October 13, 2007

Rice Condemns Unitary Executive. In Russia.

No irony is sufficiently biting:

Rice condemns "concentration of power in the Kremlin"
Moscow - During a visit to Russia, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told journalists that: "There is too much concentration of power in the Kremlin. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary." Earlier, she met with eight leading Russian human rights activists.

Dr Rice offered to help them build institutions aimed at protecting Russian citizens against what she called the "arbitrary power of the state". ...

Do these people listen to themselves talk?

When President Bush signed the new law, sponsored by Senator McCain, restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees, he also issued a Presidential signing statement. That statement asserted that his power as Commander-in-Chief gives him the authority to bypass the very law he had just signed.

This news came fast on the heels of Bush's shocking admission that, since 2002, he has repeatedly authorized the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant, in flagrant violation of applicable federal law.

And before that, Bush declared he had the unilateral authority to ignore the Geneva Conventions and to indefinitely detain without due process both immigrants and citizens as enemy combatants.

All these declarations echo the refrain Bush has been asserting from the outset of his presidency. That refrain is simple: Presidential power must be unilateral, and unchecked.

... They make clear, for instance, that the phrase "unitary executive" is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power. Bush has used the doctrine in his signing statements to quietly expand presidential authority. ...

Everything I can think of to say about this comes out gibberish. I'll try again with something else.

Posted by natasha at October 13, 2007 11:05 AM | International | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

I read this today, too, and I had the same reaction. I wanted to bang my ... er, Condi's head against a wall. I give her credit; I thought Meryl Streep was a good actress! How does Condi keep a straight face!? How does the press not point out the irony of her words applying perfectly to the Bush Administration!?

Posted by: Scott at October 13, 2007 01:51 PM

how many ways is it possible to say 'pot, kettle'?

Posted by: Magpie at October 13, 2007 02:39 PM

Good catch on this. Rice's full comments to the press are worth reading (at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2007/10/93530.htm), as she waxes philosophical and momentarily seems to imply that concentration of power might be a problem in places other than Russia. For what it's worth, here's my gibberish on the same question: http://iangarrickmason.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/and-by-you-i-mean-me/

Posted by: Ian Mason at October 13, 2007 06:13 PM