This is well worth reading regarding the deranged quality of criticism of the trial of the hour. We found a couple of things particularly interesting. First is the comparison to anti-semitism, which is something we hadn’t thought of before. Second is the characterization of Thomas Jefferson. Let that one sink in an consider the implications of viewing US history from such a perspective. No wonder the Julias are lost. Finally, Alan Dershowitz’s reflections are interesting, as is the alleged attempt by the prosecutor to get Dershowitz punished for his criticisms.
Archive for the 'Law' Category
A law professor at the University of Colorado via Salon:
the trial of George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin was all about race. And because it happened in America, the people who benefit politically from the same invidious forces that led both to Trayvon Martin’s killing, and the acquittal of his killer, will deny that race had anything to do with either the killing or the verdict.
Suppose Trayvon Martin had been a 230-pound 30-year-old black man, with a loaded gun in his jacket. Suppose Zimmerman had been a 150-pound 17-year-old white kid, who was doing nothing more threatening than walking back from a convenience store to his father’s condo.
Suppose Martin had stalked Zimmerman in his car, until Zimmerman became afraid and tried to elude him. Suppose Martin had gotten out of his car and pursued Zimmerman. Suppose this led to some sort of altercation in which the big scary black man ended up with a bloody nose and some scratches on the back of his head, and the scared skinny (and unarmed) white kid had ended up with a bullet in his heart.
How do you suppose the big scary black man’s claim of “self-defense” would have gone over with a jury made up almost entirely of white women? But of course this is America, which means that the scary figure in this story is the skinny unarmed teenager, because in America pretty much any black male over the age of 12 in this sort of situation is going to be presumed to be the ”aggressor,” the “thug” – in short,” the real criminal,” until he’s proved innocent, which he won’t be, even if he’s now a dead, still unarmed teenager. And his killer is a grown man who provokes a fight with an otherwise harmless kid, starts losing it, and then shoots the kid dead.
Because this is America, pointing out that a black boy can be shot with impunity by a more or less white man because many white Americans are terrified by black boys and men is called “playing the race card.” The race card is what the people who benefit politically from the fact that many white Americans are terrified by black boys and men call any reference to the fact that race continues to play an overwhelmingly important, and overwhelmingly invidious, role in American culture in general. And in the criminal justice system in particular.
Trayvon Martin was stalked by George Zimmerman because he was black. Trayvon Martin is dead because he was black. George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin because the boy Zimmerman killed was black. If you deny these things, you are either a liar or an idiot, or possibly both.
Forget the over-zealous prosecutors and the repellent state attorney Angela Corey (who should be immediately disbarred or, my wife said sarcastically, elevated to director of Homeland Security) and even the unfortunate Trayvon Martin family (although it is certainly hard to forget them — they have our profound sympathies), the true loser at the Zimmerman trial was Barack Obama.
By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.
It is also the work of a narcissist who thinks of himself first, of his image, not of black, white or any other kind of people. It’s no accident that race relations in our country have gone backwards during his stewardship.
Congratulations to the jury for not acceding to this tremendous pressure and delivering the only conceivable honest verdict. This case should never have been brought to trial. It was, quite literally, the first American Stalinist “show trial.” There was, virtually, no evidence to convict George Zimmerman.
There has been a fair amount of reaction to this case in the political and celebrity worlds. Having listened to commentary from left and right, we observe that the narratives believed by each correlate pretty well with how they vote, which isn’t that surprising. It’s also, sadly, not surprising that the partisan media failed to do its job or that in the increasingly post-religious vulgarian America, many people don’t think twice about calling for the jury to be murdered.
The state of the media today, common sense MIA. Strange doings at MSNBC. In some cases, PC is not only suicidal, but abets murder. Speaking of PC, look at the case of the author of one of the best sci-fi novels of recent decades. Sorry, there is no compromise. A Jacksonville paper, Jack Cashill and Larry Elder comment on you-know-what. An piece on invisibility. FPRI says Syria is Iran’s Stalingrad. This NYT story went on for almost 5000 words. What a world. Here are a few jokes to lighten the mood.
Via Roger Kimball:
I took 3 of my grandchildren jug fishing (tie string to a milk jug, attach a hook and bait and set them in the water, come back hours later and bring in the fish). This was a first for my kids. We left about 9:00 p.m., and after setting out two of the jugs we got stopped by two officers from Illinois Department of Natural Resources (appropriately shortened to DNR). They were going to do a safety check. They had guns, dressed as Gestapo, and had bulletproof vests. First they said my boat DNR registration was expired. The sticker on the side of the boat said 2013, but apparently it expired on June 30 and because of “budget cuts” the state did not send out a renewal notice this year. There was enough money, however, to hire these two guys to patrol Lake Sara on Saturday night. None of the adults had a fishing license, but we told them that it was the kids who were doing the fishing and they didn’t need a license. Oops, shouldn’t have questioned them: they asked for my boat license and registration. I said I had it at home and asked if I was supposed to have it with me on the boat. They said that I wasn’t required to keep it on the boat but that it helped. They asked for my driver’s license and I told them I didn’t have it with me. They asked for me to work my horn, which did not work, never has. They asked if I had a whistle. I didn’t. They wanted to see my throw preserver, which luckily I had. Then they asked to see the life preservers which I had. Then the fire extinguisher, which luckily was charged. They said that they could not enforce the codes of Lake Sara, but that one person told them that jug fishing could only be done down at fisherman’s cove, where we weren’t. He added that another person said you could jug fish anywhere. But only the kids could put the jugs in and take them out. They then called some state number and made sure that the boat was registered to me. So someone was manning DNR phones on Saturday night. After 45 minutes, they gave me two warning tickets for the lack of horn and registration expiration.
Everybody is guilty of something. In our view there should be zero new laws. Every year, at the federal, state and local level, 10% of existing laws should be repealed, and this should go on for four years. It’s up to legislatures to prioritize which ones. The same for regulatory agencies. Come to think of it, we’d vote for a candidate who ran solely on this platform.
John Hoeven and Hugh Hewitt:
HH: as I read this, I go on to read, limitation on requirements notwithstanding paragraph 1, nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing in a particular location along the southern border if the secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the southern border at such locations.
JH: Right, and when I read through that with my lawyer, he said because the earlier section is the controlling section that requires a minimum of 700 miles of fencing, this only gives some discretion as to where on that 2,000 [mile] border is placed so it’s put in the most effective areas. And I’m happy to go back and check on the controlling section and find out exactly what the sanctions are. I don’t know what it is off the top of my head, but I’m happy to go back and check it and get back to you.
HH: Senator, you’ve got to fire that lawyer, because honest to God, I have been doing Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act litigation for 22 years. I still do it. I’ve argued it before the 9th Circuit. There is absolutely nothing here that compels the construction of a fence. And the savings provision, and I want to read that for the audience…
JH: But the section you’re talking about, Hugh, again, just modifies the controlling section that requires a minimum of 700 miles. And I’ll go back and check on that section for you, and we’ll be back in touch.
HH: Okay, Senator, okay, that’s simply not correct, but I’ll let you check on it.
JH: Well, section 5 is the controlling section.
HH: And that was what I just read to you, was section 5b, was section 5b(5), and limitation on requirements, and in section 5b…
JH: Well, let’s…I’ll tell you what. Let’s check it out, and I’m happy to do that.
HH: Okay, now let me talk to you about the savings provision…Nothing in this paragraph, meaning the entire section 5, may be construed to create or negate any right of action for a state or local government, or other person or entity affected by this subsection. As you know, Senator, because you were the governor of a big state, whenever you need to cross a water of the United States, or impact critical habitat for an endangered species, you need the permission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, you need the permission of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, and if you don’t get it, or even if you do get it, citizens can sue to block that. That’s why no ‘notwithstanding any contrary legal authority’ language was omitted from this, and I do not understand why you guys didn’t make this fence mandatory on a schedule without regard to any other law?
JH: Well, Hugh, again, we require the fence. Like I say, it’s one of the triggers that has to be met before there’s any green cards. And furthermore, the only discretion we put in was to try to get it in the places where it would be most effective on that 2,000 miles border. But it doesn’t mitigate the requirement that at least 700 miles are built. So…and remember, that’s just one of the five triggers that we have in place to defend the border.
HH: Well, see if you understand where I’m coming from, because if in fact I’m right, and they don’t come up with a plan, or when they come up with a plan, they want to put in a minimum pedestrian fencing that is easily breeched and easily crossed, and not double fence…
JH: Well, that’s, they already…that’s definitional for the pedestrian fence they already have there. You can go look at it.
HH: Oh, I have. I’ve seen it. I know what it is, and I’ve seen pictures of it.
HH: And it doesn’t have to be any particular height. It just must obstruct a pedestrian, and it’s not the traffic barrier. So it’s better than a traffic barrier, but it really doesn’t work, Senator. And 700 miles, do you have, I mean, why is that a magic number for you guys, because it’s a 2,000 mile border, and I’ve never seen anything that said it had to be 700 miles, nothing.
JH: Right, but again, you know, you’re just, well, because that is the 700 miles that if you go back to the earlier legislation that was required to be built that didn’t get built. And so we’re trying to make sure that gets done. But understand, that’s just one of the measures. We start with a $4.5 billion dollar technology plan that includes towers, it includes radars, it includes people, it includes drones, it includes helicopters, planes, all these things. But as far as the 700 miles, that goes back to what was required to be built before and didn’t get done, and that’s what we’re trying to do in this amendment, is make darn sure we secure the border first, and do all the things that need to be done to secure it.
HH: But Senator, this is where I’m at a loss. It would have been so easy to write a specific mandatory, absolutely as to mapping, construction standards, specifications, timeline, citizen standing to enforce, the denial of citizen standing to obstruct. It would have been so easy to write it, that given the fact that it is so opaque, so that someone like me, who’s a fence proponent looks at it and says this doesn’t do it, and I wanted to support this bill. I really did. No one can deny that. I’ve had Senator Rubio on the show like 15 times. But then this comes up, and I look at it and say you guys weren’t serious about this, and that…
JH: Well, let me say two things, Hugh, two things. One is I’m glad to look into that and get you some more information on it on some of these specifics you’re asking, because we very much worked to make sure that these things get done. Number two, remember, we ‘ve still got to work with the House to get it final. So if there is an issue in there that we need to further address, we certainly intend to do it.
HH: But Senator, Bill Kristol and I agree on this. We don’t want this to go to a conference. We do not trust a conference. We do not believe that if this is the best that the Republicans could to on security, on the border fence and other issues, we don’t want the House to pick this up. I think you guys killed immigration reform by not taking conservative demands for border security seriously in substituting, and I debated this with Senator McCain once. We wanted a fence, an honest to God, big, double layered fence with an access road with specs spelled out, and you guys blew through it in five paragraphs, and anyone can avoid this. Anyone with a, I mean, maybe not your lawyer, but I certainly can go to work for the enviros to stop this, and if I was a La Raza type, I could make sure this fence was never built, even it was only three feet and it could be hopped over. I mean, it’s a disaster.
JH: Well, again, I think that it, we’ve worked very hard to make sure the fence is in there. I think if there are things we can do to make it stronger or better, that’s what working with the House is all about, and we’ll see how that goes. But I think you’re focusing on one piece of something that includes far, far more in resources on the border.
HH: I am.
JH: You know, like I say, the technology…20,000 border agents, we’re going to double the number of border patrol agents on the border.
HH: I don’t care, because anything, and I want you to understand, anything that can be turned on can be turned off. Anyone that can be forward deployed can be sent backward. It’s sort of like the DREAM Act. The President didn’t want to enforce the immigration laws last year, so he didn’t enforce them. You can’t not enforce a fence once it’s built, and I’m just curious, last question, Senator…Am I really surprising you? Did no one tell you guys that the fence was everything for a large portion of the border security community? Did no one let you guys know this?
JH: The reason we put a fence in is because we felt it was important to people, and that’s why we’re trying to make sure it gets built. You’re raising concerns about exactly the specs and so forth. Hey, I think that, what I said to people all along is we’re not done in terms of a final product. If we can make it stronger, we intend to do that. But the whole focus of this amendment is to strengthen border security and to do it on the front end.
Not just the Stupid Party, though it is surely that. But a Stupid Party that does not like or respect its conservative base and is more than willing to act in bad faith. Self-delusional too. There was little to no enforcement after 1986. There was no enforcement in the 2007 Bush proposal. And consider the good faith regulatory track record of the last four years. And yet they actually seem to believe the drivel they’re saying. Remarkable. What explains that?
Corker-Hoeven may have averted a train wreck, with Senators Schumer, McCain and Graham realizing that the only way to get the regularization they want is to build the fence the voters demand. Anti-regularization forces will automatically say the amendment is not enough and that it is window-dressing. I was prepared to do the same yesterday when early reports suggested it was merely a press release and not a fence guarantee. If the fence isn’t there or is ambiguous in its design or construction schedule, I’ll be back in the “kill the bill” camp. But for now it seems the Senate has successfully completed step one of immigration reform. It may be one step forward and two steps back when we see the actual language, but for the time being, I hope the GOP got one right. If it did, we can thank Marco Rubio. One last thought: If a commission is needed to certify anything, name the commissioners in the bill and spell out their duties. Pick people who bring credibility to the table, and avoid confirmation battles and gamesmanship down the road. Spell. It. Out. If the majority and minority in both houses get two each, fine; let’s have the eight names and their alternates as well. Nothing to chance, no chance for nothing. Trust but verify, as the Gipper used to say.
In case you haven’t noticed, there are no longer three co-equal branches of government. There’s Congress, the judiciary and a souped-up executive-media-academy-regulatory apparatus that does pretty much whatever it pleases. “Trust but verify?” Puh-leeze. Have the conservative pundits and GOP legislators learned nothing over the past five years? A thousand page bill here, 2000 page bills here and there, and enforcement that rewards friends and punishes enemies. What fools these mortals be.
new documents show that the NSA collects, processes, retains and disseminates the contents of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails under a wide range of circumstances…said Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, “there’s a lot of leeway to use ‘inadvertently’ acquired domestic communications,” for instance, for criminal inquiries. And the rules show that the communications of lawyers and their clients may be retained if they contain foreign intelligence information…
After it begins intercepting calls or e-mails, the NSA is supposed to continue to look for signs that the person it is monitoring has entered the United States, which would prompt a halt in surveillance and possibly a notification to the FBI. The document on “minimization” spells out rules for protecting privacy, some of which have been described publicly. The rules protect not just citizens, but foreigners in the United States.
If domestic communications lack significant foreign intelligence information, they must be promptly destroyed. Communications concerning Americans may not be kept more than five years. If a target who was outside the United States enters the country, the monitoring must stop immediately.
Gosh, this dangerous person who we’ve been tracking all over the world and who intends nefarious things just crossed the border. We’d better stop tracking him now since he’s so close to doing the bad thing he’s been planning. That makes sense. The government always follows its own procedures.
Michael Barone writes about his hometown:
you should read Charlie LeDuff’s Detroit: An American Autopsy. LeDuff is a reporter who left the New York Times for the Detroit News and left the News when an editor took all the good stuff out of a story on a local judge. He’s now a reporter for Fox 2 and you can get an idea of his personal style by watching his clips on YouTube. Detroit is a personal story for him: he grew up in the not-affluent suburb of Westland (named after a shopping center, as he notes) with a divorced mother who ran a florist shop on the east side of Detroit but who couldn’t keep her children from dire fates. A daughter who became a streetwalker and died violently left behind her own daughter who would overdose on heroin. Three of LeDuff’s brothers are working at just-above-minimum-wage jobs or not working at all (one pulled out a tooth with pliers). Charlie was lucky. He went into “the most natural thing for a man with no real talent. Journalism.”
His book opens as he notices in the ice at the bottom of an elevator shaft in one of Detroit’s many, many abandoned buildings the feet of a corpse. We see him having a drink with Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers, the congressman’s wife who later went to jail for bribery — and stopping off before to see the 13-year-old girl who, while attending a council session, criticized Conyers for calling the council president “Shrek.” He makes the mistake of stopping for gas on the east side (“semi-lawless and crazy”) and escapes being robbed by two goons when he pulls a gun from his glove compartment. He hangs out with honest guys whose job is to cope with the city’s violent murders and arson-set fires — “murder dick” Mike Carlisle; firefighters Mike Nevin, who is unjustly sacked, and Walt Harris, who says grace at firehouse meals and dies in a fire set by an arsonist for $20.
The population has gone from almost 2 million people in 1950 to 700,000 today. It will not surprise you to learn that Detroit’s last Republican mayor left office in 1962.
“This suspicious activity has been going on for quite some time – both on my CBS computer and my personal computer,” Attkisson said. “CBS then hired its own independent cyber security firm, which has been conducting a thorough forensic exam … they were able to rule out malware, phishing programs, that sort of thing…There were just signs of unusual happenings for many months, odd behavior like the computers just turning themselves on at night and then turning themselves back off again.”
How do you get a computer to switch on remotely? Oh well, let’s leave that. It is nice to see that the left and right agree on some things, like this appalling snooping. And we’ve heard voices usually highly supportive of Democrat proposals opposing some of the most ludicrous bills in recent times.
Well, some things never change, however. Celebrities, is there anything they don’t know?
CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair: “A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.
DOJ: “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.” Well that’s reassuring.
The sweeping collection of data on private behavior is every bit as indiscriminate and flawed as the airport-screening system. In both, everybody is guilty until proven innocent. Because one terrorist hid a bomb in his shoe, we all must remove our shoes before flying. Because one terrorist hid a bomb in his underwear, we all are subject to X-ray- like screenings. The little old Lutheran lady from Peoria is as suspect as the Saudi Arabian student seeking a pilot’s license. Justice is supposed to be blind, not stupid. Meanwhile, the FBI had been warned about the jihadist turn by one of the brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon, but took its eye off him, perhaps out of an excessive concern for his rights. The Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 soldiers at Ft. Hood had identified himself as a “Soldier of Allah,” but the brass didn’t bounce him because they were afraid of the diversity cops. The balance of rights and security is out of balance. On one hand, security officials let terrorists slip through the cracks because they fear charges of anti-Muslim bias. On the other, they secretly vacuum up the personal data and habits of 300 million people. The snooping is an outgrowth of 9/11, but “growth” is the operative word. An emergency response has been expanded and institutionalized, secretly and repeatedly. The warrantless wiretapping program the Bush administration started focused on catching terror suspects from abroad communicating with Americans. But, like mushrooms after the rain, the program spread exponentially to where all phone calls in America are subject. Another program extends the snooping to the Internet and credit-card use, though the details are sketchy. It is of little comfort that the seizure of this electronic trail is defended by both Republicans and Democrats
There is no way a government in the age of metadata, with the growing capacity to listen, trace, tap, track and read, will not eventually, and even in time systematically, use that power wrongly, maliciously, illegally and in areas for which the intelligence gathering was never intended. People are right to fear that the government’s surveillance power will be abused. It will be. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is that humans are and will be in charge of it, and humans have shown throughout history a bit of a tendency to play every trick and bend and break laws. “If men were angels,” as James Madison wrote, limits, checks, balances and specifically protected rights would not be necessary. But they aren’t angels. Add to all this simple human mistakes, innocent and not, and misjudgments. And add to that sheer human craziness, partisan lust, political mischief of all sorts. In the Clinton White House there was a guy named Craig Livingstone who amused himself reading aloud the confidential FBI files of prominent Republicans. The files—hundreds of them—were improperly secured and disseminated. Imagine Craig Livingstone at the National Security Agency. Imagine Lois Lerner. So if we have and develop a massive surveillance state, it will be abused.
The failure to do sensible profiling has created a wholly unnecessary Leviathan with powers that surely are abused today. Digging up dirt on your opponents is the Chicago Way, after all. So who would have the means and motive to orchestrate the impressive roll-out of spy scandal after scandal? Could it be the former senior military and intelligence officers who were burnt by people they loathe? Or perhaps their former associates?
More food for thought. Imagine if you could dig up all the dirt, not just on your Republicans opponents, but also on the Democrats who would like to run in 2016. Add to that all the dirt you have on reporters and editors who will shape the coverage of candidates. The power to be a kingmaker and kingbreaker. Unprecedented.
Iowahawk nails it.
Maybe this leak to a (formerly?) in-the-bag media outlet is true, but if it is it seems to contradict recent previous assertions to Congress. Huh? We have to say we’re perplexed. There’s always the possibility of gross incompetence at work. But a clever adversary might start feeding false information to the press to set them up and pull the rug out from under them. Frankly we would not be surprised to find out in retrospect that both things were true. The leaks are coming too fast and furious right now.
Caution in reporting leaks as facts is warranted. Discrediting certain high profile “leaks” and leakers would be an outstanding strategy for those under siege in order to spread the idea that “leaks” equal falsehoods. We’ll see.
Burke violated Department policy when he provided the Dodson memorandum to Fox News reporter Levine without Department approval, and that his explanations for why he did not believe his actions were improper were not credible. We believe this misconduct to be particularly egregious because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious. We further believe that the seriousness of Burke’s actions are aggravated by the fact that they were taken within days after he told Deputy Attorney General Cole that he took responsibility for his office’s earlier unauthorized disclosure of a document to The New York Times, and after Cole put him on notice that such disclosures should not occur. Burke also knew at the time of his disclosure of the Dodson memorandum that he was under investigation by OPR for his conduct in connection with the earlier disclosure to The New York Times. As a high-level Department official, Burke knew his obligations to abide by Department policies and his duty to follow the instructions of the Deputy Attorney General, who was Burke’s immediate supervisor. We found Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney. We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member.
We’re flagging this one for future reference. Taranto rounds up quite a number of commentators who are sure that the three or four current scandals generating some heat but little light so far are no big deal. Maybe they’re right but we doubt it. You can’t have behavior this creepy and lying this pathetic without dominos falling one after another. There are too many officials involved from multiple agencies harassing too many citizens for this to settle down. Those harassed are coming forward, and they will be followed by others. And what’s up with stealing medical records? In our opinion this will continue to metastasize and no one knows where it will end, since it’s been going on silently for years.
“they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action’.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with Law & Order, whether the original, SVU or CI, there are a couple of rules when approached for a friendly conversation with investigators: lawyer up and shut up being notable among them. Even a smart lawyer like Scooter Libby ignored this advice. Both Michael Ledeen and Hugh Hewitt give advice to those who may be implicated in our current or coming scandals (don’t you think there will be others?), namely to move quickly in lawyering up or they’ll get worse counsel at a worse price.
Also, Thomas Lifson has an interesting piece on how the scandal avalanche may be affecting the MSM. It will be interesting if it turns out to be true.
So the AP was investigated for a national security breach? Maybe it’s true though we doubt it. Such fealty to national security matters would be an aberration from business as usual for this crew, though it is excellent cover story for snooping on hundreds of journalists and their sources. Remember Blair Hull? Jack Ryan? Sharon Bialek? It’s the Chicago Way to have dossiers on everyone. Who knows when you’re going to need them?
A couple of other points. The AP story is fishy from a variety of perspectives, including that it focuses on phone calls but makes no mention of other electronic communications. What about all the text messages and emails, which is the way that much if not most of journalistic communication is done today? Surely if the government wanted blanket information it would have gotten all that traffic as well. Details dribble out, in scandal after scandal, from Fast and Furious to Benghazi and this. And the final point: what are the scandals that we still don’t know about?
Perhaps the thing that we find most offensive about the Senate immigration bill is that it does not appear to take itself seriously as a law that intends to be implemented in its details. There is precious little in the bill that addresses in a serious way how the massive enterprise it envisions is to be put into practice. And where there is implementation language, it is often ludicrous.
Here’s a bit from the section labeled Interior Enforcement, Sec 201, Additional Immigration. It is unclear from the language if relatives of those who have Z Visas residing in foreign lands would be covered by this subsection. If so, those cases alone could number potentially in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Note that only 50 immigration lawyers, if even that many, are being added to the Department of Justice to litigate the cases covered in this section:
(b) Department of Justice.-
(1) JUDICIAL CLERKS-The Attorney General shall, subject to the
availability of appropriations for such purpose, appoint necessary
law clerks for immigration judges and Board of Immigration
Appeals members of no less than one per judge and member. A
law clerk appointed under this section shall be exempt from the
provisions of subchapter I of chapter 63 of title 5 [5 USCS §§
6301 et seq.]
(2) LITIGATION ATTORNEYS.-In each of the fiscal years 2008
through 2012, the
Attorney General, subject to the availability of appropriations for
such purpose, shall increase the number of positions for
attorneys in the Office of Immigration Litigation by not less than 50…
50 litigators, budgetary conditions permitting. That’s some serious enforcement. At two lawyers per case and a case resolved every three months, this group could resolve as many as 100 cases a year. Maybe more.
It’s hard to conceive of 12 million people as a line of men, women, and children who need to be processed in some manner or other, many with particular needs and oddities of their cases, many with so-called “routine” cases, whatever they are. Imagine it as 120 Super Bowls, all being played at once. Crowds of 100,000 line up at 120 equivalents of the Rose Bowl around the country. Assume that each one of the newly legal wants to pay the cashier and be admitted to the game of being able to work legally in America. (For a moment we’ll leave aside the requirement that the applicant has to leave the country before applying.) But the cashier can’t just sell tickets.
The cashier has to inspect the papers of each of the 100,000 people standing in line to buy a ticket. The cashier has to run a background check on the ticket buyer, which is supposed to be done within 24 hours. The background check may involve the cashier in communications with towns and villages in foreign countries. The cashier has to do further investigations if something on the background check comes up spotty or incomplete. The cashier then has to ask the ticket buyer to get out of line and stand to one side. The cashier has to consider what will be done with the ticket buyer’s younger brother who is next in line, and with the ticket buyer’s 8 year old daughter, who also wants to go to the game and who was born in Pasadena. Can she be admitted without adult supervision while her father is waiting off to one side? And all this is repeated 100,000 times at the Rose Bowl, and there are 120 Rose Bowls around the country. How long do you think that would take before all could be admitted, given these procedures? 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?
And that’s if there were cashiers available today and they and their superivsors knew what to do. Here’s our point: there are no cashiers today, no supervisors. The bill puts in place zero cashiers on day one, and there is no Employment Manual for any that get hired on how to do the newly created tasks outlined in the bill. And yet, the moment the bill is signed, 12 million people, or 100,000 people lined up at 120 Rose Bowls around the country, have been told to expect that they can buy a ticket. What are the chances that they will be admitted without even buying a ticket, given the ridiculous situation the Senate bill sets up?
Forget the mockery of border law enforcement that is today’s sad story, and will continue to be so under this new law. The Senate immigration bill mocks itself, because it does not even take its own enforcement seriously.
Michelle Malkin has compiled an excellent list of the paperwork backlogs that already exist under the current system. Adding another 12 minllion to a paperwork backlog already numbering in the millions is an indication of how seriously Congress takes itsel in the matter of law enforcement versus the appearance of good intentions.