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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Hand Cheney Dealt Himself

By Keith R. Schmitz

Tough time for someone not only to be a liberal but a fan of rule of law.

Check out the dilemma laid out by Ron Suskind on

In talking about the possibility of impeaching torture enabler and now federal judge for life Jay S. Bybee, Susskind notes that torture that was sanctioned is a violation of treaties not only negotiated by this country, but by the Reagan administration.

Accordingly, Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that "(A)ll Treaties made ... under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. This country's authoritarian conservatives therefore who cavalierly feel that we should disregard these treaties are insisting we violate the Constitution.

Certainly Barack Obama as a Constitutional law professor, is painfully aware of this fact. Barack Obama as President of the United States however, also has to deal with the massive junk heap of problems left behind by Cheney's administration, further complicated by the prospect of an investigation into these abuses being incredibly distracting from the heavy lifting at hand.

But there is the possibility of crimes being committed by Cheney and others and the law being flaunted, especially if, as Suskind pointed on Rachel Maddow's show the other night, torture was used to construct an Iraq/Al Qaeda connection. Then the case to move forward is compelling.

What to do? Maybe put the investigation in the hands of Attorney General Eric Holder and have him conduct low level probes until the major problems Obama is dealing with subside a little bit, then put it on all cylinders. But, at the same time, liberals and others who hold our legal system important should continue to push on the issue.

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