Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quotations Of The Day: Literary Allusion And Assault On Civil Liberties Edition

First Judge Colleen McMahon uses the two literary classics to describe her ruling that the Constitution doesn't allow the President to assassinate American citizens but that the Administration does not have to release internal memoranda that justify ordering assassinations:
“I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret,” she wrote.
“The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me,” Judge McMahon wrote, adding that she was operating in a legal environment that amounted to “a veritable Catch-22.”
Conor Friedersdorf begins his analysis of McMahon's ruling with two more literary references:
Permitted to run CNN for a day, I'd amuse myself by arranging for a Crossfire-style debate between English professors who disagree intensely about how best to characterize President Obama's national security policies. "They're Orwellian," one would insist. "They're actually better described as Kafkaesque," the other would counter. They'd go back and forth, citing his transgressions against basic norms of justice and comparing them to plot points from dystopian novels. Poor Wolf Blitzer. He'd be horrified by a segment that afforded so little deference to a sitting president.

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