Can a former military general serve as attorney general?

Blawgletter can’t find, in our copy of the U.S. Constitution, a requirement that the nation’s attorney general must have a law degree.  Indeed, if our memory of legal history serves, law schools didn’t exist back in the late 18th century.  So we think it could happen.

And we want it to.  Let us pass the moral, ethical, legal, intelligential, linguistic, and other impairments from which the current occupant of the office suffers.  Let us instead celebrate the devotion of Colin Powell to the rule of law, as he expressed it yesterday (per the LA Times) on "Meet the Press" (video here):

"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo.  Not tomorrow, but this afternoon.  I’d close it," he said.

"And I would not let any of those people go," he said.  "I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system.  The concern was, well then they’ll have access to lawyers, then they’ll have access to writs of habeas corpus.  So what?  Let them.  Isn’t that what our system is all about?"

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Powell, who was secretary of state under President Bush, said the U.S. should do away with the military commission system in favor of procedures already established in federal law or the manual for courts-martial.

"I would also do it because every morning, I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds," Powell said.  "And so essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission.

"We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it," he said.

Our hero.

Barry Barnett

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