Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Astonishing breach of law

I was almost speechless when I read this post from Think Progress, concerning Washington Post coverage of "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency."

Did you know that after top Justice Department lawyers refused to re-certify the legality of President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program in 2004 - the Bush administration re-authorized the program anyway, and without the Justice Department’s approval?

Great catch from Matt @ Think Progress:

Addington wrote in Gonzales’ signature line while re-authorizing Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program

In 2004, after top Justice Department lawyers refused to re-certify the legality of President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, the Bush administration re-authorized the program anyway without the Justice Department’s approval. Previous accounts of the program’s re-authorization reported that the “line for the attorney general’s signature remained blank.”

But in the Washington Post today, Barton Gellman reports that Vice President Cheney’s lawyer, David Addington, actually signed then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales’s name to the document’s signature line:

Addington opened the code-word-classified file on his computer. He had a presidential directive to rewrite.

It has been widely reported that Bush executed the March 11 order with a blank space over the attorney general’s signature line. That is not correct [15]. For reasons both symbolic and practical, the vice president’s lawyer could not tolerate an empty spot where a mutinous subordinate should have signed. Addington typed a substitute signature line: “Alberto R. Gonzales.”

Gellman writes that “Only Richard M. Nixon, in an interview after leaving the White House in disgrace, claimed authority so nearly unlimited” as the authority Addington claimed for the president in the document he signed with Gonzales’ name.


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