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4 years, 2 months ago
  • After all, the whole point of guarding the executive branch’s prosecutorial discretion is to shield it from the whims of politics, to ensure the integrity of prosecutorial decision making.

    But Obama threw that integrity out the window when he allowed his Chief of Staff to override the Attorney General’s authority on Gitmo generally and the location of the 9/11 trial specifically. So Obama’s going to argue he needs to protect prosecutorial discretion, but it’s a prosecutorial discretion already tainted by White House interference.

    Hogwash. It’s either a separation of powers issue or it isn’t. That nor the question of prosecutorial discretion are ever “tainted” in any given Administration by its actions in a way where their Constitutional prerogatives are lifted. It’s not a question of how you feel about this particular Administration’s protection, or, as you (and maybe even I!) see it, undermining of prosecutorial discretion. What garbage!

    I’m with bmaz. If they view this as a violation of separation of powers, they should veto the law and make clear what language they see the Constitution to allow if Congress wants to treat this area of Executive operations. At the least, if they have this view and consider the authorization to important to endanger, they should sign the law and be n court that same day to get that part of the law invalidated. Of course, they’re not that committed to the question, but if they were, it would probably be wise to indeed issue a signing statement making clear their view of the language in question, so in that sense the idea is potentially justified. But only in a context in which they are actually going to push the issue of Congress’ authority to restrict the Executive’s options on prosecution and jailing.

  • MikeD commented on the blog post RIP Richard Holbrooke

    2010-12-15 08:44:34View | Delete

    Just saw this. HUGE ups for doing this immediate reassessment. Seriously, who can gainsay this man, above all for his personality (in a world of Type-A Washington shitfucks, no less)? Not to pile on your own-critique-self-critque, which as I say I respect the hell out of. But I am only now becoming fully familiar with the guy’s marginalization in this admin, and honestly, is there a bigger own-goal Obama has scored than the stories we’re hearing about his early interactions and subsequent bureaucratic treatment of Richard Holbrooke? I realize that military marginalization of diplomacy generally is at the root of this problem, as Obama was faced with essentially a choice between embracing Holbrooke or the general officer corps. BUt it sounds as if this is a high wire Obama wasn’t even interested in getting on. Well, that’s his job.

    Hillary Clinton is looking ever greater current role in her by her assured choices of whom to advance and protect in the administration. Obama is diminished for having required Clinton, by his employing apparently grossly imprudent if not outright uninformed judgment of this man, to expend her energy if not her capital in protecting this consummate asset of an American.

  • MikeD commented on the blog post The Misplaced US Determination To Indict Assange

    2010-12-13 00:58:28View | Delete

    “an apparently dedicated and determined effort by the Department of Justice to charge Assange”

    I wonder, do you have reliable information about the stage of the process at this point? The last reporting I’ve seen in whose sources at/around DOJ I have faith (Charlie Savage) was that options were being explored. Lately there has been a flurry of claims from Assange attorneys that charges are imminent, grand juries are secretly empaneled, and etc. But I have no particular reason to place credence in the U.S. sources of attorneys in London seeking to shape the public perceptions of any case(s) against their client. I certainly agree there is clearly an effort to establish a means of charging Assange with a crime under U.S. law, but I don;t have any sense that the limitations you so expertly lay out are not in fact carrying the day, as vice it being actually clear to those who know that charges are more or less a certainty.

  • …and now comes the WaPo saying 40% of our “reconcilable Talibs” recruits were faking their connection. Of course, that all is murky, as they may well have been militants who have indeed decided to take the $ to hang it up, which is positive even if they were never Quetta-connected/etc.

  • Julian Assange, eat your heart out.

  • MikeD commented on the blog post One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

    2010-11-22 02:43:51View | Delete

    Is it documented that Gadahn is not being treated differently?

  • MikeD commented on the blog post Ghailani Reacts: The Center for Constitutional Rights

    2010-11-18 08:11:38View | Delete

    “The agents”? Not that theyre not responsible for their actions, but is that where we/CCR want to leave it? Speaking for myself it sure isn’t.

  • MikeD commented on the blog post Lawrence O’Donnell and Glenn Greenwald: Redux

    2010-11-11 03:01:28View | Delete

    I pretty frequently criticize Jane (albeit often just in my own head) for what I consider unconsidered, overheated rhetoric, so let me take this moment to say that I think this post is the most sober, methodical, convincing statement of the case that “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party” has to make to the broad liberal coalition (i.e. including moderates and accomodationists) on the political benefit of a committed Left-Liberalism. Kudos.

  • MikeD commented on the blog post Those Feel-Good Sentences

    2010-11-01 07:13:00View | Delete

    Might may not make right, but where pure dominance of the force of arms is in question it makes such law as there is. Who can tell me how international law advocates propose to distinguish in theory and then determine in fact who was a lawful resistor and who a violent criminal in an environment like Afghanistan 2002?

  • MikeD commented on the blog post Those Feel-Good Sentences

    2010-11-01 06:42:02View | Delete

    This is where lawful and unlawful combatant status would seem to loom large. I was never much for the distinction, but it would seem to me intuitive that how under the LAC one would treat a fifteen year-old lawful combatant taking lawful actions of warfare against other lawful combatants on a battlefield would be very different from how one would treat a fifteen year-old unlawful combatant taking violent criminal action against lawful combatants. If the latter is the correct understanding, if not detention and military trial, what then was the way said fifteen-year-old was to have been treated under the law?