Washington’s war criminals are finally nervous.
The newly released torture memos, in their brutal detail, have demolished the core argument of the Beltway’s torture defenders.
Everyone from President Barack Obama to former Vice President Dick Cheney has said the torture issue is about “the past.” But that makes no sense. Just read the memos. They clearly raise huge security questions about which rules govern our future counterterrorism efforts.
Can executive branch opinions simply override any federal statute or constitutional precedent? What is the duty of government officials who receive “legal” guidance that flatly contradicts the law? Can presidents use secret memos to run a two-branch government, squashing court oversight by declaring programs are for “national security” or “state secrets”?
And the big one: Are there any measures or consequences to prevent these abuses?
(emphasis Howie) toIt is so obvious, in fact, that we should stop entertaining the political fiction that upholding our Constitution is only for people obsessed with the “past.” As the revelations of torture and surveillance pile up, the future will be full of legal confusion and lawless temptation until we independently investigate these failures and enforce our laws.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Ari Melber: "Time is now to uphold constitution"
Ari Melber (Politico):