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I Believe This is an Accurate Translation of the Bush DOJ *Legal Opinions* Released Yesterday

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<em>(By which I mean, this is what I think they really amount to.)
</em>

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Dear President Bush and Vice President Cheney:

Here, in the best legalese we can devise, is our best effort to tell you what you indicated you wanted us to say to give you the appearance of legal cover you desire.

Yes, so long as you claim that you are acting to protect the United States from terrorists, you can do whatever you want.

We hereby declare that in the name of the "war on terror," you can break the law and violate the Constitution.  

We declare further that no other part of the United States government --not the Congress, not the Courts-- can question you or hold you accountable for doing whatever you want to do, so long as you claim to be acting against "terrorism."

That claim is in itself yours alone to make:  we declare that the commander-in-chief is not subject to any constitutional "checks and balances" from any other branch.

Since we are representing these declarations as considered legal opinions rendered by parts of your Office of Legal Counsel, we immunize from prosecution (or at least are doing our best to do so) anyone who issues orders based on this notion of unchecked powers, and immunize also anyone who obeys any such orders.  

And since we are couching these declarations of your powers as a considered legal judgment, and are ourselves not actually acting on these judgments, we declare ourselves to be immune from any legal wrong-doing.  

In sum, you and those you command can do anything you want, and no one in this whole process can be held accountable.

We believe this gives you the cover you want to exercize unlimited power with complete impunity.

Your *legal* team.

 

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 
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