Justice Deferred?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Scott Horton, a law professor and contributing editor at Harpers Magazine, where he writes the No Comment blog, talks about the recent Justice Department's release of memos detailing the Bush Administration's presidential powers.


Scott Horton

Comments [21]

peter in Brooklyn from brooklyn

The argument about not having been attacked in the last eight years is just a red herring. We were not the subject of an attack during the eight years from 1993, when the WTC was first attacked, until 2001, either. And during that first period there was nuch less attention paid to paid to terrorism in the US than there has been in hte last eight years. The fact is that Al Qaeda has all the time in the world. They will most likely try to attack us again how, where and when THEY choose, not according to any timetable we wish to establish.

Mar. 05 2009 02:51 AM
Howard in the Bronx from BRonx

The arrogance of the people in the Bush administration takes one's breath away. Citizens can have their homes broken into but but the executive office has to have it's privacy. John Yoo must be related to Kim Jong Il since he thinks the Dear Leader should be all powerful. Isn't overthrowing the government by violent means (using the army on civilians) treason?

By the way, the power to Nationalize state militias still stands, I believe, to be used over and above the objections of state governors. Obama needs to look at that, now!

Mar. 04 2009 12:18 PM
kevin beers from park slope

In response to Peter From Sunset Park: It's ironic that you should use the slogan of Fox News about fair and balanced- something that the Republican mouthpieces have not been for a very long time. But as far as Mr Horton goes-maybe he's not being unfair and unbalanced- maybe he's just being accurate. After all, the Republicans have held sway for the past decade and have run us over a cliff. The Republican talking heads have become even more agressive in attacking Obama's plans and when I hear them bloviate all I can think is " where was all your savvy in analyzing things for the last decade"? I find it hard to give any creedence to anything that the GOP says, given their track record. According to polls I'm not alone in that. And as far as being sure that you would be censored here- well it appears you weren't. And the words used by the Republican thugs during the Florida recount are ringing in my ears. "Get over it!"

Mar. 04 2009 11:57 AM
J.C. from NYC

After the Palmer Raids and the Red Scare, Harvard Law School Professor Zechariah Chafee Jr. warned, “Unless the methods used by the Department of Justice are severely condemned by Congress and the American people they will be repeated in future emergencies.”

No such condemnation was forthcoming and the travesties of were repeated during World War II, with the internment of Japanese-Americans, and again with the way the government reacted after after September 11.

The Bush administrations actions are now both history and precedent. If they are not repudiated in the strongest terms possible they will no doubt hunt us again in the future.


Mar. 04 2009 11:40 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

OK Andrew blame it on the clinton lawyers, during his administration, so now what was bush's excuse for not going after/catching bin laden?

Mar. 04 2009 11:34 AM

rgarding the caller:
about FDR and internments, mail/privacy violations, etc. The Late Strom Thurmond spent many years trying to get those classified docs.
released. many people have long suspected the cause of our entrance into WWII

Mar. 04 2009 11:32 AM
yourgo from astoria

The Bush Administration should be punished for the injustices that were performed under their watch to send a message to the future.. that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated by the people of the United States. They tried to turn America into a Fascist Nation.

Mar. 04 2009 11:28 AM
Andrew Brooks from New York City

Thank goodness President Bush did not rely on lawyers to protect our country against Al Qaeda the way Bill Clinton did.

When the CIA told Clinton that they had Bin Laden in the gunsights in Afghanistan, he ran it by the same kind of lawyers as Scott Horton.

Naturally, they nixed it.

Also, anyone who thinks that Khalid Sheik Mohammed would have provided inside information on Al Qaeda without being waterboarded is simply a moron.

No, upgrading KSM's prison ice-cream to Ben and Jerry's would not have done the job, in case you are wondering.

Mar. 04 2009 11:28 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Oh yes and I think the bush administration should absolutely be investigated. Find out why we have a trillion dollar deficit.

Mar. 04 2009 11:25 AM

that list brian just read ;;; how many convictions resulted from those trials ???

Mar. 04 2009 11:25 AM
philior from NY

Hello, Brian,

Could you please ask your guest whether the freedom to suppress our freedoms given to G. Bush are still available for new president.
In other words, if it possible that while criticizing those memos and the whole Bush's approach to civil rights, our new president may feel free to use those memos to do exactly same as Bush did or allowed himself to do.


Mar. 04 2009 11:24 AM


911 in no way justifies these memo. Either this is a country of laws or it is not. We put ourselves on a very slippery slope when rule are allowed to bend because of extraordinary events.


Mar. 04 2009 11:24 AM
Linda from CT

Why is no one using the term Treason? Bush took the oath of office promising to uphold the Constitution, and he (and his administration) actively attempted to subvert it. Why is that not Treason? We're not talking basic crimes here.

Mar. 04 2009 11:24 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

The six "specific cases" remain hear-say cases -- we have only the government's assertions, which, thanks to Bush, are suspect. The Fort Dix Six, for example, were convicted on highly ambiguous evidence. Perhaps two of those six actually committed a crime. The remaining four were convicted, as I understand it, on little more than "guilt by association".

Mar. 04 2009 11:23 AM
hjs from 11211

i hope you're so understanding if they pick you up!

Mar. 04 2009 11:23 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

I don't believe that we were "kept safe" or that the thwarted terrorist plots had anything to with bush himself. Their are other organiztions to whom that credit belong. Uh hellew??? CIA??

Mar. 04 2009 11:23 AM
HC from nyc

Your caller talks about the civil liberties of the detainees for example or of people who are only suspecteed of committing terrorist crimes. But what about those that are innocent? SHould they also be tortured and detained, should their rights be withheld? How can we just simply assume that all of these people have committed a croime. This is the first mistake here. We assume that the poeple suspected are already guilty. I'm sure your caller would have a very different idea of what was going on if he himself was by some misfortune a suspect.

Mar. 04 2009 11:22 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

With the ICC-issued warrant for Bashir in the Sudan, we have a precedent for international prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Rice.

The language of the warrant makes clear that the ICC does not see _any_ international figure or head of state as exempt from prosecution.

It is sad and disturbing that most of the talk about prosecuting Bush turns on issues of domestic spying, etc. Bush & Co committed vastly greater crimes in Iraq where hundreds of thousands are dead and millions displaced because of a Bush war that had _no_ justification.

Mar. 04 2009 11:20 AM
HC from nyc

The problem is that the point of the constitution is to protect the peoples rights in times when they are most at risk.

It is precisely in those times where the rights of the people are most at risk that the protections in the consitution are most crucial.

To suspend the rights of the constution to any citizen or resident of this country is a betrayal of the foundations on which the law is based. This is simply an act of treaon by the Bush administration. If this breach of faith is not prosecuted then it sets a new standard for the ability to suspend the rights gauranteed in the constitution, it would be to perform exactly that act that the "terrorists" intended, those who are the enemy of democracy, namely, the end of the right gauranteed in the constitution.

Mar. 04 2009 11:17 AM
oil monkey

The Bush administration was entirely aware of the brewing storm of economic meltdown, terrorism, energy decline and climate change and grabbed the opportunity to put in place the mechanisms to activate a fascist/totalitarian apparatus to respond to threats. It is entirely logical, as this is the only way the interests of the 'elite' will be able to be protected in the face of this beginning storm. It is not ideological- it is purely about protecting interests not of the country/citizens as a whole, but of a very small, very powerful group.

Mar. 04 2009 11:13 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

On his blog, Mr. Horton wrote:

"The hallmark of contemporary Republican thinking really is stupidity."

Will Mr. Horton's "reporting" on the Bush Administration's presidential powers be fair and balanced? I am pessimistic to say the least.

Will the WNYC thought control censors delete yet another non-liberal post? I am pessimistic to say the least.


Mar. 04 2009 11:01 AM

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