Friday, August 31, 2001

FOX NEWS ALERT THREAD #3 [Free Republic]
Gun Panel Meets and Comes Under Fire [Free Republic]
Canada's Conservative Fraser Institute Declares Drug War Lost [Free Republic]
FOX NEWS ALERT [Free Republic]
Cuba confiscates houses deemed as 'oversized' [Free Republic]
Congressman Ron Paul - sues Congress [Free Republic]
Yates may be declared competent, brother says [Free Republic]

Monday, August 27, 2001

Sharp rise in parents saying no to vaccines [Free Republic]
EXCELLENT POINT: The FBI Can't Be Trusted to Vet Judges [Free Republic]
COMMENTARY

The FBI Can't Be Trusted to Vet Judges


When
a spy agency knows personal secrets, it has the potential to influence judicial
decisions.

By STEPHEN YAGMAN, Stephen Yagman, a Venice Beach federal civil
rights lawyer, was special prosecutor for the state of Idaho in the Ruby Ridge
prosecution of an FBI sniper



Serious people of all political stripes should question
whether it is appropriate for the FBI to continue to be the agency that vets our
federal judges.

In the past 10 years, the FBI has brought itself into
disrepute and disgrace, yet its false pride continues unabated.

One need
not go back to the days of yesteryear to question the bureau's competency and
integrity. Back then, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI not only Red-baited, it denied that
the mob existed and refused to investigate federal civil rights violations--all
the while righteously blowing its own horn.

For years, the most glaring
example of bureau misconduct was the famed Rosenberg espionage trial, where, in
an attempt to influence the outcome and ensure the death penalty, Hoover had
illegal conversations with the judge overseeing the case.

The FBI today
continues to be an incredibly effective propaganda machine, having mastered the
techniques it learned from its erstwhile paper tiger enemy--the Soviet
Union.

Some recent examples:

* Ruby Ridge. On Aug. 22,
1992, FBI agents surrounded a broken-down cabin in northern Idaho and killed an
unarmed woman holding a 10-month-old baby by shooting the woman in the
head.

No legal consequences befell the sniper who fired the fatal shot,
nor were his superiors punished for writing clearly unconstitutional rules of
engagement that made the fatal shot possible.

* Waco, Texas. On
April 19, 1993, the FBI stormed the Branch Davidian compound. When it was done,
more than 80 men, women and small children were dead.

Though then-Atty.
Gen. Janet Reno took full responsibility for what the FBI did, it later became
clear that Reno had been duped by the agency into believing the actions it
proposed taking had little risk.

* Wen Ho Lee. In 1998, the FBI
caused the jailing--mostly in shackled solitary confinement--of Taiwan-born
American scientist Wen Ho Lee.

When Lee finally got his freedom after
nine months, the federal judge chastised the FBI, among other government
agencies, for misleading him.

* Robert Philip Hanssen. In 2000, it
was learned that long-time FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Philip Hanssen
was a Russian spy whom the bureau itself had been unable to identify or catch
and whose spying had resulted in a number of assassinations.

Once Hanssen
was caught and charged, the FBI made sure a quick plea bargain was worked out so
that the fiasco would go away quickly and quietly.

* Timothy McVeigh.
The FBI, unconstitutionally and in violation of a federal judge's order,
concealed evidence from Oklahoma City mass murderer Timothy McVeigh that should
have been available to his defense team.

Throughout all this, the FBI has
been the agency responsible--using both retired and active agents--for
investigating and vetting federal judicial nominees.

In that vetting, the
FBI interrogates not only the nominees, but also their families, friends,
neighbors and business associates. It gets their tax returns. It learns the most
intimate details of nominees' lives and puts all this information into its
files.

The peccadilloes or idiosyncrasies of those headed for judicial
office--such as the homosexuality of G. Harrold Carswell, the federal appeals
judge from Florida whom President Nixon nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court--can
be held confidentially, or not.

Once a nominee is confirmed and seated on
the bench, just knowing that the FBI possessed such information could influence
his or her decisions.

There is no legitimate reason to, and many good
reasons not to, let the FBI continue to investigate federal judicial
nominees.

It is too difficult to know how the agency might use the
confidential information it gets. Its powers are too great, its mentality and
institutional history too blemished and its competence and credibility too
low.

Any confidence in its integrity is clearly unwarranted.

There
is good reason to establish an independent, joint executive-legislative branch
office to vet federal judicial nominees.

This would ensure that when FBI
agents make their frequent appearances before federal judges to obtain arrest,
search and eavesdropping warrants and to give testimony in criminal trials,
these judges won't feel an inclination or an obligation to do whatever the FBI
tells them to do.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Scheer Lunacy at The Los Angeles Times [Free Republic]


Re: my post #36 on this thread: Reading the Left Angeles Times, these letters were published in today's Slimes:


About the only stereotype missing from your portrayal of folks down here in Georgia was the potbellied, cigar-chomping, shotgun-toting sheriff ("Obscure Law Used to Jail Day Laborers in Georgia," Aug. 21).

When did acceptance of illegal immigration and loitering become the litmus test for tolerance? It is not a crime to look for work, as one of the self-admitted illegal aliens quoted in the story complains. But it is a crime under federal law to enter the country without permission and to work here. It is a crime in virtually every jurisdiction in this country to loiter. Zoning laws, by definition, restrict what people can do and where they can do it.

"A backlash against immigrants" is nothing more than decent, hard-working citizens demanding that their government enforce laws that protect their jobs, safety and quality of life.

Jane Russell
Atlanta


I had to laugh when I read about the landscaping contractor in Forsyth County, Ga., who hires illegal aliens and says, "But they're not crime people. They're here to work." Since when is entering this country illegally not a crime? As long as the illegals only flooded the Southwestern states, Congress turned a blind eye to it. Now that they're invading the rest of the country, maybe this problem will get the attention it deserves.

Gregory Daniels
Fillmore


Lie Back And Enjoy It? [Free Republic]
What Happened When Well-to-Do Parents Tried to Prep a Public School for Their Kids [Free Republic]

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Reading the Left Angeles Times: Hugh Hewitt autopsies latest victim of New Media [Free Republic]
Say it Ain't so; Do liberals have a point? [Free Republic]

"I joined the party for different reasons. I found a party that sees me as an individual, not as part of a group. I found a party that puts family first. I found a party that has love of liberty at its core, and I found a party that believes that peace begins with strength."


-- Condoleeza Rice, speaking at the Republican National Convention of 2000.

TIME Cover Story: Home Sweet School [Free Republic]


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