I was driving home tonight and listening to NPR, where I heard the commentator quote our former Attorney General as having stated "I see no criminal prosecution for me, nor for anyone that I am aware of, because [......] people acted in good faith." According to the commentator, the "good faith" argument was in response to potential criminal prosecution for his role in authorizing enhanced interrogation techniques, such as water boarding.
The interview is listed here and the salient passage is at 19:15 and on. Whether or not you agree with the legality of water boarding or have an opinion on its necessity as an interrogation technique is not my point here. I find the legal argument that the former AG presents very interesting and possibly revolutionary. In essence, AG Gonzales claims that as long as you are truthful and do not act in your own self interest or for political interests, you are not criminally liable. And that is particularly true if you are acting “in the best interest of the United States, as [you] saw it.” So to take that argument to one conclusion, Robin Hood was never criminally liable. He acted in the interests of others, he did it in the best interest of the country as he saw those interests and he was not concealing the fact he was stealing money. Ergo, he was above the law as it was written at the time.
It probably was that type of reasoning that enabled the Bush administration to expand the power of the Executive Branch to levels not perceived possible, even by the Nixon administration. I don’t know if the quote from the movie “Nixon” is accurate, but it is telling: “if the President orders it, it is NOT illegal.” I thought, and I’m just spit-ballin here, that the laws as enacted by the legislature applied to everyone, subject to interpretation and adjudication by the judiciary…..I’m sure I read that somewhere…..History may judge the AG as a hero, but for now, it seems he acted like an outlaw. And Mr. AG, I just like to say: "we can handle the truth."
The Agnew Rule
4 hours ago