Re: A good start.

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More than prosecutions, more than convictions, what is so desperately needed is for sunlight to be cast on all the backroom deals, shady practices, illegal policies and so on that has been administration policy since Day 1. God, I'd love to see Buch/Cheney/Rumsfeld in irons at The Hague, but the infection runs so deep, it needs to be purged and become general knowledge, leaving the public so sickened they don't elect another Republican president for 20 years.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:18 AM
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Na Ga Ha Pen.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:18 AM
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2: Yeah, I know. But let a fellow dream for a bit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:21 AM
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||

I just corresponded with someone with the same name as her, with a slight alteration in spacing. Total double-take.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:25 AM
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Obama should deal in this way with as many tough, forward-looking issues as possible: "I dunno, because the data we get might well be corrupt. First we need an accounting, but here are my general principles."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:26 AM
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Though I do think Chopper's idea is a good one and is a more likely possibility. Declassify everything, release the first President Bush's records, withdraw Bush's claims of executive privilege, give congress everything it's asked for, etc.

Hell, even grant pardon's so people can't plead the 5th in front of congressional hearings. Of course, I'm sure half the oval office is filled with pardons to be stamped by Bush on 1/19/2009, so immediately call all those people to testify as to what they were pardoned for.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:26 AM
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4: Let me guess, she promised that this time it would be different.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:27 AM
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Also, to the extent such people start to make transparently false claims that they don't recall, hold them in contempt of Congress and refer them to Obama's DOJ for prosecution.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:28 AM
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I like the way you think, Ugh. Go forth and make it so.

Please?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:37 AM
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2: I haven't encountered this before. A quick googlabout shows it in use: means "it was ever thus" or "good fucking luck" or "just let it go"?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:37 AM
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My question after having been exposed to more cable news than is healthy over the weekend, and after just having read George fucking Will pontificating on that terminal elitist Barack Obama, is whether the fucking fuckheads in the motherfucking media will ignore this or begin moaning about how Elitist Boy just wants to drag us all through the mud and is more interested in punishing the Administration than moving the country forward? Because those are the only two possible choices with the flaming maggot-fucking syphilitic sycophantic purveyors of our brave new torture-loving narrative of America.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:41 AM
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10: It is related to Owa Tagu Siam.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:41 AM
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Not going to happen.

Popularized (?) by a Cheri Oteri (I think?) skit on SNL.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:43 AM
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But blogularized regularly in written form by Atrios.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:44 AM
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I honestly worry how much information can be had, even with empowered and determined investigators. The administration's nogoodniks seem to have had Watergate and Iran-Contra firmly in mind, and tried to proceed with as few records as possible (i.e., dismantling the email archive system), so that everything is one person's word against another.

Still, Godspeed, Barry.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:44 AM
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Thanks, oudemia.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:51 AM
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I don't know why you think the Obama Administration will be any different. Waxman isn't exactly finding what he thought he would, now is he? The judgement between bad policy and criminal behaviour will err in favor of policy.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:56 AM
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Let's game this one out. You're Barry Obama and you get that question. You're reasonably confident you will ultimately be the nominee, so there is no need to go out of your way to curry favor with a constituency in your own party. There is a need to get the whole party fired up for November. You'd like to put some of these guys away pour encourager les autres, but you know that will be very tough to do, and might well make it more difficult to enact the rest of your agenda.

Oversimplifying a bit, you have a 2X2 choice matrix.
Talk tough now, then go after them with a vengeance in January
Talk tough now, then do nothing.
Talk conciliatory now, then do nothing.
Talk conciliatory now, then go after them with a vengeance in January.

It seems to me that option four trumps the others both in terms of expected payoff and preserving option value.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:00 PM
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The judgement between bad policy and criminal behaviour will err in favor of policy.

Yes and no: probably in the main, but where the Dems think they can get away with it, I bet that they'll find criminal behavior. And that's useful, even if it doesn't end up leading to convictions. Someone recently linked to a story about Gonzales's difficulty finding a job. The claim was that this was a function of his singed reputation. It would be great if Dems could do that to more Administration hacks, and even greater if they could publicly sort the good from the bad on some sort of (fictive or not) principled ground.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:00 PM
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I don't know why you think the Obama Administration will be any different. Waxman isn't exactly finding what he thought he would, now is he?

Waxman is not president, nor does he have the expected post-election majorities.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:04 PM
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It seems to me that option four trumps the others both in terms of expected payoff and preserving option value.

I think you've dropped all the relevant parts of the analysis. It's not clear to me that there's no reason to talk tough now--that there isn't a payoff for that. I'm not sure that there's a reason to think that the two factors are independent, either, though I think you're treating them that way.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:04 PM
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I think you've dropped all the relevant parts of the analysis. It's not clear to me that there's no reason to talk tough now--that there isn't a payoff for that.

"Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re", SCMT. It has been a winning strategy for him up until now, and there's no reason to believe it will become less so once the relevant electorate includes larger numbers of Independents and Republicans, even if guys like me sometimes wish he would be a little more fortiter in his re.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:10 PM
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It would be great if Dems could do that to more Administration hacks, and even greater if they could publicly sort the good from the bad on some sort of (fictive or not) principled ground.

Exactly, wait until Corporation X finds out their nice new shiny General Counsel was up to his neck in Bush administration filth. Or maybe Corporation X would consider that a feature, not a bug.

The administration's nogoodniks seem to have had Watergate and Iran-Contra firmly in mind, and tried to proceed with as few records as possible (i.e., dismantling the email archive system), so that everything is one person's word against another.

They might have tried this, but I imagine there was enough CYAing down the line that a sufficient paper trail could be generated (see, e.g., the recent stories about Tenet getting sign-off on specific torture methods, I'm guessing there's a nice paper trail at CIA somewhere).

A good paper trail could be reconstructed especially if the current President was actively trying to make it happen (and, e.g., didn't give a rats ass about preserving power in the executive branch).

Although, I can see the current SCOTUS saying that claims of executive privilege are personal to a specific president, and not the office, thus allowing Bush to continue to claim privilege even when he's no longer President (though there might be some precedent on this already, though I'm not aware of any).


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:12 PM
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21: Yeah, it seems like there are potential advantages in both the primary and general elections in making it clear that someone will pay. And on the other axis of Knecht's matrix, there may be serious downsides to following through, with the media and respected centrists screaming witchhunt. I'm still for it though (some witches need to be hunted), and at this point I'm beginning to trust Obama's political decisions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:16 PM
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Ah, but that's the beauty of the release all the information approach, hard to cry witchunt if you're not prosecuting anyone (not that they shouldn't do that too).


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:19 PM
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Oh, I want all the information out, but without prison sentences, this will all be repeated in another few election cycles.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:23 PM
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It has been a winning strategy for him up until now, and there's no reason to believe it will become less so once the relevant electorate includes larger numbers of Independents and Republicans, even if guys like me sometimes wish he would be a little more fortiter in his re.

Mmm. It depends, I think, whether Republicans believe, or can convincingly make the case to independents, that gentle in manner means gentle in execution. That was, until recently, a fairly common rap on how the Dems ran.

Primarily, I just don't think he's going to be able to get many people if he becomes President. I am fine with him tiptoeing up to the line, if only because it directs attention to the existence of a line.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:24 PM
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Knecht gets this right. One can talk in a conciliatory fashion now and be shocked - shocked ! - when a routine investigation by DOJ turns up evidence that top officials actually OK'd torture of innocent people, or that they conspired to put a Democratic governor in jail for political reasons, or deliberately falsified intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war, or any of the other offenses that the president denies committing.

Obama could be put in a corner by the media, which could ask him: In light of the president's obvious, admitted violations of the law, what do you plan to do when you are president? But the media won't ask that question, because they won't admit the obvious violations.

Even Bunch doesn't acknowledge the obvious facts - he merely adopts the media trope that attributes Bush's crimes to somebody's opinion. Note the first two words of this sentence, for instance:

To many, the information that waterboarding -- which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past -- was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:15 PM
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You realize, the "it'll never happen" consensus is part of what makes it politically difficult. If you think it SHOULD happen advocate for that regardless of the odds, instead of showing how worldly you are. The president has more access to information than Waxman.

And you know, there's a lot of room between charging Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et. al with war crimes & not charging anyone with anything. There are investigations & crimes which went beyond what was legally authorized, but where prosecution would reveal more about what was legally authorized & so we haven't prosecuted those cases. Think Mark Swanner, the CIA agent who killed Manadel Jamadi, or Steve Stefanowicz, the CACI interrogator who a number of members of the military at Abu Ghraib have implicated. There's also the possibility of secondary charges--e.g. obstruction of justice for destruction of evidence; Donald Rumsfeld lying to Congress; etc.

When you add in the possibility of pardons. I do think that successful prosecutions of the higher ups are quite a bit less likely than not. But they're not so impossible that we have any business conceding their impossibility in advance. And I think we should absolutely open up the files; that should be the minimum acceptable position.

Anyway, this answer is encouraging; there's not much more I would want him to say at this point on the criminal question (I would like to hear more of a commitment on finding out exactly what happened); the question is the follow up.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:23 PM
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One can talk in a conciliatory fashion now and be shocked - shocked ! - when a routine investigation by DOJ turns up evidence that top officials actually OK'd torture of innocent people, or that they conspired to put a Democratic governor in jail for political reasons, or deliberately falsified intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war, or any of the other offenses that the president denies committing.

Except that many people feel the last seven years were seven years of Dem conciliation in word, which forced or justified, in the end, conciliation in deed. This is one of the things that some people hold against the DLC/Clintonite faction. If you're looking for separation from just that crowd, conciliation may not be the way to go.

All that said, it depends how much you trust Obama's political judgment. On the whole, it seems to be pretty good.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:29 PM
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31: There is an entirely separate political question of whether law 'n' order for Bush administration officials would play well politically today. My guess is there's no good reason to play that card right now.

Except that many people feel the last seven years were seven years of Dem conciliation in word, which forced or justified, in the end, conciliation in deed.

Right. This is where I disagree. The problem is not that the Dems said they would be conciliatory. The problem is that the Dems actually were conciliatory. George W. Bush said he was a uniter, not a divider, after all, and the fact that he said this didn't constrain him in any fashion whatsoever.

If Obama threatens prosecution for obvious crimes today, the media portrays him as someone politicizing the legal process. If he's noncommittal today and is forced by his attorney general to take action (in much the way that Petraeus has forced Bush to escalate in Iraq), then President Obama is just listening to the professionals, and doing his regrettable duty.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:38 PM
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I agree that Obama should play it firm, but cool for now. Just open it up to the extent possible if he wins. But in that event I expect nothing but resistance and obfuscation from the dicking dickwads of the dickweed press.
These guys have already basically chosen to sit out half-a-dozen Watergate sized dealios:

Lies in run-up to war + Plame
Torture rulez!
Eavesdropping rulez!
US Attorneys + electoral mechanisms of the "Permanent Republican Majority" (this one is most like Watergate)
Abramoff/Delay/lobbying corruption
Iraq war profiteering

Each of them potentially contain years of glory for a committed journalistic enterprise.

But I do think the public does have the whiff of utter fuckedupedness at the core, so you can press in general on that, but I think getting into too many specifics beyond how you will act differently will not help much. Especially, as per someone above, because the press is so complicit through their previous silence and therefore will not be inclined to help.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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Isn't this one of those issues on which Democrats should be working the Overton Window in order to expand the range of possible positions? We have Obama out there saying, "oh, we'll just have to look into this," but we need respectable, prominent, media-friendly mouthpieces calling for summary execution. Do we even have prominent people who've admitted to suspecting that war crimes have been committed?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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Is Cass Sunshine a possibility for Obama's Attorney General?

Maybe I should be all hopeful & optimistic:Obama will astonish me with Scott Horton in a persecutory position. After the election of course the true real Obama will be revealed, like leaping out of the phone booth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:14 PM
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Scott Horton in a persecutory position

Agreed that if prosecution seems untenable, then persecution would be an okay backup plan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:16 PM
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But that is actually my prediction:that Cass or someone like him will get the AG job; and the Obama administration will be more likely to extend liability for blog comment nastiness than to investigate Bushco.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:19 PM
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Based on nothing other than your own crazy-ass unsupportable biases as usual, I assume?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:21 PM
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I mean, I have been told repeatedly since 2000 not to listen to what candidates say, but to look at their advisors. So who, besides Cass, is on Obama's legal team?

In addition, IIRC, Samantha Power wasn't in the fire & brimstone school of improving human rights worldwide;much more carrot than stick.

There is a pattern to the Obama advisors that does match his rhetoric to some degree and should be another reason not to expect any confrontational investigations.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:28 PM
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37:Sifu , you are the one with the bias and I am the one with the fact.

Fact:Cass Sunnstein. Look him up.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:30 PM
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Obama's Advisors

Holy shit.

former Harvard professor Christopher Edley Jr., now dean of the law school at the University of California (Berkeley

Dean Edley is a name discussed on the legal blogs just in the last few weeks. Check DeLong or Balkinization. Did he actually hire Yoo?

Above on the page U of Chicago's Romers did not encourage me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:41 PM
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Okay, Bob, I can tell you 100% for sure that Chris Edley is a good guy whether or not he hired Yoo (I don't think he did; I think Yoo was tenured before he even got there), and that looking to him for some evidence of Obama's future warmongering torturethon is just utterly laughable.

Really.

Chris Edley is a terrific guy, as I imagine are most of the Obama advisors you're spinning wild conspiracy theories about.

I mean for fuck's sake, he ran Dukakis's campaign. Did you imagine that Dukakis was planning to torture people, too?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:45 PM
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You should see her relaxing at the beach with an enormous stack of books failing to teach any classes, PGD.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:49 PM
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Heyoh wrong thread. Don't read anything into 42, Bob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:49 PM
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Yoo was hired by Berkeley, iirc, in 1993. Edley joined Boalt in 2004, 5 years after Yoo had already received tenure.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:49 PM
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I can also guarantee you that the very last thing in the world Chris Edley wants to be doing is defending a torturer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:52 PM
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41:Obama's future warmongering torturethon is just utterly laughable.

Ok, I am making an on-topic argument supported, however inarticulately, with evidence & argument, and you are being a clown. Sometimes I am the clown.

The question under discussion is how actively Obama will go after the war criminals. I argue that his advisors seem to provide evidence that Obama takes his rhetoric of conciliation not confrontation very seriously, and at least on the WH terror decisions Obama is not likely to be the prosecutor of our dreams.

Yes, he has Tribe; and Ogletree and Cornel West. He has many heavy hitters, but look closely at the bibliography of Martha Minow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:59 PM
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So you're saying that -- while he has many advisors who are both tremendous intellects and morally laudable -- he has a couple who, if you squint, may advocate some things that make you a bit worried, and it is therefore nigh-certain that he will actively abet the forgiveness and exculpation of war criminals? Am I getting that right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:03 PM
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Superior Order Defense

Just an abstract of a paper by Minow, but does provide some clues.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:04 PM
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41, 45: Let us admire the foresight of a guy who gets his sockpuppet in place with a plausible backstory long before he's even needed. All hail Sifu Tweety Christopher Edley!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:06 PM
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The author argues that it is important to restrict the application of the superior orders defence in order to uphold a symbolic ideal of individual responsibility, but that real prospects for preventing atrocities by soldiers depend on changing the organizational design and resources surrounding the soldier and specifying new obligations for those in command. The author recommends changes to military incentives, culture, and practices. Proposed strategies include the provision of meaningful and effective training programs for both soldiers and officers, the establishment of a military culture in which soldiers understand their superiors to care about violations of law and morality, and the integration of legal analysis into the daily operations of all levels of the military hierarchy so that the burden of understanding lawfulness does not rest solely on the shoulders of the ordinary soldier.

That... monster!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:06 PM
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49: it'd be kind of hilarious of the dean of Boalt Hall had as much time to comment here as I seem to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:08 PM
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48:I am neither worried or hopeful at least on the issue. I am absolutely certain that Obama will not send Bush to the gallows, or do anything else to please Katherine or upset the Republicans in the area of war crimes etc.

What Obama will be is forward-looking, solving problems rather than assigning blame, creating a better system to prevent abuses in the future, blah blah blah blah until the next monster gets elected.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:09 PM
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Just an abstract of a paper by Minow, but does provide some clues.

Clues of what, exactly?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:10 PM
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50:Whether or not ultimately letting the monsters slide is itself monstrous is a difficult question, at least for me. The National Review famously thought there was little purpose served by prosecuting Eichmann.

But the topic was an attempt to predict what Obama will do;and the paper by Minow, added to all the other evidence, should no lend itself to optimism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:15 PM
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Why is everyone calling him Cass and not Sunstein? (Oh, lord, this is not to relive yesterday's argument.) I say this because Cass makes me think Kass. I spent like a week, years ago, being horrified that M*rtha was fucking L*on Kass.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:18 PM
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Minow's paper says that disallowing the superior orders defense -- while probably necessary -- is not in-and-of-itself enough to prevent atrocities: on what planet could that possibly have anything whatsoever to do with prosecution Bush administration officials for war crimes? She's talking about preventing atrocities by low-level troops, not prosecuting the people who gave the f'in' orders.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:19 PM
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Edley on Yoo and tenure:

Assuming one believes as I do that Professor Yoo offered bad ideas and even worse advice during his government service, that judgment alone would not warrant dismissal or even a potentially chilling inquiry.

And:

Absent very substantial evidence on these questions, no university worthy of distinction should even contemplate dismissing a faculty member. That standard has not been met.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:21 PM
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So he pretty much agrees with Rauchway, pf.

That Rauchway: turn your back on him for even a second and he'll start whipping people with electrical cables.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:23 PM
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Waxman isn't exactly finding what he thought he would, now is he?

Not completely sure what that's supposed to mean, but progress will be incremental until Justice starts enforcing subpoenas. A bigger House majority will help too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:25 PM
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53:All I have is the abstract, of course.

The author concludes that the evidence undermines the likelihood that a norm establishing individual responsibility would succeed in changing conduct
. ...Minow

I should probably leave this to Horton and the Balkinization crew. I do remember one of them saying that once an OLC opinion was given, it would be very hard to prosecute anyone who followed that advice.

However that might not be pertinent to Yoo and those above him.

But I could argue that Minow's statement above might argue more generality for the futility or war crimes trials; and that her position, if it is her position, correlates to some of Samanthat Power's positions on Int'l Human Rights policy.

I guess I should look up the Minow article in the Boston Globe:"The Lessons of Nuremberg", November 3 2005.

But honestly, what's the point? How many of you knew Martha Minow's name, that she worked for Obama, that the post topic was one of her specialties?

How many of you gave a shit?

Obammmmmmmmma!!!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:28 PM
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Sifu, Bob is on much solider ground than you are pretending. The Democrats have a decades long history of caving in, and Obama has been sending out mixed messages.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:29 PM
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Vote for me.


Posted by: Ralph Nader | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:30 PM
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61: I just think it's silly that the default assumption when Obama says something should be "can't believe that." It took courage just to say this during a primary, in my opinion, and it seems like a positive development.

I also think your reasoning -- that Democrats have a history of caving -- makes a lot more sense than Bob's weirdo advisor tea-leaf-reading.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:32 PM
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51: What else would he do all day?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:33 PM
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61, 63:Emerson tries to shift it to "Democrats", but Obama has both a history and rhetoric of radical conciliation (which is not capitulation, of course) and when I find advisor after advisor who are experts on conciliation and "finding the middle ground" forgive fucking me if I take Obama's general tone seriously.

And expect him as President to actively try to avoid open confrontation in policy negotiations and criminal investigations.

There are many who will consider that just wunnerful, like Andy Sullivan. But the party base has I think reason & evidence to worry that Obama will comity and compromise a step too far. Especially with the snakepit that is the current Republican Party.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:48 PM
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when I find advisor after advisor who are experts on conciliation and "finding the middle ground"

You found one, and only got that many by ignoring the differences between criminal investigations and armed conflicts.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:51 PM
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Cass Sunstein has written tons of brilliant articles, and is being targeted because he thinks blogs are polarizing and is interested in deliberative democracy. Martha Minow? You've gotta be kidding me. I had no idea that she's an Obama advisor, but am really happy to hear it. She's exactly someone you'd want in some kind of advisory role, though I can't think of what particular office she might be suited for. It seems that Bob's process is to hear that someone is in some way affiliated with the Obama campaign, hold it against them, decide they're a bad person, and then hold their affiliation with the campaign against Obama.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:57 PM
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Oh hell. Did anyone here follow the links and look at the titles? Of course not

Imagine Coexistence ...edited by Minow

...

Grumet met Obama in 2005, after the Illinois Democrat was elected to the Senate. He worked with Obama on his collaboration with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., on strengthening federal fuel-economy standards for cars. Grumet said he was impressed with Obama's eagerness to forge compromises with Republicans and other interests involved in the debate. "Having been frustrated in this town for several years with the heroic rhetoric on oil dependence and then the total lack of policy progress, I thought [Obama's approach] was the way that you can make real progress," Grumet said.
...
Like Obama, he favors a combination of public diplomacy and the option of military action to address national security threats. But the two differ on the controversial question of immunity for telecommunications companies that helped the government covertly monitor calls after 9/11. Brennan favors immunity, but Obama voted to strip retroactive immunity from the Senate intelligence bill, arguing that the matter should be settled in court.

I can go on & on, and Y'all can nitpick every piece of evidence and argument (and always claim I make no arguments & provide no evidence) and so say there is no pattern here but you are the ones who are speculating that Obama will be confrontational based on nothing but a fucking fever dream.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:01 PM
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So he pretty much agrees with Rauchway, pf.

Only because Rauchway endorses deferring to Edley and his cohorts, so in that sense, the point you're making is tautological - Rauchway would support whatever Berkeley decides if it does so in a lawful, rule-based manner.

Rauchway explicitly denies that he opposes revocation of Yoo's tenure, and I'm pretty sure Rauchway is in favor of an investigation, unlike Edley.

And if that weren't enough, it should also be noted that Rauchway is wrong and isn't to be trusted on this issue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:09 PM
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It seems that Bob's process is to hear that someone is in some way affiliated with the Obama campaign, hold it against them, decide they're a bad person, and then hold their affiliation with the campaign against Obama.

Cite where I held Minow's affiliation with the campaign, or Obama affiliation with Minow "against them"

Cite where I said Minow was a "bad person"

You are the ones making things up.

The question under discussion is whether Obama will vigorously confront Bush war crimes and other malfeasance. The evidence, not excluding what was quoted in the post, very much argues against that speculation. Obama apparently has a pretty coherent philosopphy and ethic of comity & compromise with the avoidance of confrontation, and has hired advisors who will help him in the process and develop policies that are not divisive.

Now I vastly prefer confrontation, not merely for its own sake, and that is one of the reasons I don't like Obama. I think what you see is what you will get. Lieberman attacks Obama, has Obama attacked back? Maybe. But Obama chose Lieberman to be his mentor when he entered the Senate.

Will he as President go after Bushco? No way.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:11 PM
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Brennan favors immunity, but Obama voted to strip retroactive immunity from the Senate intelligence bill, arguing that the matter should be settled in court.

Damn.


Posted by: man mcbobus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:11 PM
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71:Did you read the article, or just my quote?

Just me, but I wouldn't have an advisor who favored retroactive immunity for criminal behavior on my staff. The precedent is horrific, and I couldn't stomach talking to the SOB.

But that is just me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:21 PM
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69: my point was that Rauchway himself noted the similarities in their arguments.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:22 PM
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72: good thing you aren't running for President, then, for so many reasons.

Seriously, Bob (did I really just say that?) has it really not occured to you that Obama values having people with different points of view advising him, that he might make an informed decision? Has it similarly not occured to you that the next President will not actually be dictator with the power to kill off every Republican, and that the ability to convince them to go along with his agenda may be important?

Haha, I joke. To the barricades!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:25 PM
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But wait! No I am told that his daddy was a communist, because of a seekrit article written by Barack Sr., unearthed by right-wing bloggers and given to the Politico!

Parts of the article, titled "Problems Facing Our Socialism," have been making the rounds on several small blogs over the past week, but Politico.com is now, for the first time, reproducing the entire piece in its original form.

The scholarly eight-page paper, credited to "Barak H. Obama," is never mentioned in "Dreams From My Father," nor has the candidate discussed it in any of his many public speeches. (Politico brought the article to his campaign's attention late last week, but aides did not respond to a request for comment from Obama.)

The paper's substance, though, offers insight into the mind and the political trajectory of a man described by his son largely through his emotional life, his family and his traditions.

Published in the esoteric East Africa Journal in 1965, the year after Kenyan President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta took power and the country declared independence from British rule, the paper takes a gently mocking tone to the Kenyatta government's key, controversial statement of economic policy, titled "African Socialism and Its Applicability to Planning in Kenya."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:28 PM
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It's depressing that Obama is as close as it comes to a prominent Dem who will even acknowledge what needs to be done, and even he says that impeachment should be saved for "extraordinary circumstances" as if these don't qualify. Weak. But at least it's something, I guess.

See, Bob, you're making a perfectly reasonable point here, but because of all your past in(s)ane bullshit about Obama you're being dismissed. Doesn't that suck?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:28 PM
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And blockquote is buggered.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:29 PM
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Brennan favors immunity, but Obama voted to strip retroactive immunity from the Senate intelligence bill, arguing that the matter should be settled in court.

Damn bob. This is just damning stuff.


Posted by: man mcbobus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:31 PM
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76: yeah I mean, I think it's vanishingly unlikely that something will actually happen. I just think McManus's conspiracy-theorizing about Obama is ludicrous, and of all his advisor's he managed to pick one of the very few that I can actually vouch for the integrity of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:33 PM
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The only one of those legal advisors I find objectionable in any consistent way is Sunstein, & he's not all that objectionable & Obama has explicitly disagreed with some of his worst stuff. Edley's statement on Yoo is pretty maddening but I'm pretty sure it's a sign of an instutitonal "tenure is sacred because it protects me & my school" bias that doesn't tell us very much about his views on the prosecution issue, let alone Obama's views.

I am not especially optimistic about Obama's DOJ prosecuting, but this isn't because of his advisors. It's because of: (1) general obstacles to prosecution (2) some of his previous statements about impeachment actively & gratuitously dismissed the idea that they'd committed crimes. But a public "I'll have the DOJ look at it; I'm not going to do a prosecution for partisan reasons but if there were crimes, no one is above the law" approach is exactly what I would recommend for a campaign. (It would be best if accompanied by other speakers saying "hell yes crimes have been committed, & Congress having seriously entertained impeachment, etc. etc.).

The first clear signal will be the DOJ nominations.

I certainly don't think Clinton is MORE likely to prosecute & I think she's somewhat less likely to stop all forms of torture & rendition, somewhat more likely to support oh, an administrative detention system in place of GTMO, less likely to make the past abuses public & support changes in the law to prevent recurrences, less likely to change the way OLC operates, etc.

Where I would like to see a clearer public stand now is the need to open up the files & let the public know exactly what's gone on.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:54 PM
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Where I would like to see a clearer public stand now is the need to open up the files & let the public know exactly what's gone on.

It is encouraging to me that Obama has been such a strong supporter of open government in the past.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:00 PM
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I am not especially optimistic about Obama's DOJ prosecuting, but this isn't because of his advisors.

My point, which I will repeat, is that Obama's advisors are one of the best indicators of how he will govern, in other words, the advisors show us Obama.

He could have chosen Scott Horton, Lederman, Balkin. Those are pretty good lawyers. Or many others. He chose these particular lawyers.

I like his economic even less after reading that article.

And I understand many would just love Minow. Blessed are the peacemakers, etc. I can only pray that her influence is 100% limited to foreign policy. In certain circumstances peacemakers can be disastrous, and I do not hold peace, hugs, and warm fuzzies as my highest priority. Starving in the arms of a sympathetic rich Republican...never mind.


that the next President will not actually be dictator with the power to kill off every Republican ...Sifu Tweety, quoted without further comment


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 7:18 PM
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Comment from Rittholz's place

OT, but I thought it was pretty neat, especially for those who think we can urbanize our way past peak oil.

These charts are delusionary low--from my edge of the world--steel.

Price change in steel making components from Feb 2007 to Feb 2008 (check it out at steelonthenet.com):

Thermal coal: 56.7 to 140.6 (147% increase)
Coking coal: 94.3 to 210.0 (122% increase)
Iron Ore: 84.7 to 140.6 (65% increase)
Natural gas: 302.0 to 369.0 (22% increase)
Scrap: 280 to 390 (39% increase)

Now what are the real numbers out there? Is there a hedonic adjustment for coal that just occurred? How about iron ore?

Posted by: Neal | Apr 15, 2008 10:33:56 AM

Now tell me about going vertical again. With what structural material?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 7:24 PM
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a. Obama has said (in the past) he does not favor impeachment.
b. He thinks impeachment requires extraordinary circumstances.
c. a & b imply that it is his opinion that this administration , while bad, has not created these extraordinary circumstances and by implication has not violated any laws.
d. (I think) It is pretty clear that this administration has egregiously violated laws, and probably committed war crimes.
e. He has himself partially contradicted c. e.g in this speech he gave about the military commissions act:
http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060928-remarks_of_sena_9/

The only conclusions I can draw from this are : i)Sen. Obama cannot recognize "extraordinary circumstances" even if they hit him in the face, or b). he is being disingenous and pandering to as many constituencies as possible, like any good politician who wants to do nothing would. Either way, this does not reflect well on him, and makes me believe that he will really do very little about this if he becomes President.


Posted by: The Blue Flautist | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 9:42 PM
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The correct term for a flute player is "Flotner", fyi.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 9:44 PM
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LOL

WBR,
Alex
http://www.world-viagra.com - my favourite drug-store
cheap drug-store


Posted by: mypharmalifex | Link to this comment | 04-24-08 5:22 AM
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