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Conyers to Yoo: Could President Order Suspect Buried Alive?

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Conyers to Yoo: Could President Order Suspect Buried Alive?

In front of the House Judiciary Committee today, when it was Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) turn to ask questions — he went toe to toe with Yoo, the former DOJ attorney and torture-memo author extraordinaire, asking: "could the President order a suspect buried alive?"

— Additional reporting by Zoe Stagg

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stephley stephley 8 years
Cool, I'm leaving for the bus now too. You are formidable!
stephley stephley 8 years
Cool, I'm leaving for the bus now too. You are formidable!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Anyway, I am at work and have to be away from my desk for quite a bit, so if you post, it might take me a while to respond! (Just fyi.)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
And wow, I definitely did not think mine was going to be that long!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It's cool; it didn't take too long to read. I always read them in my e-mail, so they seem shorter. I have read the Senate reports and they don't conclusively show that Bush intentionally lied to Congress, in my opinion. As far as intentional misstatements to the public, I don't know of any conclusive evidence of those either, but, depending on the nature of the statement, I don't think all misstatements to the public would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors. Neither you not I know for certain what Powell, Tenet, etc. would say. They could prove that Bush did receive faulty intelligence. I have no problem with people being asked to testify, but I hold firm in my belief that there is no evidence strong enough to impeach Bush. If this is something people honestly believed in, they should have (and if they had a modicum of intelligence) would have pursued it long ago. I think any person with any common sense recognizes at this point that an impeachment would take longer than Bush has left in office. And you're right, no one is going to be completely non-biased, but you could find experts who are not politicians for a living. To me, these people would have less of a bias than Democratic members of congress. (current or former) As for Bush being in the position of proof, he actually wouldn't. The burden of proof would fall on those attempting to bring charges against him, just like in any other criminal proceeding. Bush wouldn't have to prove that he didn't receive intelligence showing no weapons; others would have to prove that he did.And I have extensively read both sides. There is no conclusive evidence that, to me, would stand up in legal proceedings. If the evidence was as strong as some claim, the charges would have been brought long ago. Even if one person says Bush intentionally lied, to me, that would not be enough. In the cases of Clinton and Nixon, one person tipped the scales, but that person's testimony led to physical proof. If a plurality with direct knowledge of the situation came out and said with absolute certainty that Bush intentionally lied, that would make eye witness accounts enough. In the vast majority of criminal courts, the testimony of one eye witness and the speculation of others is not enough to convict; this is not just a standard I am applying to Bush.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It's cool; it didn't take too long to read. I always read them in my e-mail, so they seem shorter. I have read the Senate reports and they don't conclusively show that Bush intentionally lied to Congress, in my opinion. As far as intentional misstatements to the public, I don't know of any conclusive evidence of those either, but, depending on the nature of the statement, I don't think all misstatements to the public would qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors. Neither you not I know for certain what Powell, Tenet, etc. would say. They could prove that Bush did receive faulty intelligence. I have no problem with people being asked to testify, but I hold firm in my belief that there is no evidence strong enough to impeach Bush. If this is something people honestly believed in, they should have (and if they had a modicum of intelligence) would have pursued it long ago. I think any person with any common sense recognizes at this point that an impeachment would take longer than Bush has left in office. And you're right, no one is going to be completely non-biased, but you could find experts who are not politicians for a living. To me, these people would have less of a bias than Democratic members of congress. (current or former) As for Bush being in the position of proof, he actually wouldn't. The burden of proof would fall on those attempting to bring charges against him, just like in any other criminal proceeding. Bush wouldn't have to prove that he didn't receive intelligence showing no weapons; others would have to prove that he did. And I have extensively read both sides. There is no conclusive evidence that, to me, would stand up in legal proceedings. If the evidence was as strong as some claim, the charges would have been brought long ago. Even if one person says Bush intentionally lied, to me, that would not be enough. In the cases of Clinton and Nixon, one person tipped the scales, but that person's testimony led to physical proof. If a plurality with direct knowledge of the situation came out and said with absolute certainty that Bush intentionally lied, that would make eye witness accounts enough. In the vast majority of criminal courts, the testimony of one eye witness and the speculation of others is not enough to convict; this is not just a standard I am applying to Bush.
stephley stephley 8 years
Wow, it didn't look that long in draft. very very sorry!
stephley stephley 8 years
No the Senate Panel pretty clearly refers to lies and intentional misstatements to the public and Congress. It would take a trial to sort through the intelligence information - that would probably come down to did the President avoid looking at intelligence that conflicted with his wishes - and I think several former Administration members have already blown his defense on that. Powell could be subpeoned and be a very strong witness for either side. Tenet is more tainted, but he'd be a decent witness. It was an unheard of guy who blew Nixon's case wide open - one of the last questions he was asked was along the lines of 'is there anything further you think we should know.' He took a deep breath, said 'I wish you hadn't asked me that' and revealed the taping system in the Oval Office. Linda Tripp was a happy surprise for Clinton's opponents.Who's going to be considered non-biased in this? Any Constitutional scholar is going to be accused of bias based on their interpretation of the Constitution. It is the Congress that will ultimately decide and there aren't many neutral parties in Congress. It might be better to read both sides and try to determine who brings the best solid evidence to the table - how plausibly could the other side refute any claim. On intelligence, Bush would be in the difficult position of proving a negative: they didn't show me that, they didn't tell me that, they didn't say it clearly enough, I used the Pentagon to go-around the CIA and State Dept because...
stephley stephley 8 years
No the Senate Panel pretty clearly refers to lies and intentional misstatements to the public and Congress. It would take a trial to sort through the intelligence information - that would probably come down to did the President avoid looking at intelligence that conflicted with his wishes - and I think several former Administration members have already blown his defense on that. Powell could be subpeoned and be a very strong witness for either side. Tenet is more tainted, but he'd be a decent witness. It was an unheard of guy who blew Nixon's case wide open - one of the last questions he was asked was along the lines of 'is there anything further you think we should know.' He took a deep breath, said 'I wish you hadn't asked me that' and revealed the taping system in the Oval Office. Linda Tripp was a happy surprise for Clinton's opponents. Who's going to be considered non-biased in this? Any Constitutional scholar is going to be accused of bias based on their interpretation of the Constitution. It is the Congress that will ultimately decide and there aren't many neutral parties in Congress. It might be better to read both sides and try to determine who brings the best solid evidence to the table - how plausibly could the other side refute any claim. On intelligence, Bush would be in the difficult position of proving a negative: they didn't show me that, they didn't tell me that, they didn't say it clearly enough, I used the Pentagon to go-around the CIA and State Dept because...
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Also, a few people who are clearly partisan (as most in Washington are) saying Bush committed impeachable offenses does not mean, to me, that they are impeachable. Find me a non-biased source and I'll be more likely to examine it more carefully. A liberal Congressman and a liberal former Congresswoman just don't do it for me. (As I would suspect that a few conservatives would not be considered reliable sources by you.)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Steph, I know you weren't referring to me specifically, but I personally don't think Clinton should have been impeached. He shouldn't have lied under oath, but to me, that's not an impeachable offense. As far as Bush, I will go back to the same thing I always say. It cannot be proven that he lied. The Pentagon report and Senate panel show that there were no WMDs, but it has never been conclusively shown that Bush did not receive faulty intelligence.It nauseates that you would be so quick to judge others when you don't know their thinking processes.And Nixon was never impeached, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Steph, I know you weren't referring to me specifically, but I personally don't think Clinton should have been impeached. He shouldn't have lied under oath, but to me, that's not an impeachable offense. As far as Bush, I will go back to the same thing I always say. It cannot be proven that he lied. The Pentagon report and Senate panel show that there were no WMDs, but it has never been conclusively shown that Bush did not receive faulty intelligence. It nauseates that you would be so quick to judge others when you don't know their thinking processes. And Nixon was never impeached, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there.
stephley stephley 8 years
There were four articles against Clinton. I would imagine that if Bush is ever impeached or in any way tried, he'd end up being convicted for lying - though as he and Cheney have steadfastly refused to take oaths or actually testify, he might be able to finesse that too. Elizabeth Holtzman, who was an important player in Nixon's impeachment was saying back in '06 that Bush has violated his presidential oath and listed at least five impeachable offenses.I will say this, I don't know how moral, thinking human beings can feel satisfied that one president was convicted of lying about sex while another has lied us into a war according to a Senate panel and a Pentagon report, and remains in power. The hypocrisy nauseates me.
stephley stephley 8 years
There were four articles against Clinton. I would imagine that if Bush is ever impeached or in any way tried, he'd end up being convicted for lying - though as he and Cheney have steadfastly refused to take oaths or actually testify, he might be able to finesse that too. Elizabeth Holtzman, who was an important player in Nixon's impeachment was saying back in '06 that Bush has violated his presidential oath and listed at least five impeachable offenses. I will say this, I don't know how moral, thinking human beings can feel satisfied that one president was convicted of lying about sex while another has lied us into a war according to a Senate panel and a Pentagon report, and remains in power. The hypocrisy nauseates me.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
And Rac, that's a pretty big assertion to make. Do you have any evidence to back it up?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
We could go back and forth all day on whether those are actually impeachable offenses, though. Kucinich bringing them up does not make them impeachable.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Never mind, I answered my own question.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Steph, what articles of impeachment are you talking (writing?) about? Something posted online or something that has actually been brought up in a legal setting?
stephley stephley 8 years
But this Yoo might be willing and able to research it and come back and tell you how a president with a 'war on terror' could get away with it... this guy was working on ways to circumvent laws and treaties on treatment of prisoners. He didn't give a reasonable, flat out no to the question. He dodged and Conyers pointed out that's the kind of guy Yoo is. The name Yoo lends itself to lots of silliness, by the way.
stephley stephley 8 years
But this Yoo might be willing and able to research it and come back and tell you how a president with a 'war on terror' could get away with it... this guy was working on ways to circumvent laws and treaties on treatment of prisoners. He didn't give a reasonable, flat out no to the question. He dodged and Conyers pointed out that's the kind of guy Yoo is. The name Yoo lends itself to lots of silliness, by the way.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
What I was pointing out was the President could specifically say "Bury so and so alive." Anyone can say that, so the president could as well. Would he, and is it legal? Doubt it, and no.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"Could a President order a suspect buried alive? Yes. Is it legal? No."To me, if it isn't legal, he can't order it to be done. It seemed to me that he was trying to pinpoint the memo master on whether or not he thought it would be legal for a President to order live burial. IMO.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"Could a President order a suspect buried alive? Yes. Is it legal? No." To me, if it isn't legal, he can't order it to be done. It seemed to me that he was trying to pinpoint the memo master on whether or not he thought it would be legal for a President to order live burial. IMO.
stephley stephley 8 years
There are 35 articles of impeachment, Conyers doesn't need any more. the point is how low are they willing to take this country.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Conyers: Could the President order a suspect buried alive? Yoo: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don't think I've ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive. . .Conyers: I didn't ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.Yoo: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don't think a President . . . no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.Conyers: I think we understand the games that are being played.WTF??? This is just rediculus. Could a President order a suspect buried alive? Yes. Is it legal? No. Would this President order said burial? The President is the only one who could ask. If you can't get enough evidence to support a impeachment, don't go drudging up some with speculation.
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