Monday, March 13, 2006

The arrogance is astounding.

Unfortunately, having watched the Bush administration operate as they wish for five years now, the revelation today that a lawyer working for the prosecution had coached witnesses in what to say during the Moussaoui death penalty hearing is hardly surprising.

"In all the years I've been on the bench, I've never seen such an egregious violation of the court's rule on witnesses," U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema declared angrily.

Brinkema, visibly upset, said she had decided to put the trial on hold until at least Wednesday because she needed more time to decide whether to dismiss the case.

The surprise development could derail the government's effort to put Moussaoui to death as the only person convicted in the United States in connection with the hijacked airliner attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

"This court is faced with a very serious taint of a key portion of this case," Brinkema said. "It is very difficult for this case to go forward."


Now, whether it leads to the dismissal of the case or not, remains to be seen. And it won't set Moussaoui free, as he will receive an automatic sentence of life in prison even if the case is dismissed. However, what it shows is the utter disregard for the law that we have seen time and again from this administration.

We saw it at Abu Graib. We've seen it when a terror suspect was kidnapped off the street in Milan, in a Democracy with which we have friendly relations and flown to Egypt, for interrogation. We've seen it with other so-called 'renditions' (whether justified or not). We've seen it with the wiretapping episode. We've seen it with the Padilla case. We've seen it with political fundraising. We've seen it with the Plame leak. This administration is willing to either ignore or rewrite the law as they see fit and then gamble that the court will uphold it.

But then, last year, it was reported by Capitol Hill Blue that the President called the U.S. Constitution "just a goddamned piece of paper" during a staff meeting on the Patriot Act.

Is anyone surprised about today's revelation? It's no longer unusual, for this White House, it's par for the course.

cross posted at The Divided States of Bushmerika

6 comments:

Karen said...

Talk about {eViL eMpIrE}.

jenny said...

well done, as always!

Mark said...

Eli:
The story you referenced in the Capital Hill Blue was quite telling. It referenced only heresay and nothing was proven. The reason mainline news media don't report stories like this one is because it can't be authenticated.

Also, the author of the story obviously has grudge enough to use foul language in his story. I always do not give any credence to authors of stories that cannot control their urge to swear. Only people without brains have to swear. The last person I allowed to swear at me was my high school football coach and I have never put up with it again.

The Capital Hill Blue has common swear words on its home page. I wouldn't trust them for the time of day. Call me prudish if you want, but I never see that kind of language on conservative sites that I visit.

Eli Blake said...

Mark:

Keep in mind before you assume that Capitol Hill Blue is a 'Liberal' site, that they were the ones first reported on Kathleen Willie.

It's true that it is unsubstantiated elsewhere, which is why I made the point of naming the publisher in the post.

Mark said...

That is my point Eli. This is how rumors create reality. Someone reports what they heard someone else say about something someone else said. My mom was a John Bircher and I could see how they were overreacting to heresay without substantiation back in the 1970's. I am telling you that right now the Democrats are so paranoid with conspiracy theories about the Bush administration that any evil heard is considered fact until proven otherwise. It was the same way with the John Birchers against everyone else.

Eli Blake said...

Mark,

If you leave it as a rumor that is true. Therefore, name the source and it will sink or swim with the source.

That particular quote was tangential anyway-- the point of the post is that whether he said it or not, this administration seems to be acting that way. The coaching of witnesses violates one of the first standards of legal ethics, and the rest of the post is to point out that this sort of 'ends justifies the means' approach to the law is not just isolated to this incident, as serious as it is, but rather seems to have become a modus operandi in this administration.