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What Is Executive Privilege?

Tyler Durden's picture


There has been much talk today about Obama's use of the "executive privilege" yet few are familiar with the details of this relatively unknown presidential option. The AP sheds much needed light on this practice: perhaps the most fitting, to the constitutional expert president, is that the "privilege" isn't in the Constitution nor has been clearly defined by the courts. In other words - just the kind of loophole that one needs to mask the fact that the very person tasked with imposing justice is himself guilty of performing just the opposite. Yet Obama has only used it once (so far) during his tenure as president. Dubya used it six times, Bush Sr used it once also. Slick Willie however takes the cake with 14 cases of executive privilege during his 8 years on top.

From the AP:

Presidents dating back to George Washington have claimed a murky power to keep the inner workings of their administrations secret from Congress.

That authority — known as executive privilege — isn't in the Constitution. It hasn't been clearly defined by the courts. Yet invoking it has proven effective for presidents determined to keep witnesses or documents away from congressional investigators.

President Barack Obama is the latest to assert the privilege: He refused Wednesday to turn over some Justice Department documents about a botched anti-smuggling operation that allowed hundreds of guns sold in Arizona to end up in Mexico. Because of the standoff, the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee then voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The committee's recommendation next would go to the full House for a vote.

A look, in question and answer form, at executive privilege and the fuzzy state of the law regarding showdowns between Congress and a president:

Q: How can a president shrug off a subpoena from a congressional committee?

A: Presidents say they should be free to engage in private decision-making with their advisers without fearing how their words or internal memos might look to Congress or the public. Several presidents have argued that this authority also extends to the work of high-level agency officials, even if they weren't communicating with the president or White House about such work.

Q: Where does the idea of executive privilege come from?

A: It's a principle based on the constitutionally mandated separation of powers — the idea that the executive branch, Congress and the courts operate independently of each other.

The concept of executive privilege dates at least to 1792, when Congress was probing a disastrous battle against American Indians that cost the lives of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. President George Washington and his Cabinet decided the president had the right to refuse to turn over some documents if disclosing them would harm the public. In the end, Washington gave lawmakers what they sought. But the idea of executive privilege took root.

Q: Didn't the Supreme Court settle the issue when it ordered President Richard Nixon to hand over the Watergate tapes recorded in the White House?

A: Not really. The court ordered Nixon to surrender the tapes in that case — a criminal investigation. But the justices also found a constitutional basis for claims of executive privilege, leaving the door open for presidents to cite it in future clashes with Congress.

Q: Do presidents claim executive privilege often?

A: Most reach for it sparingly. Wednesday was Obama's first time in his 3 1/2 years in office. His predecessor, George W. Bush, cited it six times in eight years. Bush's father invoked it only once in his single term.

The administration of President Bill Clinton, who faced investigation of his Whitewater land deals and then a sex-and-lies scandal, asserted executive privilege 14 times. Some of those claims were kept quiet and quickly dropped, however.

Q: What comes next for Obama?

A: Probably more negotiation. In the past, presidents and lawmakers have been loath to let an executive privilege fight escalate into a court battle.

Q: Why not go to court to settle questions about executive privilege once and for all?

A: There's too much risk. Presidents worry that if they lose, courts will take away a valuable tool and weaken the power of the office. If the lawmakers lose, they could permanently weaken Congress' subpoena power when it investigates executive branch blunders.

Q: What if the White House and Congress can't reach a compromise?

A: The next step is a contempt of Congress vote in the full Republican-controlled House. Full House approval would send the case to the local U.S. attorney for enforcement. Who is that U.S. attorney's boss? Holder and, ultimately, Obama, who appointed him.

That's why the Justice Department traditionally declines to pursue such criminal contempt of Congress cases.

Q: Is there something else Congress could do?

A: If, as history suggests, the Justice Department won't prosecute a criminal case against Holder, the House could hire its own lawyer and file a civil lawsuit in federal court in hopes of winning an order for Holder to turn over the documents. But in addition to the risk of losing, a court fight certainly would be long and drawn out, making that an unappealing option.

The Democratic-controlled House filed suit in 2008 seeking to compel testimony from a former White House counsel to George W. Bush. The lawsuit was dropped a year and a half later, after Bush's term ended and a newly elected Congress had been seated. Congress did get some of the documents it sought, however.


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Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:48 | 2545362 PSEUDOLOGOI

Executive priviledge is when you're told to fuck off... like we do in soviet russia.

i say, you do.  you say, i don't do.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:57 | 2545390 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Ulstermans "White House Insider" called this a while ago.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:33 | 2545438 Manthong
Manthong's picture

The longer we go without reclaiming this type of American ideology the less of a chance we have to keep even the little that is left of the Constitutional United States.

..and course he was talking about countering the Soviet Communist threat, but he might as well have been talking about the current iterations of US Administrations and State. And the press he describes… does not exist except in the cause of defending socialism..

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:44 | 2545648 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Executive Privilege is simply Obammy stating "...I'll never have to say I'm sorry..."

The absurdities continue unabated...can't wait for NO-vember.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:36 | 2545881 4horse
4horse's picture

Executive Privilege is simply  .  .  .

                                                      something like this . . .

David Sassoon was born in Baghdad, Iran in 1792. His father, Saleh Sassoon, was a wealthy banker and the treasurer to Ahmet Pasha, the governor of Baghdad. (Thus making him the "court Jew" ? a highly influential position.) In 1829 Ahmet was overthrown due to corruption and the Sassoon family fled to Bombay, India. This was the strategic trade route to interior India and the gateway to the Far East. In a brief time the British government granted Sassoon "monopoly rights" to all manufacture of cotton goods, silk and most important of all ? Opium ? then the most addictive drug in the world!

The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1905, states that Sassoon expanded his opium trade into China and Japan. He placed his eight sons in charge of the various major opium exchanges in China. According to the 1944 Jewish Encyclopedia: "He employed only Jews in his business, and wherever he sent them he built synagogues and schools for them. He imported whole families of fellow Jews...and put them to work."

Sassoon's sons were busy pushing this mind?destroying drug in Canton, China. Between 1830 ? 1831 they trafficked 18,956 chests of opium earning millions of dollars. Part of the profits went to Queen Victoria and the British government. In the year 1836 the trade increased to over 30,000 chests and drug addiction in coastal cities became endemic. In 1839, the Manchu Emperor ordered that it be stopped. He named the Commissioner of Canton, Lin Tse?hsu, to lead a campaign against opium.

Lin seized 2,000 chests of Sassoon opium and threw it into the river. An outraged David Sassoon demanded that Great Britain retaliate. Thus, the Opium Wars began with the British Army fighting as mercenaries of the Sassoon's. They attacked cities and blockaded ports. The Chinese Army, decimated by 10 years of rampant opium addiction, proved no match for the British Army. The war ended in 1839 with the signing of "The Treaty of Nanking."

This included provisions especially designed to guarantee the Sassoon's the right to enslave an entire population with opium. The "peace treaty" included these provisions: "1) Full legalization of the opium trade in China, 2) compensation from the opium stockpiles confiscated by Lin of 2 million pounds, 3) territorial sovereignty for the British Crown over several designated offshore islands.

. . . Thus, China not only had to pay Sassoon the cost of his dumped opium but reimburse England an unheard sum of 21 million pounds for the cost of the war! This gave the Sassoon's monopoly rights to distribute opium in port cities. However, even this was not good enough and Sassoon demanded the right to sell opium throughout the nation . . .

. . . In the new "Peace Treaty" of October 25, 1860, the British were assigned rights to vastly expanded opium trade covering seven?eights of China, which brought in over 20 million pounds in 1864 alone. In that year, the Sassoon's imported 58,681 chests of opium and by 1880 it had skyrocketed to 105,508 chests making the Sassoon's the richest Jews in the world. England was given the Hong Kong peninsula as a colony and large sections of Amoy, Canton, Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai. The Sassoon's were now licensing opium dens in each British occupied area with large fees being collected by their Jewish agents. Sassoon would not allow any other race to engage in "the Jews business."


                                                        leading to something like this  .  .  .

The Russell, Coolidge, DeLeino, Forbes and Perkins families became fabulously rich smuggling Opium aboard their speedy Clipper ships into China. In 1820 Samuel Russell bought out the Perkins syndicate and ran the Opium smuggling operation with his partner Warren DeLeino Jr. who was the grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Britain had finally found a commodity that China would take – Opium. Imported from India, just a few chests at first, and then thousands. When the Chinese authorities tried to stop the Opium trade, the British sent in their Gunboats. After nearly 20 years of turmoil the treaty of Tien-Tsin in 1858 not only allowed Opium to be imported, but handed over China's ports and all her International trade to Western control.

After the war, Opium poured into China on an even greater scale and her Emperors were powerless to stop it.

In 1842, the British stole Hong Kong from China in an Opium drug-deal called the treaty of Nanking. The Russell family who controlled the US arm of the Rothschild drug smuggling operation, set up the Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale University. America's big money families formed the fraternity's inner power circle. Taft, Russell, Schiff, Haremon, Bush, Warburg, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Stemson, Weighouser, Vanderbilt, Goodyear and Pillsbury were all members.

These families intermarried over the generations to form America's big money aristocracy. Skull and bones member Alfonso Taft catapulted his son William Taft right into the top job at the White House. President Taft's 17th. Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteed the right of big-money insiders to hand-pick Senators and buy control of the US Senate . . .


                             leading to who knows what totally unforeseen where . . .

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 00:53 | 2546037 Gidas19
Gidas19's picture

Could Mr. Obama use "executive privilege" to conceal a birth certificate?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:05 | 2545920 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

.....whose "interpretation" of the Constitution?

Killing babies is "constitutional"!

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:49 | 2545366 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

"Privilege is what-fucking-ever I want it to mean, dammit!"

-Official White Horse Souse

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:38 | 2545492 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

"Slick Willie however takes the cake with 14 cases of executive privilege during his 8 years on top."


so you're saying the slickster is quite partial to the missionary style, eh?

i always figured him to be more.... i don't know.... imaginative.

but he did certainly invoke his executive privilege at each drop of a handkerchief.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:43 | 2545639 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Well, it's nothing like the other legal privileges ( spousal, lawyer-client, doctor-patient etc) which over time have been narrowed again and again. This one seems to have no rules, no boundaries and no end in sight. I think it models itself after our debt.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:50 | 2545369 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

I think it's the coach gets his pick of the water boys in the showers and everyone has to keep quiet.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:51 | 2545373 Row Well Number 41
Row Well Number 41's picture

Executive Privilege = pleading the 5th = Guilty or why claim it.


Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:04 | 2545551 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Executive privilege = the divine right of kings. You fought a war over this in 1776, kicked Nixon out of office when he tried to claim it.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:09 | 2545926 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

....then why doesn't b-Hussein-o just "declare" socialism by Executive Privledge?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:37 | 2545959 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

Fuckin aye.  A Democratic Republic and Secrecy are incompatible.


Oh how I long for the day when POTUS getting his dick sucked was the craziest news in DC.  

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:53 | 2545376 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

The House could choose to de-fund the Department of Justice entirely, which is its only recourse that needs no permission or cooperation from either a court nor the executive branch.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:53 | 2545379 GernB
GernB's picture

I understand the political reasons for not pursuing it, but what ever happened to the sense of obligation to act as a check and balance against the other branches of government. I'm not that concerned about this case, both parties have abused "executive priveledge." I'm more concerned about the pattern in all branches of government to overlook instances of over-reach and violations of the constitution, such that the consitution becomes meaningless because nobody will ever push back and say "hey you can't do that it's not constitutional."

We have become a nation where government has any power it cares to sieze, and since each party wants all the power they can get neither one ever tries to reign in the power of the other side.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:56 | 2545532 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

" I'm more concerned about the pattern in all branches of government to overlook instances of over-reach and violations of the constitution, such that the consitution becomes meaningless"

This also bothers me, so I was doing a little research and apparently as long as we as a country stay in an armed conflict, or declare War on something (drugs, poverty, midgets), the Constitution is put on vacation, replaced with a version of Martial Law. Apparently this started with Lincoln.

Now I'm beginning to understand why we have one conflict after another. I'm aware this isn't advertised by TPTB as it would cause quite a ruckus among the sheeple.

But if it is true, albiet not openly touted, it does explain a lot about the never ending power grabs that Martial Law Lite seems to allow these days.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:56 | 2545384 kinetik
kinetik's picture

The whole concept sickens me. My childhood American idealism is dying day by day. And I'm Canadian.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:58 | 2545385 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Ike is actually the winner, with 44 times, not Clinton with 14.

This is Obama's first such use; the TeaBaggers are hyperventilating.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2545416 TMT
TMT's picture

Big fucking deal how many times its been used and by whom.  The fact is our government is growing more corrupt by the day (as it has been for about 80 years).


Since you're an Obama lover please tell me what exactly you are - a gay, opressed "minority", an illegal, or food-stamper?  Which is it?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:09 | 2545563 uno
uno's picture

slight correction - which ones are you

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:32 | 2545435 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah sure..... the "teabaggers " are all up in arms because Holder tried an end around to undermine the second amendment and people got killed. Nothing to be alarmed about. Please go on defending the criminal.
I don't care how many times a past president evoked " executive privilege". One time is too many.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:58 | 2545541 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

They broke the law, forced others to break the law, and are now preventing the truth from coming out that justice may prevail. Invoking "executive privilege" to cover up criminal acts is a fucking abomination..........All in the pursuit of an anti gun agenda. How I hope there is a Hell.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:29 | 2545591 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"...the TeaBaggers are hyperventilating."

lol...and of course, as usual the exact opposite is the truth. If anyone is hyperventilating its Holder, O'Barry and MSM psychopants.

Top DOJ officials meeting in Mexico >>>on the very same day as Holder is sending a letter to Congress<<< denying any knowlege of F&F is...well, breath takingly stupid.

"So imagine my surprise when I discover in the documents slid under my door late that Friday night that while in Mexico, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer proposed letting guns cross the border.

His proposal came at the same time the Department was preparing to send its letter to me denying that ATF ever does the very thing he was proposing.

In a February 4, 2011 email, the Justice Department attaché in Mexico City wrote to a number of officials at the Justice Department:
AAG Breuer proposed allowing straw purchasers to cross into Mexico so [the Secretariat of Public Security] can arrest and [the Attorney General of Mexico] can prosecute and convict.  Such coordinated operations between the US and Mexico may send a strong message to arms traffickers.”

It appears, the ghosts of hundreds of Mexican citizens, Brian Terry and possibly Jamie Zapata are casting very VERY long shadows...for ghosts.


As an aside...what piqued my interest in this whole dooby doo...was that asshat president of Mexico (Calderon), standing up in MY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES...and had the balls to discuss MY RIGHTS as a free man.

That's right, I'm saying he knew about the Fast & Furious operation as well and was a party to it.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:57 | 2545388 valley chick
valley chick's picture

and sometimes precedent needs to be set..go for comparison between slick Willie and his cigars and Fast & Furious that cost a US citizen his life.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:07 | 2545407 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Or with Cheney, who lied us into a war for his oil buddies, and intentionally 'outed' a CIA agent.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:13 | 2545424 TMT
TMT's picture

You rabid liberal statist clown.  First, it wasn't Cheney.  Second, Plame was a desk jockey.

Your bullshit liberal talking points will garner more support over at moveon or somewhere else.

Ron Paul 2012.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:27 | 2545606 uno
uno's picture

send W and Cheney to Iraq for war crimes, send O to Libya & Pakistan for crimes against humanity and Slick Willy to Serbia

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:26 | 2545733 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

Nice for you to mention Serbia, no one else even notices what a stab in the back that one was. Here was a country trying to hold on to lands which had been theirs for centuries against an invading hoard of muslims. The NATO gangsters supported the muslims without ever saying why. Put serbian leaders in phoney show trials and killed the rest. The russians just sat back and watched their cousins get slaughtered. All they would have done is "sold" the serbs the latest SAM systems to give them a chance against the air cap of NATO and it might have ended differantly.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:27 | 2545862 uno
uno's picture

Russia finally understood after Libya was taken out.  I know about the importance of Kosovo to Serbia, the Albanians came to it after WW2, after 10+ childern for a couple generations some corrupt Albanians wanted all the resources for themselves.  At the time Slick Willy (aka cigar dick) was catching flack about the Chinese bribery scam, Serbia was defenseless enough to distract attention with a lapdog MSM; bomb the water treatment plants, electricity plants, a couple schools, leave depleted uranium for generations and walk away as a MSM and Western European darling.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:49 | 2545773 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Why do statists try to use the crimes that Bush, etc., got away with to justify the crimes of the O'bomb-a administration? Nobody here is happy about the shit that Bush and Co. pulled, nor are we happy with the shit that Zero and Co. are pulling. Douche.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2545393 Paul Atreides
Paul Atreides's picture

More garbage from the AP. CBC has been re-posting all their crappy propaganda articles on Syria lately was thinking of sending in a complaint. It's obvious from the comments that more then half of Canadians know whats going on and bash the article outright, which makes me somewhat more optimistic on Canada's future ability to wake up and smell the bullshit.

In relation to the article this is just a side ring act, nothing will come of this, the media will shift attention away from Holder soon, just more WWF wrestling for the irradiated masses.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:58 | 2545394 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

Is it me or am I missing something In the first sentence ?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2545414 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You got it right. But it just states an opinion. As "W" said, it's just a piece of paper.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:13 | 2545421 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

W's comment was about the constitution , but it's my guess he had contempt for both documents.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:01 | 2545679 uno
uno's picture

and this gem

Justice Ginsburg: “I Would Not Look to the U.S. Constitution”

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:17 | 2545847 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Thats one piece of paper we should actually leverage...

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:37 | 2545486 Tuffmug
Tuffmug's picture

The only truth that is self-evident is that Jefferson was a master BS artist.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 00:32 | 2545958 Ms. Erable
Ms. Erable's picture

We can now postulate another truth that is self-evident: you're an ignorant moron.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:05 | 2545819 WakeUpPeeeeeople
WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,"


After equal, insert "but some men are more equal than others"

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:03 | 2545402 skepticCarl
skepticCarl's picture

Obama is a lock for re-election.  Expect more government, and more Military Industrial Complex. The bankers like that, so that's what we'll get.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:05 | 2545404 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

What is Executive Privilege?  Simple - the power of Kings.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:05 | 2545405 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

I don't know, but is that photo supposed to be SCROTUS using his "privledge"?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:08 | 2545410 Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa's picture

I always thought that Executive Privilege was the right of CEO's to collect hundreds of millions in salary and bonuses in spite of (or even because of) their companies losing huge amounts of money and even going bankrupt.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:09 | 2545411 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

the privilege to get orally copulated by an intern and not have it defined as a sexual act; but a standard greeting instead.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2545413 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Is that a photo of Dick O'Bama cupping a crack pipe by the headline?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2545415 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Hang 'em High.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:14 | 2545425 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Good thing CIA agents aren't allowed to smoke crack when they are President.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:14 | 2545430 reTARD
reTARD's picture

To possess "authority" requires the lack of "liberty" (or submission, obedience, subjection, enslavement) for everyone else. The "authority" is "privileged" to the exception to all the rules imposed upon everyone else.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:12 | 2545834 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Tragic feature of "authority" reTARD, indeed!

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:17 | 2545433 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Choomboy going down for the count?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:23 | 2545449 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I gave you +1 just because I liked reading that.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:41 | 2545443 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

give 'em an inch and they will take a mile, we have been under a dictatorship since at least Abraham Lincoln.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:30 | 2545470 luna_man
luna_man's picture



"Executive Privilege", now has new meaning...Blindfold or Not?

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:31 | 2545478 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

the article is correct in that this stems from the separation of powers in the branches of goobermint

the article is incorrect in how it should proceed, imo

b/c of 'advise and consent' the congress can removeHolder from office via impeachment (the senate approved his nomination)

and, congress can also impeach the president;  high crime = asserting privilege to commit high crimes;  we're not gonna sign yer paycheck no more!  bye!  but, of course they don't have the votes

that didn't stop the republicans from impeaching clinton;  they knew they couldn't convict and they dragged everybody thru that, anyhow?  rush calling the shots much?  hannity?  the bush's?

try to find out what happened in abu gharaib and the same people can't think of an intelligent question? 

issa and holder are two complete scum-bags imo;  i have spoken out against each of them separately before

appoint a special prosecutor?  no problem!  let's go! but don't hold yer breath, imo

why not just throw holder out and tell prez0 he's next if he doesn't come clean

not enuf votes?  that's right!  straw man city time!  why!  there oughtta be a law! 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:36 | 2545484 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Why would O'Barry be invoking executive privilege on something he claims to have known nothing about in the first place?

Executive privilege can't be passed down the line to the friggin dog begins and ends inside the Oval Office...private executive conversations about policy/national security etc. with his staff.

"During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:53 | 2545666 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

'Why would O'Barry be invoking executive privilege on something he claims to have known nothing about in the first place?'



End scene.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:05 | 2545687 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I like to cut to the chase ;-)

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:34 | 2545743 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

"When you have nothing left to lose, you lose it." G. Celente

"When you have nothing to hide, you hide it". Hedgetard55

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:13 | 2545838 nmewn
nmewn's picture


"You can only lose when you quit fighting." nmewn

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:41 | 2545963 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

"Fuck these peasants.  We'll do whatever we want and they will take it."

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:43 | 2545505 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The bigger deal will be if a Special Prosecutor is created relative to the "leaks" of the USA and Israel's cyber attack on Iran. Haven't had one of those since Monica Lewinsky I believe...and it would be big deal if that Office were to return. I still have no clue why a botched gun running operation out of Justice requires Executive Privelege. What did the President know and when did he know it comes next.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:54 | 2545795 Overfed
Overfed's picture

There was nothing botched about it, except for the cover-up. That operation was meant to put US civilian-legal guns into the hands of mexican street level drug gangsters in order to pump up the statistics.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:54 | 2545531 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

botched anti-smuggling operation = successful smuggling operation

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 19:57 | 2545539 One World Mafia
One World Mafia's picture

George Washington was citing national security not executive privilege, not that I buy that excuse they way it's been abused by later presidents.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:08 | 2545557 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture
Executive Privilege is usually an exit strategy...
Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:30 | 2545617 sschu
sschu's picture

Privilege is a legal concept that has application in marriage, law and medical (and maybe others).  Your conversations with your wife or lawyer are privileged, you are not required to disclose these.

I believe that this is an issue for Bam/Holder as he as "waived" this privilege by already releasing documents and privilege cannot be used to block criminal activity.  I am not a lawyer, so please correct any misstatements.

The fact that he is claiming privilege now is a bit of a problem.  Also, is he blocking the release of documents between the White House and the Justice Department or just release of Justice department documents?

He has created a big mess for sure.  Maybe it is better than talking about the economy, but if there is something to hide on this F&F thing and Bam is implicated, obstruction and accessory are not things you want on your resume.


Wed, 06/20/2012 - 20:46 | 2545652 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

Exec Privilege = "laws are for the little people"

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:57 | 2545973 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

Laws are for followers.  Of course leaders don't follow; they lead. 

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:19 | 2545721 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

Executice Privilege: I can order you indefinately detained without any counsel or due process, order drone strikes anywhere, any time, or have american citizens executed if I deem them a threat to the system.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:21 | 2545728 JohnKozac
JohnKozac's picture

Special Prosecutor waiting in the wings:


A special prosecutor generally is a lawyer from outside the government appointed by an attorney general or, in the United States, by Congress to investigate a government official for misconduct while in office. A reasoning for such an appointment is that the governmental branch or agency may have political connections to those it might be asked to investigate. Inherently, this creates a conflict of interest and a solution is to have someone from outside the department lead the investigation.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:42 | 2545747 GCT
GCT's picture

This is the problem with some commenters and junk me all the F you like. I really do not give a rats ass what party or what president used, executed, or imposed executive privilege.  Guess what the past is already gone and cannot be brought back. Done finished who the fuck cares!

I guess it is ok to run guns to the drug cartels, getting innocent Mexicans and American people killed, then get on the MSM as the leader of our country and blame it on the gun makers and the ease at which a person can purchase them.  Telling the public the cartels just cross the border and buy them.  Now with the truth coming out about the operation, claim executive privilege. 

I thought there was a criminal investigation going on.  No matter who used executive privilege in the past, does not mean it ok to do it now after all the pomp and circumstance paraded in front of the Mexican and American people on most of the television networks trying to change the national mood so they could go after gun owners.  I guess that is ok with some but for me alot of people died in this operation and it could have been avoided and the criminals should be locked up.   

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 08:23 | 2546443 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

Sorry to disagree,

but past crimes and cover ups do matter. The statute of limitations for many of the past crimes has not run out. Precedents are set, and it is important to question the consequences and extent of government secrecy, draconian laws, "black box" funding, Homeland policing, suppression of whistleblowers, etc.

Unfortunately, some always attempt to turn the discussion away from the important question about "which way the wind is blowing", and instead quibble and bicker about "which party has been the lesser of two evils".


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 09:49 | 2546783 GCT
GCT's picture

RWE sorry for the darn rant.  You are correct precedents come from the past.  People always want to point finger and it sickens me. Innocent people died in this operation .

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:54 | 2545794 nah
nah's picture

government seeks power over the children

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:12 | 2545826 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

yep, things have really changed over time.

A school book from yesteryear, copyright 1898 and 1910 by P.F. Collier & Son, and I do have a copy of the original 1910

Title: The History of the United States Vol. 1


Indroduction, Before Dawn, 1. Columbus, Raleigh, Smith 2. The Freight of the "Mayflower" 3. The Spirit of the Puritan 4. From Hudson to Stuyvesant 5. Liberty, Slavery, Tyranny

6. Catholic, Philosopher, Rebel 7. Quaker, Yankee, King 8. The Stuarts and the Charter 9. The New Leaf and the Blot on It 10. Fifty Years of Fools and Heroes

11. Quem Jupiter Vult Perdere 12. The Plains of Abraham and the Stamp Act 13. The Passing of the Rubicon 14. The Shot Heard Around the World



Wed, 06/20/2012 - 22:18 | 2545830 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I tried reading Mr Doughnuts letter which was drafted by Action Jackson. Four pages of mumbo jumbo. When you need four pages of mumbo jumbo to explain yourself, you are talking serious bull shit.

It's simple, executive privilege are the words that shortly precede the words presidential pardon.

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 23:35 | 2545956 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Executive Privilege can be described by this quote from "The Dancer Upstairs (2002)":

Agustín Rejas: I'd like to have a list of staff with access to the President's chambers. 
Calderón: Luckily there are only two of them. The first is named 'Fuck', the second is named 'Off'. 

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 03:55 | 2546165 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I wish I could use the executive privilege at home also with the misses...


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 06:22 | 2546239 twocents
twocents's picture

Executive fiat.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 06:34 | 2546247 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

it is a lousy system; three different groups think they are in charge, but a fourth knows who really has total power.

Potus, Congress, Senate all tell their mistresses how it all comes down to them, meantime Corporate and Banking America snicker into their mineral water.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 07:06 | 2546273 Zodiac
Zodiac's picture

How many times did St. Ronald use executive prividege?  During Iran-Contra perhaps?

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 12:01 | 2547509 giggler123
giggler123's picture

So looking at ZH's history on executive prividege, it is clear they use it when they lie?

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