Ruling against the law 1

J. Christian Adams is the lawyer formerly employed by the Department of Justice who recently revealed the DOJ’s policy of not prosecuting blacks for intimidating white voters (see our post Payback time at the DOJ, June 28, 2010.)

Now at PajamasMedia he reveals another policy decision which makes it plain that under Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, the DOJ disdains the law, and assumes an arbitrary right not to uphold and enforce it.

The “Motor Voter” law was passed in 1993 to promote greater voter registration in the United States. … [It] obliged the states to ensure that no ineligible voters were on the rolls — including dead people, felons, and people who had moved. Our current Department of Justice is anxious to encourage the obligations to get everyone registered, but explicitly unwilling to enforce federal law requiring states to remove the dead or ineligible from the rolls.

In November 2009, the entire Voting Section was invited to a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes, a political employee serving at the pleasure of the attorney general. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Motor Voter enforcement decisions.

The room was packed with dozens of Voting Section employees when she made her announcement regarding the provisions related to voter list integrity:

We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”

At Commentary Contentions, John Steele Gordon comments on this:

The only reason I can think of why the DOJ would not want to purge the voter rolls of the names of those ineligible to vote is to make voter fraud as easy to accomplish as possible.

We think he’s right. The decision mocks democracy. But  the issue is bigger and more important even than voter fraud. It is a threat to the rule of law itself.

The law is the house of our safety. Obama with his henchmen and henchwomen are knocking it down. If they are not stopped, we will be left exposed to the whims of dictatorship, whichever way they blow.

“Payback time” at the DOJ 2

Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, does not apparently approve of the rule of law. In fact, he is actively working against it.

An exaggeration?

J. Christian Adams, who was a voting rights attorney at the  so-called Department of Justice tells a story that bears out the accusation. He has resigned because the DOJ will not prosecute the Black Panther thugs who tried to intimidate voters on election day 2009.

Here’s part of an article he has written about it:

On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.

The federal voter-intimidation statutes we used against the New Black Panthers were enacted because America never realized genuine racial equality in elections. Threats of violence characterized elections from the end of the Civil War until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Before the Voting Rights Act, blacks seeking the right to vote, and those aiding them, were victims of violence and intimidation.

Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department’s enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.

The assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the “facts and law” did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls. Let’s all hope this administration has not invited that outcome through the corrupt dismissal.

Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal – Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum – did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation.

Most disturbing, the dismissal is part of a creeping lawlessness infusing our government institutions. Citizens would be shocked to learn about the open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against nonwhite defendants on behalf of white victims. Equal enforcement of justice is not a priority of this administration. Open contempt is voiced for these types of cases.

Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it “payback time.” Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.

Obama’s abasement of America 1

China is one of the worst, possibly the worst regime on earth. Under Mao tens of millions were starved to death, more millions committed suicide, and hundreds of millions were deliberately murdered – many more than the 70 million calculated, because for decades most newborn baby girls were killed. China still allows no free speech, no free press, no freedom of assembly. Torture is routine in its prisons and gulags. Its citizens are imprisoned without trial. In any case trials are travesties of justice. The government’s entire business is to protect itself against the people. In sum, China is an evil Communist dictatorship. The dictators are wholly without moral compunction.

In very bad faith these monsters accuse America of “violations of human rights”.  Obviously this is chutzpah writ very large indeed. The Chinese cite crime levels in the US as if common crime were the result of government policy. They cite measures of defense, such as those taken under the Patriot Act, as if they were morally illegitimate.  (See the accusations below in our post, Seeing ourselves as others see us.) The contrast between the governmental system of the United States, designed to protect the people from tyranny, and the Communist system designed to tyrannize over the people, could not be greater.

It is true that the present administration of the United States has a dictatorial inclination, so much so that we often allude to Obama as “the dictator”. We don’t doubt that he is a collectivist by temperament and training. We would not be astonished to learn that he thinks the Chinese system of government is better than the one set up by the framers of the United States Constitution. While he is in power he can do a lot of damage – has done much already – but he will not destroy American freedom. The people will not let him.

He himself does not value individual liberty. He has absorbed a distorted version of American history from his Marxist parents, mentors, teachers, and associates.

And so he has his legates confess what he sees as America’s political sins to – the Communist dictators of China!  In what amounts to a form of apology, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner tarred his own country with guilt and shame – and then boasted that had done so.

It was not even enough that Obama’s envoy should  express repentance for the accusations China made; in addition he threw in one that the Chinese had not mentioned. He condemned a perfectly constitutional and morally defensible law recently made in Arizona to protect itself from massive illegal immigration. (Posner has probably not even read the law. Neither Attorney General Eric Holder nor  Homeland Security head, Janet Napolitano, has read it, by their own admission!)

Obama has done dreadful harm to his country: crippling its economy, putting it into unfathomable debt, appeasing the Islamic bloc while it is at war with Islam, and simultaneously  antagonizing its traditional allies. But of all that he has done, abasing the nation he leads before the blood-soaked  despots of Communist China is surely the most despicable.

The meaning of patriotism 0

It seems that many if not quite all of the Dictator’s appointees to jobs in his administration are left-radical sympathizers with America’s enemies. But few are in a position actively to aid them. The attorney general is in the best position to do so if he chooses. He could, for instance, staff the Department of Justice with lawyers who have a record of defending terrorists – and not just defending them but working hard for their acquittal even outside the limits of the law; persons who have shown themselves to be passionately on the other side.

But surely he wouldn’t do such a thing, would he?  The Attorney General of the United States cannot be against America and for its enemies, can he?  Okay, it’s true he has in fact brought such persons into his Justice Department, but they must be as patriotic as he is – wouldn’t you assume?

“Does helping jihadists lie, plot, and identify CIA agents demonstrate patriotism — or material support to terrorism?” – Andrew McCarthy asks. And he answers his own question in this illuminating article at the National Review Online which we quote in part:

Bravely entering the lion’s den — delivering a speech in praise of left-wing, “pro bono” lawyering to a group of left-wing, pro bono lawyers — Attorney General Eric Holder recently declared that “lawyers who provide counsel for the unpopular are, and should be, treated as what they are: patriots.”

Sure they are. After all, Holder explained, they “reaffirm our nation’s most essential and enduring values” — like the value we place on coming to the aid of our enemies in wartime. And let’s not forget the value we place on advocating for the release of those enemies who, as night follows day, then return to the business of killing Americans. Sure, the nation somehow missed these essential and enduring values in the two-plus centuries between the Revolutionary War and the War on Terror, but hey, who’s counting?

The attorney general’s encomium was prompted by critics who had embarrassed him, finally, into disclosing at least some of the names of former Gitmo Bar members he recruited for policymaking jobs at DOJ. They “do not deserve to have their own values questioned,” he said of these lawyers. Just like many attorneys at Covington & Burling, Holder’s former firm (which made representing enemy combatants its biggest “pro bono” project), they answered the call of “our values” because, you know, the detainees are so very “unpopular” among the American legal profession.

Truth be told, what’s most unpopular in our elite legal circles is the Bush administration. Bush’s lawyers approved, and Bush’s executive agencies carried out, aggressive counterterrorism policies on interrogation, detention, and surveillance after some of the Gitmo Bar’s clients killed nearly 3,000 Americans. What about those unpopular lawyers and agents? For some reason, Covington & Burling and the other barrister battalions did not volunteer to represent them. And Holder wasn’t content merely to question their “values”; he accused them of war crimes. …

The attorney general’s pep rally occurred just as the public was getting its first glimpse of the peculiar notions of “representation” shared by several Gitmo Bar veterans.. We now know a good deal about several of these volunteer lawyers. To take just a few examples, they provided al-Qaeda detainees with a brochure that instructed them on how to claim falsely that they had been tortured; fomented a detainee hunger strike that disrupted security and precipitated fabricated reports that prisoners had been tortured and force-fed; provided the detainees with other virulently anti-American propaganda (for example, informing them about the Abu Ghraib scandal, comparing U.S. military physicians to Josef Mengele, and labeling DOJ lawyers “desk torturers”); gave the enemy-combatant terrorists a hand-drawn map of Gitmo’s layout, including guard towers; helped the enemy combatants communicate messages to the outside world; informed the detainees of the identities of other detainees in U.S. custody; and posted photos of Guantanamo security badges on the Internet in a transparent effort to identify U.S. security personnel.

And that’s not the worst of it — [there is] the Gitmo Bar’s shocking effort to identify CIA interrogators. The lawyers — from the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, perversely calling themselves “the John Adams Project” — actually had investigators stalk U.S. intelligence officers, surveilling them near their homes and photographing them … The photos were then smuggled into Gitmo and shown to top terrorists to determine whether they recognized which intelligence agents had questioned them.

Interestingly, the attorney general claimed that al-Qaeda’s volunteer lawyers deserve the public’s “respect” because they “accept our professional responsibility to protect the rule of law.” All of the above-described activities not only violated the law; they occurred in flagrant contravention of court-ordered conditions that were placed on the lawyers’ access to their “clients.” Evidently, violating statutes and contemptuously flouting court orders protects the rule of law in the same way that coming to the enemy’s aid exhibits patriotism. That’s “our values” for you. …

During the Valerie Plame controversy, we were treated to lectures from the American Left over the dire need to protect CIA agents. That, coupled with the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald, who ran the Plame investigation, is now leading a probe of the Gitmo lawyers, has brought renewed attention to the Covert Agent Identity Protection Act, the statute at the center of the Plame case….

Federal law prohibits providing material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations. Almost any assistance qualifies. The relevant statutes … exempt only “medicine and religious materials.” Though not stated in the statute, legitimate legal assistance must also be exempt — indicted terrorists are entitled to counsel. This was [Lynne] Stewart’s attempted [and failed] defense. [See here and here.] The jury, however, rejected the absurd contention that activities like helping the head of an international terrorist organization convey messages to his subordinates constituted “representation” by an attorney.

It would be interesting to know whether the attorney general thinks legitimate representation by counsel includes stalking the CIA, conspiring to identify covert agents and security personnel, inciting disruptions, providing terrorists with information in rampant violation of court orders, and the Gitmo Bar’s other outrages. Assuming Holder agrees that this is not the “rule of law” he had in mind, why would such activities not constitute material support to terrorists?

Moreover, the Espionage Act prohibits the obtaining of information respecting the national defense with the intent that it be used to the injury of the United States. Specifically included, among many other examples of conduct criminalized under the statute, is the taking of photographs of “anything connected with the national defense.” Doesn’t Mr. Holder think snapping photos of CIA interrogators involves photographing something connected with our national defense? Doesn’t the unauthorized display of such photos to mass murderers at war with our country bespeak an intention to harm the United States?

Certainly the CIA believes that what the Gitmo Bar pulled here was a serious threat to its agents and our country. Yet press reports indicate that the Justice Department didn’t think it was a big deal and resisted CIA demands that enforcement action be taken. Those of us who have pressed for disclosure of the identities and current responsibilities of former detainee lawyers now working at DOJ have argued that the public is entitled to know about potential conflicts of interest. This would certainly seem to be one. Have any former Gitmo lawyers been involved in the Justice Department’s consideration of misconduct by the detainees’ attorneys? …

While she was at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jennifer Daskal brought to DOJ by Holder to work on detainee policy despite lacking any prosecutorial experience — played a central role in HRW’s investigation of the CIA. She was largely responsible for its exposure of covert CIA operations (specifically, identifying and publicizing airplanes used by the agency) and its disclosure that the CIA was secretly using prisons in Europe (and elsewhere) to hold top al-Qaeda captives. Daskal met with European Parliament officials and armed them with information that was used to pressure the Bush administration to shut down its detention and interrogation program.

Daskal, who called Bush the “torture president,” was a tireless critic of enhanced-interrogation tactics and other Bush counterterrorism policies. Moreover, in a 2006 memo, she asked the U.N. Human Rights Committee to investigate the United States for, among other things, using “the cloak of federalism” to avoid international governance [!!!-JB]; denying enemy combatants full access to the federal courts during what she described as the so-called ‘war on terror’”; purportedly violating international treaties by operating not only Gitmo but “supermax” civilian prisons; using secret prisons for War on Terror detainees; detaining terrorism suspects on material-witness warrants; employing military-commission procedures; imposing racially rigged enforcement of the death penalty; and denying illegal aliens the right to organize in labor unions.

That is to say, Daskal has been a harsh critic of the United States, a reliable advocate for terrorists, and a champion of compromising the CIA’s wartime activities. …

I’m betting most Americans would sense a chasm between their values and Ms. Daskal’s — and between their idea of patriotism and Mr. Holder’s.

Treason 1

Adam Gedahn, the American traitor, has been arrested in Pakistan.

The American-born spokesman for al-Qaida has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday, the same day Adam Gadahn appeared in a video … praising the U.S. Army major charged with killing 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, as a role model for other Muslims.

Gadahn has appeared in more than half a dozen al-Qaida videos, taunting and threatening the West and calling for its destruction.

A U.S. court charged Gadahn with treason in 2006, making him the first American to face such a charge in more than 50 years.

The treason charge carries the death penalty if he is convicted. He was also charged with two counts of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

And here are extracts from an impressive article by Andrew McCarthy in which he discusses the moral issues raised by lawyers who volunteer their free services to defend enemy prisoners and expect us to consider them noble for doing so.

A number of them (reportedly nine) worked for the law firm Covington and Burling, in which Eric Holder, now Attorney General, was a partner, and are now on the payroll of his Justice Department.

The legal profession’s depiction of these lawyers as heroic servants not of the enemy but of the Constitution is unmitigated nonsense: You can’t be performing a vital constitutional function when the function is not required by the Constitution. They can repeat the lie a million times, but that won’t make it a fact.These lawyers made a conscious decision to contribute their services, usually gratis, to enemy combatants with whom the American people are at war. …

There is something wrong with a legal profession that insists we not only let American lawyers take up the enemy’s cause but that we admire them for doing so.

Most Americans — at least those who are not graduates of American law schools — would say that, when we go to war, our compelling national interest is victory. If something is legally required of us (e.g., compliance with the Geneva Conventions when the enemy is entitled to its protections), we agree that we must comply. But our agreement is appropriately grudging. We’re at war with savages. They should not get one iota beyond what is minimally required. And if you, non-lawyer, decided to help the enemy, give advice to the enemy, contribute money to the enemy, or conduct trade with the enemy, you would find yourself indicted. You would become the object of your countrymen’s scorn. …

As the law is currently understood, it is legal for a lawyer to volunteer his services to America’s enemies. It is absurd, however, to suggest that we have to applaud that decision. And it is equally ludicrous to suggest that we are forbidden from drawing the obvious conclusion that a lawyer who makes such a decision is predisposed to condemn the United States and to sympathize with America’s enemies

Here’s the landscape: The Obama Justice Department is staffed with many lawyers who volunteered their services to America’s enemies. Since those lawyers have been running the department, there has been a detectable shift in favor of due-process rights for terrorists, a bias in favor of civilian trials in which terrorists are vested with all the rights of American citizens, a bias against military tribunals, the extension of Miranda protections to enemy combatants, a concerted effort to publish previously classified information detailing interrogation methods and depicting the alleged abuse of detainees, efforts to subject lawyers who authorized aggressive counterterrorism policies to professional sanction, the reopening of investigations against CIA interrogators even though those cases were previously closed by apolitical law-enforcement professionals, and the continued accusation that officials responsible for designing and carrying out the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies committed war crimes.