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Scott Horton is a contributor to Harper's Magazine and writes No Comment for this website, www.harpers.org. A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, Horton lectures at Columbia Law School.

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(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 11, 2009
A Farewell to Dick Cheney James Madison was the Founding Father most concerned with the prospect for abuse of power by the executive. He worried in particular that presidents in the future would wage war for trivial and improvident reasons with a political subtext: to silence dissent and elevate their powers as president. Dick Cheney is the man that James Madison was warning us about.
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Torture Presidency President George W. Bush has launched "Operation Legacy," which he placed in the hands of his ultimate advisor, indeed his "brain,"Karl Rove.The Rove effort features a 2-page set of talking points which have been circulated to members of the administration's team highlighting the supposedly major Bush accomplishments which have begun to fill the American media.They start with the contention that "Bush kept us safe" ...
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 15, 2008
What the Justice Department is Hiding A career DOJ lawyer stated that apprehension about the matter was building within the department."What happened in this case is a disgrace that threatens the reputation of the Department as a whole&federal prosecutors across the country."He identified David Margolis as having failed to take corrective measures."He has essentially checked out&is intent on sweeping everything under the carpet.Hell of a mess..."
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 10, 2008
Palin's Talent Scout Kristol is one of the few conservative columnists whose support of Palin has been unflinching.He has used his space as a NYT columnist to tout her candidacy repeatedly.But in the process Kristol has never bothered to disclose his role in the decision making process that led to the Palin pick.Kristol's Weekly Standard has figured as Palin's chief defender,and its writers have gone after even those who dare to pose questions
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 19, 2008
Torture from the Top Down The conversation starts with wide recognition that the techniques which were to be introduced were criminal under federal law.Military officers recite the litany of reasons why these techniques should not be used.They seem to expect that the matter will work its way up to senior levels and be shot down.There is a sort of horror in the creeping recognition of the moralðical vacuum that has taken hold at the highest echelons
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Justice in Birmingham In sum: the taxpayers may be out $500,000 or more on account of prosecutorial misconduct (not taking into account the taxpayer's funds expended on bringing a bogus case, which was probably several million), and Martin's handling of the case now appears to be driven by her fear of being forced to account for her own conduct under oath. This case cries out for an internal Justice Department probe.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Karl in a Corner What's gotten Karl worked into a lather?It's simple.Jill Simpson & the US Congress are saying exactly the same thing:Karl,if you're so clear about this,then certainly you will have no problem appearing in response to a Congressional subpoena,swearing an oath & answering questions–just as Simpson did.Moreover,Congress wants to ask him just the same questions that GQ asked, & that he happily answered.How does he explain agreeing
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 8, 2008
A Tale of Three Lawyers In a day when the legal profession is disgraced repeatedly by the performance of lawyers in the service of their government,Matthew Diaz is emerging as a hero to many,and as a symbol that for some lawyers devotion to truth, integrity and justice still matters.Indeed,that dedication and willingness to shoulder the burden it can bring,is and will likely be seen by future generations of Americans as the higher form of patriotism.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 29, 2008
Siegelman Update The CBS piece features direct charges leveled at Karl Rove and at Bush Administration prosecutors.But to listen to the Michael Hubbard,the chair of the AL Repubs,you'd think it was a grudge match between 60 Minutes and his party.Jill Simpson put it to Rove: raise your hand,take an oath and testify.And Artur Davis makes very clear that Mukasey has a duty to pursue this and to have Rove questioned.But he has inexplicably failed
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Great Tennessee Valley Blackout He was imprisoned as the result of a corrupt vendetta that involved political hacks,politically motivated Justice Depart. figures & a politicized judiciary.Siegelman's condition is a personal tragedy.But the hackery that produced his imprisonment is a cancer eating away at our society,slowly turning our nation into a banana republic.That's far more important than the gremlins that took 60 Minutes off the air in the TN Valley.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 24, 2008
Rove and Siegelman In the flurry of pieces running about the pending 60 Minutes exposé on Karl Rove's involvement in the political prosecution of Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, one passage in the AP story by Ben Evans really stuck out. It was Karl Rove's response. And it was a flat-out lie. It showed up last night, and I assumed that, by now, it would be corrected, but it seems that Rove decided to stick with his lie.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 24, 2008
Department of Malicious Falsehoods So next time you see a report from Pentagon Public Affairs characterizing the reporting of a journalist or commenting on some question from a political debate, remember the source, and treat any words offered with suitable skepticism.

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