Sen. Teddy Kennedy has demanded that the Bush administration waive attorney-client privilege and release internal memos John Roberts worked on while in the solicitor general's office 15 years ago, all of which were supposed to be held in the deepest confidence. Apparently, Kennedy thinks public officials have no right to keep even their attorney-client communications secret.
This surprised me because the senator is such a strong advocate of the (nonexistent) "right to privacy." And not just in the way most drunken, Spanish quiz-cheating, no-pants-wearing public reprobates generally cherish their own personal right to privacy. I mean privacy in the abstract.
I know as much about the "right to privacy" as I know about any other made-up, nonexistent right, but I would have thought that any "right to privacy" would protect confidential attorney-client conversations at least as much as, say, abortions in public buildings.
But I'll have to defer to the expert.
Consequently, applying the principle even-handedly to members of the executive branch as well as the legislative branch, I demand that Kennedy immediately waive all attorney-client privilege relating to his communications with his lawyer after he drove Mary Jo Kopechne off the bridge at Chappaquiddick. It's time to clear up, once and for all, the many questions that have swirled around Kennedy since Chappaquiddick.
Oops – "swirled" may have been a poor choice of words there. How about "floated"? Nope. "Surfaced"? Oooh – even worse, in terms of irony. "Come to light"? OK, now I'm just being obtuse. "Beset"? Yes, that's better.
Youth is no defense. John Roberts was 26 years old when he wrote the documents that Kennedy demands on behalf of the Senate. Kennedy was 36 when he drove Mary Jo Kopechne off a bridge.
If the Senate needs to know what Roberts thought about the law at age 26, then the Senate certainly needs to know what Kennedy thought about the law at age 36, when he drowned a girl and then spent the rest of the evening concocting an alibi instead of calling the police.
This isn't a "rehash" of Chappaquiddick; it's never been hashed. The Senate needs to know whether Kennedy was guilty of manslaughter. How else can the Senate be expected to carry out its constitutional duty to expel Kennedy unless Kennedy makes these key documents available?
We'll pick them up in the same van we send to collect John Kerry's military records and Bill Clinton's medical records.
While we wait, here's my guess as to what those attorney-client conversations sounded like, based on the facts in Leo Damore's book "Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up":
Interview with client Teddy Kennedy, July 19, 1969: