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Saturday, October 14, 2006

America's Youth Must Decide

The ethics investigation is narrowly, incorrectly defined in terms of what the House has or hasn't done.

The appropriate perspective is to consider the ethics investigation as a subset of the larger patterns of abuse of the entire American government -- not just the House, but also the Senate, Executive, and Judiciary, including attorneys and court officers.

It remains to be seen whether this House investigation is the first step in impeaching and convicting the President for war crimes and other failures to enforce the Supreme Law.

Purpose: The information below explains in plain English what this information means. [Archive of other ethics investigation-related issues.]

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Short Version

The House Ethics investigation into the abuse of pages is not credible. To properly review what broke down would require an examination of the same institutional failures leading to the Geneva and FISA violations. The same system of governance which failed, permitting the prisoner abuses and war crimes, broke down and failed to timely mange the page program.

There is no reason to believe the Congress will look at the real problems in governance which permitted war crimes, much less abuse of pages. To effectively understand why the laws were not enforced, Congress would have to review what system of governance failed and permitted the Geneva and FISA violations which illegally supported illegal warfare, constitutional violations, and unlawful prisoner abuse. This Congress was not serious about reviewing what failed on matters related to prisoner abuse, FISA violations, and war crimes.

The same DoJ Staff, which has been complicit with Geneva violations and prisoner abuse in Eastern Europe, is similarly complicit with failing to enforce Title 2 Section 88. The same Congressional and Executive branch failures which permitted FISA-NSA and Geneva violations similarly failed and permitted the abuse of the pages.

The Congress has not effectively reviewed the FISA-NSA violations, or Geneva war crimes because to do so would show the Congress failed to act. These are war crimes. Members of Congress and the DoJ staff have similarly been complicit with failing to protect American youth from abuse.

American students, if they do not wish to be subject to more abuse in illegal wars, must confront their parents and ask them when they will start acting like statesmen, not uncivilized children.


Title 2 Section 88 of the US Code is public law. Unlike a Congressional committee rule which defines how a Committee will or will not operation, Title 2 Section 88 is something the President is responsible for enforcing.

Through the Department of Justice, the President and other executive branch officials, attorneys, and personnel have the responsibility to enforce public law, including Title 2 Section 88.

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The issue with the House Ethics investigation should be looked at in terms of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Rendition. Personnel including prisoners and children were put under the care of the Untied States, and the US had legal obligations to properly care for those prisoners and children.

The United States has failed to comply with its legal obligations under Geneva and the Congressional page program. Whether the personnel were civilian teenagers in Congress, or prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo, the American government’s joint approach to personnel under their care has been reckless disregard for the laws.

Prisoners were not properly cared for under Geneva; and Congressional pages were not properly cared for under the US Code, Title 2 Section 88.

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The issue of law enforcement is a responsibility of all three branches. Ultimately, it is the President who is responsible for enforcing or not enforcing the law.

As with FISA, the NSA violations, rendition, war crimes, and prisoner abuse, the President is ultimately the responsible person for how persons under US care are or are not treated; and whether the laws relating to the treatment of persons under US care are or are not enforced.

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It makes no difference whether the President does or does not agree to enforce the law; nor whether the Department of Justice does or does not have sufficient manning to do the job. They have the legal obligation to enforce the law; and allocate resources to ensure that the legal requirements are met.

The Rule of Law collapses, and is a subsequent violation of the Constitution, when US government resources are not allocated to ensure persons are adequacy protected.

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All public laws require government coordination. The Congress and Executive branch share joint responsibility for ensuring that the laws are understood and enforced.

Both Congress and the Executive Branch have legal counsel assigned to enforce the law, review statutes, coordinate working papers and memoranda, and ensure that the statutes are understood. This duty and responsibility falls on lawyers because of their legal expertise.

Within the government is the power and responsibility of supervisors to hire, screen, monitor, oversee, evaluate, and terminate employees. This oversight requires the persons with authority to conduct reviews. How a Member of Congress or the President oversees a function or person is a different question than whether they perform this function. Congress and the President do not have discretion over whether it does or does not follow the law; rather it only has discretion on the means to achieve that legal requirement.

The legislative history of Title 2 Section 8 includes clear coordination between the Department of Justice Legislative liaison, White House counsel, Senate and House legal experts. There is no credible claim to say that Title 2 Section 88 is only up to the House to review; rather, all legal requirements for enforcing this statute fall upon the President, and require the House and Senate leadership to participate in the decision making, oversight, and enforcement of the funds, personnel, and oversight. These are clear requirements under Title 2.

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Consider the President and his approach to signing statements. He has one goal: To illegally decide which statutes he will or will not enforce. He illegally exercised this discretion when he chose to ignore Title 2 Section 88 allegations of misconduct. The FBI has illegally issued public statement related to an ongoing investigation; and made inconsistent and misleading statements about what has or has not happened.

Just as the US government failed to enforce the laws related to prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; and subsequently failed to ensure that investigators did or did not review facts, so too has the US government -- as a single entity -- failed to adequately enforce the laws related to pages.

Whether the Speaker of the House did or did not vote on a bill is irrelevant. As a Member of Congress, working through the legislative counsel, he has the responsibility that he complies with the law, and appropriately oversees those whose job it is to carry out legislative policy.

The President is part of this joint oversight. He has the duty under the Constitution to see that the laws are enforced. The Speaker does not have unilateral discretion whether he does or does not comply with statute -- this is public law, and requires the President to concur with changes.

The Conference report is evidence that the legal community within both branches of Congress reviewed Title 2 Section 88; should have reviewed the need for changes; and were aware of the legal requirements this would impose on the President to enforce eth law and on the Members of Congress and officers to carry out the Title 2 Requirements.

Congress will have to explain why, despite the Conference report, there is no public discussion on why the legal counsel within the Congress ensured that the legal requirements were put into effect; and how the Senior leadership was briefed, and updated on whether the Page Board was or was not meeting its obligations.

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Before the Changes to Title 2 Section 88 could take effect, personnel within the White House, including the White House Counsel's office, would have to review the legislation. Attorney General Gonzalez will have to explain what role, if any, he had as White House counsel to review the changes to Title 2 Section 88.

It makes no difference why the Attorney General may or may not recollect anything. Once the President signs the law, as he did, and updates title 2 Section 88, all personnel within the White House are presumed to have a connection with that lawful objective: A duty to enforce the law.

Within the White House, DoJ Staff, and legislative liaison are the memoranda showing who did or did not have views on the Title 2 Section 88 reviews. This evidence shows when the President was updated; which legal counsel were specifically involved with the Title 2 Section 88 changes; and when they did or did not comment.

The Speaker’s agenda, and floor votes also presume the Members of Congress know the law, understand what they are voting on. Once the President signs the law, the legal requirements under Public Law attach to all personnel, whether they are in or out of government. All Members of Congress, their staff, legal counsel, the President, and FBI agents are presumed to know the law. It doesn't matter than they weren't trained on the law; rather, they had a duty to find out and use the resources at hand to enforce the existing law which the President signed.

Because these matters are related to allegations of criminal activity and fraud, the information contained within the white House, DoJ Staff, and Congress are not protected by privilege. Rather, these documents are admissible to an Article III judicial court. There is no bonafide claim of privilege.

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The Congress and President have jointly agreed to take credit for legislation, but not responsibility when that public law is violated or not enforced. This is a joint responsibility and black eye on both the Congress and President.

The public needs to hear from the DOJ Staff. Their staff, despite legal requirements to enforce Title 2 Section 8, Geneva, FISA, and the laws of war, have spent time on non-official matters including non-official website updates.

Just as Gonzalez absurdly explained that the DOJ Staff "were undermanned" with the FISA requirements, so too should the public expect to hear other excuses why Geneva and Title 2 Section 88 were not enforced.

The public needs to see the oversight plan by the US Attorney, DoJ, Attorney General, and the President to put his signing statement into effect. The actions speak volumes: There is no plan; and the DoJ Staff have been complicity with failing to ensure that Title 2 Section 88 has been enforced.

The evidence will show that the DoJ Staff and White House counsel's office were fully involved with the Title 2 Section 88 update; they made statements; were part of the discussion; but there was no adequate plan to implement, enforce, investigate, or prosecute violations of Title 2 Section 88.

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The issue with the page oversight is not isolated to the House, but includes personnel within the Department of Justice, Treasury, White House staff, and also the Supreme Court. Pages are assigned, and the Supreme Court is part of the oversight process to ensure that personnel are adequately protected.

It remains an open question what Justice Roberts, while working in the White House counsel's staff in the 1980s did or did not know about the problems the pages were having; or whether he was or was not aware of issues. Once he took his oath to enforce the Constitution, attached with that is the obligation to enforce the law.

As Supreme Court justice, he has had the reasonability to ensure that any personnel assigned to his office, including pages, are adequately cared for. Whether he has forgotten, not realized, or failed to comprehend this requirement is a secondary matter. A reasonable Supreme Court justice would have, using the information he acquires from his work in the White House counsels office, would have gleaned the lessons from the 1980s scandal, and put into effect and reviewed whether there were or were not problems. It remains a matter of evidence whether the Chief Justice was or was not reckless in performing his duties, or failed to do something that he should have.

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The same people involved in the Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, FISA, and Geneva violations are in the middle of the House Ethics investigation. The same DOJ Staff counsel reviewed the laws, and failed to ensure they were enforced; and the same FBI agency was responsible for investigations, but failed to timely act.

There is no distinction between what has happened between Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the NSA FISA violations, or the Page program: The US government has failed to adequately care for those under their charge; and has failed to ensure the laws were fully enforced and followed.

The question before us is what did the Department of Justice do, or what should it have done, to ensure that it was postured to enforce Title 2. How the President chose to ignore, not enforce, or reassign resources is irrelevant. No signing statement gives anyone in the FBI or the White House the power or discretion not to enforce the law. We see the results: Long-known abuses are not prevented. This result is no different than results of ignoring Geneva, FISA, and the Supreme Law.

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Within the Department of Justice is a process to translate newly signed bills into policy and enforcement tools. The details are not as important as the overall issue: Within DoJ the deputy attorney Generals regularly meet, discuss, and review the legal requirements, and programs to enforce those laws.

Just as with FISA, Geneva, and the Constitution, it doesn't matter what excuses the DoJ Staff or President gave to not enforce the law; nor does it matter what excuses were given to ignore the law or evidence. They had a duty to act.

Once the bill is passed into law. There is a system of logs, checklists, and other procedures which the DoJ Staff put into effect to translate the bill into operational procedures. These are sent through the various DOJ communication systems to the US Attorneys. Again, the details of this system are not as important as the general common problem: Just as the Geneva and FISA violations are supreme law, it doesn't matter whether the US Attorneys were or were not notified of the law -- they had an independent duty to find out, enforce the law, and ensure personnel were supporting those requirements.

How the FBI did or did not excuse, ignore, or rebuff the information is a separate matter from whether they had the legal obligation to take information. Whether they did or did not investigate is a separate matter from their known legal requirement to enforce the law. It is up to the DoJ to explain why, despite Title 2 Section 88 requirements, personnel were spending time on non-official matters. Just as prisoners and pages were getting abused, the DOJ Staff was goofing off on non-official matters. Arguably, this is defective and reckless oversight by the DOJ Staff; it remains a matter of evidence whether Keisler is or is not implicated within this alleged conspiracy not to enforce Title 2 Section 88.

As Chief of the Civil Division, Keisler had a responsibility to report alleged violations of procedures to the DOJ OPR. Just as there have been violations of Geneva and FISA but no reports to DOJ OPR, Keisler will have to explain whether he did or did not fully comply with his DoJ OPR reporting requirement on Title 2 Section 88. He can't take credit only for what goes right, but then say it wasn't his job to enforce all the DOJ OPR reporting requirements.

Within his office are checklists that he either used, ignored, or did not enforce. IT doesn't matter why. The only issue is whether the law was or was no enforced. His job as is the DoJ Staff is to explain what did or did not happen once the President signed into the law the changes to Title 2 Section 88. His job is to explain the status of the Title 2 Enforcement, and outline how this enforcement plan was or was not put into effect; and how the DoJ OPR was or was not interfaced with to report alleged failures of the DOJ Staff to properly put this enforcement program into effect.

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The appropriate review is to explore whether the DoJ Staff memoranda are related to Title 2 Section 88.

Conversely, it remains to be understood whether Congress and the DoJ Staff are making rules and exceptions that would legalize the abuse of pages. Congress has passed rules making abuse of prisoners permissible; Congress and the DOJ Staff will have to explain why the Title 2 Section 88 requirements are not similarly being ignored as has Geneva.

The abuse of pages is well known. Justice Roberts was in the White House. There was an obligation to report abuses. There were clear standards, like Geneva. IT remains to be seen how the complaints about pages have been swept under the rug, just as the prisoner abuse stories documented in the Teguba Report.

Just as there were e-mails related to the prisoner abuses in Guantanamo, there are also FBI e-mails related to the current investigation. These are not privileged, but evidence about the agent’s state of mind, what they did or did not do, and when they realized things. The same discovery into the FBI-Guantanamo e-mails is also required in the FBI-page e-mails.

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The lesson for the world is simple. The US cannot effectively manage teenagers. There is no reason American can do something more complicated like manage a ware, relief efforts, or oversee government.

We've seen the problems with pages. The common problems between Katrina, FISA, and Geneva violations are an unwillingness to comply with statues, oversee government, mange resources, enforce the law, and assent to legal requirements.

Members of Congress have raised doubts about the leadership in the Executive Branch. Specific DOJ Legislative Liaison memoranda has prompted some in Congress to ask whether there is a leadership problem within DoJ.

The legislative liaison’s office would have reviewed, coordinated on, and been part of the discussion related to Title 2 Section 88. It remains to be understood which specific memoranda within the Legislative Liaison’s office was or was not reviewed, put into effect, or ignored as otherwise required.

DoJ leadership will have to explain why DoJ counsel and staff were spending time on non-official business, but as with FISA and Geneva, too busy to enforce the law or outline an oversight program to enforce Title 2 Section 88. There's no merit to any DoJ Staff counsel argument that there were insufficient resources to enforce Title 2 Section 88. They had time to review the non-official websites; they had a higher duty to perform official functions.

Attached to the legal requirement to engage in official business while in the FBI and DOJ buildings attaches with that the requirement to enforce the law, support the Constitution, and ensure that the reviews and programs in place carry out the intent of the legislature. FBI and DOJ Staff will have to explain why they rebuffed, ignored, or did not act on information that showed there were problems with the Title 2 Section 88 implementation. There are attached with that decision memoranda, notes, and other coordination with the DOJ leadership to do or not do something. Either the DOJ Staff and President knew what was going on, or they were reckless in not adequately managing the resources.

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Let's consider the lessons of the FISA, NSA, and prisoner abuses.

___ Were there contractors hired by the White House, Congress, or DoJ Staff that were required to do this function: Ensure Title 2 Section 88 was enforced?

___ Who hired these contractors; what was the nature of the contract; and how were award feeds justified given the apparently lawless, reckless results?

___ Who had responsibility to enforce the law, as was the case under the DoD laws of war program 5100.77?

___ Who was blocked from reporting, investigating, or taking action, as was done with the DOJ OPR review of the NSA?

___ Where is the evidence: Speaker approvals of officers, records related to the IT appropriations; and other ongoing review of the page board?

___ Once POTUS signed the bill, what records, procedures, and other enacting documents were generated and remain admissible?

___ How are the problems of GTMO, Abu Ghraib, and the Afghan Box car investigations being factored into the House review of ethics: Are they looking at the e-mails from the DOJ; is there a review of the policies within DOJ to enforce Title 2 Section88?

___ Who was assigned the responsibility to enforce Title 2 Section 88?

___ Does the Attorney General have an explanation why his law institute courses and legal education videos do not include this information and requirement within the training for US Attorneys?

___ Who within DoJ OPR and the DOJ IG office was responsible for reviewing, sampling, and evaluating whether the US Attorney Training videos were or were no effectively educating the staff counsel on Title 2 Section 88 requirements?

___ Who within the DOJ opined on the bill related to Title 2 Section 88 before the President signed the bill into law?

___ Who reviewed, or should have reviewed Title 2 Section 88, and included these requirements within the President’s signing statements?

___ What excuses, as with FISA, NSA, Geneva, and prisoner abuse, have been retroactively crated to justify non-enforcement of Title 2 Section?

___ Is the Congress gleaning the lessons of the failed Geneva, FISA, and Rendition programs and properly applying them to the Title 2 Section 88 requirements?

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American parents and high school students have reason for concern. Just as there has been abuse at Harvard Westlake, American teenagers have been abused by the US government within Congress.

This government has the responsibility to enforce the laws. It has failed on all counts: Geneva, FISA, prisoner abuse, rendition, and now American teenagers.

Unless the American government is forced to follow the law, the next step for this abuse is a military draft for an illegal war in Iran. The same failed system, which does not enforce Geneva or wage lawful war based on real threats, is poised to conduct another illegal military operations, but start a draft.

American teenagers have already been abused in the 1960s, 1980s, now 2000s. American parents will have to decide whether you are going to be silent as you were with the prisoner abuses in Guantanamo, or speak out before your teenagers are drafted and possibly abused in the Middle East. Your sons and daughters have already been illegally abused in Iraq in an unlawful war. If you love your children, it is time for you decide whether you are for the rule of law, or for barbarism.

This Congress has chosen barbarism. Each time it was confronted with violations of the law, the Congress chose to do nothing about FISA, Geneva, and rendition violations. This Congress has no track records for caring about people; it only cares about abusing power and people.

This leadership will not enforce the laws it freely passes. The laws are only there as public relations. Americans are foolish to believe that a law means there is a standard that will be enforced. This government has shown that despite passing a law, it will use its position to use the public trust to abuse power, and violate the promise it gave by passing that statute.

Nobody should believe that the American government is serious about the law. It is serious about creating the illusion of responsible government, but not ensuring that the government remains responsible. This government does not enforce standards, nor does it conduct competent investigations. They engage in sham deliberations, and ignore evidence. There are clear requirements, but history is ignored.

The issue Americans must decide: Are you going to assent to the continued abuse, or are you going to say "enough" and lawfully compel those who have failed to do their jobs to assent to the will of the Article III courts. You can vote against them, you can take civil action, or you can prosecute them.

Unless American parents are willing to rise to the occasion, the only option foreign fighters have to prevent their sons and daughters from being abused is to wage lawful war against you and your sons and daughters. They do not plan to lose. This war is not about civilization, it is about the rule of law.

American must decide whether you are going to self-govern, or compel that assent to the law to be forced down your throats on the battlefield. Foreign fighters continue to wage a lawful war against your sons and daughters. If you do not assert the rule of law at home, foreign fighters will impose that order through lawful use of combat power in your homes, on your streets, and decimate your way of life.

This Congress took an oath to enforce the law. That mean enforcing Geneva, FISA, and the Supreme Law in the Constitution. It has failed.

When will the world see lawsuits and civil damages for falling to enforce the law? Time will tell.

Until American parents act to protect their children, America's youth should understand: Your parents cannot be trusted to protect you, nor will they do what a parent should do -- Ensure that you as a child are protected. It is time for American youth to confront your parents and ask them whether their parents really love them, and what they're going to do to protect them.

American teenagers, unless you challenge your parents, the next challenge you may face could be on the battlefield. Indeed, your parents may yell at you for daring to ask the question; but this is far less a threat than the alternative: The threat that you may soon face foreign fighters intent on taking your life.

If you are silent, then should you fall into enemy hands and be tortured, you will only have yourselves to blame. You had the chance to speak out, challenge your parents, and force them to act like adults.

America's youth must compel America's leaders to act like adults; otherwise you will be force to grow up quickly. Whether you return from battle or are killed remains another matter.

Choose. You are being asked to make adult decisions because your parents refuse to act like civilized adults. Now you know how this information fits into things.

Best wishes.