After all the pain, the worry, the roller coaster of possibility and disappointment, it comes to this. The acknowledgement of the inevitable is in some ways more painful than the inevitable itself, because it’s the death of hope. Before, plans could be made for months and maybe even years. Now, it’s days, perhaps a week, and the only hope is that the end will not be as awful as everyone knows it can be.
Joe Lieberman assumes everyone is stupid. His assumption is correct when it comes to our useless old media. It’s too bad for Joe Lieberman that Al Gore (you remember him Joe?) had a hand in the development of the Internet. We can now easily search for all kinds of information.
….”This is a kind[ ]of 11th hour addition to a debate that’s gone on for decades,” Lieberman told reporters tonight. “Nobody’s ever talked about a public option before. Not even in the presidential campaign last year.”
I asked in response, “How do you reconcile your contention that the public option wasn’t part of the presidential campaign given that all three of the [leading Democratic] candidates had something along the lines of the public option in their white papers?’
“Not really, not from what I’ve seen. There was a little–there was a line about the possibility of it in an Obama health care policy paper,” Lieberman said….
….If you do not have insurance you can choose to enroll in the new public plan, which will offer benefits similar to what every federal employee and member of Congress gets. Or you can choose private plan options through the national health exchange…
Uh, Joe, the Internets are forever. Or until some narcissistic group of putzes does something to pull the plug.
A Georgetown source forwards over an email from that school’s administration, reporting that Professor Marty Lederman’s class will be canceled — because he’s joining the Obama administration.
Lederman, another former Clinton Office of Legal Counsel lawyer, is perhaps the most prominent of several high-profile opponents of the Bush Administration’s executive power claims joining Obama, a mark that he intends not just to change but to aggressively reverse Bush’s moves on subjects like torture. . . . Lederman has been . . . an early and vocal critic of torture, and has suggested Bush Administration officials have committed specific crimes in that regard.
…an Associate Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches various courses in constitutional law, and seminars on separation of powers and executive branch lawyering. He regularly contributes to the weblogs SCOTUSblog and Balkinization, including on matters relating to Executive power, detention, interrogation, civil liberties, and torture. Lederman was an Attorney Advisor in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1994 to 2002
There are many, almost six hundred, posts in that Balkinization category, but a quick scan of the titles will give you a good indication of Marty’s feelings and leanings on the subjects of torture and applicable “rule of law”, and his very strong and vocal criticisms of torture by the Bush administration.
Lederman is joining Dawn Johnsen in the Office of Legal Counsel.
Some of you may have noticed that Marty Lederman has not been blogging recently at Balkinization. The reason is that he has been working on the Department of Justice Transition team. As of today, the commencement of the Obama Administration, he begins work as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. There he will be joined by two of his former OLC colleagues, Dawn Johnsen, nominated to be head of the office; and David Barron, who will serve as the Principal Deputy (and as the Acting AAG while the Senate considers Dawn’s nomination).
The job [Lederman] got is the same one held by Yoo when he wrote the Torture Memos (for Bybee’s signature) and who-knows-what other Constitutional abortions.
In other words, Obama just put one of Yoo’s harshest critics – and one who kept his criticism on purely intellectual-honesty type grounds – into Yoo’s old job, doubtless with the direction “clean things up”.
Here is Marty Lederman in a two and a half minute clip with Elisa Massimino and David Rivkin discussing guidelines for interrogation, and the Army field manual. Note Marty’s comments beginning at the two minute mark.
ACS (American Constitution Society) hosted a panel discussion on issues surrounding the destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes whose existence was revealed in December 2007. The panel, convened on Friday, January 25, 2008, discussed a number of legal and policy questions. Full video of the event is available on the ACS web site: www.acslaw.org/node/6069
The Army Field Manual still codifies torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions as noted in this article at AlterNet.
Lederman, although far from what we’ve had the past few years with Yoo and Bybee’s justifications and Bush’s endorsements of torture as part of US Government policy, is still very far from what I’d like to see and leaves much work left to be done for anti-torture activists.
Now’s the time to crank up the pressure as high as we can get it. Click the Badge and sign the petition. Give them the numbers of people backing them that they need:
Joe Biden and Barack Obama at the “photo-op”, Harkin Steak Fry, Indianola Iowa, September 16, 2007.
Almost a year ago I scored my first press credential to cover the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa for Show Me Progress. Looking back through those stories and photos recently I was reminded of a brief encounter between Barack Obama and Joe Biden as their photo-ops overlapped:
…I made my way back to the public grounds. I see Joe Biden. There are three people around him. I take a few photos.
I spot a swirling crowd. It’s Obama – he’s surrounded by a swarm of media and supporters. I join in and and start taking pictures. The mass of humanity makes its way to the photo op-area. After Obama walks into the fenced area those of us with press passes follow.
Obama is engaged in a lengthy conversation with a grill volunteer. He listens intently.
Joe Biden makes his way into the photo-op area. He and Obama are simultaneously greeting the people in the area. They see each other and shake hands…
Joe Biden poses for photos on the grounds at the Harkin Steak Fry, September 16, 2007.
Unlike Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwrads, Joe Biden could stroll around the grounds at without being swarmed by media and attendees. Obama did walk the grounds, but there was a sea of people around him. I did not see Hillary Clinton nor John Edwards out in the general crowd. They would have been mobbed.
I hadn’t noticed this at the time, but looking through the photos yesterday I see the name tag. It reads: “Hunter Biden”.
…Biden traveled to Washington to start interviewing potential staff members while Neilia prepared for a celebratory Christmas at home. One afternoon, while Biden was setting up his office, a friend called and told him to rush back to Delaware. Neilia and the children had been in a car accident while shopping for a Christmas tree, the friend said. Biden arrived in Wilmington two hours later to learn that Neilia and their baby daughter, Naomi, were dead. Their sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured.
Devastated, Biden decided he would not take his Senate seat. The Senate majority leader at the time, Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), called Biden incessantly at the Wilmington hospital, begging him to change his mind. Biden finally relented and said he’d try the job for six months. He took his oath of office from his sons’ hospital room…