Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Executive Non-Executive Branch

I've been enjoying the many descriptions by people of Cheney as the fourth branch of the government. It's no surprise that he considers himself above the law, but it's amusing to watch his lawyers running around in circles trying to justify his untouchability.

I'm surprised Bush hasn't sought advice from the Big Dick on how to pull off this magic trick of being and not being. In the Gonzales firing case, the House & Senate Judiciary committees have sent the White House a letter demanding that Bush either 1) back down from his executive privilege claim or 2) give Congress a detailed explanation for withholding each and every document. Bush's folk are trying to hold onto internal emails & documents related to the Justice Department firing of those nine federal prosecutors.

Bush's crew has been arguing that wonderful old chestnut, that these communication are part of the prerogative that ensures presidential advisers are free to provide "candid and unfettered advice" to the president.

Just to get this right -- Bush, famed for not listening to anyone about anything (except puppet master Cheney), has his lawyers arguing that they can't hand over documents showing that they fired the prosecutors for political reasons because they are part of this "candid and unfettered advice" the president receives?

If Bush truly got anything near to "candid and unfettered advice" does anyone thing we still would have invaded Iraq looking for non existent WMDs? Or would still be hanging on in there year after year in the face of obvious common sense to the contrary? Maybe, instead of worrying about getting those documents, Congress should instead focus on what on earth constitutes "candid and unfettered advice" over at the White House.


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