January 31, 2006

"Palace Revolt" or Coup D'Etat?

Newsweek calls it "one of the most significant and intriguing untold stories of the war on terror":
These Justice Department lawyers, backed by their intrepid boss Comey, had stood up to the hard-liners, centered in the office of the vice president, who wanted to give the president virtually unlimited powers in the war on terror. Demanding that the White House stop using what they saw as farfetched rationales for riding rough-shod over the law and the Constitution, Goldsmith and the others fought to bring government spying and interrogation methods within the law...
The story has some interesting fly-on-the-wall details like this:
When Addington and Flanigan produced a document—signed by Bush—that gave the president near-total authority over the prosecution of suspected terrorists, Bellinger burst into Gonzales's office, clearly upset, according to a source familiar with the episode. But it was too late.

Addington was just getting started....
But basically this article tells us (well, me) nothing that we (I) didn't already know: Bush Cabal insiders ran rough-shod over the law, and wimpy GOP appointees who protested against their illegal antics were either ignored or shown the door.

It sounds like the main source for the article was Jack Goldsmith, and it sounds like he is trying hard to disassociate himself from the illegal shit before it hits the proverbial fan. I mean what is this stuff...?
Stocky, rumpled, genial, though possessing an enormous intellect, Goldsmith is known for his lack of pretense...

Goldsmith was actually the opposite of what his detractors imagined....

Goldsmith, known for putting in long hours, went to new extremes as he reviewed the OLC opinions. Colleagues received e-mails from him at all hours of the night. His family—his wife, 3-year-old son and newborn baby boy—saw him less and less often. Sometimes he would take his older boy down to the Justice Department's Command Center on Saturdays, just to be near him.
Oh well, at least the story is out there. After all, there are still hordes of people who don't even know about this stuff. As the article concludes:
A healthy debate has at last begun.

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