Tuesday, July 18, 2006

DOJ really Said it! : "The president is always right"

Old and Busted: Infallible Popes.

The New Hotness: Infallible presidents.


  Move over Pope Bennie! there's a NEW inerrant Sheriff in Town!


Apparently there's to be no more mucking about with Speaking ex cathedra  and thrones of St Peter when we need an infallible pronouncement, now we need only wait on Pearls to fall from "The Deciders'" lip, as he too is, apparently, "always right" as well.


Or so sayeth an apparently otherwise intelligent and

Senior DOJ official while testifying before congress yesterday
 When Our Man, Sen. Patrick Leahy grilled him on Gitmo and Hamdan

:



LEAHY: The president has said very specifically, and he's said it to our European allies, he's waiting for the Supreme Court decision to tell him whether or not he was supposed to close Guantanamo or not. After, he said it upheld his position on Guantanamo, and in fact it said neither. Where did he get that impression? The President's not a lawyer, you are, the Justice Department advised him. Did you give him such a cockamamie idea or what?


BRADBURY: Well, I try not to give anybody cockamamie ideas.


LEAHY: Well, where'd he get the idea?


BRADBURY: The Hamdan decision, senator, does implicitly recognize we're in a war, that the President's war powers were triggered by the attacks on the country, and that law of war paradigm applies. That's what the whole case --


LEAHY: I don't think the President was talking about the nuances of the law of war paradigm, he was saying this was going to tell him that he could keep Guantanamo open or not, after it said he could.


BRADBURY: Well, it's not --


LEAHY: Was the President right or was he wrong?


BRABURY: It's under the law of war -


LEAHY: Was the President right or was he wrong?


BRADBURY: The President is always right.


Now if this had been some obsequious WH poltical appointee, or RNC functionary, such a Kool-aid flavored statement might not have been so suprising,  after all we EXPECT them to kiss the boss' ass, that's what they are there for.


However, this was Stephen Bradbury, the Assistant Attorney General  in the Department of Justice.  Moreover , Bradbury, a former Supreme Court Clerk (Thomas-natch)  heads the Office Of Legal Counsel .  The Office serves as the Executive Branch's Lawyer.  They are the ones who advise not only the other Departments but the President himself on what is and is not legal, and what law, court judgments and opinions mean.


So what then is the Paragon of legal thinker's answer to what to do when he President obviously interprets the key holdings a Supreme Court Judgment? (as Leahy pointed out he so clearly did here)   How does Bradbury correct him, and uphold the rule of law?  The answer is he doesn't.  Instead he apparently does whatever mental gymnastics are required to make the president right and the law and statutes wrong.   He can do this because, by his own admission "The president is always right" ,


This is going too damn Far.  I don't care how Unitary the executive is, its a Lawyer's JOB to tell a client when he has his head colorectally inserted legally speaking.  The client is not a customer, and no matter how much they may not like it they are NOT alwys right, and it is our duty to the client and to our profession to set them straight.


Unfortunately Bush seems to have a strict, "invertebrates only" policy when it comes to hiring functionaries.   It was one thing when the President surrounded himself with glassy eyed loyalists whose sole qualification for their jobs were the number of birthday cards they'd sent him proclaiming him the "bestest president ever".   It worse when he packed his "spontaneous town Hall meetings" with carefully screened and meticulously selected loyalists.  But THIS is going too far.  .  They can make all the image manipulating PR they want, But I draw the line at altering the Fabric of reality (or even the Corpus juris) to make this dolt infallible.

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