Constant's pations

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

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Unimpressive DoJ Staff Work For Senate Judiciary

Your Attorney General has enough problems without you making things worse.

Yesterday’s fiasco brings discredit upon the United States.

* * *

The Department of Justice is manned by well trained attorneys who have passed the rigorous of the bar exam and have demonstrated leadership potential within the legal community.

DoJ's Legislative Liaison’s job is to work with Congress. The Congress has agreed to fund Legislative Liaison to streamline the process.

It is not acceptable for Members of Congress to be left without a copy of the proposed legislation. It is a waste of valuable time to have a hearing when the subject of that hearing -- a draft bill -- is not available for review.

Here is a copy which Senator Kenney and others were not provided: Ref (Draft bill provisions inconsistent with Hamdan Ref and violate Geneva Ref) Ref Discussion

I expect the Director of the DoJ Legislative Liaison to personally visit individually each Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to come to an understanding of their individual requirements, the produce a draft memorandum which will outline how the Legislative Liaison will effectively serve your Customer: The Congress.

* * *

Let's consider the larger picture. US combat forces in Iraq are overseeing a descent into chaos. There are no reserve combat forces available in America. Foreign heads of state, within a matter of hours of a message, have met to discuss the problems with abuse of power in Lebanon.

It is a problem when after Hamdan our Attorney General is unable to respond to a simple question about torture.

[paraphrasing] Question: "Do you think that the fruits of abuse should be admitted into evidence?"

[paraphrasing] AG Answer: "I'll have to think about that."

As stated earlier, the eyes of the Moslem world have begun to close to the West, and open to another path. They are no longer taking the United States seriously. The US is not responsive to the rule of law, international oversight, questions, or judicial guidance.

The US is no longer cooperating with reasonable standards of civility; and the US is no longer willing to assent to any forum to reasonably discuss viable solutions to its self-governance problems. The International Community is suffering adverse consequences because of the American domestic leadership problem.

Foreign leaders are prepared to take the dispute to the next level: The battlefield.

* * *

The correct answer the Attorney General should have given:

  • 1. Hamdan recognizes the Geneva obligations;

  • 2. We do not condone abuse; we investigate and prosecute war crimes;

  • 3. The fruit of abusive interrogations is not admissible;

  • 4. When people say that someone must be tortured, we direct our attention to the individual who is convinced that someone must be abused.

    It would be preferable if the legal community showed leadership and demonstrated the United States Executive Branch does listen to the Supreme Court.

    Perhaps the Attorney General might be better prepared with DoJ Staff Assistance next time he appears before Congress when we review the draft bill on the agenda. If he's not better prepared, we question why the Attorney General needs a staff.

    * * *

    To restate the problem:

  • A. The American people have lost confidence in the American government;

  • B. The American people have every reason to have little confidence in this attorney general;

  • C. It is a problem when a high profile case like Hamdan does not appear to sit well with the legal community;

  • D. It is not relevant whether the DoJ Staff does or does not like the fact that their party still is a minority on the Supreme Court;

  • E. Members of Congress are wasting their time conducting oversight on issues where the Department of Justice has a draft bill, but the Members of Congress are not given the chance to review that legislation or draft bill; and

  • F. The United States Executive Branch does not have the combat forces at its disposal to credibly send a message to any friend or foe around the globe that we are willing to back our words with lawful action; rather, we continue to demonstrate that we are confused about the law, and can only abuse others because we have no credibility.

    * * *

    Going forward, there are several options for the American people to discuss.

  • A. What is to be done when the Chief Law enforcement office in the United States Department of Justice -- The attorney general -- does not comprehend the danger of being confused about the Supreme Court decisions;

  • B. When a majority party refuses to ensure that legislation and draft bills are available for mark-up and discussion prior to the question and answer period, why do we bother funding the Legislative Liaison office?

  • C. Can anyone provide a good reason why the United States Citizens should continue funding the Legislative Liaison office that does not work effectively with Congress?

  • D. What new offices outside the Congress -- directly controlled by civilians, non-government -- which the public can establish that the DoJ and other Executive Branches must first coordinate with before they appear on the Congressional docket to verify: [a] there is a bill or draft legislation available; [b] the Attorney General has read the bill in question; and [c] the Attorney General has read the recent Supreme Court cases and understands how that Supreme Court case does or does not relate to the bill in question.

    * * *

    This government is making a mockery of this Constitution. It is time for the public to establish a system of oversight that quickly communicates when Members of Congress and the Executive Branch staff are not effectively working, and that the upcoming hearing is going to waste substantial time and resources.

    Hamdan directly outlined the requirements. The United States is to comply with Geneva. It is not acceptable, and it cannot be permitted, for the Chief Law Enforcement in the DoJ to feign confusion about a final legal determination by the highest court in the land. This is not a subject of debate.

    A lawyer should not be confused about legal requirements:

  • A. Torture and abuse is not lawful

  • B. Mistreatment of prisoners is not lawful

  • C. One cannot "define" or "redefine" the law to permit abuse

  • D. Abuse cannot be tolerated

  • E. There is never a reason to commit abuse

  • F. Those who are saying "this person" must be abused should be able to be similarly targeted: What grounds do the "just know" that this person "deserves" to be tortured; and how to they "just know" that this person is the "right person"

  • G. There is never a reason to use abuse; nor use information from abuse against those who have been abused;

  • H. Any trial that relies on abuse to secure convictions is not credible, and wholly at odds with the Geneva Conventions

    The above should be clear to all in the legal community. Your obligation under Article 82 and 83 of the Geneva Conventions is to ensure the protocols are enforced. If you have question about "what something means" then you are to look to precedent. If you decide that the International Criminal Court is the best precedent, then you need to explain why the US is not part of that system.

    It is meaningless to suggest the ICC is not appropriate because [paraphrasing] "the US military might be mistreated" when the US does mistreat prisoners of war.

    * * *

    2006 is too late in the game to debate how prisoners should or should not be treated. The decision, when made in 2001 to illegal invade Iraq, and then plan for that illegal invasion in 2001, already locked the United States into complying with the Geneva Conventions.

    If the US was not willing to comply with Geneva going forward from 2001, then the US at that time should have decided to not engage in combat, and exercise its moral authority to lead an international man hunt and bring the alleged 9-11 perpetrators to justice.

    * * *

    Instead, the United States chose combat, and has failed to ensure those combat operations were successful, enduring, lawful, or improved the situation.

    Rather, we have the opposite:

  • US reserve forces are not prepared

  • The US has insufficient combat forces to preserve out Constitution

  • US personnel around the globe are held with contempt for their complicity with war crimes

  • The United States and Britain stand alone with Israel as it targets innocent civilians in Lebanon

  • The world community faces no military barrier to their uniting, and continuing to inflict grave damage on retreating US interests around the globe.

    * * *

    Given the above, it is outrageous that the Department of Justice has demonstrated that incompetence abroad is not isolated to foreign shores. Rather, simple things like producing a draft bill is something beyond what the Government is able to accomplish.

    America is in trouble. Not simply because its legal experts explain away the law, but because our finest show they are not quite fine when on the stage.

    The public needs to organize an alternative, parallel system of governance that will work within the Constitutional system, and essentially do what the Congress and Executive refuse to do.

    This system of governance needs to be discussed so that it is lawful, substantially recognizes the lawful authority, while at the same time sends a clear signal to non-Government workers that there is in place a more responsive system that is competent, responsive, credible, and provides straight answers.

    * * *

    As you implement your programs please share with others the opposition you face, and the reactions you are getting. Remember, we are a self-government, and this means that we can do just that: Self-govern.

    It's time for the public to step up to the plate and start doing what the Congress cannot do; and the Department of Justice refuses to do: Govern.

    * * *

    Governance is about finding answers, proposing solutions, and getting results. The Attorney General and the DoJ Staff have substantially demonstrated they are at best part of the problem; at worst, they are alleged war criminals.

    The public needs to directly engage with Congress and tell the Congress:

  • A. DoJ, when it does not provide information, deserves to be shut out of the process;

  • B. Legislative Liaison, when it does not do its job, deserves to be shut down, and another means of interface established;

  • C. Members of Congress, when they are not given the information they need to conduct a hearing, need to shut the hearing down, reschedule, and then impose meaningful consequences on DoJ: Subpoenas, fact finding, a adjustments to budget profiles;

    * * *

    We're going to muddle through this process with Congress and the Executive Branch. however, it's time to stop trying to work with the players that demonstrate their continued incompetence.

    At no time are you instructed to take any illegal action, nor engage in violence. The purpose of this is not to advocate an insurrection; rather it is to propose a parallel system of governance that will send a clear signal:

  • People who have their brains connected to their bodies are able to perceive there is a problem;

  • Non-government actors can step into the arena and provide more responsive service and better governance;

  • There is a viable alternative;

  • It is not difficult for the Attorney General to comply with the law, read Hamdan, review the Geneva Conventions, then openly state the correct answer in real time: The fruit of abuse cannot be admitted into evidence.

    * * *

    This Attorney General appears to have a mental problem, and is not capable of comprehending his legal problem. He is alleged to have committed. engaged in planning and not stopped war crimes; and is alleged to have engaged in perjury before Congress.

    If We the People are going to demonstrate that we can more effectively govern, then it is time we directly contact the Grand Jury foreman, provide evidence, and let the Grand Jury do what they think is best on issues related to:

  • War crimes

  • 5 USC 3331 violations by members of Congress and the Executive Branch

  • Malfeasance

    * * *

    The American Bar Association's deadline has passed. In the meantime, you have already had the chance to review the public information related to the disbarment proceedings; and other plans the ABA has otherwise not cooperated.

    The Congress and ABA have duties. They fail. We the People will simply have to do what they demonstrate they are unwilling and incapable of doing: Govern.

    I look forward to your ideas, feedback, and reports you may have of your progress; and am especially interested in hearing the reactions from members of Congress and the DOJ staff: What excuses do they have to not do what is a viable solution; and why are they loyal to a system that no longer effectively governs.

    Their reasons and arguments are frivolous. We need not take these American leaders seriously. Rather, it is time to show the world that American citizens are serious about the rule of law, and that we can effectively self-govern.

    * * *

    Ref Ref: DC Crime Databases