Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 27, 2008

The Unitary Executive

Yesterday in Washington, Representative John Conyers tried to nail down some limits to the Executive's power with one of the administration's architects of it's torture policy, John Yoo.

If there's a better example of stonewalling, I haven't seen it.

Here's a transcript from TPMuckraker for that portion of the youtube clip (it's about 1:30 in):

Conyers: Could the President order a suspect buried alive?

Yoo: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don't think I've ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive. . .

Conyers: I didn't ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.

Yoo: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don't think a President . . . no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.

Conyers: I think we understand the games that are being played

Notice Yoo's non-answer answer. First he tries to say he's never given the President advice to bury someone alive (not an answer, not even a good deflection) and then he says that no President would have to order that or feel it necessary to order it.

Not that the President can't order someone to be buried alive.

It should have been a simple yes or no.

That Yoo failed to say "no" should give us all great pause.


Anonymous said...

John K: "Some of the Sgts carried shotguns loaded with buckshot. There was a belief based on an angry exchange of diplomatic protests in Sept 1918 that if the Germans caugh a man with a shotgun they would execute him on sight on the grounds that such a weapon, by causing unnecessary suffering, violated the laws of war. The US Dept of State responded through a neutral Swiss emmissary that the German protest rang hollow, coming as it did from a nation that had introduced poison gas and flamethrowers to modern warfare, adding that any summary executions of American prisoners would be met by reprisals in kind."
Done in a time when Democrats suported the troops and knew what it took to win. And liberals did not handcuff our troops with lawyers.

cathcatz said...

but... we have to be able to torture the sheepherder, because he may know the cave that leads to the tunnel that leads to the center of the earth where bin laden has been living since 9/11!


what? they don't care to catch OBL? oh... then they still have to be able to torture to get information about al qaeda's #2 mEn.


what? they can't catch the leaders either??? oh... then they still have to torture to remind themselves that america is #1!!!

torture= good
diplomacy= bad


Anonymous said...

John K: And the President was Woodrow Wilson. The guy who ran on a campaign of staying out of the war. Woodrow lied, men died. But this was when the entire county supported the war effort. Not tried to sue any person in the military from the safety of borders protected by that very military.

Anonymous said...

John K.: I see cathcatz began studying history yesterday. Anything to get Bush. She ought to go read "Lone Survivor" and how the decision by the Seals and PO1 M. Luttrell to not do what cathcatz alleges lead directly, and I mean directly, to the death of three other Navy Seals. I did not see any liberal lawyer come to PO1 Luttrell's defense and offer to sue the Taliban pro bono over this violation of Rep. Conyers rules of warfare. Cathcatz hates this country so much she would see our troops killed for her personal talking points against Bush. Shame

Anonymous said...

John! John! Yo, John! Your medications have worn off again! Your keeper needs to make sure to keep the keyboard away from you when your hallucinogenic rage grabs hold of you like this!

cathcatz said...

john, dear...the only thing i hate about this country, are the people in it, who think like you do.

you disgust me. bushco disgusts me. the people in charge of our troops, who have put them in this situation, disgust me.

the troops? i support them completely.

Joshua said...

To say circumstances drastically changed between Nov. 1916 and Apr. 1917 is a dramatic understatement. Also, we recognize Woodrow Wilson today as a big-time racist. Next.

Anonymous said...

John K.: Shitrock would refute my arguments but he can't. He doesn't even know what historical references I am using. So he resorts to what he does best. LMAO too bad for him I am right again. LOL

Anonymous said...

John K: I should disgust you cathcatz. And if I did anything but I would question myself. So did you find any liberal lawyers that sued the Taliban in the death of Medal of Honor winner Lt. M. Murphy USN. Seal? None. How about Murtha? Did he find any evidence in Haditha to convict anyone involved in that incident. Now our Marines found evidence that Al Queda did use civilians as a shield knowing full well you and your liberal stooges would find someone to sue the Marines. Cathcatz you hate Bush so much it consumes you. All I can do is LMAO at your ignorance.

cathcatz said...

a lawyer first needs a client, in order to sue anyone. have the surviors of these fallen seals pursued a lawsuit of any kind? have they hired legal counsel? might i suggest that they sue this administration instead?

and i will read the book you recommend. i'll borrow it off my neighbor, a former marine, now in the army reserves, who's currently in iraq. funny thing about this fine young man... he hates george bush too.

Anonymous said...

Shitrock would refute my arguments but he can't.

What can I say, John? As you say, you're right! Some of your arguments can't be refuted because they aren't arguments. Some of them can't be refuted because they make no sense. Some of them I won't bother to refute because they pretty much refute themselves.

But mostly, I don't refute them because it's more fun to point out your impotent, ignorant fury, and I'm just a mean little old fucker.

EdHeath said...

Well, I haven't read “Lone Survivor”, although I probably will at some point. What I have read from the blurbs is that Petty Officer Luttrell was faced with the decision of whether to kill three Afghani's or not, to keep them silent so the four man Seal team could continue their mission in secrecy. That’s not quite the same thing as torture, although there is some relationship. Evidently the three Afghani’s did tell the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and the Seal team was attacked.

But the point of the 2PJ’s post is that John Yoo refused to answer directly the questions of a Congressman. Nothing to do with Woodrow Wilson and World War I or Marcus Luttrell and his Seal team. I will say that if McCain gets elected, I think there will be pressure to put Yoo on the high court.

Anonymous said...

Well, these last few topics regarding torture and global warming are tons o' fun, and maybe we've entered the summer political doldrums, but I would like to see the site start to ramp up on topics that should dominate the election.

As an example, Obama points to a return to Keynsian economic principles, while McCain seemingly remains a supply sider; the price of energy, and all that entails, will vie with the state of the economy for the passionate lead debate topics this fall; now that the Iraqis are showing the fortitude to govern, and protect their country, what should the next prez do about this war and, specifically, troop levels?

Sure, its fun to throw stink bombs at each other and convince yourself that the other side is, at the very least, stoopid, and, at the most, downright evil.

I'd rather debate the issues and respect a well-thought-out opinion, on either side.

I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Hey X, when did you change your style!

Anonymous said...

Little older, little wiser...

Anonymous said...

Me too. Well, older anyhow.

cathcatz said...

to get back on topic, and stop throwing stink bombs...

it's scares the crap out of me that we have people in charge that WOULD order a prisoner buried alive. the fact that he didn't answer the question is enough for me to believe that possibility exists.

we are supposed to be better than this, better than the enemy. if we can torture, then there is nothing left to stop our own men and women from getting the same treatment.

Anonymous said...

Very little of this banter is important, less of it interesting.

Much more interesting, and important, would be the return appearances of Messrs. Yoo, Addington, Haynes, Bybee, Goodling, Elston, etc. after a newly organized Department of Justice strips them of their privilege assertions early next year.

America can wait a few months to pursue justice in this matter.

Anonymous said...

John K: Those Sgts that carried those shotguns thru the trenches, they sawed them off and liked to use them 'gangster' style. Good thing there were no liberal lawyers around. Or Oberfuhrer Olbermann. They might have brought charges against our doughboys and called them "killers and murderers".

Anonymous said...

John K.: You left wingers are probably not aware of this since you tend to only talk to other liberals. Rep. Murtha is being sued by one of those Marines he accused of being a murderer and rapist as a result of actions in Haditha. Charges have been dropped and no one has been convicted of squat. Except in the minds of the left. Good thing those Marines did not have sawed off shotguns, cathcatz might have referred to them as war criminals.

Anonymous said...

You throw out some nice references to history John, but you lack context and, therefore, any appreciation.

Care to address the matter of the mythical "unitary executive?" Because what you bring up has nothing to do with what this post is about - not even close.

But tell yourself that you're right and tack on some LOL LOL's that easy, right?

I mean, if you knew what you were talking about you would know that Wilson's administration was ready to deport, detain or imprison anyone who even spoke German.

And, again, you cite a war that was the impetus for the Geneva Conventions. That's really great that you bring this stuff up about WWI, but the international community came together to do their best to make sure those things never happened again.

You don't offer a defense of a "unitary executive" so much as you talk out of your ass.

How you can make the argument for "taking the gloves off" by referencing a war that was the catalyst for "putting the gloves on" is beyond me.

But I'm not a moron so I can't speak to how the "moron brain" operates, or fails to operate, as the case may be.

Anonymous said...

John K: I was right about Haditha and Murtha was wrong. I was right about Gen Petreaus you were wrong (Gen Betrayus). I was right about Iraq you were wrong. I was right in my first post you were wrong. What is this about historical references again. LMAO Man this is too easy.