Thursday, December 20, 2007

Constitutional Crises, Anyone? The DOJ More Interested In Defending Criminal Conduct Of The Bush Adm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007. The House Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing to look into the Justice Department’s handling of allegations of crime involving contractors in Iraq. It started with the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, and we quickly learned that this was just one of a substantial number of cases involving rape and sexual assault. The Justice Department is invited to send a witness to explain its policies and inaction. At the last minute, the Justice Department’s congressional liaison sends a poorly informed letter claiming that the cases the committee will investigate are “under investigation” though, as we learn, the Department of Justice’s “investigation” got launched just about the time the Department learned that Congress was going to take a look. The Justice Department said it would be improper for the Justice Department to respond. Mind you, the Committee’s request was not for the Department to talk about any particular case, but about how it dealt in concept with contractor crimes.

But as became clear from the evidence presented at the hearing, the Department doesn’t deal with crimes involving contractors. It has a policy of official indifference to them. So here we see a clear-cut case where the Justice Department has a law enforcement mandate to deal with serious violent crimes such as murder, assault and rape, and chooses to do nothing. A question of resource allocation, evidently. You see, for the Bush Administration, murder, assault and rape are not as important as other things.

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey was busy addressing the American Bar Association’s National Security Law Breakfast. He was making an impassioned appeal to the lawyers assembled in that room, quite a few of whom work for him, and most of whom work for President Bush, for acceptance of the Bush Administration’s FISA proposals. And what caused Mukasey to venture out before this hostile audience? He made a pitch for the benefit of the telecommunications industry. To be very specific, he urgently pushed for immunity for telecommunications companies who violated the criminal law by collaborating with the Bush Administration in warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and residences. So for Mukasey the priorities were clear: protecting telecommunications companies who commit crimes is the core function of the Attorney General, requiring his personal attention. Not enforcing the law to protect contractors who are the subject of rape, assault and false imprisonment.

So let’s get this right. The Department of Justice has no available resources to deal with contractor crimes. It doesn’t even have a warm body to send before a Congressional probe of the matter to state its position. But it is deploying all its available assets to justify criminal conduct, to secure immunity for persons who unapologetically broke the law based on the criminal solicitations of government officers, to cover up official criminality related to the torture and abuse of persons under detention, and to obstruct Congressional investigations into other potentially criminal acts in which it was involved. A person observing this from some detached point in space might well conclude that the function of the Department of Justice under President Bush is not to enforce the law. It is to commit and promote criminal conduct. At this point, it’s clear that breaking the law is the Justice Department’s number one, two and three priority. And law enforcement? That’s disappeared from the scene.

We are seeing the destruction of the rule of law for political purposes under the Bush Administration. The rule of men is diametrically opposed the what this country was founded on and we are letting this happen. It is a travesty that cannot continue if we are to call ourselves a democracy.

Write your Senator and Representative.

Don't let this continue.

via Harpers

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