However, neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the court. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, we find it difficult to accept the argument that even the very important interest in confidentiality of Presidential communications is significantly diminished by production of such material for in camera inspection with all the protection that a district court will be obliged to provide.
GOI: This case clearly doesn't involve matters of national security so not only is the Bush administration flouting the rule of law, the Congress and the American people but also precedence established by the highest court in the land. Attorney General Gonzales is clearly perjuring himself and obstructing justice. Karl Rove and Harriet Miers are clearly obstructing justice as well by flouting Congressional subpoenas. If this case doesn't qualify as meeting the requirements for the involvement of a special prosecutor then I do not know what does.
Especially since the main person involved happens to head up the very justice department that is usually in charge of investigating such allegations!!!
If it wasn't so serious these ironic statements by the now White House Press Secretary Tony Snow (rightly stated at the time) would be hilarious (emphasis added):
Tony Snow - Op-Ed - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1998 :
(HEADLINE: "Executive Privilege is a Dodge")Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.
Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.
One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.GOI:
In other news President Bush has spoken this morning expressing his sadness for the victims of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota yesterday evening. After his brief statement he took advantage of the question free occasion to down-shift into slamming the Democrats on spending. And yet of course the same man is blowing money on a failed Iraq like a bipolar off his medicine.
The worst part of his statements this morning, however, was that he took political advantage of the horrific, tragic demise of these people in Minnesota to push his partisan, vitriolic rhetoric. Not a surprise sadly as he has experience in using the death of soldiers to try and defend his insanity in Mesopotamia or help get himself re-elected in 2004.
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