Systematic Deception at High Levels of Government, With Devastating Consequences

There’s an organization called the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) that reportedly published a paper in 2007 that instructed Muslim jurists to “do everything within their power to make the Islamic Shari’a supreme, even if that means engaging in deception in certain cases.”

I don’t know how influential AMJA is among Muslim jurists; hopefully not much. In any case it’s an outrage that it’s encouraging legal professionals to engage in deception in order to implement its agenda.

But you know what? Legal professionals in the Justice Department got caught red handed in what appears to be a clear case of engaging in deception. It wasn’t with the purpose of making Sharia law supreme, but it had the effect of making Obamacare law supreme.

In their attempt to convict Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (who later died in a plane crash) for alleged monetary improprieties – a conviction that was later overturned – at the trial the DoJ prosecutors allegedly withheld key evidence that would have exonerated Sen. Stevens, according to a report. Not only that, but they “selectively quoted the foreman to make it appear as if he had said the opposite, and they used his comments to falsely attack Stevens.” In other words they deceived and misled in order to convict him. That doesn’t reflect well on their character or integrity.

It has all the markings of how things get done in corrupt governments of third world countries. And this wasn’t some little private law firm in Podunk, Kentucky doing this. It was the United States Justice Department.

A report ordered by Judge Emmet Sullivan found that the attorneys engaged in “systematic concealment” of “significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens’s defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the names of the DoJ attorneys in question are Matthew Friedrich, Rita Glavin, Brenda Morris, Joseph Bottini, James Goeke and Edward Sullivan. To be sure, some of them could deserve less blame, if any, than others; e.g. it’s possible that factors such as incompetence or naïveté rather than willful misconduct played a role, for some of them. Sullivan appears to have been the victim of management problems. And he, Goeke and Bottini reportedly urged disclosure of material that would have helped the defense, only to be rebuffed by Friedrich and Glavin. Still, the report concluded that Goeke and Bottini  deliberately withheld the information. Confusing, eh? (Update, March 23. In today’s WSJ a letter to the editor written by a partner of Matthew Friedrich states that “Mr. Friedrich was not among those under investigation and is not accused of any ethical improprieties in the report’s findings,” and that Mr. Friedrich is “a lawyer of the highest integrity.” But that adds to the confusion, because Friedrich appears to be one of those who rebuffed other attorneys’ request to disclose the key information. Still, If more information is forthcoming on Friedrich or any of the other attorneys, it will be duly noted.)

Despite the legal hot water they found themselves in, one wonders if they took solace in a certain event that took place a year and a half after the Stevens conviction. That was when Obamacare got passed, with all the devastation it’s wreaking on our healthcare system. You see, DoJ’s conviction of Sen. Stevens came just a couple of weeks before the 2008 election. That caused him to lose the election to Mark Begich, an Obamacare supporter. Sen. Begich provided the 60th vote to pass it.

The ends justify the means, perhaps some of them were thinking. Which is what the folks at the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America are probably thinking as well.

Medieval Middle East Thinking Gets Applied to U.S. Law

I just read one of the most unbelievably alarming things that I’ve read in a long time. A U.S. judge let off the hook someone who assaulted an athiest for mocking Mohammed, because “in many Arabic-speaking countries something like this (mocking Mohammed) is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.”

When I first cursorily read it I thought it was the assaulter saying that, and I was ready to tell him, “Dude, you’re not in the Middle East anymore, where they do those things. You’re living in America now. Let me tell you a thing or two about how things work here. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make our country so great. If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else.”

But then I read it again. I had to do a double take, and catch my breath, when I saw that it was the American judge who said that!

Yes, Mechanicsburg, Penn. District Judge Mark Martin said that. I’m still reeling over it.

So Judge Martin, let me tell you a thing or two about how things work in America. This isn’t the Middle East, where they do those things and where the standard of living and quality of life are substantially lower than here, largely because they do those things. You’re living in America now. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make ours such a great country. If you don’t like it, then move to another country. Or at least resign from your judgeship.

Let us hope that there are not more people of authority out there who think along the same lines as Judge Martin. If there are more and more like him, then say goodbye to America as we know it.

When Will They Investigate the Prosecutor?

What if, in a criminal investigation, the authorities find out who the culprit is, yet cover up that fact and spend an additional two years investigating innocent people – ostensibly in order to find out who the culprit is?

Once he finds out who did the wrongdoing, the prosecutor would stop his investigation, announce the findings, and have the wrongdoer punished. The investigation should stop.

Yet some years ago there was a prosecutor who continued his supposed investigation for two years, targeting people he allegedly knew to be innocent of the original wrongdoing.

And he didn’t even have the original culprit punished.

It was one of the grossest abuses of power in American history. Worse still, the prosecutor who carried out such antics never even was punished himself. No one ever prosecuted him.

The prosecutor in question was Patrick Fitzgerald. The case was the exposure of CIA undercover officer Valerie Plame to the press.

The consensus is that Fitzgerald knew all along who leaked her name to the press – State Department official Richard Armitage. Yet unbelievably, he continued with his two-year investigation of the Bush administration, an investigation set up to determine who leaked her name to the press.

According to his Wikipedia page, Fitzgerald has never addressed these allegations.

Where’s the outrage – especially among those in our criminal justice establishment? Shouldn’t they have conducted a special investigation of Patrick Fitzgerald for this apparent cover-up and gross abuse of power?

Yes, our system of justice has its flaws. Chipping away at trust in that system is a terrible thing indeed. Or, perhaps I’m missing something here. Perhaps Mr. Fitzgerald can offer an explanation as to why he did what he did. Or perhaps some legal scholar has offered up a good explanation somewhere. If you, reader, are aware of one, please contact me and I’ll set the record straight in no time.

But until that explanation comes, less trust and more skepticism in our criminal justice system will carry the day.

 

Criminalizing Scientists for Inexact Earthquake Predictions

I thought litigation was out of control in America. In Italy, seems it’s even worse. They’re putting scientists on trial for failing to predict an earthquake.

Do you realize how hard it is to predict an earthquake? It’s impossible to predict exactly when “the big one” will it.

This will have a chilling effect on Italian scientists. Many of them won’t want to get into the business of predicting earthquakes. Those who do may overcompensate and over-predict them, leading to widespread evacuations, then turn out to be wrong. That could open them up to litigation for causing needless evacuations, and also bring on a boy-who-called-wolf effect, where a number of false alarms are sounded, then people don’t evacuate when the big one does happen.

Let’s hope they don’t start doing the same thing to scientists here.

Exposing the Dark side, and Then Joining It

 

I want to highlight an outrage of the week. Or maybe of the month. Possibly the year.

Say a person, in his idealistic youth, brought to the world’s attention, and roundly condemned, an an unethical activity. Legalized corruption. In the course of digging up and exposing the immorality, he became intimately familiar with all the details of it. Maybe even in the far back of his mind he was thinking, “Man, if I weren’t so ethical – and exposing this bad stuff to the world – I could make a killing doing this.”

Fast forward a few years. He decided to drop his moral scruples, join forces with the dark side, and go forward with making a killing off of it.

True story. His name is Bill Lerach, of the law firm Milberg Weiss. Here’s an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:

“In 1972, a young lawyer co-authored an article for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. He targeted class-action securities lawsuits, calling them ‘procedural monstrosities.’ They were legal extortion, he said, in which plaintiffs simply use ‘allegations as a bargaining weapon to be disposed of when an appropriate premium has been extracted from the defendant.’

The lawyer-author was none other than Bill Lerach, who would quickly get over his moral scruples and turn those ‘monstrosities’ into one of the most lucrative businesses in the country….pioneering an assembly-line model of ‘strike’ lawsuits against corporate America.”

Lerach got so greedy during his legal extortion that he started engaging in illegal corruption in order to underpin his legal corruption. He paid kickbacks to a plaintiff – a phony plaintiff named Seymour Lazar who was involved in in more than 70 of Lerach’s lawsuits.

Now Lerach is in jail.

That, along with several other cases of law firms engaging in illegal corruption, was a huge scandal. Probably the biggest scandal you never heard of, unless you read the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Almost all of the other media ignored it. That’s because the latter only report on corporate corruption scandals like Enron. They don’t report on corruption scandals involving their ideological soul mates, i.e. the trial lawyers.

Sometimes you may be able to eke out of them some reporting involving labor union corruption scandals, but that’s very rare, and if it happens, it’s usually buried on the inside pages as a “small news” item.