Karl Rove is not showing up to court because the White House is guiding him not to do so (“Executive Privilege” [see article]). Part of questioning is about pressure in the Justice Department for the removal of judges considered politically unfavorable to the Bush administration.
Speaking of Bush Admin and the self-same Justice Department – from The Washington Post on Feb 8, 2008 (I am adding the underlining):
The attorney general yesterday rejected growing congressional calls for a criminal investigation of the CIA‘s use of simulated drownings to extract information from its detainees, as Vice President Cheney called it a “good thing” that the CIA was able to learn what it did from those subjected to the practice.
The remarks reflected a renewed effort by the Bush administration to defend its past approval of the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding, which some lawmakers, human rights experts and international lawyers have described as illegal torture.
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Justice Department lawyers concluded that the CIA’s use of waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 was legal, and therefore the department cannot investigate whether a crime had occurred.
“That would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now consider prosecuting somebody who followed that advice,” he said.
Somehow, all tied in here, are the people and the actions swirling around getting the American people to ignore when big people do really obvious bad things.
And the Red Cross says that the Geneva Convention rules are, no question, being broken – in such a serious way that an international tribunal might need to try OUR GOVERNMENT!
—-HEY! Why was it okay to invade a foreign country without legal grounds?
We didn’t have UN grounds; we didn’t have Congressional vote to declare war; we told Hans Blix to get out of Dodge so we wouldn’t bomb him even though he said there was no evidence yet to justify a war.
Why was it okay to tackle Saddam… because he was torturing people!
“But wait!” you say, “That’s what WE’RE doing!”
You’re not supposed to notice that part.
—REMEMBER!— the invasion of Iraq AND distribution of oil there was EXPECTED by the Bush Administration BEFORE he was in office the FIRST TIME… BEFORE 9/11 (which had, of course, nothing to do with Iraq).
From a transcript of a 60 Minutes episode which I actually saw [click to see the transcript], Paul O’Neill, George Bush’s Treasury Secretary from the beginning, reveals these things in a book (The Price of Loyalty):
And what happened at President Bush’s very first National Security Council meeting is one of O’Neill’s most startling revelations.
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic “A” 10 days after the inauguration – eight months before Sept. 11.
“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.
As treasury secretary, O’Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” were never asked.
“It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’” says O’Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”
And that came up at this first meeting, says O’Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later
He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. “There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,’” adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.
Based on his interviews with O’Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq’s oil wealth.
He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts,” which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.
“It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions,” says Suskind. “On oil in Iraq.”
During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: “If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I’m going to prevent that.”
“The thing that’s most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said ‘X’ during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing ‘Y,’” says Suskind. “Not just saying ‘Y,’ but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election.”