Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Impeachment: RNC strategy is to muddy the waters

If your man is in trouble, the RNC likes to accuse its opponents of wrongdoing.

Advocates of lawlessness pretend that they are fighting for certain rights.

They are actually fighting for the right to remain above the law and avoid accountability.

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OpEd ran a piece comparing Judy Miller to Dana Priest, arguing the reporter may be subpoenaed to provide evidence.

However, the piece fails to distinguish the two cases in one important way: One case is about truthful testimony; another case is about finding war crimes. Both hinge on finding out what is going on.

Plame being exposed as a CIA agent one matter; discussing war crimes in Eastern Europe is another.

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The rule of law cannot protect keeping secret evidence of war crimes. To ask that we recognize a "security agreement that enforces silence over reporting crimes" would ask that we condone agreements among lawyers to remain silent of alleged breaches of their standards of conduct.

Such agreements are not enforceable.

Thus, although someone has a duty to protect state secrets, that oath of secrecy is arguably not enforceable when the oath is used to suppress evidence of war crimes. The contract, because it requires illegal acts to continue, is not enforceable.

Agreements which allow something illegal to continue are not for a lawful purpose.

Some suggest there is no protection for revealing classified information. The law, when it comes to war crimes, is different.

Because someone has gone outside the chain of command in the CIA, it appears as though despite clear evidence of war crimes, individuals were threatened with unlawful retaliation for speaking about war crimes. This is not in the interests of American values or treaties; the conduct and inaction within the CIA cannot be condoned.

There are two matters to review in the CIA torture in Eastern Europe: Did the CIA unlawfully violate the laws of war in running these camps; and who within the CIA knew about these camps but failed to report the war crimes as required under the statutes?

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The issue with Plame isn't the right of reporters to speak out. The issue was whether Libby was correctly reporting to the Grand Jury what happened. The only way for Fitzgerald to confirm what Libby did or didn't say to Miller, and others, was to require Miller to testify.

The issue with Plame, Miller, and Libby wasn't about the freedom of the press, but whether those who lie to the FBI should be held accountable.

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One cannot be accused of a "crime of reporting crimes". The crime is when Congress diverts attention from its failed oversight, and goes after those who report the crimes.

We have yet to hear anything that would credibly deny what is or isn't going on in Eastern Europe. That the Senate is more concerned who leaked the information suggests the Senate already knew what was going on, and wants to divert attention from why the Senate did or didn't act on what it should have known was illegal.

The Senators who are calling for this investigation have some explaining to do: When were they in receipt of the information about what was going on in Easter Europe; did they have a duty to report and investigate the matters; and were their public statements about Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib clouded by what they knew was secreting going on in Eastern Europe.

With time, we may learn that the real motivation of the Senate wasn't to find facts, but to diver attention from the many failed investigations into intelligence. When the Senate is part of the problem, it appears to hide that evidence in an investigation.

Indeed, we are four [4] years from 9-11, yet we have no clear story what did or didn't fail in our nations national security system: Was it the President; did the Congress not act on information; and to what extent were the leaders being paid campaign finances in exchange for inaction.

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The law specifically prohibits releasing the name of a classified agent, and also lying to a Grand Jury and FBI agents.

The law does not prevent the discussion of war crimes. It does hold Senators accountable if they have lied to DoJ to shift attention from the Vice President onto the CIA officers who are involved.

Either way, the Congress and the President clearly show they are fully aware of what is going on in Eastern Europe, but once again Washington wants to divert attention and accountability to those who state the obvious: The Congress and Executive are putting themselves above the law, knowledgeable of war crimes, and ineffectively demonstrating they are serious about following these treaties.

It remains a matter of law whether the President and Senate are involved in a conspiracy to engage in, cover-up evidence of war crimes; or intimidate witnesses into silence.

These are matters before the US Attorney. If they rise to impeachable offenses, it will be something for the House Judiciary to Consider.

The longer the President and Congressional leadership believe they are above the law, the more people they will intimidate and smear to avoid accountability.

Either the conduct must stop, or the evidence of the misconduct will simply grow. It is time to put the breaks on before this train races into the ravine.

The current course is unsustainable.

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It is time to choose: Are you with the rule of law, or with this Tyrant?

This tyrant has chosen to violate the laws of war and give a green light to unlawful torture and human rights abuses.

The rule of law has already spoken: This is wrong.