Friday, July 18, 2008

Unlike Little King George.....

.....I don't happen to have a lawyer. But if I did, I wish that other people's tax money would pay MY bills.

Glenn Greenwald has posted a terrific column today:

Look, what you have is a very smart attorney general who's trying to protect his client and that's the president of the United States, an executive privilege.
That is about as warped a view of how our Government is supposed to work as one can imagine. The core attribute of the Justice Department is independence, not allegiance to the President as "client." The President has his own lawyers in the White House Counsel's Office. The Attorney General is not and never was one of those lawyers. To the contrary, the Attorney General represents the people of the United States -- if he has any "client," that's who it is -- and is often required to take positions and actions adverse to the President. Few things could subvert -- and have subverted -- the American justice system more than thinking of the President as being the "client" of the Attorney General.

This all used to be so basic. But the belief that the DOJ exists to advance the interests and wishes of the President has become a central premise of how our Government now works. The Justice Department has been transformed into but another cog in the instruments of Government that protect and serve the President. And that transformation isn't unique to Alberto Gonzales (who, during a CNN interview while Attorney General, actually referred to Bush as "my client"), as The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin pointed out yesterday:

Such a sense of entitlement must be a quite a rush for Junior.

-Lois Carneiro

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