Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Bush torture policies: Republican claim to rule by decree slips by the poor old Times 

Yes, once again, the public transportation giveaway, The Metro (Philly version) gets the story right, while the insider-coopted, flaccidly reported, and increasingly irrelevant New York Times does not. From the Metro (I type it in):

Explosive revelations on Bush and Rumsfeld

Bush claimed the right to waive anti-torture laws and treaties... The Justice Department disavowed a memo written on Aug. 1, 2002, that appeared to justify the use of torture... The memo also argued that the president's wartime powers superseded anti-torture laws and the Geneva convention. Bush said in a Feb. 7, 2002 memo that he accepted the conclusion by the attorney general and the department, but "I decline to exercise that authority at this time."
(AP, via The Philadelphia edition of the Metro)

So, here we have Bush claiming that he has the "inherent authority" (back) to set aside the law whenever he chooses.

That's rule by decree.

That's also the end of Constitutional Government.

Bad as the torture story is, Bush's claim to be above the law is far worse. He could, for example, postpone or set aside the 2004 elections, eh?

And does the Times cover this? I defy you to find a single mention of Bush's outrageous and unconstitutional claim in the Times. Try for yourself. You saw the headline from the Metro. They read the same story the Times did. And what is the Times headline? "White House Says Prisoner Policy Set Humane Tone." Is the Times in the tank on this one, or what? You may share your well-reasoned views with the sadly overworked Daniel "Bud Man" Okrent.

Bush claims to be able to rule by decree, and the newspaper of record doesn't give it a mention. Where's the outrage?

UPDATE The Post has copies of the documents. Smart of the WhiteWash House to keep using a manual typewriter; no pesky electronic copies!

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