I don't see how this could be a liberal vs. conservative issue, given that liberals seek to be humane and conservatives don't approve of an all-powerful government.

1 comment:

Paul Botts said...

Greenwald indulges in a bit of hyperbole there, but alas it's only a bit. Grrrr.

And I agree with your headline from one perspective, something like "Bush's most shameful legacy." Though I actually think that a couple of other things rank just as high on different grounds. Perhaps future historians, building the case for this Bush's historic ranking in the cellar of American presidents, will rank this subject in a three-way top-level tie with the Iraq debacle ("most-obviously-brainless strategy choice") and the ballooned public debt ("most-damaging legacy to our children and grandchildren").