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Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Word about Executive Privilege

In the current hoo-ha over the Bush Administration's preference for Stalinist tactics in regards to the Justice Department, the White House has tried to justify mooning the Congress of the United States by invoking executive privilege. This legal theory, it seems, exists because "he [Bush] needed to protect the flow of advice he receives from close advisers." (House panel: Miers wrong to miss hearing, AP 7/12/07) The idea is that the President can only get candid advice from his advisers if that advice will be kept perpetually secret.

I think this whole idea is, in short, a crock.

Secrecy should not be the prerequisite for candor. Honesty should. Anyone who requires secrecy in order to give the best advice possible to the President or anyone else should be fired. Immediately and peremptorily. Their advice should be suitable for printing on billboards. If someone does not feel that would be possible, that person is undoubtedly a liar and a scoundrel.

The White House is counting on having a Supreme Court that is bought and paid for in order to uphold this one, but it won't wash even then. Oh, sure, they will get the votes of those political cronies Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, but I suspect that this utter disregard for the Congress and therefore the people of the United States will be too much for Kennedy. There comes a point when even a toady has to say "No."

I have to give this administration credit for one thing, though. Every time I think my cynicism has reached its bottom, they come up with some knew way to make it sink ever deeper.