K-Lo, that’s welcome news and let’s hope the president does the patently obvious right thing.
But speaking of “patently obvious,” what really concerns me relates to Bill’s second point: “The Obama DOJ is full of left-wing ideologues. But however much President Obama might sympathize with them, he puts his political self-preservation first.” Obama’s personal political calculations aside, have we finally seen enough to conclude that this Justice Department is a major, major problem?
If the new front office weren’t chockablock with partisan Leftists, it would have been easy to see a clear path here for keeping both DOJ and the president immune from public criticism. All Eric Holder & Co. needed to do was appeal the Second Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court. They didn’t have to do it guns ablazin’ — if they couldn’t bring themselves to oppose their pals at the ACLU vigorously, they could simply have filed a half-hearted brief, signaling to the justices that they really didn’t care about the outcome — that they just wanted to be able to say they’d done everything it was in their power to do to protect the military and the country. No one but the lawyers and journalists who follow the Supremes would have been any the wiser, and the effect would have been to kick the can down the road for months, maybe even more than a year.
Instead, as the Pentagon spokesman noted in the remark I quoted in yesterday’s column, DOJ went out of its way to press for the release of the photos — a totally gratuitous swipe at the war, and so cavalier about the safety of our troops and the public. And mind you, this is already their posture notwithstanding that Dawn Johnsen, an unabashed left-wing ideologue (or unabashed at least until it recently complicated her confirmation), has not yet been installed as head of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel.
It’s worth asking: Has it dawned (pardon the pun) on people yet that it’s a huge problem to have a Justice Department stocked with lawyers who have spent (or whose firms have spent) the last eight years volunteering their services to America’s enemies? We’ve already seen the premature announcement of the closure of Guantánamo Bay when there was clearly no plan for what to do about the detainees; the outright release of Binyam Mohammed, who plotted with “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla to attack American cities; the purging of the terms “enemy combatant” and “war”; the release of the CIA memos over the strenuous objection of the intelligence community — and in a shamefully dishonest manner that revealed interrogation tactics but suppressed from public view the life-saving information that the tactics yielded; the announcement of an investigation of Bush administration lawyers and the leaking of information from the related ethics probe; Holder’s under-the-radar suggestion that he’d cooperate with Spain’s investigation of Bush administration officials; the sweetheart plea deal for Ali al-Marri (a terrorist who, like Binyam Mohammed, was planning to conduct a post-9/11 second-wave of mass-murder attacks in the U.S.); the plan to release trained terrorists in the United States; and, now, the decision to release the prisoner abuse photos that the president, hopefully, will rescind. That’s quite a track record in just a hundred days.