Saturday, February 04, 2006

What rule of law?


As we know, the Bush Administration is out to do away with the quaint notion that we live under a government of laws, not men. Just so it doesn't go by unmarked, let's look at a current instance. The WaPo reports that the U.S. military arrested a U.S. citizen in Baghdad in October, 2004 and has held him without charge ever since. Shawqi Omar, whose parents live in North Carolina, talked on the phone repeatedly with his wife who is in Jordon.

He has not been charged with any crime. When U.S. based lawyers filed papers arguing that Omar should either be charged or released,

Ned White of the Justice Department sent an e-mail to [Susan] Burke, Omar's [U.S.-based] attorney. "Mr. Omar is currently in the custody of Multinational Force-Iraq and a determination was previously made to refer his case to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq," White wrote. "Please be advised that, whenever scheduled, we would not be able to disclose to you the date of any hearing for security reasons."

Burke asserted in court papers filed this week that the government's actions were intended to subvert Omar's rights and that they placed him -- as a Sunni Muslim in a Shiite-dominated security apparatus -- in clear danger.

"The government's attempt at a middle-of-the-night transfer," the defense wrote, "to a foreign government that the United States has publicly stated engages in torture in an effort to avoid judicial review is conduct that shocks the conscience."

A federal judge ordered the government to argue a rationale for its actions on this coming Tuesday. We'll see if they just spirit Omar away in the night. (For what it is worth, this Shawqi Omar has the same name as an individual tied to Zarqawi in a Jordanian court indictment, but presumably someone who moved to the U.S. twenty five years ago, only returning to Iraq after the war, is not the same guy -- and if he were, we'd have given him to the Jordanians by now.)

UPDATE, 2/7/06: Newsweek reported today that the Shawqi Omar held in Baghdad is the same one wanted in Jordan. He is charged by U.S. authorities with connections to the Zarqawi network. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen who served in the National Guard in the 1980s. His family denies he is a terrorist; his attorneys are asking that he be charged and tried if the government has evidence against him.

Also on the rule of law front, Christopher Allbritton is back in Baghdad and reporting on his observations as a pool reporter at the Saddam Hussein trial. He is surprisingly impassioned in stating his opinion:

It’s not right to say the trial is fair; it’s not transparent and the tribunal’s legality is murky, considering the illegal origins of the war that brought the current government to power. ...

[I]n terms of setting up a tribunal and establishing a legal precedent for trying heads of state for alleged war crimes, the legality of the war is very much an issue. Precedent matters in the realm of law, and the institutional structures built by an occupation and its progeny had better be well-constructed indeed.

However, and this is a big “however,”: Saddam absolutely must be tried. He must be tried, judged and sentenced. He was — and likely still is — a horrible man, responsible for the deaths of thousands. If he committed the acts he’s accused of, he deserves the punishment meted out, and whether he was America’s bestest buddy in the region during the 1980s is beside the point.... Which is why he must be tried in an international tribunal.

Go read all of Allbritton's views and the responses.

3 comments:

TBLJ said...

Interesting story. Everyday I am more and more amazed at what our government can get away with.

Anonymous said...

IT SHOULD SAY CAMP FUCKYA

IamBorder_Rat said...

The attached e-mail was sent to the FBI seeking investigation of Immigration Judges violating federal law by smuggling booze into a federal prison.

The Bush administration instead of prosecuting violations of federal laws by Immigration Judges instead termed calls made to report this criminal activity, as required by 28 USC 535(b), and calls to request information regarding when and where I was to testify as a witness against the agency in Dept. of Justice docket number B-00-2377 as being made for the purpose of harassment. Those calls also were made to report illegal attempts at witness tampering made by management personnel.

I was not allowed to cross examine the recipients of those calls. The agency, out of fear of what the recipients of those calls would testify to, did not even call the recipients of those calls to testify against me. Instead relying on an inaccurate transcript of calls.

The agency swore under oath that they shopped around for a transcriptionist until they found one that would write what the agency wanted written in those transcripts (Hearing Tape).

The same agency (Executive Office for Immigration Review) that refused to take actions against Immigration Judges for bringing booze into a prison, alleged I was intoxicated when I made those calls. I was not. Judges brought booze to work, not me.

I was not the one that had to bring booze to work with me. Kind of makes me wonder if the judges were sober on the bench. You have to worry about anyone who finds it necessary to bring booze to work.

The inaccurate transcript of calls reveals that there was an incident in which I called the agency with concerns that the Judges may have been intoxicated. That call, which is referenced in the inaccurate transcipt of calls, shows that the Judges were playing like they were in the Army one day and running around the office yelling, "Prepare to robe, Robe" Are these actions of sober people.

Perhaps the reason there has not been an investigation is because of the volume of cases that would have to be re-opened if it was revealed that the Judges were drunk when those decisions were rendered.

A Judge being intoxicated could be grounds for appeal of that Judge's decision.

However, based on the Bush administrations refusal to investigate we will never know whether th outcomes of cases depended on whether or not the Judges had cocktails before enterining the court.

I guess it is a good thing they were not deciding death penalty cases, only cases regarding whether an asylum applicant might be tortured or killed if returned back to his home country. Perhaps sobriety is not a requirement to make those life altering decisions.

The agency alleged intoxication when I made those calls yet I never brought a bottle to work or left early to make it to happy hour at a bar. The judges always left work an hour before quitting time and as shown previously brought their bottles to work.

These are pillars of the community who are supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Perhaps impropriety appears different when viewed through the bottom of a glass. I do know I never had to bring a bottle to work with me. I never violated federal law by bringing booze onto the grounds of a Federal Prison.

Federal law is quite clear, it is a Federal Crime to bring booze upon the grounds of a facility that houses federal prisoners.



>Subject: Follow up to message re: wiretapping and security ( sent to FBI and Media)
>Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 08:55:00 -0600
>
>ADDITION TO PRIOR MESSAGE (BELOW):
>
>Perhaps the media outlets I sent a copy of this message to should
>ask the Federal Government, to include the FBI, how the citizens of
>this country can have confidence that the Government can keep them
>secure from the treat of terrorism. THE GOVERNMENT CAN NOT EVEN
>SECURE ONE OF THEIR OWN FEDERAL PRISONS. MAYBE THE GOVERNMNET
>SHOULD SECURE FEDERAL PRISONS BEFORE WORRYING ABOUT LISTENING IN ON
>PHONE CALLS AND TELLING US THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SECURITY. The
>FBI has yet to respond to the first letter I sent to them over two
>years ago.
>
>YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE FBI COULD RESPOND TO A LETTER WITHIN TWO
>YEARS. PERHAPS THE PHOENIX OFFICE DOESN'T THINK NATIONAL SECURITY
>IS A NATIONAL CONCERN.
>
> ---ORIGINAL
>MESSAGE---
>
>REQUEST FOR FBI TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE IMMIGRATION JUDGES FOR
>BRINGING BOOZE INTO A FEDERAL PRISON, FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS AND
>WITNESS INTIMIDATION
>
>
>THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN SENT TO THE FOLLOWING NEWS ORGANIZATIONS AND
>POLITICAL OFFICES:
>
> The White House
> The Vice President
> FBI Phoenix
> FBI Washington
> NBC Nightly News
> CBS Evening News
> Fox News
>
>PERHAPS SOMEONE ON THE ABOVE LIST WILL COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT
>IMMIGRATION JUDGES SHOULD BE PROSECUTED FOR ILLEGAL ACTIVITY AND
>THAT CALLS TO REPORT ILLEGAL ACTIVITITY SHOULD NOT BE TERMED AS
>HARASSMENT AND USED TO FIRE A WHISTLEBLOWER ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES
>BUT FORWARDED TO THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL AS REQUIRED BY
>FEDERAL LAW.
>
>
>IMMIGRATION JUDGES ESCAPE FEDERAL PROSECUTION FOR BRINGING
>CONTRABAND AS DEFINED BY 28 CFR 511.11(c) INTO A FACILITY THAT
>HOUSES FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS INMATES AND DEPT. OF HOMELAND
>SECURITY DETAINEES.
>
>IS THIS PRESIDENT BUSH'S IDEA OF FIGHTING TERRORISM BY BRINGING
>BOOZE INTO A FACILITY THAT HOUSES SUSPECTED TERRORISTS, WHERE IS
>THE CONCERN FOR SECURITY?
>
>This is to notify you that the Executive Office for Immigration
>Review (Director Kevin Rooney in particular) turned a blind eye to
>Immigration Judges smuggling booze into a facility that houses both
>Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates and Dept. of Homeland Security
>detainees.
>
>28 CFR 511.12(a) states, "...it is a Federal crime to bring upon the
>institution grounds any...intoxicants...."
>
>However, the court of appeals for the federal circuit, even though
>provided with a copy of the Dept. of Justice Schedule of
>Disciplinary Offenses which lists possession of intoxicants as an
>offense decided the MSPB judge did not error in determining that I
>could not have reasonably believed that things listed as offenses
>are actually offenses (Schoenrogge v. Justice, 05-3135) which is one
>of the reasons I am in the process of filing before the Supreme
>Court.
>
>Immigration Judges Sean H. Keenan, Thomas M. O'Leary and John Davis
>violated federal law and brought booze into a facility, located in
>Eloy, Arizona that houses both BOP inmates and DHS detainees.
>
>They were not disciplined in anyway.
>
>The whistleblower however had his signature forged on a promise to
>appear that was used as grounds for his removal (MSPB Docket no.
>DE-0752-03-0465-I-1 statement of facts and issues exhibits D to G).
>Check that signature against the hundreds of certificates of service
>I signed while working for the Immigration Court, it is a clear
>forgery.
>
>The same whistleblower had his calls to agency counsels Brooke
>Grandle and Charles Smith in which he reported acts of reprisal,
>falsification of computer records, wrongdoing and witness
>intimidation termed as inappropriate conduct and used as one of the
>basis for his removal.
>
>The allegation of witness intimidation involved my being called to
>testify on behalf of Elizabeth Sanchez in the discrimination matter
>she had filed against the agency (Dept. of Justice docket no.
>B-00-2377) and the Supervisory Legal Assistant's (Shirley Coolbaugh)
>attempts to influence my testimony in that matter.
>
>A review of the transcripts of calls will reveal that the acts of
>Ms. Coolbaugh and the failure of the counsel representing the agency
>(Charles Smith) to stop the acts of witness intimidation resulted in
>my contacting Mr. Smith and volunteering to submit evidence against
>the person who had called me as a witness (Ms. Sanchez). In my
>filing with the Supreme Court I will be alleging that this violated
>the due process rights of Ms. Sanchez.
>
>It gets even better. Chief Immigration Judge Creppy in his decision
>to remove me from federal service invented a prior finding of guilty
>to misconduct involving alcohol. I have never been charged with any
>alcohol related offenses and Mr. Creppy knows this based on a
>document he signed (statement of facts and issues exhibit N).
>
>The alleged prior misconduct in question was my off duty contacting
>of medical personnel that Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Robert
>Owens termed as disruptive in an attempt to fire me in December 1997
>because I had filed complaints against him and others. Judge Creppy
>(based on the brief and exhibits in that matter prepared on my
>behalf by Immigration Judge Jack Staton (statement of facts and
>issues exhibits A1-A133)) signed a document (exhibit N) stating no
>decision would be made and that the matter was moot.
>
>Mr. Creppy it would appear is less than honest. Since he knowingly
>made false statements in court documents one could say he comitted
>perjury. Of course it is begining to appear that dishonesty is a
>requirement to become an Immigration Judge. Which is sad, because
>there are good and decent Judges out there that I have worked with.
>
>As screwed up as the Executive Office for Immigration Review has
>become under Director Rooney do you think any action will ever be
>taken against these Judges for bringing booze into a federal prison
>in violation of federal law, or against Mr. Creppy for knowingly
>making false statements?
>

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