Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

History speaks out on Bush and Enron...

"It is essential that the confidentiality of discussions that the President has - with his advisors, with Members of Congress, with visitors from abroad, with others who come in - that those discussions be uninhibited, that they be candid, they be freewheeling.

Now, in the event that Presidential papers, or in the event that Presidential conversations as recorded on tapes, in my opinion, were made available to a court, to a judge in camera or to a committee of Congress, that principle would be so seriously jeopardized that it would probably destroy that principle - the confidentiality which is so essential and indispensable for the proper conduct of the Presidency.

That is why I have taken the hard line that I have taken with regard to complying with the lower court's order."

- Richard M. Nixon, August 22, 1973

"The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. 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." - Chief Justice Warren Burger, United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)

In other words, Nixon and his staff didn't get the blanket confidentiality they wanted for their conversations, because they failed to assert any particular need for secrecy. Nixon's interests were outweighed by the need to maintain the integrity of the criminal process.

So, do you think that there is any particular need for Bush and Cheney to have their conversations with Enron (or any other company) regarding the creation of public policy secret? If so, from who? From us? From Congress, who are responsible for the oversight of the government? How about from the committee in Congress that deals with energy policy?

The real issue here is how much information should our elected representatives have access to? Should the President be entitled to a completely separate level of intelligence, while treating Congress like mushrooms? (i.e. kept in the dark and fed bullshit...) I don't think so, yet who is speaking up for the need of the people to have informed representatives?!

Frankly, Congress is already useless enough. If we let the President decide for himself how much Congress should know about how this country is run, we might as well replace them with a bunch of trained seals... they'd still bark and clap their hands/flippers, but they'd be considerably less expensive to maintain.

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