Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Incompetence Reigns, Meaning It's DOJ News Again

The Department of Justice has turned into an oxymoron under the reign of the morons at the executive branch of our government. Their use of waiving the usual machinery of justice is appalling, even to the WaPo editorial board.

AJUDGE'S decision this month to throw out criminal charges against 13 former employees of the accounting firm KPMG illustrates what has gone wrong with the government's pursuit of corporate cases, and why a legislative remedy is needed.

In his July 17 decision, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of New York dismissed the charges because he found that the Justice Department had so egregiously violated the constitutional rights of the defendants that allowing the cases to go forward would be wrong. What prompted Judge Kaplan's extraordinary action was evidence that federal prosecutors had demanded that KPMG stop paying legal fees for the individual defendants, even though companies commonly pay such fees unless employees are convicted. The Justice Department, according to Judge Kaplan, strongly suggested that cutting off the legal fees would put the company in the government's good graces and possibly help it avert indictment. The incentives for KPMG were palpable: Remember the Arthur Andersen accounting firm, which collapsed after Enron-related charges were lodged against it?
Judges -- not Congress -- are usually in the best position to keep overzealous prosecutors at bay, and no one wins if corporate crooks get away scot-free. But this Justice Department seems to have lost sight of the enormous hammer it already wields over companies and individuals alike -- without resorting to extraordinary measures. A modest check on that power is appropriate.(Emphasis added.)

Stacking the DoJ with inferior, politically motivated, hacks in key positions has turned it into an embarrassment to this country, and a hindrance to justice.

Just recently in Gitmo proceedings, defendants were charged incorrectly, and the responsible judge threw them out. In that case, their incompetence prevented an injustice, but that can't be counted on in all instances.

The comments to the editorial, which include mine as 'jocabel' (my cat), show a glimmer of the kind of public awareness of what is being done to this country by the end of the Rule of Law.

reporter1 wrote:
My goodness, the DOJ made an error that allowed some corporate friends of this Republican administration to escape criminal charges.

I'm sure it was all a mistake. After all, this administration is tough on crime . . . right? . . . I mean tough on Democrats who commit crimes.

You can bet those guys at KPMG are not Democrats.

Now things are in focus.

jocabel wrote:
'A modest check' will make not a dint in the much vitiated DoJ. The executive branch has been prostituted to political ends, its role as public servant violated by this administration. A change of president, and new direction, is what is needed.

dlellis wrote:
Based upon the widespread disregard of the Bush Administration for civil liberties and Constitutional rights the only legislative remedy would be impeachment. Passing a law that would essentially say that Justice must obey the law is meaningless and even stupid.

Even if the Congress passed the legislation and overrode the Bush veto it would draw, the stonewalling of the Bush Administration on releasing information would prevent the Congress and the judiciary from being able to determine if the Administration continues the abuses.

bird52 wrote:
We don't need "a modest check" . We need a SERIOUS check on the extraordinary abuses of the AG. Impeachment is too kind.

BTW, your editorials are so-oo, uh ,namby-pamby. This administration has been a certifiable disaster for the entire world and you react as if someone used lemon at high tea (sniff!).

H5N1 wrote:
Another heckuva job, Gonzo and company! DOJ will take decades to recover from the Bush Administration, if indeed it ever can.

Open1 wrote:
The Bush Mafia seems to have lost sight of the enormous hammer it already wields over companies and individuals alike -- without resorting to the US military for domestic special operations and domestic covert action for domestic political gain.(Emphasis added, heh)

Increasingly, the knowledgeable comments to WaPo editorials are full of the facts that the editorial board shies away from if it doesn't outright contradict them.

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