The Rule of Law

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Coondog
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The Rule of Law

Postby Coondog » 2008 Aug 14 10:55

The Attorney General has decided there will be no prosecution for illegal hiring practices within
the Justice Department.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 2132.story

Mukasey said in a speech to the American Bar Assn. in New York. "But not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."

Tell that to the judge next time you're hauled into traffic court and see where it gets you. But the bigger picture is not the confusion, on a personal basis, over whether one is committing a crime or merely violating the law when engaging in something illegal. The ramifications are that (and you've heard it a hundred times) "We are a Nation of Laws". Now, if the Attorney General of the United States , in order to insulate his compatriots from accountability under the law, can arbitrarily dismiss violations of the law as simply non-criminal, what direction does this indicate the country is going in?

A crime, or just a violation of the Law? How does one know when the line has been crossed? Is there really such a line, or is this another attempt to unravel the foundation of the Rule of Law as a matter of expedience?

"........... not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."

Coondog :banghead:

Sounds to me like a mugging

10thFO

Re: The Rule of Law

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Aug 14 21:34

I get where your coming from but from Wikepedia "Not all breaches of the law, however, are considered crimes, for example, breaches of contract and other civil law offences. The label of "crime" and the accompanying social stigma are normally reserved for those activities that are injurious to the general population or the State, including some that cause serious loss or damage to individuals. The label is intended to assert an hegemony of a dominant population, or to reflect a consensus of condemnation for the identified behavior and to justify a punishment imposed by the State, in the event that an accused person is tried and convicted of a crime.:

Of course this crap is coverd up all the time. Little people like us get the book thrown at us, well in some cases. I've been treated decently. To me, the word crime or criminal, means that one had intent on doing something, there are somethings that can be done that weren't that way that would be considered breaking the law, which is why I don't have a problem with a decision being made on whether it is criminal. If they didn't pursue it, it's because they knew a conviction was unlikely.

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Aug 15 07:52

10thFO wrote:Not all breaches of the law, however, are considered crimes, for example, breaches of contract and other civil law offences. The label of "crime" and the accompanying social stigma are normally reserved for those activities that are injurious to the general population or the State, including some that cause serious loss or damage to individuals. The label is intended to assert an hegemony of a dominant population, or to reflect a consensus of condemnation for the identified behavior and to justify a punishment imposed by the State, in the event that an accused person is tried and convicted of a crime.:

Of course this crap is coverd up all the time. Little people like us get the book thrown at us, well in some cases. I've been treated decently. To me, the word crime or criminal, means that one had intent on doing something, there are somethings that can be done that weren't that way that would be considered breaking the law, which is why I don't have a problem with a decision being made on whether it is criminal. If they didn't pursue it, it's because they knew a conviction was unlikely.

Now, if breaches of contract and other civil offenses are not considered crimes, then how can someone be thrown in jail, have to post bond, and stand trial for said breach? Don't tell me that it can't happen for I have personal experience with this one. In what should have been a civil suit, a business owner was hauled out of his home in the middle of the night in handcuffs and thrown in jail. (oh yeah......arrested and cuffed in front of his 2 year old child).
If that is the treatment rendered for breach of a business contract, then Bush, the DOJ, et al should receive punishment fitting the crime. Should that include handcuffs and jail and bond posting and trial? Absolutely!!! If they don't, then IMHO that is just proof positive that we have officially arrived at a two tiered justice system. On second thought, since they are wealthy enough and all have passports and connections, perhaps they should all be remanded without bail until trial.

:angry4:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 16 11:02

Although interesting anthropologically, the semantic distinction between "crime" and what-ever-else we want to call breaking the law is irrelevant. Laws are just that; if you break them, you must be punished. Otherwise, it is not a law.

It is the role of the court (the judge) to mitigate the punishment if there is some special situation. It is the job of the legislature to enact laws and of the executive branch to administer and enforce them. If either fails in their responsibility, the entire system fails to work.

Fangz may be right: there may just not be enough evidence to prosecute. If there is, and the AG just doesn't think the "crime" justifies prosecution, then we have a serious problem.

The Constitution is about nothing if it is not about the rule of law. The quibbling about whether it is a crime or not is -- to me at least -- irrelevant and sounds exactly like the special pleading we heard during Iran-Contra.

The law is the law. It certainly should be administered with mercy, but that is the role of the courts, nor the prosecutor.

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Coondog
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Coondog » 2008 Aug 16 23:21

Alright, lets cut the cr@ppioka!

No one is arguing that the law was broken, not even the justice department. The point is, the justice department has broken it and the justice department has decided it's no big deal. It's OK! The justice department has the final say and they say go [cheneyism deleted] yourself because there is nothing you can do about it because your only recourse is the justice department and, What...... we can't hear you!.

The GAO says Gonales was oblivious. Well....that's consistant with what we already know!

So, what's left? An admission of malfeasance? Uh huh! Congressional oversight? Good luck! An acknowledgement of executive branch accountability? Not likely! The supreme court......that's the judicial branch. Call someone at Justice! Have them draft a memo!

We are witnessing a civilization in decline! It is being eaten alive from the inside out by a milignant gang of criminals at the highest level of government and no one is willing to stand up and say, "Enough!"

If we can withstand a few more months of of the George Bush adminsitration, we may survive as a society....maybe not. The rot and putrification may have already gone too far. The American people have become so complacent that their concerns lie only within the realm of the next contestant on American Idol. The congress is polarized into two camps.....the republicans: support whatever evil surfaces in the interest of party allegience.....or the democrats: whine and whimper, but do nothing as the ineffectual wimps sucking like leeches at the perviable public teat they are.

For God's sake! We have an election coming up and these tyes of horrific abuses are not even being discussed! So, what are we supposed to do, stock up on duct tape and canned goods? Wait for these narcissistic rat bags to implode from their own greed driven animus?

I give up! I'm not suggesting that some 20 year old air head they stuck in this position take the rap. I'm suggesting that, in the bigger scheme of things, the government has been hijacked by the worst form of ruthless thugs and that their reservations need to be cancelled, effective immediately.

How? I'm open to suggestions!

Coondog :banghead:

Send lawyers, guns & money

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Uji
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 17 13:36

Coondog, I'm afraid there is no solution to this problem.

It doesn't matter how flawless the constitutional framework, if an elected official in any branch of government refuses to abide by the constraints the constitution puts on them, there is nothing that can be done short of impeachment. And if impeachment isn't feasible -- either because they'll be out of office before it can run it's course, or the legislature is just too corrupt or cowardly to act -- then the game's over.

This is how Bush and Cheney have done everything. They just assert that they can. Unless and until the legislature (ha) or the supreme court (ha,ha) acts, we are powerless.

This is why I marvel at how casually folks talk about voting for McCaine -- a guy who's been a lap-dog to Bush and Cheney for the last 8 years.

Game over -- at least until Novemeber. After that . . . Well, I'm not holding my breath. I like Obama -- a lot. But I don't really think he can be elected in this country, today. I hope I'm wrong.

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Wise One
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Wise One » 2008 Sep 03 13:23

Uji wrote:I like Obama -- a lot. But I don't really think he can be elected in this country, today. I hope I'm wrong.

Sadly, I join you, both in your pessimism and in your hope. Even in today's America there still runs a deep and broad stream of racism that may pollute election results.

Primary results, polling data, and my own informal assessment of people I run into, all confirm this view. Paint Barack Obama white, rename him "James Smith", change nothing else and his votes would jump 5-15%. The dynamics of American politics cause most modern elections to be close, so bigotry may very well carry the day.

I'd more forcefully take on those bringing such prejudices to this Forum, but experience shows that one must walk on eggshells around here. Otherwise, participants who recklessly dish out what they cannot take themselves may become offended, whine, pick up their marbles and pout into the sunset. I'd rather have them hang around to spice up the place.

:neutral: Expression of disagreeing opinion is not the same as being disagreeable. :neutral:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

10thFO

Re: The Rule of Law

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Sep 03 14:42

Now hold on Coondog, were you so upset about Clinton pardoning all those "criminals" before he left office? He parodoned more than any other Pres. in history. A whole lot that had some kind of connection to him or his financing.

How nice to paint, GWBush, as the devil and conveniently forget about Slick Willy, and his Arkansas two step.

Uji, seriously enough about McCain being Bush's lapdog. The only thing they have seen eye to eye on is McCain pushing for the surge, which oh by the way is working. McCain is in the center on a lot of stuff, and works with both sides of the aisle, problem is, Democrats realize that, and they don't truly want to unite America, so they are just as divisive when it comes to McCain, as are the right wingers. Nobody want's the easy route of today taken off the table, when politicians might actually have to work together and come up with compromises for the better of the country.

Wise One, nothing funnier than a Democrat spouting off about race, when Dems are all over, Gov. Palin, with anything they can find, because they know, they have been defeated. The only woman they put up was Feraldo, and she was no woman. Palin gets nominated, and the Dems are on a witch hunt, because they know she is good, and will undercut, there bid for the 3 levels of power. The most important being the judicial branch.
As for that? Keep up the whining guys, keep talking about Racism and how Obama won't win VA because of racism, funny racist comments cost a Virginian his bid in the last election. Now we're supposed to believe that those same standards won't be applied here in the Commonwealth? Please, just because we can all type on the internet doesn't make us any wiser than one who doesn't. At least as long as they cast their vote it doesn't, all men created equal, oops, that means women too.

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notwaldo
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby notwaldo » 2008 Sep 03 15:03

If Obama had a teenage daughter who was knocked up by someone who describes himself as "a f**ing hood," I am sure that the Republicans and Fox News would jump to her defense, and praise Obama for his family values and say, aw shucks, every family's got problems.
And I'm sure Ms Palin's preacher will come under the same scrutiny that the Rev. Wright saw.
When racism combines with double-standards, we have...well, we have what we have.

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Coondog
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Coondog » 2008 Sep 03 15:47

Yes! Clinton pardoned his cronies. Bush let Libby off easy. He won't have to pardon the rest because they all have executive privelege and may flaunt the law at their leisure. Doesn't make it ethically or morally palatable on either count.
However, both were exercizing the perrogatives with which they were legally endowed for some inane reason. The key word here is "Legally".

Clinton underwent excessive scrutiny throughout his entire presidency. Everyone in his administration was grilled ceaselessly. In the end, the most vigillent and relentless special prosecutor in history came up with a stain on a dress. There is no oversight with Bush. He allows no one to testify about anything except those ditzy blond devotees he sends in to take the rap....or skate free, as it were because "every violation of the law is not a crime".

This blatent subversion of justice (by the Justice Dept.) will end in a few months.......or continue under a McCain/Preditor Barbie ticket for another 4 years....or maybe forever.

No one but me cares right now about that stuff,anyway, cause all eyes are on the bulging dockers of the kid who got Palin's daughter in a family way. All ears are tuned to the 4 day hate fest (less one day for pandering) where Bush is blaming congress for our dependence on foreign oil (as if the democrats had been running it for the past 8 years) and McCain is bashing congress (as if he hadn't been in it for the past 26). And that fool Thompson is bashing the inside the beltway crowd from....inside the beltway. They condemn everything they are.....and pretend they're not. And....they can say that jibberish with no one noticing because most of the american idol generation is too busy fawning over the family life and 'stellar' credentials of a book burning, nut cracking religious fanatic with boosoms.

I'd love to continue this rant, but I want to get to the ABC store. I'm gonna take a shot of Bourbon every time Rudi or one of the other fear mongers mentions 9-11 and I need to stock up big time.

Coondog :craz:

They may think they own the flag, the troops, the twin towers, religion, patriotism in general and all the other bits of americanna they hide behind, but I'll drink em' under the table. What's more American than that?

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Wise One
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Wise One » 2008 Sep 03 15:57

10thFO wrote:.. were you so upset about Clinton pardoning all those "criminals" before he left office? He parodoned more than any other Pres. in history.

As is so often the case with ideologues, the facts do not seem to matter ... only belief matters, even if it is manifestly false. Who needs facts based on reality when one can make up or repeat fairy tales?

This is the actual historical tally of presidental pardons, clemencies, respites and remissions. Clinton's total was exceeded, in reverse time order, by all these presidents: Carter, Nixon, L. Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, FD Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Wilson, Taft, T Roosevelt ...

Yes, I was upset by a few of Clinton's pardons, but they were legal and constitutional. He was impeached over a trivial matter for political purpose, while G.W. Bush has committed many documented severe violations of law and breaches of the Constitution. And yet, he is slithering away Scott-free.

:wink: Lady Justice, with your naked breast, where are you when we need you? More than a hottie from Alaska who only proves there is global warming! :wink:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Sep 17 09:33

Glenn Greenwald, in Salon, wrote:UPDATE: Long-time former GOP Congressman Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma testified before a Senate hearing today on the rule of law and said this:

There are a great many salient questions facing the American people and those of you who are charged with the responsibility of enacting the nation's laws: access to affordable health care; repair of an aging infrastructure; reducing energy dependence; ensuring the national security. But not one of those issues – and not all of them combined – is as important now or for the future as securing our position as a nation governed by the rule of law. . . .

Let me be both candid and clear: the current greatest threat to our system of separated powers and the protections it affords stems not just from executive overreaching but equally from the Congress. America's founders envisioned a system in which each of the branches of government would guard its prerogatives and meet its obligations, each acting to serve the nation through the empowerment the Constitution grants and to protect our liberties through the constraints the Constitution imposes.

For most of the past eight years, and for many years before that, the Congress has failed to lived up to its assigned role as the principal representative of the people. . . .

Here is the challenge, stated as candidly as I can state it. Each year the presidency grows farther beyond the bounds the Constitution permits; each year the Congress fades farther into irrelevance. As it does, the voice of the people is silenced. This cannot be permitted to stand. The Congress is not without power. It can refuse to confirm people the President suggests for important offices; it can refuse to provide money for the carrying out of Executive Branch activities; it can use its subpoena power and its power to hold hearings and above all, it can use its power to write the laws of the country. . . .

Do not let it be said that what the Founders created, you have destroyed. Do not let it be said that on your watch, the Constitution of the United States became not the law of the land but a suggestion. You are not a parliament; you are a Congress -- separate, independent, and equal. And because of that you are the principal means by which the people maintain control of their government. Defend that right, and that obligation, or you lose all purpose in holding these high offices. That is how you preserve and defend the rule of law in the United States.

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Wise One » 2008 Sep 17 12:38

Perfectly said - the heart of our problem. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Sep 20 08:08

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/ ... index.html


"Meet the new boss......same as the old boss................"

Oh brother!

:hmm:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Amy Probenski
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Bump !

Postby Amy Probenski » 2008 Nov 10 10:46

It's nice to feel nice again ... America can now emerge from a very dark place.

Image

The O-team has indicated that Obama may revoke approximately 200 Executive Orders signed by G.W.Bush. There are very few things a president can do on his own, but an Executive Order (so long as it is consistent with Law) is one of them ... for good or evil, as we have seen.

I so hope that he'll close Guantanamo as a prison on his first day in office!

:usa2:

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Nov 19 08:13

Obsidian Wings writes:
The Rule Of Law
by hilzoy

From the AP:

"Barack Obama's incoming administration is unlikely to bring criminal charges against government officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the George W. Bush presidency. Obama, who has criticized the use of torture, is being urged by some constitutional scholars and human rights groups to investigate possible war crimes by the Bush administration.

Two Obama advisers said there's little — if any — chance that the incoming president's Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage.

The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are still tentative. A spokesman for Obama's transition team did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Additionally, the question of whether to prosecute may never become an issue if Bush issues pre-emptive pardons to protect those involved."

This is a big mistake. It is enormously important that we establish the principle that members of the government cannot break the law with impunity, and we cannot do that without being willing to prosecute them when, as in this case, there is overwhelming evidence that they violated the law. This is especially true of the most senior members of government, like the Vice President.

That said, I can easily see why Obama might not want to do this. The problem isn't just that it would be bad for him to be seen as carrying out a partisan witch hunt; it would also be bad for the law, and for these prosecutions, if they were seen as a partisan witch hunt.

Luckily, there's a fairly obvious solution to this problem. Obama should appoint a special prosecutor. (If current laws do not allow for this, they should be changed.) This prosecutor should be someone with an unimpeachable reputation for wisdom, rectitude, and non-partisanship. (Think Archibald Cox.) He or she should be given complete independence, and should decide, without any interference from anyone in government, whether or not to bring charges. That would allow charges to be brought if they are merited, while minimizing the chances that they would be seen as partisan.

Altogether too many people believe that the laws do not apply to people in power. This is always a dangerous thing for people to think in a democracy; it is especially dangerous since some of the people who believe this are in power now, and others might attain power in the future. It is very, very important that this belief be wrong. And whether or not it is wrong depends on President-elect Obama. I hope he chooses wisely.

Posted by hilzoy at 11:28 PM in Law


:hmm:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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fangz1956
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Dec 14 13:26

Bill Moyers interviews Glenn Greenwald:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12122008/watch.html

:thumbup:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Wise One » 2008 Dec 14 13:40

I watched the interview in rapt fascination. Glenn Greenwald has it exactly right.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Re: The Rule of Law

Postby Wise One » 2009 Jan 22 13:17

We can all be thankful that postings here about the inimitable George W. Bush and his gang will be tapering off and going away, at least until all the well-earned criminal trials begin.

To be fair to "W", he is not solely responsible for his monumentally corrupt, incompetent, immoral and damaging administration.

He had a lot of help, as listed in this rogues' gallery.

One hopes that America will return to the rule of law, with lawbreakers held to account, irrespective of former power and influence.

Here's a commendable model, a kind of preview of coming attractions:

Image
The Nuremburg Trials

:crab:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

resigned

Re: The Rule of Law

Postby resigned » 2009 Jan 22 13:28

We don't have to worry about the so-called crimes of the Bush administration, because we will be so busy getting adjusted to living in a socialist society. I have been reading Obama’s agenda and there is no way he can do all he has promised. Being as Gitmo is going to be closed how many liberal are willing to have these “people” (I use that term loosely) living near them? Not many. Where will they go? I read recently that a number of those let out of Gitmo ended up joining more terrorists groups. Some fun.