Archive for December 20th, 2008

Lawyers Take A Stand For, Well, The Law

Lawyers speak out, but is anyone listening?

Inspired by the Pakistan Lawyer Protest against President Pervez Musharraf’s attempt to hold onto power after the 2007 Pakistani election, over 1300 American lawyers and law students signed this request to Rep. Conyers and Sen. Leahy urging them to defend the rule of law and uphold the US Constitution against the egregious abuses of the Bush Administration. The group is known as The American Freedom Campaign.

Abuses include but are not limited to: torture, extraordinary renditions, warrantless wiretapping, jailing without habeas corpus, and the destruction of evidence such as the CIA interrogation videotapes and five million White House e-mails.

Bruce Fein, Mario Cuomo, Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department ethics lawyer, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and AFC’s Steven Fox are among the participating lawyers.

Message to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy from American Lawyers Defending the Constitution

We are lawyers and law students in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken (or will be taking) an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law from those who would violate and subvert them, and to hold wrongdoers accountable.

We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws. Evidence exists that it has illegally spied on Americans, tortured and abused men and women in its direct custody, sent others to be tortured by countries like Syria and Egypt, and kept people in prison indefinitely with no chance to challenge the bases of their detention. Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight of the executive branch.

Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution, federal statutes, and international treaties. We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. Should these hearings demonstrate that laws have in fact been broken by this administration, we support all such legal and congressional actions necessary to ensure the survival of our Constitution and the nation we love.

If you are a lawyer or law student, sign here

Conyers and Leahy have had two years to to work on this, and they haven’t made a whole lot of progress.  I guess it depends on whether the Obama administration can and will brush away BushCo’s stonewalls, or if they urge Congress to let bygones be bygones.

Needless to say, the let’s-not-dwell-on-the-past approach would be a terrible mistake.  These criminals should not be free to trample the laws again, and future criminals should not be encouraged to emulate them.  Come on, guys, let’s show some commitment to the rule of law.  None of this scared-of-your-own-shadow, keep-the-powder-dry, can’t-we-all-just-go-along-to-get-along crap.

2 comments December 20th, 2008 at 09:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Obama,Republicans

Tinfoil Hat Time: Rove’s IT Guy Dies In Small Plane Crash

Still too early to say whether this is really foul play or not, but… holy crap:

I don’t usually reveal sources, but I think this is incredibly important. Michael Connell died in a plane crash last night. He was a key witness in the Ohio election fraud case that I have been reporting on. More importantly, however, he had information that he was ready to share.

You see, Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all “known” Karl Rove accounts.

In addition, I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman. This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.

He has flown his private plane for years without incident. I know he was going to DC last night, but I don’t know why. He apparently ran out of gas, something I find hard to believe. I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully. If you want to understand the context more broadly, I suggest you read this article I did a while back about the break-ins and arson cases that Siegelman and others have experienced.

Just to be very clear and state again, I am not claiming conspiracy theory or direct relation to Karl Rove or the White House in any of these events. What I am saying, however, is that these possible relationships cannot and should not be overlooked by investigators. There are far too many serious and reasonable questions that must be answered for the public.

I have been to Mr. Connell’s home. Mr. Connell has confided that he was being threatened, something that his attorneys also told the judge in the Ohio election fraud case. When I met with Heather, his wife, I did so carefully because of the threats he was getting.

I hope we find out soon one way or the other, via a serious and thorough investigation.  And that Connell had some kind of in-the-event-of-my-untimely-death failsafe in place.

(h/t Lisa Derrick)

2 comments December 20th, 2008 at 03:17pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Rove

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