Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Killing US citizens without due process CORRECTED

 My country has long killed people from other countries. And in fact we have drone (and otherwise) killed our own citizens without most people even giving it a second thought. But, I think we enter a new universe when our government argues in court that killing our citizens without judicial oversight is ok.. 

My friend The Talking Dog reminded me that the killing of US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki because he was an alleged terrorist and the killing of his US citizen teenage son -- because he was the son of a terrorist -- did make its way into the US court system and was deemed to be just fine. You can read more about Mr. Al- Awlaki and his young son here and here . I have lots of posts on these two killings back in my archives from 2014. It was the grandfather of Al-Awlaki's son who brought the action here. So that was the Obama administration finding that it was just fine to kill US citizens if they are suspected of being terrorists or are related to someone suspected of being a terrorist. Outrageous in its own right. 

But now my criminal president has gone one step further and is now claiming the right to kill US citizens "when state secrets are involved"...  As I mentioned yesterday this is a caveat without meaning as the government has long claimed total bullshit as "state secrets." For example, could they kill someone who read an unredacted Mueller report? 

Shit, there are hundreds of thousands of us who have security clearances that allows us to learn "state secrets."  Are we all potential targets? Seems so....

" Drawing alarm at the D.C. Circuit, a lawyer for the United States argued Monday that the government has the power to kill its citizens without judicial oversight when state secrets are involved."

Read the rest here.

Can Biden finish the job Obama botched and finally close Guantanamo?

 Biden of course should close Guantanamo. Whether he will, and if so, how -- are important questions. I am providing a link to this suggestion (A path for renewing Guantanamo's closing... I do not agree with how the author describes the 40 men left but that is neither here nor there at this point. The place should be closed and it is time to have open discusssions about finally closing the place..

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The talking dog speaks...once again

 This time the dog looks at our election and the winter heading our way in the good ole U S of A.

Read the latest here.

While we wait this out...


Friday, November 13, 2020


 Several years ago -- actually 15 years ago -- I took on the representation of the first of my two clients at Guantanamo. Shortly after I took on that representation a man by the name of Cully Stimson decided that it would be fun (his word not mine) to go after the bottom line of the big firms who volunteered to represent men at Guantanamo. I wrote about Cully's idea of fun for Huffington Post (click here to read my article). I lamented the fact that I was not a big firm (only had two attorneys at the time!) so Cully really couldn't pick on me. 

The reason that what Cully was doing was so insidious was that we were all attorneys who were working without pay -- and in fact had to expend large sums of money for things like translators, travel, lodging etc. - in order to try to uphold our legal principles. 

So now we have some very large law firms making a ton of money to represent trump in frivolous lawsuits. These law suits are not trying to uphold our legal principles but in fact are destroying those very principles. It is wrong and they should be widely criticized for filing these frivolous cases. 

If you agree with me you can email these law firms yourself and express your dismay at their attempts to dismantle our rule of law. trump and his cronies -- which includes these two law firms -- are putting our country and our democracy at risk and they need to stop.

Email for Law Firm Calls

Jones Day: tmtabacchi@jonesday.com
King & Spaulding:

You can use the language suggested below or even better -- come up with your own language:

Hey XYZ Law Firm, we know you are representing Trump and we want you to stop! He lost the election and he’s still trying to take votes away from Black and Brown people. You representing him is in direct opposition to the oath you took as lawyers. Stop helping Trump steal the election and cause chaos!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian...


Post-election prospects

Still an enormous number of hypnotised chooks in America ... What's on the cooker till January 20 ... The prospects of plunder during the interregnum ... The presidency as a private financial asset ... Republican judicial mischief ahead ... Corporate prosecutions on easy terms before the Democrats take over ... Roger Fitch in Washington rakes over the ruins 

"Shared psychosis or folie à millions has been well-documented ... contagion of symptoms dissipates when exposure to the primary person is reduced, which is why Donald Trump holds rallies like his life depended on them ... It is also the reason why he cannot leave the presidency - in addition to the possibility of prosecution" -
Yale psychiatrist

"Never before in US history has a president done such lasting damage to the fabric of American democracy in such a short amount of time ... The Mess Created By Trump Will Be with Us for Years." -
Der Spiegel

The long-fought election campaign is over, with America's unconventional president breaking laws to the last, even flouting federal court orders to process postal ballots. 

Despite predictions, the expected buyers' remorse among 2016 Donald Trump voters didn't happen, and more Americans than previously suspected were outed as Trump-supporters, arguably a case of mass psychosis or, as an Australian might say, hypnotised chooks. 

Even so, after four years of daylight robbery accompanied by oafish belligerence and bad manners, the president has been expelled, not by congress, but by voters, after his party spent $20 million on 300 lawsuits to deter them from voting. 

The initial election results favouring Joe Biden were predictably contested, using the game plan from the Republicans' notorious 2000 election-theft. As in the 2000 "Brooks Brothers Riot", a Republican rabble besieged vote-counting centres, now in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona rather than Florida.  

The strategy was the same: harass election authorities into pausing the count (preferably while you're ahead), and then invent a pretext to go to federal court. 

It's not likely to succeed, and the New Republic found the attempt farcical, but one law prof took it seriously.

After four long days of counting, the media (of all people) declared Joe Biden Jr the winner, but the incumbent persisted in election litigation, attacking (as expected) the ballots in states with Democrat governors but Republican legislatures, e.g. Pennsylvania, where Trump's lawyers were encouraged by helpful hints from conservative justices, especially Brett Kavanaugh

Even so, absent supreme court intervention, come January 20th, America's comprehensively-crooked president will be removed (perhaps forcefully) from the principal crime scene, and could even face jail, more here. Some think he's a flight risk, like other autocrats who lose elections.

Sadly, Mr Trump will not be taking the Republican senate with him, as Democrats netted only one of the three senators they need to take control, although January runoffs in Georgia could result in two more. Without the senate, the Democratic house's election-law reforms, designed to avoid future chaos such as that in 2020, are doomed. 

Real judicial reform, more here and here will also be off the table, and with a newly-minted two-thirds supreme court majority, Republicans can move on from executive power to judicial mischief. 

Americans must now endure, instead of a corrupt Republican administration, a Republican-subservient supreme court, bolstered by the alarming addition of the party loyalist Amy Coney Barrett, the first justice in 151 years to be confirmed without bipartisan support. 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

This chapter is over.

 But it will still be an ugly couple of months....

Friday, November 6, 2020


 He will probably not go quietly in the night but he will go. And it is so poetic that Georgia is the state that sealed our hope. Thank you John Lewis (RIP) and Stacey Abrams.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

and now we wait...


h/o to mother jones...