Monday, March 09, 2009

From the Greatest Hits Collection

I wrote this post entitled "We Had Legal Opinions" in April, 2008, another time when there was a flare-up of the torture opinion issues.

My points then and now:

a. The President of the United States cannot hide behind the legal opinion of a government attorney. That is like you hiding behind the immigration status of your cleaning woman.

b. There is no such thing as a legal opinion unless the lawyer who wrote the legal opinion is somehow on the hook for the opinion.

c. I am unaware of any field of commerce where legal opinions carry more weight than in the oil and gas industry. It is small wonder that Bush and Cheney placed totemic power in legal opinions.

d. However, there are 125,000,000 Republicans in this country. Some of them have law degrees. And some small subset of those are Republican Congressmen. Someone should have gotten the word to the President and the Vice President that there is no legal opinion where there is no attorney liability.

e. The lawyers who wrote these opinions need to be held personally accountable. And if they were only obeying orders, then the people giving the orders have to be held personally accountable. In most instances, of course, this means some sort of civil damages. Sometimes, when an accounting opinion has lead to criminial fraud, the accountants have gone to jail. Here, where a legal opinion was used to turn our sons and daughters into torture machines, a proportionate penalty needs to be appllied.

f. It is nice to have truth squads about what happened in this or that war, but it is really too late. The time to have done this was two years ago, when the Democrats controlled the Congress, but didn't have the power to do anything but hold hearings.

g. If the Speaker of the House understood her job properly, she would realize that the purpose of being Speaker of the House is being Speaker of the House. The purpose is not to elect a Democratic President.

h. If the Speaker of the House understood her job properly, we would have already had these hearings, and people would already be paying penalties.