Tag: Attorney General

Eric Holder Returns to His Roots

After six years of protecting them, former Attorney General Eric Holder triumphantly returned to his roots, the law firm where he defended Wall Street and the banking industry before his appointment as AG. As though this was ever in doubt.

Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Barack Obama’s former top cop cashes in after six years of letting banks run wild

Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. The former attorney general decided against going for a judgeship, saying he’s not ready for the ivory tower yet. “I want to be a player,” told the National Law Journal, one would have to say ominously.

Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly – this is no joke – was kept empty for him in his absence.

The office thing might have been improper, but at this point, who cares? More at issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history’s great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover, DiCaprio in The Departed-style, as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had.

Holder denied there was anything weird about returning to one of Wall Street’s favorite defense firms after six years of letting one banker after another skate on monstrous cases of fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses. [..]

In this light, telling reporters that you’re going back to Covington & Burling to be “engaged in the civic life of this country” seems like a joke for us all to suck on, like announcing that he’s going back to get a doctorate at the University of Blow Me.

Holder doesn’t look it, but he was a revolutionary. He institutionalized a radical dualistic approach to criminal justice, essentially creating a system of indulgences wherein the world’s richest companies paid cash for their sins and escaped the sterner punishments the law dictated.



The transcript can be read here

Eric Holder Returns as Hero to Law Firm That Lobbies for Big Banks

By Lee Fang, The Intercept

After failing to criminally prosecute any of the financial firms responsible for the market collapse in 2008, former Attorney General Eric Holder is returning to Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm known for serving Wall Street clients.

The move completes one of the more troubling trips through the revolving door for a cabinet secretary. Holder worked at Covington from 2001 right up to being sworn in as attorney general in Feburary 2009. And Covington literally kept an office empty for him, awaiting his return.

The Covington & Burling client list has included four of the largest banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Lobbying records show that Wells Fargo is still a client of Covington. Covington recently represented Citigroup over a civil lawsuit relating to the bank’s role in Libor manipulation.

Covington was also deeply involved with a company known as MERS, which was later responsible for falsifying mortgage documents on an industrial scale. “Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and several other large banks,” according to an investigation by Reuters.

The Department of Justice under Holder not only failed to pursue criminal prosecutions of the banks responsible for the mortage meltdown, but in fact de-prioritized investigations of mortgage fraud, making it the “lowest-ranked criminal threat,” according to an inspector general report.

Congressional Game of Chicken: Human Trafficking Victims Taken Hostage By the Senate GOP

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

With the Republicans now in charge of the Senate, the filibuster games continue with the shoe on the other foot. Although I have to say, the Democrats have used it to stop the more egregious legislation that the Republicans have tried to pass. By attaching controversial riders to popular bills, such as their fight with the White House over immigration getting attached to the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, the GOP leadership didn’t expect the tactic to backfire in the press and public opinion. The Republicans may have gerrymandered themselves into being in charge but that doesn’t mean they have the capacity to lead or public support.

The Senate GOP current hostages are the victims of human trafficking and Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. A popular bipartisan bill to aid victims of human trafficking has been held up by the Democrats in the Senate when they discovered that the Republicans had surreptitiously added an anti-choice amendment that would restrict funding for abortions.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which would establish a fund to raise money for victims from the fees charged to traffickers, wasn’t supposed to be controversial. It has supporters on both sides of the aisle and easily passed the House earlier this year. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have urged members of their parties to support the legislation.

But this week, top Democrats learned that the bill includes language modeled after the Hyde Amendment, which restricts public funding for abortion procedures. The new fund created for trafficking victims would be subject to the same restrictions that currently prevent the public Medicaid program from using federal dollars to finance abortion coverage. [..]

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid’s office, said the proposed language in the trafficking bill would actually go beyond Hyde’s current scope by including fees and fines, instead of just taxpayer funds. He believes that “could lead to a dramatic expansion of abortion restrictions in future years.” [..]

Reproductive rights groups have also harshly criticized the abortion provision in the bill, accusing Republicans of playing politics with the vulnerable victims of human trafficking. They point out that victims often need access to abortion services because they have been subject to sexual violence, so a fund designed to help them shouldn’t cut off resources related to abortion.

Needless to say, the Democrat’s filibuster of a second bill, with unpopular provisions, in as many months is not sitting well with Senate Majority Leader Mitch “The Human Hybrid Turtle” McConnell who went on CNN’s “State of the Union” and told host Dana Bash that the consideration of Loretta Lynch would not happen until the trafficking bill passed.

McConnell told Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Lynch’s nomination will remain in a holding pattern until Democrats allow the trafficking bill to move forward.

“This will have an impact on the timing of considering the new attorney general. Now, I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can’t finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again,” he said.

He argued it was a non-controversial bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously. He noted the language Democrats are objecting to was part of the legislation from the beginning of its consideration.

“They all voted for the very same language in a bill in December,” he said. “This is boilerplate language that has been in the law for almost 40 years that they all voted for three months ago in another bill.”

Sen. McConnell’s claim that the Democrats knew about the anti-abortion provision and knowingly voted for it is [disputed by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee :

“These provisions, my caucus did not know about,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday. “The bill will not come off this floor as long as that [abortion] language is in it.”

Even Democrats on the Judiciary Committee said they had no idea the abortion provision was in the bill. Some suggested they had been misled.

“There was a representation that the controversial provision was not included in this bill. It turns out that it was,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a Judiciary Committee member. “I don’t know how that happened or who was the author of it.”

“A list was sent to certain members saying, ‘Here are the changes from last year.’ This provision was not listed among them,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), also a Judiciary Committee member.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s ranking member, chastised his GOP colleagues for using “debates about some of the most vulnerable among us to advance their own political agenda.”

Needles to say the Democrats, so far, aren’t caving to this latest GOP blackmail:

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, slammed McConnell for further delaying Lynch.

“For months and months, Republicans have failed to move forward with‎ her nomination using any excuse they can, except for any credible objection to her nomination itself. It’s time for Republicans to stop dragging their feet on Loretta Lynch,” he said in a statement Sunday morning. ‎

Adam Jentleson, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) spokesman, accused McConnell of backtracking on his pledge to schedule Lynch for a vote.

The GOP hates Attorney General Eric Holder, who has already said his goodbyes, but they have held up Ms. Lynch’s nomination for 128 days, longer than any other Attorney General nominee. This might not be so bad since Ms. Lynch may not be the best choice to replace Mr. Holder considering her dubious ties to Wall Street and the banks. Her slap on the wrist agreement without criminal charges in the HSBC money laundering case would be a good reason to reject her. Now, the question is will the Democrats sacrifice her to protect the right to an abortion for victims of human trafficking. Stay tuned to see who blinks first.

October Surprise: Bin Laden Upgraded to House From Cave For Wikileaks Release

From CNN, Your Most Trusted News Source:  

The October Surprise

Anonymous NATO Spokesperson Upgrades Osama Bin Laden From Cave To House in Pakistan, Getting a Jump on the Latest Wikileaks Which Will Show He’s Working at al- Zawahiri’s International House of Naancakes


Kabul, Afghanistan, CNN, Monday, October 18, 2010

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/…

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

“Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.

___

The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance.

Wikileaks Donation Site Shut Down


CNN, Friday October 15, 2010

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-1…

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims the U.S. government was behind the decision by Moneybookers to shut down the account, an allegation denied by American officials.

According to e-mails provided to CNN by Assange, Moneybookers informed WikiLeaks of its decision in August, shortly after the Pentagon demanded WikiLeaks return all of the military documents and remove them from its website. WikiLeaks refused to do so and is expected to release hundreds of thousands of additional Pentagon papers later this month.

The first e-mail from Moneybookers that notified WikiLeaks of its decision indicated one of the potential grounds for termination was “to comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities, agencies or commissions.”

When Assange asked for a further explanation, he received another e-mail from the company saying the account was initially suspended “due to being accessed from a blacklisted IP address. However following recent publicity and the subsequently addition of the WikiLeaks entity to blacklists in Australia and watch lists in the USA, we have terminated the business relationship.”

Prop 19: AG Holder Issues Shocking Threat Against State’s Rights To Legalize MJ

( If you needed proof that the current “Democratic” administration is throwing support behind getting more Republicans elected this November instead of Democrats, here’s more.)  

censored by facebook

The Obama administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder, fresh off his decision to appeal of Judge Virginia Phillip’s injunction against enforcing DADT because of its unConstitutionality, has written a shocking letter to the former chiefs of the DEA on Oct 13th.   And why did he write them a letter ?  Because they want the Attorney General to sue California if Proposition 19 passes, which would decriminalize marijuana at the state level.  

Holder just sent them a letter in agreement.  


“We will vigorously enforce the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” Holder wrote.  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Control and tax ? Quit wasting money and resources ? More like Drone and Arrest as usual.

The Department of Justice under Holder has not decreased the number of arrests and prosecutions for marijuana possession compared to the previous Bush administration, in spite of  assurances that medical marijuana users in the state of California would not be targeted. https://docudharma.com/diar…  Over a quarter million Californians were arrested last year for drug offenses, with 52% of them being for pot, that’s over 115,000 people getting arrested in CA in 2008 just for possession, per statistics from the FBI.  Make no mistake about it, this is a big cash incentive the Feds are waving at the state when they declare your local LE can only get money this way.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, co chair of the “Public Safety No On 19” committee along with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein,  also said at a news conference that Federal law would over rule state law and therefore any new law would be unenforceable, and that public use of the drug would continue to be targeted, as usual,  whether or not Prop 19 passes.

The “Yes on 19” committee’s former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara issued a response today, saying that:


“Passing Proposition 19 in California will undoubtedly kick start a national conversation about changing our country’s obviously failed marijuana prohibition policies,” he added. “If the federal government wants to keep fighting the nation’s failed ‘war on marijuana’  while we’re in the midst of a sagging economic recovery and two wars, it just proves that the establishment politicians’ priorities are wrongly focused on maintaining the status quo.”

McNamara, now a research fellow in drug policy at Stanford University, has argued that the 60 percent of the cash that supports violent drug cartels comes from the sale of illegal marijuana.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

I’ve written about the Indian Casinos, the beer and wine industry, and the Oil companies backing this continued idiocy. Now let’s talk about the Pharmaceutical companies.

The last time the Obama administration made a drug deal with Big Pharma, er, PhRMA,  before a law was passed was back in March of 2009 when the President met secretly with PhRMA drug lobbyist Billy Tauzin, Pfizer’s Jeff Kindler, AHIP’s Karen Ignani, the Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue and the RW Johnson Foundation’s Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

http://blog.sunlightfoundation…

Five months later,in August,  Billy Tauzin admitted that the WH had forsworn Medicare drug price bargaining and given up on importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe in the deal to get the health care reform bill passed.  By February of 2010, Tauzin took another golden parachute. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes…

This time, Baca and Feinstein’s committee “Public Safety First No on 19” is getting money from the following Pharmaceutical Companies, thru CalBusPac (California Business PAC) thru PHARMA IEC PAC, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Independent Expenditure Committee. They know how to time the donations so it’s less obvious.   And please remember these drug companies aren’t all based in America.  So this is from some foreign money sources.

Baca – DiFi No on 19  list of donors, see CalBusPac

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

California Business Pac (CalBusPac) scroll down to the 5/7/09 filing to see the donation from PHARMA IEC

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

PHARMA IEC pac’s donations for this campaign cycle  – Drug Companies against decriminalization of Marijuana

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…


Pharma For HomeLand Security Money to Fight Against Legalized Pot List, October 2010



Bristol Myers Squibb  gave Barack Obama $43,385 in 2008 http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Abbott Laboratories  spent a million on candidates in 2008, and has given money to Tauzin’s old Phrma Pac, http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…

Endo Pharmaceuticals

Hoffman La Roche (Switzerland) http://www.whorunsgov.com/Prof… Rick C Wade, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Commerce Dept under Gary Locke, was a senior government affairs advisor for Hoffman La Roche Inc, and also has on his resume state director of S. Carolina Dept of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services,  besides being a director of Business development at Palmetto GBA/Blue Cross Blue Shield of S. Carolina.  Oh, and the senior advisor to the Presidential transition team.  Hoffman La Roche makes Boniva, an osteoporosis treatment drug (bisphosphonate class ) marketed to post menopausal women which has been causing osteonecrosis of the jaw bone and which double the risk of esophageal cancer. http://www.360reports.com/p/bo…

Sigma Tau

Takeda

Amgen  http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…

http://www.campaignmoney.com/p…  on track to match the $1.4 million they gave to candidates in the last cycle

Johnson & Johnson  just lost a lawsuit and owes Louisiana $258 million for misleading doctors about the harmful effects of the anti psychotic drug Risperdal  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10…   spent $3.5 million lobbying this year so far http://www.opensecrets.org/lob…

Eli Lilly – maker of PROZAC anti depressant , spent $3.8 million on lobbying this year with 248 lobbyists, gave $62,782 to Barack Obama in 2008  http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Novartis(Switzerland) maker of Ritalin for ADD, and antipsychotic med Clozapine http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…  another bisphosphonate manufacturer, drug may be linked to broken leg femur bones in the elderly

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…

Merck, maker of biological immune system suppressants ATNF drugs such as Remicade,  gave money to Blanche “there will be no public option” Lincoln in 2008 and 2010

http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…  Just lost price fixing trial on generics

http://www.businessweek.com/ne…

Glaxosmithkline – 3rd largest pharma co worldwide, United Kingdom, makers of Paxel, (paroxetine)  the antidepressant which is known for difficult withdrawals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

http://www.opensecrets.org/org…  spent $3.4 million in lobbying in 2010

Glaxosmithkline gave Obama $51,909 in 2008

Astellas

Pfizer Inc Ranked #1 in World Sales per Wiki, they make statin cholesterol drugs, neurontin, the antidepressant Zoloft,  and VIAGRA, pled guilty in 2009 to fraud, will spend $25 million in lobbying this year  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

Obama received $155,183 from Pfizer in 2008 http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Perdue Pharma LP of Roseville  don’t know why this is listed as Roseville when Perdue Pharma is in Canada.  Perdue makes Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and codeine contin.  http://www.purdue.ca/en/produc…


Prozac. Paxel. Risperdal. Ritalin. Oxycontin ?!

I hope you enjoyed the knowledge that you just gained, that indeed our nation’s Attorney General is willing to leave over 51 million Americans without health insurance, while acting as an enforcer for a price fixing pharmaceutical monopoly – including expensive, addictive, and mood altering drugs –  even narcotics –   and intends to keep people from growing a herbal weed that science and research has shown to be NOT a narcotic and not as addictive as many of the drugs listed above.

More “Change” You Cannot Believe In.  So They Say.

Drug Czars,Nip

image of President and Drug Czar, from the “Nip It In the Bud No On Prop 19” Website

__________________

previously in this series:

BP Oil and No on Prop 19, The Smoking Gun

https://docudharma.com/diar…

___________________

Saturday morning update:  FDL shows that one of the ex DEA letter writers to AG Holder, Robert Bonner, has a company which made nearly a half million $$ in Federal Homeland Security “consulting” Contracts concerning the US/ Mexico border.  And he’s been appointed co chair to the Southwest Border Task Force by Janet Napolitano.  

http://justsaynow.firedoglake….

Nice work if you can get it.  

DADT: Judge Phillips issues her injunction

Judge Virginia A Phillips, US District Court, Central District of CA,  has issued an injunction which halts enforcement of the Pentagon’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, after ruling it unconstitutional last month on Sept 9, .

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…


http://miamiherald.typepad.com…

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. “While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect.”

From the injunction ruling itself: (pdf download  http://www.ServicemembersUnite…  )


(3) Orders Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have commenced under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this judgement.

(4) Grants Plaintiff Log Cabin Republican’s request to apply for attorney’s fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412  

(5) GRANTS Plaintiff Log Cabin Republicans’ request to file a motion for costs of suit, to the extent allowed by law.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Virginia A Phillips

United States District Judge

dated October 12, 2010

A writeup yesterday from Law.com thinks that the Obama administration will continue to defend DADT, instead of letting the policy just die,  while waiting for  Congress to further write a new law, Sec of Defense Gates to complete his “study and survey,” and the Supreme Court to eventually issue their opinion on the appeal.

Senators Gillibrand and Udall have sent a public letter urging Attorney General Eric Holder not to appeal, saying such could hold back Congress further.


http://www.law.com/jsp/article…

Still, several signs indicate that the Obama administration plans to continue to defend Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. When asked about the government’s next move, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in an e-mailed statement to The National Law Journal: “The Justice Department is defending the statute, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged.”

The Justice Department already has filed an opposition to a proposed permanent injunction that would bar enforcement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell worldwide. In it, the government said that an injunction, if granted, should be limited to members of the Log Cabin Republicans.

If Phillips grants the injunction, the government could ask the 9th Circuit for a stay pending any appeal and for a stay to be granted, said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. “If she enters a permanent injunction without a stay of appeal, it will seem like a power grab,” he said of Phillips. “The 9th Circuit won’t look kindly upon it.”

As I pointed out previously, the Log Cabin Republicans are Republicans, and to limit the stay of this discriminatory law to their group, says that the US Constitution is not political party neutral,  and the Obama Administration thinks only Republicans are qualified to deserve civil rights and equal protection under the law. Another lawyer in the article pointed out there is a tendency for the judiciary to “defer” to the military.  The last time I looked, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which stated that military service can only be performed by members of one specific political party.   The Commander in Chief is still an elected civilian position, no party specified, at least in stated law.  Membership qualifications in a political party to obtain full benefit of the law, even military law, reeks of codified bribery.

The solution is obvious, the Attorney General of the U.S. should not appeal this ruling, to do otherwise implies Justice is for Sale, and our military forces are open to the highest bidder vying for the attention of one of 100 Senators.  This becomes an issue of national sovereignty.  Let DADT die.  Its time has passed.  

previous diaries on this:

Holder’s DOJ Attorneys Behaving Badly, File Objection on Dadt overturn

https://docudharma.com/diar…

DADT Overturned, How Hard Will Obama Admin Defend It ?

https://docudharma.com/diar…

BP Oil & No on Prop 19- The Smoking Gun

In my past diaries on Yes on Proposition 19,    Control and Tax Cannabis, aka marijuana decriminalization in California, I’ve shown that right wing conservatives funded by their usual business interests, are behind the continued attempt to let the Federal government waste money on continued harassment of pot users.  I agree with the former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, who says that:


most bad things about marijuana – especially the violence made inevitable by an obscenely profitable black market – are caused by the prohibition, not by the plant.

An “obscenely profitable”  black market cannot exist with out high level cynicism and corruption in our Federal, state, and even sometimes, county governments.  The state of CA has been severely cutting back maintenance, employees, hours, access to public parks and recreational areas and facilities for outdoor sports and recreational users under their self inflicted “budget austerity,” and the Federal government has been socking us with increased, draconian “user fees,” for groups,  yet they continue to have plenty of loot to fight against personal growing of a weedy herb, which would deflate the market for it.  Priorities are misplaced.  The war on pot has been an expensive failure.

Pot Prop 19-Placer County Sheriff Dept Donates $ Against It

– Another in the series of where’s the money coming from to keep marijuana possession a felony because it’s good for getting cash from the Federal Homeland Security Paranoia State. –

The “Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association PAC,” based in Loomis, CA,  has donated $1000 on Sept 2nd to the Public Safety First No On Prop 19 Committee, the unfortunate love child creation of “Democratic” Senator Dianne Feinstein and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

DiFi,Lee Baca

The Happy Prohibitionist Couple- CA Sen. Feinstein and LA County Sheriff Baca.  

       People Who Don’t Quite Get That Really Simple Econ Idea That Flooding the Market With An Easily to Produce, Legal Commodity Drops the Price and Removes the Crime Incentive.  

Holder’s DOJ Setting Record Marijuana Busts

http://thehill.com/blogs/congr…

Change You Can’t Believe In-

Eric Holder’s Department of Justice Setting Pot Bust Records  
   censored by facebook

FBI stats say 858,408 people were arrested for marijuana in 2009, under US Atty General Holder’s DOJ,  the 2nd highest total ever, and it was an increase of + 1.3% from under the Bush administration’s last year in office, 2008.  (the record was 872,721 in 2007)

per NORML, arrests for marijuana are more than one half of all drug arrests in the United States, up from 44% 10 years ago.

758,593 were charged with possession only , the remaining 99,815 were charged with sale or manufacture, which includes cultivation.  

Holder’s DOJ Attorneys Behaving Badly, File Objection on DADT Overturn

Two weeks ago, I asked whether or not the Obama administration’s Department of Justice under Eric Holder would seek to thwart the ruling of Judge Virginia Phillips, when she ruled on 9/9/10 that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military’s antiqued discharge policy used against gay people, was unconstitutional.  The lawsuit was brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, who won the ruling on the grounds of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the ability to petition the government for the redress of grievances-  the good, old fashioned stuff.

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Since then, the Democrats in the Senate made another one of their feeble, half hearted attempts at accomplishing something meaningful and legally correct, and of course, failed, after 3 of their alleged Dem caucus bailed on them during a cloture vote to get an amendment to get rid of DADT tucked into the latest DOD spending bill for FY 2011.

Here’s the roll call on that pathetic 56 to 43 vote.   http://www.senate.gov/legislat…

Judge Phillips said in her ruling that she intended to issue an injunction to stop enforcement of DADT,  yesterday, the Obama Administration’s Dept of Justice Filed An Objection to Overturning DADT, and even said that the Judge would be overstepping her bounds if she did it.  

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c…

“A court should not compel the executive to implement an immediate cessation of the 17-year-old policy without regard for any effect such an abrupt change might have on the military’s operations, particularly at a time when the military is engaged in combat operations and other demanding military activities around the globe,” federal attorneys said in their objection.

Department of Justice officials declined to comment further.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to pretend this was not backpedaling on that fierce advocacy for equal rights that was mentioned in the 2008 campaign.  Instead he tried to blame Congress, via an email, sent to the Associated Press.   Odd that he said “this clearly shows why Congress must end this policy.”   Because Congress is thought of as the House, and the House has its act together on this and would vote for it.  It’s the Senate, and more specifically a Democratic Majority Senate that is at fault,  that has decided a man or a woman in some states  gets to have 2 and 2/3 Senators, while the rest of the country only gets 1 and 1/3 Senator, every time they insist on a 60 vote majority to decide any procedure.

One potential solution to this would be for every person in the military who this policy impacts to immediately declare themselves a member of the   Log Cabin Republicans, since Judge Phillips could limit the injunction to them and not upset Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice…..  too much during an election season.   I’m not recruiting for them, but it looks like President Obama is confused about that equal protection under the law Konstitooshunal bipartisanshipthingee again.   I would love to see the Judge smack down more doofus crap from any administration who is telling her that the military members have to belong to the Republican Party to have equal protection, wouldn’t you ?

And of course,

Back in April in CA at the Boxer fundraiser

Back in April at the White House

Last year in DC , Oct 2009

They say that this country is free, and they say that this country is equal, It is not equal if it is “some times”

Aside from the legal and moral issues, since this is the height of campaign season, and the President is running around the country doing million dollar fundraisers for some of these Senatorial candidates, let’s say what they fear the most:

Don’t Equalize, Don’t Pay to Play.

Because there is nothing more obnoxious that watching the current spectacle of the Senate Democrat’s Villain Rotation being used as an extortion tool.  

7 CIA Chiefs ask Obama to Cover up War Crimes, fear expanded investigation

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Dear Mr. President:

    We have served as Directors of Central Intelligence or Directors of the CIA for Presidents reaching back over 35 years. We respectfully urge you to exercise your authority to reverse Attorney General Holder’s August 24 decision to re-open the criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place following the attacks of September 11.

~snip~

    Attorney General Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute. Moreover, there is no reason to expect that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused.

bold and italic added by diarist

     The last line is especially important in my opinion, as it proves Special Prosecutor John Durham and Attorney General Eric Holder may be taking this investigation all the way to the top, as they are required to do under the Constitution and International Law.

    Thankfully, long gone are the days when the CIA could lie with impunity and the DoJ was not independant, but a political tool of the Executive branch. I guess the CIA misses the good ole days of Bush/Cheney.

     Good thing those days are not coming back any time soon.  

    The letter was signed by former CIA directors Michael Hayden and Porter Goss, who worked for President George W. Bush; John Deutch and James Woolsey, who served during the Clinton administration; George Tenet, who worked for both President George W. Bush and President Clinton; William Webster, who served under President George H.W. Bush; and James Schlesinger, who headed the agency during the Nixon administration.

   CBSnews.com

     The only names of living CIA heads who have not signed are Ex President George H.W. Bush and current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

     I’d say that it’s safe to say that when Clinton and George W. Bush appointees oppose this investigation it can’t be considered a witch hunt. I’d also say that it is safe to say that when the head of the CIA under Nixon opposes something, you are doing the right thing.

     The full letter to the President plus analysis below the fold.

Republicans vs. torture memos release!



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Scott Horton, says

If the president releases the Bush torture memos, Republicans are promising to “go nuclear” and filibuster his legal appointments. Scott Horton reports on a serious threat to Obama’s transparency.

As we all know, the appointment of Dawn Johnsen, as chief of the office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice, has been held up for quite some time now.  

Until recently, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, often considered the “brains” of the department, has been known mostly to legal experts. But for the past eight years, it was the epicenter of allegations of political manipulation and, worse, the source of infamous memoranda on torture. In tapping Eric Holder as attorney general, President Obama has promised to restore standards of professionalism to the department. For Republicans, this is tantamount to a declaration of partisan war

The real reason for their vehement opposition is that Johnsen is committed to overturning the Bush administration’s policies on torture and warrantless surveillance that would clip the wings of the imperial presidency.

The more you dig . . . .

Obama Dishes Up A Cup Of Same Old Same Old

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

What a colossal disappointment.  Remember when Barack Obama was going to severely curtail the use of the “state secrets” doctrine, throw the windows open, and let the sun shine in, dispersing Bushco’s unnecessary secrecy?  Forget about it.  That was just eyewash.

Yesterday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit the Obama Justice Department astonished the three judge panel by sticking with Bushco’s “state secrets” argument in the case of Binyam Mohamed.  

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