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Anyone see Ashcroft grilled on the torture memos?

  1. Jun 10, 2004 #1
    Anyone see Ashcroft grilled on the torture memos??

    http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=526134&section=news

    Senator Biden was awesome :eek:

    He sounded PISSED about this.
    I personally think that Ashcroft refusing to cooperate, without citing any sort of privelage or law, is completely disgusting. Despite one's thoughts on the subject at hand, it is my understanding that Ashcroft is constituionally required to answer the panel.
     
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  3. Jun 10, 2004 #2

    kat

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    I didn't see this so I can only comment on the article. I think this is being politicized to an incredible extent, which for me creates a fog that makes it difficult to see the facts. I don't think Ashcroft is required to show his memos to the president or discuss them. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd also like to see a full transcript of his testimony.
    I understand what Bidden is saying here, and I think the treaties are important and that we should uphold them but...when I here these type of statements there's always that little voice that says "why are we fooling ourselves?"..so, really, when have these treaties protected our soldiers. Which war have we fought in that our soldiers haven't been tortured?
     
  4. Jun 10, 2004 #3

    kat

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    '"It is essential for the public interest that I should receive all the information possible respecting either matters or persons connected with the public. To induce people to give this information, they must feel assured that when deposited with me it is secret and sacred. Honest men might justifiably withhold information, if they expected the communication would be made public, and commit them to war with their neighbors and friends. " Doesn't this sound like Ashcrofts statements?
     
  5. Jun 10, 2004 #4
    All it would take is Ashcroft to invoke Executive privilege, and he would be entitled to keep his mouth shut. As is, he's just saying "nope, not going to tell you". He expressely said that he is not invoking any law or right of privilege.
     
  6. Jun 10, 2004 #5

    kat

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    He doesn't need to invoke executive privilege. He has the right of deliberative process privilege. This privilege also continues to protect pre-decision documents even after a decision has been made.
     
  7. Jun 10, 2004 #6
    The Video is on C-span.org for anyone who wants to see it, just search for "ashcroft", then sort by date and look for testimony on the 8th.

    Ashcroft just didnt cooperate for that testimony. He just bumbled and beat around the question with a lot of "It is not my position to discuss my conversations with the president", and other such nonsense. If Ashcroft was really doing whats right, he could discuss with clarity and directness.
     
  8. Jun 10, 2004 #7
    I didn’t watch the whole thing either, but I think I heard someone say it constitutes contempt of congress if he’s not invoking any executive privilege, which I totally agree with. This is not going to play out well for him, that’s for sure.
     
  9. Jun 10, 2004 #8
    But they'll get away with it, just by lying :)
     
  10. Jun 10, 2004 #9

    kat

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    There's nothing to get away with. Pre-decision deliberations are protected, as they should be!
     
  11. Jun 10, 2004 #10
    They dont have to be protected, in some situations we need to know what was said/discussed, I think this is one of those times. We should focus on what is better for the country rather than finding excuses for politicians on why they shouldnt have to say anything
     
  12. Jun 10, 2004 #11
    "Executive privelege" is just BS that the Supreme Court said was not "absolute" in the Nixon years.

    He obviously has something to hide. Ashcroft is probably the worst member of this administration.
     
  13. Jun 10, 2004 #12
    Just started watching it from the C-Span website. About an hr and a half in. I think everyone should watch it. Sen. Biden is awesome, and it was he who suggested Ashcroft is in contempt of congress. Why is it that the most straightforward questions never get straight answers? LoL
     
  14. Jun 11, 2004 #13

    Executive privilige is a great right, and I fully support it.
    However, he didn't invoke it so let's not go that route.
     
  15. Jun 11, 2004 #14
    Sorry, I'm not so well versed on this subject, and being that Ashcroft refused to simply cite any right on why he wouldn't talk, perhaps you could explain this more to me??
     
  16. Jun 11, 2004 #15

    kat

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    Well, first of all, Ashcroft can't claim executive privelege. Only the president can claim this. Possibly the vice president, but I believe their was a recent court case that ruled the vice could not claim it.
    In regards to Ashcroft's testimony, he did cite his reason "We believe that to provide this kind of information would impair the ability of advice-giving in the executive branch to be candid, forthright, thorough and accurate at all times,"
    This is at the heart of the right of deliberative process. A privilege based on the "deliberative process" is well recognized under the Freedom of Information Act and is founded in commmon law.
    There are two issues involving the right to deliberative process. The one which would explain Ashcrofts reticiency to make ANY comment in regards to the memo is that once
    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Bruggink/00/firstheights.pdf
    and secondly, it is up to congress to prove that there was any failure to obey US law. If there was a failure there will be evidence, if then that evidence shows cause to examine a deliberative opinion of the executive branch, Ashcroft would be compelled to do so. Congress cannot request Pre-decisional documents unless it has already proven criminal actions, it cannot request them in order to investigate if there may have been. Furthermore, it must show that the benefits of the release of pre-decisonal documents outweighs the importance of the right of deliverative process.
     
  17. Jun 13, 2004 #16
    Kat, treaties signed by a president become American law...there is no "but" to it.
     
  18. Jun 13, 2004 #17

    kat

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    Unless it fits within the parimeters I outlined it's not relevent to the topic of "deliberative process privilege"
     
  19. Jun 13, 2004 #18

    selfAdjoint

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    So Kat, since the organization that would investigate whether there had been criminal behavior by the executive branch is the Justice department, and since the Justice department doesn't have to do anything if it doesn't want to, and may be involved in the criminal activity itself, and Congress is constrained in its investigation by this "deliberative priviledge", then how is the government ever to investigte "high crimes and misdemeanors"?
     
  20. Jun 13, 2004 #19

    amp

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    Kat can't give a good answer to that because it brings home the point that Ascroft dosen't have a leg to stand on.As was pointed out by the senetor who questioned him, he had only offered his opinion and feelings as a reason for not being cooperative in providing the information they sought. IMO, Ashcroft is in contempt of congress. Further, I think he is obligated to turn over the documents requested save only they are classified.(which they may be retro-actively) His reticence, I think is because like other documents (some being leaked) there is a picture emerging of systemic intent for violation not only the constitution and federal laws but also international laws to which the U.S. is a party. Apparentlly, the documents that Aschroft holds show willful intent to circumvent or ignore 'with plausible deniability' the rule of law as it pertains to those issues involving the prisoners and detainees.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2004
  21. Jun 13, 2004 #20
    Seems to me that Ashcroft's lack of an explanation says something...and so does the automatic defense of him that comes from some parties. No government official is above the system; everyone answers to someone.
     
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