Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stealthy John Roberts: Iran-Contra is the elephant in the room 

Pat Holt of the Christian Science Monitor actually says this out loud:

The question of controlling information has arisen again in connection with the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee reasonably want to know what Judge Roberts did and what views he expressed during his service in the Reagan administration. While Bush professes full cooperation with the Senate Judiciary Committee, including its Democratic members, he has been careful about which documents from these periods of Roberts' career are made available. A great many documents have been supplied, but some have been withheld. Many of those that have been supplied have large sections blacked out. The Bush executive order says these redactions should be made on the basis of national security considerations, but in the end they come down to subjective judgments by the incumbent president or his White House staff.

In the name of protecting national security,
President Bush has arrogated to himself and to all his successors (unless one of them should be sufficiently public-spirited to change it) the power to control which presidential papers going back to George Washington can be made public. One must ask: Why would Bush be moved to do this?

A cynical, but possibly true, explanation is to protect Reagan and his vice president - the current president's father - from disclosure of the full truth about the Iran-contra scandal, which possibly contained grounds for another impeachment.
(via Christian Science Monitor)

Never forget that Roberts was a political appointee in the Solicitor General's office; a "made man," as Atrios says. If there were any legal opinions that Reagan and his bucket of warm spit, Bush the First, wanted, and then wanted to disavow, Roberts would have been the go-to guy. Say, on whether Reagan, or Bush I, could be impeached over Iran-Contra; and what evidence to bury so they couldn't be.

Remember that odd insistence, at the very beginning of the Roberts nomination fight, on a non-sensical claim of attorney client privilege (back) between Roberts and the President? Hmmm.....

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