Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reviving Justice

The scandals that are still unwinding at the 'Justice' Department have made quite an impression on those who will be needing to govern the country. At the Holy Land Foundation trial, I have watched in horror as this government was represented by attorneys telling jurors to rely on their memories rather than evidence. The politicization of the department has obviously resulted in a personnel problem.

The incoming administration is wasting no time turning around the ruination that has been inflicted by lawbreakers on our justice system.

Political considerations affected every crevice of the department during the Bush years, from the summer intern hiring program to the dispensing of legal advice about detainee interrogations, according to reports by the inspector general and testimony from bipartisan former DOJ officials at congressional hearings.

Although retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey, who took charge of the department in the winter, has drawn praise for limiting contacts between White House officials and prosecutors, and for firmly rejecting the role of politics in law enforcement, restoring public confidence in the department's law enforcement actions will be central, lawmakers and former government officials say.

"The infusion of politics into the Justice Department and an abdication of responsibility by its leaders have dealt a severe blow," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the panel's ranking Republican, wrote in an opinion piece last month. "Great damage has been done to the credibility and effectiveness of the Justice Department."
Another critical, early judgment must be made about how to allocate scarce resources without shortchanging national security. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than 7 percent of the department's budget shifted to terrorism, away from drug trafficking, organized crime and white-collar misdeeds, according to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office.

The terrorism trials which have all ended in defeat for the DoJ will soon come to a conclusion in Dallas, with a jury that has received easily the most mind-boggling prosecutorial admonition I have ever seen. Hopefully they are not the halfwits the government addressed itself toward. It would be a very good thing if the administration returns the Department to the work of ending crime instead of witchhunting.

The country will be better served by simple competence in staffing the DoJ. We hope that a fine mind like President Obama's will serve the country well, and give us actual excellence in the positions in which public service is needed once again.


Another piece of the article raises that spectre of nonpartisan executive decision makingthe right wing is wishing for.

"It would not be beneficial to spend a lot of time calling people up to Congress or in front of grand juries," Litt said. "It would really spend a lot of the bipartisan capital Obama managed to build up."

Obama did not win with bipartisan votes, and should not give over to the wishes of those who fought, very dirty, to keep eight years of disasters going in this country.

I agree with Avedon Carol, what the Republicans believe in is indefensible. It has ruined our justice system, and needs to be stopped right now.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home