The USDOJ released on monday confidential OLC memos 1 confirming what everybody already knew : the Bush administration had rather strange ways of defining such concepts as democracy, freedom, justice, or law. To name a not so happy few.
I'm afraid my title may be perceived as too kind for the infamous psychopath who used to run (and disgrace the very name of) the Office of Legal Counsel at the time when those memos were crafted : John Yoo is neither Niccolò Machiavelli, nor even Karl Rove (at least, The Architect did have some competence, some florentine know-how, and a few neurons to spare).
And John Yoo was not an advisor to "Il Principe" : Lorenzo il Magnifico offered Renaissance to the World. George W. Bush ? A sick Medieval revival.
Indeed, W. seems closer to Girolamo Savonarola than to Lorenzo de' Medici : his glorious "acts of faith" will be remembered as the destructive crimes of a dangerous fundamentalist, the same way "auto de fe" / "auto-da-fé" now echoes Spanish Inquisition delicacies, or bonfires of good books or people.
At least, the Bush Administration did embrace innovation in that field, and not only in the torture section : compared to Yoo's 9 memos, a Library of Alexandria of confidential documents has disappeared in the shredding machine feeding frenzy meant to save Dick Cheney from Justice (see "Justice now").
But change has come to America and guess what ? Justice, the real thing, is back.
Exit Yoo. Exeunt Addington, Ashcroft, Gonzales.
Enter Eric Holder. Enter Dawn Johnsen, and the new OLC boss has a long history of sound statements against the mob that used to rule the nation 2.
Other relevent comments ? From Jack Balkin (Yale), who sees in Yoo's memos a "theory of presidential dictatorship". "This was a period of panic, and panic creates an opportunity for patriotic politicians to abuse their power" 3.
I guess "patriotic politicians" abusing their power could pose a problem.
But I know for sure what happens when it's a bunch of "fascist theocons" 4.
2 "Obama's impressive new OLC chief" (Glenn Greenwald - Salon 20090105)
3 "Bush administration memos on presidential powers stun legal experts" - David G. Savage - LA Times 20090303)
4 see "Universal Declaration of Independence from Fundamentalism" and "Let's Face It They're Fascists" (archives 2004)
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