Thursday, April 30, 2009

When the President Does It, That Means It's Not Illegal

President Nixon at Inaugural Ball 1973 - Photo by Richard K. Hoffmeister

Cenk Uygur has a disturbing piece in Huffington Post today that provides quotes from a  Q & A session following a recent Condi Rice speech at Stanford. The quotes are a chilling reminder that the pardon of Richard Nixon had the unintended consequence of allowing future administrations to use Nixon's, "when the president does it, that means it's not illegal," as a green light for committing  their own crimes. 

Our establishment media personalities are doing the country a grave disservice when they advocate that there should be no prosecutions for torture. If we ignore the criminal behavior of the Bush administration by not prosecuting then this dangerous idea that the president is above the law will live on and be used again in a future administration to commit even more crimes. You can check out the Uygur piece here.

Quotes from Condi:

"The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations under the Convention Against Torture."

"I didn't authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency, that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department's clearance. That's what I did."

"The United States was told, we were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture, and so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture." (emphasis added)

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