Monday, December 3, 2007

From Roger Fitch and our Friends at Justinian

Roger Fitch Esq • December 2, 2007
Our Man in Washington
It seems the Bush administration has scoured the country for useful idiots and found jobs for every one of them, especially those with law degrees.
Some of the appointees requiring Senate confirmation are so fragrant that, like the Federal Election Commission’s chipmunk-cheeked Hans von Spakovsky , they have to be placed through recess appointments.
A leading source for Bush-appointed lawyers and judges has been the Federalist Society, a right-wing alternative to the American Bar Association that grew out of sleeper cells of “conservative” law students disenchanted with their “liberal” professors.
These days, the once-scorned “Federalists” are represented at all 196 accredited US law schools, and in November the group celebrated 25-years of growing government influence (and regressive judicial activism) with a large convention. It was attended by four Supreme Court justices and the putative president of the US. has more on the phenomenal success of the Federalist Society, which more recently has inspired the creation of a counter-organisation for “liberal” lawyers, the American Constitution Society.
The Federalist organisation has certainly helped produce loyal Bushies in record numbers, though not all of its recruits have been competent, or honest.
In any case, the Republicans have enjoyed a ready supply of corner-cutting and highly partisan lawyers since the Reagan years, according to the Nation’s Charlie Savage.
Whether lawyers or policy wonks, the same faces tend to resurface in Republican administrations with depressing regularity.
It used to be the case that compromised or discredited officials in the government, e.g. those who had been investigated for malfeasance or charged with crimes, would defer their comebacks till the next time the party was in office, by which time they would have been pardoned or forgotten.
No longer; under the Bush administration, malefactors are recycled in real time.
When Iraqi lawyers came to Washington in an effort to get Republicans to follow the rule of law in Iraq who better was there to show them around Congress than Manuel Miranda?
In a further proof that no crime or misconduct goes unrewarded in the Bush administration, Miranda, the Republican staffer who was sent off in disgrace in 2004 after he hacked the computers of Senate Democrats, has been given a job “promoting democracy” in the comically-named Office of Legislative Statecraft in Iraq.
Meanwhile, during the Thanksgiving holiday, Democrat majority leader Harry Reid had to keep the Senate in session – pro forma, anyway – just to prevent George Bush appointing unsavoury people through his famous misuse of “recess” appointments .
Law prof Marty Lederman of the Balkin Blog has more on this arcane practice.
* * *
Things seem to be happening at the Department of Justice since Michael Mukasey took over as Attorney General.
For starters, a US grand jury has been convened to examine the sins of the Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq.
Lapsed investigations have been reopened, e.g. the Inspector General’s inquiry into warrantless surveillance, and new people nominated, though loyal Bushies all for key positions.
Harper’s blogger Scott Horton has more.
Happily, Mr Mukasey seems to have acted to remove the hated US attorney in Minneapolis, Rachel Paulose .
Now that Ms Paulose is gone, there are calls for Leura Canary, the extremely partisan US Attorney in Alabama, to be replaced, as Scott Horton reports.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Former US Attorneys has met and shared horror stories about recent events at the DoJ.
* * *
In my last post I reported that former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had been hounded out of France by the process servers for human rights organisations, who laid a torture complaint against him while he was in Paris for a speech.
Unfortunately, the French foreign ministry has instructed the procureur to roll over and dismiss the charges on grounds of governmental immunity, ignoring the now-established Pinochet precedent.
But forget about Paris. Even when Bush administration officials are overseas, the US remains the leading haven for the world’s war criminals.
That’s the drift of the Department of Homeland Security’s own figures.
Curiously, these are not the people being pursued in the US courts for war crimes or terrorism. Former US Attorney Elizabeth de la Vega (pic) has described the official position taken by the Department of Justice (in a Florida case) on war crimes.
As for “successful” terrorism prosecutions in the US, the scorecard prepared by law professors David Cole and Jules Lobel makes depressing reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bush and Cheney have managed to get oil to close at above $97.00 a barrel (an all time high), gold is near an all time high and the U.S. dollar is at its all time low. There is more Federal money going to civilian mercenaries than to American solders. During the last seven years our borders have been left open, now we have over 14 million illegal immigrants. Every military power in the world has managed to slip spies up through Mexico and across our borders unchallenged.

Bush's bad appointments have been in his own personal interests; he has disregarded his oath to protect and serve the U.S.A. Good job guys you have made millionaires of your GOP affiliates by awarding big government contracts to their sham organizations at the cost of bringing our country into a recession. You have redefined Democracy, the executive powers, our Judicial system and the role of our National Guards and the Military Reserves.

Alabama is right in the middle of Bush’s corruption. Bush has had to help Bob Riley win both his elections for governor. Slick Bob is being groomed as a potential vice president candidate for the 2008 election. But what about his connection to Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon during the 2002 election. Also, there is another cloud over Riley’s head that involves their conspiracy to eliminate his opponent Don Siegelman in the 2006 election which is starting to get national attention.

By showing no shame and declaring executive privileges the occupants in the white house have become fugitives that are untouchable. Charges can’t be brought against them, because the judicial system works for the executive branch in which the President is the man in charge. Congress has not been able to start an impeachment process because there are very few conservative (honest) Republican’s remaining in Congress who align themselves with the traditional Republican values. Bush’s new group of corrupt politicians are still using the name of the GOP and they still run on the Republican ticket; however, they are aligning themselves on Bush's and Cheney's corruption.

What’s the next move once a new president assumes office? What could possibly be Bush’s plan? How are they going to avoid prosecutions and possibly war crime charges? How are they going to prevent the Feds. from seizing their bank accounts and their assets. Will Bush perform midnight pardons? But, first they have to be charged with a crime to be pardoned. Who then would pardon Bush?

I believe that they have all their eggs in one basket. The new President will have to be a close ally. With so many facing possible prosecutions, I believe that what they did to get Bob Riley elected governor is just an example of what might happen to their presidential opponents.

I believe that Karl Rove has never been debriefed and that he is still using the NSA to do wiretapping to gather whatever information that he needs to eliminate top presidential candidates. I believe that Bush is using the Justice department to investigate all presidential candidates, and that Karl Rove is being given the results of their investigations to be used to blackmail and to generate smear campaign ads. This is the same thing that he and Donal Segretti done for Nixon. Segretti went to prison; however Karl was only twenty one and escaped prosecution. Maybe he won’t be as lucky the next time. If Karl’s tactics fail to get their candidate in the lead, I believe that Bush's and Cheney's crimes are so serious that the leading candidate will be assassinated regardless of whether he or she is a conservative Republican or a Democrat.