The first problem I have with President Obama stems from his refusal to uphold the rule of law and hold the Bush administration accountable for possible criminal activity. It doesn’t matter if we need to look forward, have big problems on the table, whatever. The first job of government is to uphold the rule of law, or the legitimacy of that government is undermined.
The conspiracy to invade Iraq needs to be investigated. If it is determined that these people lied, planted evidence, etc. in order to cause us to invade that country, this is the most serious crime imaginable. Enough people in this country and the world think this is a possibility that it undermines law and democracy not to look into this and see what we can find out.
Next move on to torture. This must be investigated, or else everyone will come to believe first that there are different standards in the law for people in power, and that it is the accepted policy of our country.
Now move on to the appearance of bribery, embezzlement, cronyism, favors to campaign contributors, selective prosecutions, no-bid contracts, improper political appointments, etc. These, if fond to have actually occurred, are all crimes. They are all supposed to be investigated and prosecuted. The rule of law demands that this is done. If they did these things and get away with it, then these things will happen again, with the bush administration as only a starting point next time.
President Obama’s failure to uphold the rule of law is inexcusable.
Appeals court upholds CIA leak lawsuit dismissal s,
The court ruled Cheney and the others were acting within their official capacity when they revealed Plame’s identity to reporters.
Oh, and by the way,
Chief Judge David B. Sentelle wrote the opinion and was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. Sentelle was appointed by President Reagan and Henderson by the first President Bush.
In 1992, for reasons that have never been explained, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist replaced MacKinnon with one of the most right-wing judges in the federal judiciary, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle.
By naming Sentelle, Rehnquist altered the political climate surrouding the selection of special prosecutors, effectively injecting conservative ideology into the process in a way that had been avoided during the previous 14 years.
. . . A North Carolina Republican, Sentelle was seen as a hard-line conservative, a protege of Sen. Jesse Helms and a close ally of Sen. Lauch Faircloth, two of the Senate’s most conservative members.
Before donning black robes, Sentelle also had been a Republican Party activist.
. . . Even after his appointment to the federal bench, Sentelle engaged in public writings harshly critical of liberals. In one article, Sentelle accused “leftist heretics” of wishing to turn the United States into “a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state.”
. . . Since his appointment, Sentelle has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of partisan Republicans.
In late 1992, when the Bush administration was caught searching Clinton’s passport files looking for derogatory information, Sentelle’s three-judge panel handed off the investigation to GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing by his Republican associates.
After Clinton’s inauguration, Sentelle’s panel kept picking Republicans for high-profile cases. David Barrett, head of Lawyers for Reagan in 1980, was named to pursue allegations that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros had understated how much money he had paid a mistress.
. . . But Sentelle’s most controversial special prosecutor was Kenneth Starr.
Dodd Calls on Mukasey to Investigate McClellan Charges of White House Cover Up | Chris Dodd for President,
Chris Dodd today released the following statement in response to the claims of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he “unknowingly passed along false information” to the American public and that “the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in [his] doing so,” including the Vice-President and the President:
“Today’s revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
“During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it.”
Karl “Party over Country” Rove is resigning “to spend more time with his family.”
Karl Rove did more to divide America than anyone since Newt Gingrich. (See Language: A Key Mechanism of Control)
Just one example, after 9/11 Rove engineered the creation of the Homeland Security Department, which was entirely a “wedge” device for use in the 2002 elections. The core of the concept was to get rid of government employee unions. The idea was to force the Democrats to either vote against unions or pound them as “unpatriotic.” And then, to pound them as unpatriotic anyway.
For people who closely follow the Valerie Plame / Scooter Libby case, this is an important story: The Next Hurrah: Why the Libby Lobby Story about Armitage Is False
And in any event, it wasn’t about “the leaker” it was about a conspiracy to leak the identity of a covert CIA agent.
It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals.
Firedoglake has a statement from Patrick Fitzgerald, Scooter Libby’s prosecutor:
We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.
* We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.
* Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process. [emphasis added]
The Democrats in Congress have been trying to avoid having to face what we are dealing with in this country at this time.
We have a President asserting that he is above the law. He is backed by an authoritarian political movement that feels that laws should not apply to them, either. They have been and are working to destroy the agencies of government and fracture each and every one of the institutions of civil society. They have politicized the system of justice in the country to the point where we don’t just wonder, we know that people are prosecuted or left alone based on their political affiliations.
They have launched aggressive war.
The pendulum is not swinging back. This is not a normal time. This is not business as usual. We can’t think that impeachment will get in the way of “getting things done.”
This is about principles and the Constitution. This is about Rule of Law and democracy. This can no longer be avoided.
Watch your backs.
The judge in the Scooter Libby case ordered Libby to go directly to jail while he appeals.
Stories: Libby must begin perjury prison sentence: judge
Firedoglake liveblog: Libby Loses Liberty
Libby Will Head to Prison, Despite Pending Appeal,
Judge Reggie Walton said Libby is “not a danger to the community,” but that there is also “not a likelihood it [his conviction] will be overturned.”
Scooter Libby has been sentenced to 30 months and a $250,000 fine for his role in blocking the prosecutor from finding out what happened with the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Wilson/Plame.
The cover-up continues. In a court filing the CIA-leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald makes it clear that “Scooter” Libby obstructed the investigation to discover who was behind the leak. That is the reason Libby was convicted of obstruction, and the reason no one has yet been indicted for the leak itself.
See Fitzgerald Again Points to Cheney,
Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
[. . .] Libby’s lies, Fitzgerald wrote, “made impossible an accurate evaluation of the role that Mr. Libby and those with whom he worked played in the disclosure of information regarding Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment and about the motivations for their actions.”
And just WHO is the prosecutor talking about?
Not clear on the concept yet? Fitzgerald adds: “To accept the argument that Mr. Libby’s prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President.”
This looks like it might be yet another political prosecution. This time it isn’t a US Attorney engaging in a political prosecution in order to keep the job — instead it involves one of those NEW, Rove-approved US Attorneys who replaced those US Attorneys fired for failing to engage in political prosecutions. This prosecution shows us what to expect from now on. This one is prosecuting a guy entirely for political and not legal reasons, AFTER the courts threw out the case AND after the judge said they should drop the charges.
This case is about medical marijuana. California voters passed an initiative allowing the use of marijuana for AIDS, cancer and other patients because it helps them to eat and reduces symptoms. The Christian Right doesn’t like that so the Bush administration has been prosecuting people for Federal crimes – even though they are legally operating according to state law.
From the article, Prosecutors will retry Ed Rosenthal, known as the `guru of ganja’,
Federal prosecutors said today they would retry marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal on cultivation charges, even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case and chastised the government for lodging charges solely to punish the self-proclaimed “guru of ganja.”
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer demanded to know who in the Department of Justice made the decision to continue pursuing Rosenthal, who had his original conviction overturned last year.
… Newly appointed U.S. Attorney Scott Schools made the decision, said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, but he was not sure if Department of Justice officials in Washington were involved. [all emphasis added]
So here we go, another political prosecution from a Rove-connected prosecutor?
I am watching the CIA Leak hearing on C-SPAN right now. You should, too.
Watch it online.