As Hilzoy notes the Presidential Citizens Medal was intended to be bestowed upon citizens who have “performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation”. Bush celebrates Human Rights day by giving it to Chuck Colson,
“As special counsel to the president, he was Richard Nixon’s hard man, the “evil genius” of an evil administration. According to Watergate historian Stanley Kutler, Colson sought to hire Teamsters thugs to beat up anti-war demonstrators, and he plotted to raid or firebomb the Brookings Institution. He eventually pleaded guilty to scheming to defame Daniel Ellsberg and interfering with his trial. In 1974, Colson served seven months in federal prison.”
The late segregationist Strom Thurmond also received the Presidential Citizens Medal. So not the first time the medal’s intentions have been compromised. Though Colson, the domestic terrorist seems especially ironic post 9-11. In a recent memo to White House staff and his own proclamations Bush describes himself as being honorable. If he can’t recoqnize his own failings to be honorable little wonder that he can’t see the same failings in a fellow rabid ideoloque.
For months, he worked closely with American soldiers, ferreting out threats to the troops and forging a relationship with a key sheikh who went on to lead the Sunni awakening. But when this 52-year-old translator and veteran of the U.S. Army headed for his annual leave as a contractor in Iraq, he claims he was wrongfully imprisoned for nine months by American forces, with no access to a lawyer and no contact with his family for months.
The allegations are laid out in a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recently filed in federal court in Washington where the former contractor for Titan, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, alleges that his due process rights were violated when he was detained and held in “torturous conditions.” “There was no justice in what happened to me,” the translator said in an exclusive hour-long phone interview with ABCNews.com. “There was no justice involved in it.”
What are you going to do when they come for you comes to mind. Here’s a U.S. citizen and veteran, one among several at this point, who would have never imgined that they would be held without the slightest of due process.
A Spy CEO for Obama By David Ignatius. The title got my attention. The DNI (Director of National Intelligence) thought by many to be an answer to pulling together the myriad intelligence gathering agencies has turned into just another bureaucracy. Does Ignatius have the answer?
Should the Obama administration continue the DNI structure? The answer is probably yes, because yet another reorganization would drive everyone bonkers. But what should this intelligence czar do? In a perfect world, he would be the Warren Buffett of intelligence.
David makes the case the DNI isn’t working, but do not try reorganizing. Kind of a head spinner. The idea that a super manager will make it work smacks of GM thinking.
I would add that the left-right slugfest — in which liberals stress accountability and conservatives emphasize performance — is wrong. The intelligence community needs more of both, urgently.
That just sounds so bipartisan he must be right. The problem seems to be that the effectiveness that David thinks the Right stands for has compromised national security by way of torture, illegal renditions and detentions. There cannot be effectiveness without accountability. People who might well be acting in what they believe are good faith are committing crimes in the name of every American. That tends to undermine any case we as a country make for democracy and justice. And spare me the crocodile tears for John Brennan.
Interesting statistic from this article considering the constant whining by the Right that the judiciary is too liberal, Liberal Legal Group Is Following New Administration’s Path to Power
Administrations are permitted to take politics into account when selecting judges and making political appointments. Under President Bush, the Federalist Society flourished; 46 percent of his appeals court judges had connections to the conservative network.
But the Justice Department’s inspector general found that officials also used such affiliations to make hiring decisions for career civil-service jobs, including blocking interviews with American Constitution Society members and soliciting the Federalist Society for recommendations.
That 46 only accounts for Right leaning appeals judges with connections to the Federalist Society. According to this article Conservatives make up a sizable majority of the federal bench,
Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up about 62 percent of the bench next Inauguration Day, up from 50 percent when Mr. Bush took office. They control 10 of the 13 circuits, while judges appointed by Democrats have a dwindling majority on just one circuit.
The Inauguration Day referred to is the day President Obama takes office.