I've now completed reading the
March 14th OLC opinion
. As you might expect, there is a great deal within it that warrants very careful attention and analysis. There is nothing like it in our long legal history, as far as I know. After all, how often is it that a Department of Justice memo is issued that matter-of-factly argues that the commander in chief can authorize pouring corrosive acid on a detainee
can authorize cutting out a tongue and poking out an eye
nothwithstanding a statute that would prohibit that very conduct?
I think what I'll do is to publish a series of numbered posts (this is No. 4 — N umbers 1-3 are at Balkinization ), each centering on a discrete topic or portion of the memo. My reactions must, of course, be tentative and preliminary: I have not yet had the time to research most of these questions or to give them the attention (some of them) might deserve. But I hope that by the end of the endeavor, we'll be able to see clearly just how radical and extraordinary this memo was.
Before I start in on the memo itself, however, I'll begin with a handful of posts about process and ramifications rather than the specific substantive issues raised.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge
Iran and the U.S. Are Allies
They’re just not ready to admit it yet.
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.