What "Egregious Crimes?" Part 2

Glenn Greenwald picks up and expands on my post on Cass Sunstein and egregious crimes, adding some very important information and analysis. Greenwald writes:

Jane [Hamsher] also asked [Bruce] Fein about Obama adviser Cass Sunstein's recent statements that Bush officials should not be prosecuted for their illegal detention, interrogation and spying programs. To get a sense for why this matters, National Journal this morning listed Sunstein as one of a small handful of likely Supreme Court appointees in an Obama administration. But -- similar to Fein's point regarding Jay Rockefeller, Jane Harman and comrades -- Sunstein has long been one of the most vocal enablers of Bush radicalism and lawlessness, having continuously offered himself up over the last seven years to play the legal version of the TNR role of "even-liberal-Cass-Sunstein-agrees-with-Bush."

More . . .

Greenwald links to Bruce Fein's discussion with Jane Hamsher about Sunstein's views:

Greenwald also provides strong evidence that the Bush Administration knew that it was engaging in, at the least, potentially criminal actions and destroyed evidence regarding that activity. Glenn writes:

The destruction of the CIA interrogation videos in 2005 that Fein referenced there seems particularly malicious -- plainly criminal -- in light of the new documents obtained yesterday from the CIA by the ACLU. One of those documents -- an August 4, 2004 CIA memo (.pdf) -- explicitly warns "of possible future judicial review of the Program and of these issues," meaning the CIA's interrogation methods and the legality of the Bush administration's behavior. Destroying evidence relevant to a future criminal proceeding is the very definition of obstruction of justice -- a crime for which ordinary people are regularly prosecuted and imprisoned -- yet we have the Cass Sunsteins of the world, speaking on behalf of our political and media class, insisting that it would be terribly unfair and disruptive to treat any of this as a criminal matter (and -- as is true for many of the episodes of Bush lawbreaking -- key Congressional Democrats were briefed on the possible destruction of the interrogation videos as well).

The capitulation position of Democrats on this and most issues is the mainstream position in the Democratic Party. Greenwald points to the reaction of the Netroots-supported Democratic House representative Chris Carney of Pennsylvania to the Strange Bedfellows ad campaign that Glenn and other civil libertarians are spearheading:

NPR this morning has a story, both radio and print, regarding the left/right Strange Bedfellows citizen coalition and Money Bomb campaign targeting those responsible for the erosion of civil liberties, constitutional protections and the rule of law, including this:

Earlier this month, Congress passed a rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. Opponents say it gives the president too much power to tap private communications without court oversight. That argument was made none too subtly by a TV ad that ran in the home district of Chris Carney, a Pennsylvania Democrat who supported the new FISA law.

"Chris Carney is surrendering to Bush and Cheney the same un-American spying powers they have in Russia and communist China," the ad says.

Apparently, the ad hit a nerve. A Carney spokeswoman called the ad a "smear campaign" and said NPR should not do a story about it.

Sunstein and Carney are two sides of the same coin - a Democratic Party unable and unwilling to stand up for its most basic principles. They bank on the fact that the Republicans are worse - lawlessness has become a Republican principle. And thus our political discourse is pushed not just to the Right, but to the extreme right on these issues.

And with an activist progressive base and a Netroots modeling itself on Move On, it is difficult to see how this trend changes. My great admiration and respect for Glenn Greenwald for fighting this important fight.

Speaking for me only

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    When Democratic candidates and the Democratic (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:24:12 AM EST
    advances the same agenda as the Republicans and their actions lead to the erosions of Constitutionals rights and civil liberties, how they warrant the lesser of two evils label when the results are the same?

    IMO the "lesser of two evils" argument used successfully by both parties has resulted in politicians promoting their interests without accountability since there will always be the next election and the Democratic will always be perceived as the lesser of the two evils by Democrats and the Republican will always be perceived as the lesser of the two evils by Republicans. Meanwhile, the general populace gets screwed by both parties.

    Should read Democratic candidates and Democratic (none / 0) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:25:27 AM EST

    More caffeine needed.


    Sunstein isn't accountable to anyone (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:25:02 AM EST
    Carney comes up for a vote every two years.

    No primary challenge this time.

    Accountability? Soooo Old Century. Now, Fowler is (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by jawbone on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:34:51 AM EST
    telling Dem voters they have no right to demand accountability or even clear statements of purpose prior to voting for The Dem (I guess whoever he or she might be).

    Anyone wonder how much accountability would be required of, say, Hillary Clinton were she to be the presumptive nominee right now?

    But, we can't hold BushCo and cronies accountable. We can't hold our presumptive nominee accountable.

    What's the purpose of belonging to the Dem Party? Being part of the online ATM? According to Obama, he doesn't need any party--he's got his movement (and also moved the DNC to Chicago--Anyone know anything about how that's working out?).


    Haven't heard much about that part of (none / 0) (#6)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:43:19 AM EST
    the DNC debacle.  I imagine they are trying to keep a low profile on this, as they were most probably inundated with questions about WTF they are doing and what has come over the dem party.

    The more I learn about some of Obama's advisers (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by jawbone on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 11:29:59 AM EST
    and what he says, or doesn't say, the more uncomfortable I get about him as our president. And, as of now, it looks like he has a lock on the MCM and a lock on the presidency.

    What are going to get with this man and his choices of advisers?

    Before I knew much about him, I was delighted he was doing well. When I learned more, my choice for the Dem nominee was much easier, even though I had no idea of supporting Hillary Clinton.

    Sunstein sounds as if he could have become a more subtle Yoo-type Unitary Executive enabler.

    I am very worried.

    First, Obama's Chicago School (none / 0) (#15)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 10:58:25 PM EST
    economic advisors made me ill; now this... One of the few reasons I had left to vote for Obama over McCain was that McCain said he wanted a few more Scalia vermin on the bench and I thought at least Obama's SCOTUS would move it more to the left.

    Exactly why I don't buy into the SCOTUS argument (none / 0) (#17)
    by allimom99 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:17:07 AM EST
    being used to convince me to vote for Obama. He has shown stunningly bad judgment in the selection of advisors, at least from the progressive worldview I subscribe to. Cyntia McKinney is looking better every day.

    Regarding FISA and 'normal folks' (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by blogtopus on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:02:40 PM EST
    Speaking with a very granola friend last night, I was surprised to hear him say 'of COURSE Obama voted that way -- he's in a presidential race and he HAS to move to the center!'

    I couldn't believe my ears... this guy voted for Nader in 2000 because he was disgusted with both major parties.

    He said 'Do you know how much damage another GOP admin can do to this country?'

    And my reply was 'What good is it if the person replacing them is saying / doing many of the same things, and demonstrating an astonishing lack of judgement?'

    Back and forth, including the 'He has a 100% liberal voting record in the senate!' saw, whatever that means when you vote 'present' as much as he has, and have latched onto (not created) as many bills as he has... it was really depressing. I kept asking myself: 'Am I insane? I must be.' Really, I'm getting to that point (and I'm sure many of you would agree).

    Due respect (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:29:44 PM EST
    your friend  sounds uninformed and unable to keep two consistent thoughts in his head. "of course he moves to the center" and "100% liberal voting record" are mutually exclusive.

    a Big Heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by blogtopus on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 11:53:54 AM EST
    It's difficult to talk to friends who just throw all sorts of trash into a conversation, and I just don't have the upstairs available to recall all of the facts / whatnot. Your observation is completely simple and obvious and I regret not seeing that outright. Which explains why I am not a lawyer. :-)

    He is not the only friend who does this, either. Ugh.


    I'm waiting... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by p lukasiak on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:29:43 PM EST
    for Greenwald to show some love to Cindy Sheehan.  Sure, she hasn't got a chance against Pelosi, but its crucial that Sheehan's name get on the ballot, and Sheehan could use some cash to help her get enough signatures in NancyLand to do that.

    And I haven't seen Greenwald get behind Phil English (PA-03) either.  After being the standard bearer for the Dems in the last two in election in a heavily GOP district (and doing surprisingly well in 2006 despite getting no help from Rahm and the DCCC), English is running as an independent this year -- because of the capituation of the House Leadership on key progressive issues like Iraq despite controlling the House.

    Real progressives (as opposed to "I'm a Democrat first, progressives) understand the value of these kinds of candidacies that speak directly to the abject failure of the Democratic Party to listen to its progressive base.  

    you can contribute to Cindy at: (none / 0) (#16)
    by suzieg on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:24:07 AM EST

    The more I see how things (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by frankly0 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:57:58 PM EST
    have been turning out of late, the less I believe that there's a genuine progressive movement in this country -- one that's committed to principles instead of Party or to a particular politician.

    As Bob Somerby has said, it's all shirts and skins out there.

    The progressive blogosphere is now officially a joke. The mainstream of the Democratic Party is now a joke. The organizations whose supposed mission it is to fight for certain principles and policies -- such as many women's issues groups -- are a joke. And certainly many of the individual politicians who have developed a large following among so-called progressives are a joke.

    What's left?

    Just a few of us grumblers out here who seem to have been the only ones foolish enough genuinely to believe in the principles that all people who presume to call themselves progressives claim to hold dear.

    And what we know now with great certainty is that no one's listening to us. Anywhere.

    I'll be using Strange Bedfellows (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:16:59 PM EST
    instead of ActBlue to guide whatever contributions I make from here on in. Seems like a better way to protect my main interests.

    My message from the DNC on FISA: (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:54:09 PM EST
    more republicans were bad on FISA than democrats. Yup, that was it.

    I've been getting calls for weeks with 'Telefund' on the caller ID and have continually ignored them. Finally, I picked it up by accident the other night, and it was the DNC asking for money. I told them not this time, they asked why, I gave my reasons but emphasized the FISA capitulation. I laughed out loud when I heard the guy's response - essentially he told me in a very nice manner that he understood my anger at the dems who went along, but that I must consider that most of those who voted for the bill were republicans. THAT was the best the poor guy could do.

    Probably the smartest thing the Bush (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01:52:10 PM EST
    administration did was to "brief" the Democratic leadership, who were so terrorized by fears of appearing weak on national security that they acquiesced to illegal programs and activities.  What a great insurance policy for Bush and his minions - co-opting the Dems guaranteed that no one in the administration would  face any consequences - because to expose Bush would expose the Dems, after all.  Oh, the horror!

    I'd like to see all of them pay - regardless of party - because that's the only way to draw the line on this kind of thing.

    And with Obama now working hand-in-glove with the very people who sold us out, I am hard-pressed to know why I'm supposed to vote for him.

    I can hardly wait for the Sunstein SC nomination.


    Thanks, BTD (none / 0) (#14)
    by BoGardiner on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:09:11 PM EST
    You and Jeralyn may very well be making a real difference.  This kind of work is crucial; I hope you keep the pressure on.