Deep food for thought (and tragic reflection) in this video. Particularly the first 30 minutes or so. Jane Mayer author of the new scorcher author of The Dark Side interviewed at New America by Steve Clemons. Mayer chronicles the legal minds (particularly the odious David Addington) behind the Bush Presidency’s legitimation of torture. As she states they think of themselves as not breaking the law but rather “have their own interpretation of it.” One that points to a unitary executive branch, dismisses all considerations of treaties/international opinion/law and even went so far as to contemplate (thankfully never enacted) trying to override the Supreme Court. And at the very least (which is to say far too much) sees any perceived diminution of executive power/privilege by the Congress as simply to be ignored. Otherwise known as breaking the law. The myopia and weird re-fighting of the Ford administration battles (fears of Congressional overreach) in the post 9/11 is scary that these humans could be so ignorant and have such power.
Cheney of course resides at the heart of the dark side. The phrase is his own. Mayer talks about how the VP’s Office (Addington was the VP’s lawyer now Chief of Staff since Scotter Libby got in legal trouble) ran the show. Bush she says keeps falling out of frame. And the information he got was vetted/edited by the VP’s office.
Of the top priorities of an Obama administration, of which there are too many too count after the adolescents who’ve been mismanaging the state for the last eight years, one of which has to be to ferret out this cancer–torture, secrecy, signing statements. Some disinfectant is needed. We’ll see. It’s awfully tempting once one has the reins of power to convince oneself that one will use them for good. [That is of course the entire story of The Dark Side[.