Greenwald reads through the newly released OLC memos:
It's somewhat surreal to witness -- now that George Bush is out of office -- the avalanche of establishment media reports suddenly acknowledging today, rather explicitly, how radical and lawless his presidency was, as though we only learned of that this week with the release of these memos.
Just to recap: the last president believed that he had the inherent power to suspend both the First and the Fourth amendments, he had the power to seize anyone in the US or world, disappear and torture them, and ordered his legal goons to come up with patently absurd legal rationales for all of it. And much of official Washington carried on as normal - and those of us who actually stood up and opposed this were regarded as "hysterics".
Something is rotten in a country where this can happen with such impunity - and when, even now, highly regarded and respected journalists and commentators simply move on or roll their eyes or sigh world-weary sighs.
What we just lived through was an attack on the Constitution of the
United States, conducted by the president and vice-president and an
array of apparatchiks.The theory undergirding it renders the entire constitution subject to one man's prerogative.
The conservative blogosphere - who resolutely ignored this in deference
to their Caesar - now bleats about Obama's alleged threat to the
The one thing this reveals is the need for more information. The Obama administration did us a favor by releasing these memos. Release more. An Accountability Commission needs to get to work as soon as possible so that we can at least know what was done to the Constitution in the name of "security."Sunlight,please. More of it. The precedents that have been set are deeply dangerous to the survival of core American liberties. And if there were a conservative movement worthy of its name, it would be in the vanguard.