Department of Justice: Home Of The Whopper

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security,” Holder said. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

With that statement, Attorney General Eric Holder joined the ranks of those who have made the greatest misleading or untrue statements in U.S. history.

“Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons, and he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.” – George W. Bush

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” – Bill Clinton

“I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” – Richard M. Nixon

“I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to end the [Vietnam] war in a way that we could win the peace. I have initiated a plan of action which will enable me to keep that pledge. The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed.” – Richard M. Nixon

Those are some big footprints to follow in, and Holder is no slouch when it comes to big feet. And the bigger they are, the harder their illogic reasoning falls to the ground. And this illogical reasoning is a whopper.

Let’s parse his statement. What exactly is “due process” which is guaranteed by the Constitution in both the 5th and 14th Amendments?

Here’s how it’s typically described:

  • Right to a fair and public trial conducted in a competent manner
  • Right to be present at the trial
  • Right to an impartial jury
  • Right to be heard in one’s own defense
  • Laws must be written so that a reasonable person can understand what is criminal behavior
  • Taxes may only be taken for public purposes
  • Property may be taken by the government only for public purposes
  • Owners of taken property must be fairly compensated

This seems to also describe the judicial process, mentioning a fair and public trial by impartial jury and all. But let’s find out for sure, shall we?

The Judicial Process

Article III of the Constitution of the United States guarantees that every person accused of wrongdoing has the right to a fair trial before a competent judge and a jury of one’s peers.

The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution provide additional protections for those accused of a crime. These include:

  • A guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law
  • Protection against being tried for the same crime twice (“double jeopardy”)
  • The right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses, and to call witnesses to support their case
  • The right to legal representation
  • The right to avoid self-incrimination
  • Protection from excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments

That, folks, is straight from http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/judicial-branch

Check it out yourself.

So, the judicial process under the Constitution guarantees US citizens that we can’t be deprived of life and stuff without “due process of law”.  Due process under the Constitution guarantees US citizens that we have the right to a “fair and public trial” which is further expanded on by judicial process. So, in effect, the one is dependent on the other and can’t be separated.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, have never studied law, and do not pretend to be the high muckety-muck Attorney General of the United States.

And what was this illogic put to use to sell to the American people? That the United States has the right to hunt down an kill any American citizen anywhere in the world that the Government deems his hostile and represents a danger to the safety and well-being of the United States. In other words, if an Anwar al-Awlaki has been paling around with Osama bin Laden planning terrorist attacks against Americans here or in foreign countries but have no legal proof that he personally carried them out, there’s no need to attempt to capture him alive, extradite him back to a federal or military courtroom, prove the charges, and then imprison or execute him.  Nope, the President, acting upon the advice of his security and military advisers can simply order “Take him out”, and one drone bomb later, al-Awlaki is history.

Now, I’m in no way arguing for leniency for avowed terrorist enemies of the United States. If I had lost friends and/or family in the 9/11 attack, or at Fort Hood or aboard an airplane, I’d take a 9mm Glock to the suspected terrorist mastermind who’s an American citizen and first kneecap him and then work my way up.  But that’s me, I’m not the United States government sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.

This isn’t the first hole the Obama administration has poked in the Constitution. The USA PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006—which was extended by Congress and Obama, NDAA for 2012, the Espionage Act of 1917 all precede this legal opinion rendered by Holder.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already decided that the police can break down the door to your home to arrest you—based on hearsay or what they might think they overhear outside your home-without a warrant. Even if they have a warrant but that warrant is written incorrectly, as long as the police in their professional opinion think you should have been arrested, that’s just dandy with Chief Justice John Roberts and the gang. So our domestic rights under the Constitution have been steadily eroding since 2001. What the Obama administration is now enacting is the erosion of constitutionally-guaranteed rights to any American citizen at any time anywhere in the world for any reason for an indeterminate length of time. You see, you, an American citizen, can be snatched from the streets anywhere and held in some prison without ever being told why you were snatched and imprisoned. Maybe you don’t get tortured or maybe you do but the Commandant has plausible deniability over knowing about it. Maybe you’re sitting in a Pakistani café and your table explodes, or the waiter slips behind and delivers your check behind your left ear. Or you’re camping in the desert and a drone bomber flies overhead and rains bombs on your picnic.

Yes, realistically speaking, almost none of us will ever experience these scenarios. But this erosion of personal and civil rights has been a common tactic in every country where the democratically-elected government was overthrown and the people subjected to tyrannical rule. I don’t believe that President Obama is a tyrannical dictator—but this is the way it starts too often, with the slow erosion of basic rights with the acquiescence of a people kept so frightened by the enemy boogeyman held up to them by their government they’ll agree to anything to feel safe and protected by that same government.

Eric Holder is wrong, and not nearly enough people in the media are saying so. I would have expected this type of specious argument from Republican Alberto Gonzales, the 2nd Attorney General under Republican President George W. Bush. But not an A.G. under the Democratic President Barack Obama. When the Democrats start to resemble the Republicans, it reminds one of the famous Zen koan, “What is the sound of one political party running America?”

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The Hyphenated or Forward Slash American

I dislike African-/American. I dislike Mexican-/American. I also dislike Italian-/American and Chinese-/American.  Discern a pattern here? I assure you it’s non-racist and non-bigoted.

What I dislike is the practice of putting the country of origin before America, emphasizing where one’s family came from before where they are now. It just serves to fragment us into separate ethnic camps.  In my day, we were taught in social studies that America was the great Melting Pot. All the different ingredients poured in, I mean, were poured into the pot where they all blended together into the stew called Americans.

Why is that people who cry “America First!” are so eager to put another country’s name in front of America? That’s what the hyphen or the forward slash does—it separates us from America. I’m all for being proud of one’s ethnic identity and heritage, but when our foreparents came to this shore past the Statute of Liberty, walked onto Ellis Island, and later took the oath of citizenship, they made a pact to swear allegiance to the American flag, not the Greek-/American flag, or the Lebanese-/American flag.  There are two exceptions to the oath takers: blacks who were brought here as slaves and Native Americans. I dislike Native American. I dislike it because it’s inaccurate. Whether they are called Native Americans or Indians they did not originate here, unless America 3000 years or so ago annexed Asia including the foot path across the Bering Strait. There are no indigenous people here. We’re all immigrants, folks! And although American Indian is also inaccurate, it’s a lot closer to “American indigenous” if that’s the point someone is trying to make.

And what about the term Native American? What’s to stop tribes from taking it further and describing themselves as Navajo-/Native American-/American or Seminole-/Native American-/American or Snohomish-/Native American-/American or Cherokee-/Native American-/American? And what about the Sioux? Are they Dakota-/Sioux/Native American-/American or Lakota etc. or Teton etc. or Santee, etc. or Nakota etc. or Yankton etc.? But then you got your Oglala, etc. Lakota Sioux and Mdeakantonwon, etc. Dakota Sioux and both Upper AND Lower Yankton-/Yankton and on and on. It would be the same thing when dealing with Arabic tribes and Palestinians. But I digress.

Let’s take these hyphenated or forward slash labels out to their absurd conclusion. My kids can describe themselves as Russian-/Romanian-/Polish-/Irish-/German-/Native American-/American. What one ethnic group could they possibly belong to?

The Israelis and the Iranians are very aware of their ethnic origins and look how well that’s working out for them.

But we still haven’t reached the limits of absurdity. We’ve yet to arrive at Jewish/- or Christian-/ or Muslim-/ or Presbyterian-/ or Episcopalian-/ or Lutheran-/ or Baptist-/ or Southern Baptist-/ or Mormon-/ or Seventh-Day Adventist-/ or Jehovah’s Witness-/ or Buddhist-/ or Agnostic-/ or Atheist-/ Pantheist-/ or ad infinitum added to the ethnic mix of origin names. Let’s go further: Democratic-/, Republican-/, Green-/, Peace and Freedom-/, Independent-/, and blah blah blah.

And with each additional name, the groups keep getting smaller and smaller until your children are in their own group separate from yours.

So, forgive me if I don’t get into the whole hyphenated or forward slash thing. I refuse to do it for skin color, too. There are no Black or Caucasian or Red or Yellow or Brown Americans to me.

I’ll say it again: the practice of putting the country of origin before America, emphasizing where one’s family came from before where they are now, just serves to fragment us into separate ethnic camps. It puts ME in front of US. And take a look around our country today: it’s US against THEM, them being the powers that be that are intent on helping us build our separate camps.

 

So, I for one will eschew all of these hyphenated or forward slash American labels. Because when the day comes and the space aliens land and interbreed with humans, I don’t want to even begin to think of learning how to spell THOSE names…

 

 

 

 

A Piss Poor Way For The U.S. Marines Brass To Handle The Situation

OK,  I get the p.r. hit to the U.S. with the symbolism of American Marines urinating on dead Afghan fighters. But please explain this: why is it perfectly OK for the military to blow living people to pieces with drone bombers but it’s a court martial offense to piss on a dead person’s corpse? To me, all of this outrage is artificial and self-serving because our only fear is of terrorist retribution because we “pissed” them off..
And before we heap all the blame on those four Marines, let’s examine the situation realistically to see where the blame should lie. Yeah, those four guys didn’t show common sense–especially in allowing themselves to be recorded on video. But who recruited these guys into the Marines in the first place? They had to make it through basic training and testing before they could be anointed Marines and deployed to Afghanistan. There was no indication to their commanding officers that these young men–perhaps kids barely out of their teens–lacked sufficient judgment to be left on their own in a combat zone?  For all the outward bravado displayed by U.S. Marines, they are probably more in fear of dying in combat than their Muslim enemies. Sacrificial death seems to be more ingrained in the Islamic faith than in the Christian one, despite its genesis in a sacrificial death. The act of urinating on the bodies of your enemy is a way for young fear-filled minds to confirm that they are ones still alive.
And lastly, do the Marines or any branch of the military offer mandated educational classes for all recruits that instruct them in the sensibilities and the sensitivities of the Muslim mind? As always, the military will scapegoat these four by court martialing them and ruining their lives all for the sale of one thoughtless act which certainly didn’t hurt or affect the bodies that were pissed on. It’s just another instance of military brass face saving by buck passing. Until they act pre-emptively to head off these thoughtless actions, they will be repeated. After all, kids will be kids.