Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Show Trials & Fall Guys

One would think that an Administration that has tried at every turn to substitute unreviewable military tribunals for regularly constituted courts in its foreign policy would be skittish about using the term "show trials," especially in a week in which the confession of Walid Muhammad bin Attash to the bombing of the USS Cole was subject to uncertainty due to lingering concerns that it was the product of abusive treatment during his time in CIA custody. Yet there was the President yesterday warning Congressional Democrats not "to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials" in their investigation into the facts of the Gonzales Eight Massacre. And that was in the prepared portion of his remarks.

The President offered what he called a "reasonable way to avoid an impasse." Attorney General Gonzales would testify before Congress, while White House staff, presumably including Karl Rove, would meet with members of Congress in private without taking an oath. In what sense would it be a "show trial" for Rove to go before Congress in public and under oath? The oath can't make a difference but appearing in public certainly could. Bush fears that Democrats would simply use Rove as a whipping boy. But if that's the worry, why isn't there the same worry about Gonzales? Perhaps Bush has more confidence in the ability of Gonzales to deflect Senators' questions, based on past experience. Or perhaps, more darkly, Gonzales is the designated fall guy for this scandal, and sending him up to the Hill for a "show trial" keeps the attention on Gonzales rather than Rove or Bush.

One other possibility is that Bush (or Cheney or someone else advising Bush on these matters) actually believes in the principle he has been citing. That principle, recall, is that the President needs to be able to receive candid advice from White House staff, and that public testimony undermines the incentive towards private candor. But this explanation doesn't wash because disclosure of the emails --- which has already occurred --- has the exact same impact. Given the content of the emails disclosed, there is no way that their authors thought they would ever be read outside of the White House (except perhaps by historians decades later). Here, as in other contexts in which Presidents have invoked executive privilege or its rationale, the invocation is selective, thus undermining the underlying principle. Accordingly, for now I'm going with the Gonzales-as-fall-guy theory. If Gonzales does join Libby in that category, then the Administration may soon have to start worrying about running out of fall guys.


egarber said...

I seem to recall that in the NSA ruling last year (Detroit judge?) the government tried to make a "state privileges" claim in defending the program. But because so much was already known publicly, the judge ruled against it.

Is there a rough equivalent through precedent in the "executive privilege" realm -- where public exposure effectively nullifies the justification for keeping matters away from Congress? Or is that something different like attorney / client privilege?

Sobek said...

The difference between the e-mails and live, sworn testimony is that the latter, as we have recently seen, can result in jail after a "show trial," while the former cannot.

egarber said...

Flip-flopping based on who owns the power seat is certainly common in American politics, but it's hypocritical nontheless. Many Congressional Republicans are erring on the executive privilege side in this debate. But I wonder if any of them are the same folks who were on the other side in 1998.

Today's WAPO:

The most likely comparison to the current showdown came in 1998, when the GOP-run Government Reform and Oversight Committee, as the panel was then known, voted along party lines to cite then-Attorney General Janet Reno as being in contempt of Congress for her refusal to turn over internal Justice Department memos regarding a sprawling campaign finance investigation. The Justice Department then offered a staff briefing on the memos, and the House never acted on the contempt citation.

egarber said...

Hypocritical "nonetheless," I should say.

Damn spelling -- THAT's what you get for inviting a University of Georgia grad to take part on the blog :)

Sobek said...

"Flip-flopping based on who owns the power seat is certainly common in American politics, but it's hypocritical nontheless."

Is it flip-flopping, or is it acquiescence to precedent?

I ask this with more of a prospective view to judicial filibusters rather than retrospectively. As we all know, Republicans advocated the "nuclear option" of re-writing Senate rules to ban filibusters of judicial appointees, and Democrats opposed that option. We have everyone on record, so the next time we have a Dem president and a Republican Senate, the issue will almost certainly come up, and those who are on record will all be called flip-floppers. Republicans who formerly opposed judicial filibusters will want to filibuster the Dem nominees, and Dems who formerly supported judicial filibusters will want to oppose them.

The reality is that we had a showdown and the Republicans essentially lost. This set a precedent -- apparently it is okay now, based on established tradition, to filibuster a judicial nominee. And yet that fact won't immunize any Republican who accepts that new rule and tries to play by it.

Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...

By the way, I recommend you buy the cheapest Atlantica online Gold and Atlantica power leveling from us where the prices here are low. So if you have the Atlantica Gold is useful to your level spear. Once you meet a real smart player with 2 spearmen team, their key to disable builds, and then you should buy Atlantica online Gold. In addition if you need to buy goods for your characters, the game provides you the cheap Atlantica online Gold. And the last, you can make the fun of the Atlantica online money in the Atlantica online world.

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,酒店經紀

Anonymous said... . .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,