Not EVERYTHING We Did Was Illegal

Via Froomkin, Sid Blumenthal

In private, Bush administration sub-Cabinet officials who have been instrumental in formulating and sustaining the legal ‘war paradigm’ acknowledge that their efforts to create a system for detainees separate from due process, criminal justice and law enforcement have failed. One of the key framers of the war paradigm (in which the president in his wartime capacity as commander in chief makes and enforces laws as he sees fit, overriding the constitutional system of checks and balances), who a year ago was arguing vehemently for pushing its boundaries, confesses that he has abandoned his belief in the whole doctrine, though he refuses to say so publicly. If he were to speak up, given his seminal role in formulating the policy and his stature among the Federalist Society cadres that run it, his rejection would have a shattering impact.


Yet another Bush legal official, even now at the commanding heights of power, admits that the administration’s policies are largely discredited.In its defense, he says without a hint of irony or sarcasm, ‘Not everything we’ve done has been illegal.’ He adds, ‘Not everything has been ultra vires’ — a legal term referring to actions beyond the law.

9 thoughts on “Not EVERYTHING We Did Was Illegal

  1. The question for both Dem and Rep debates needs to become, “As President, would you be willing to pardon Bush, Cheney, and other GWB Staff and Cabinet members?”

  2. Okay, I’d like that unnamed official to tell us something that this administration did that WASN’T ultra vires.
    I’d also like to know who that was.

  3. Yeah, not everything was ultra vires – just 99.9%. That was the point of the system they devised and the category of “illegal enemy combatant.” The whole idea and I saw this from the first, was to keep those people outside any legal jurisdiction beyond executive fiat.
    That was the whole point.

  4. Just another example of their excuses at the moral level of a 3 year old rationalizing their behavior:
    Timmy, did you tear up mommy’s refrigerator?
    But I helped bring in the groceriess and I drew you a pretty picture!

  5. I can’t believe how relieved I am to know that somewhere there is one thing done by the Bush administration that was legal. I propose a contest: Yes, you figured it out. Who will be the first person to find that one thing?

Comments are closed.