Obama Political Appointees Reportedly Overruled Career Justice Officials In Dropping Charges Against New Black Panther Party for Voter Intimidation

black20panthers20philadelphiaNbplogoAssociate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli overruled career lawyers at the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division to drop a complaint against three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November’s election — including one member Samir Shabazz who brandished a nightstick.

Career lawyers wanted sanctions against the Black Panthers who showed and had already won a default judgment against the men.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King reportedly recommended dropping the case to Mr. Perrelli who is third in command at the DOJ.

This has become a major story for conservative commentators — some of whom have taken it to an absurd degree to suggest that the Obama Administration is in league with the New Black Panthers. There may indeed to legitimate legal reasons for the decision, but on its face it is hard to discern why career staff would be overruled on this point. It is perfectly appropriate for political appointees to make decisions based on the policy priorities of the Administration. However, this is a straight-forward question under a federal statute. I do not know of any specific Obama policy that would undermine enforcement. This was a limited occurrence. However, the Justice Department seems to suggest this is not actionable conduct. At a minimum, there should be a fuller explanation of why this is not a violation and what are the limits for paramilitary groups parading in front of polling places.

Under the circumstances, the complaint seemed reasonable when it was brought in January, here. Under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits intimidation, coercion or threats against “any person for voting or attempting to vote.” The Department simply sought an injunction preventing any future deployment of, or display of weapons by, New Black Panther Party members at the entrance to polling locations. By dropping the complaint, the Obama Administration suggests that other groups could show up at polling places with such weapons and military-style uniforms. What if this were the Aryan Nation or Soldiers of God? Doesn’t brandishing a weapon have an intimidating effect on voters? I understand that the case was weakened by the fact that a police officer allowed at least one man to remain. However, it seems that the section was seeking a modest sanction to keep this group (or other groups) from showing up in paramilitary outfits and weapons.

For the story, click here and here.

122 thoughts on “Obama Political Appointees Reportedly Overruled Career Justice Officials In Dropping Charges Against New Black Panther Party for Voter Intimidation

  1. By dropping the complaint, the Obama Administration suggests that other groups could show up with such weapons and military-style uniforms are perfectly permissible.

    By dropping the case against Major Cook suggest that other military members can show up to court to have thier orders withdrawn.

    Very dismissive

  2. Outrageous decision. The justice department is as politicized as ever. Don Siegelman is still a political prisoner and the jd still apparently has no plans to review his case or Paul Minor’s. “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss…”

  3. We are definitely in a police state. When the govt. is failing to prosecute those it favors, be they the police, private contractors, people in (or formerly in) high office, or vigilante groups, you no longer have a functional justice system. At the same time our govt. goes after the powerless based on race, gender, class, ethnicity, or disagreement and opposition to the powerful corporate and political elites. They cover up these crimes both here and abroad. They continue to engage in these crimes. They then use political intervention to negate our system of justice on behalf of cronies. This should be scaring the shit out of every person. It’s a system of patronage, not justice. A politicized DOJ isn’t a functioning DOJ, end of story.

  4. Glenn Greenwald brings real clarity to the issue of rule of law in his column today. Here’s part of it:

    “By the design of the Founders, most American political issues are driven by the vicissitudes of political realities, shaped by practicalities and resolved by horse-trading compromises among competing factions. But not all political questions were to be subject to that process. Some were intended to be immunized from those influences. Those were called “principles,” or “rights,” or “guarantees” — and what distinguishes them from garden-variety political disputes is precisely that they were intended to be both absolute and adhered to regardless of what Massing calls “the practical considerations policymakers must contend with.”

    We don’t have to guess what those principles are. The Founders created documents — principally the Constitution — which had as their purpose enumerating the principles that were to be immunized from such “practical considerations.” All one has to do in order to understand their venerated status is to understand the core principle of Constitutional guarantees: no acts of Government can conflict with these principles or violate them for any reason. And all you have to do to appreciate their absolute, unyielding essence is to read how they’re written: The President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” “[A]ll Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Even policies which enjoy majoritarian support and ample “practical” justification will be invalid — nullified — if they violate those guarantees.”

  5. Obama Political Appointees Reportedly Overruled Career Justice Officials In Dropping Charges Against New Black Panther Party for Voter Intimidation…

    Jonathan Turley:
    By dropping the complaint, the Obama Administration suggests that other groups could show up with such weapons and military-style uniforms are perfectly permissible. What if this were the Aryan Nation or Soldiers of God? Doesn’t brand…

  6. Again, Jill says it better than I ever could. (Thank you.)

    Jill’s right — this “should be scaring the shit out of every person.” Law enforcement officers are, at the very least, turning a blind eye to what I can only describe as vigilante groups involved in harassment campaigns against innocent citizens. They are quite literally terrorizing good people in our communities. Those involved act/participate with an air of impunity.

    The stories are pretty unbelievable, even to me, and I know about these “campaigns of terror” firsthand. Some refer to the program/s as “organized stalking.” Whatever one wants to call the process, it’s sadistic and cruel. And it’s shameful that it’s happening in America.

    I’m a registered nurse. One of my friends is an attorney and another a mortgage broker. We all live in different cities. The mortgage broker once said, “Meeting one of these groups, one realizes that the question of evil is not just a topic for theologians.”

    Those who complain about these thugs are labeled “delusional”, but let’s not forget that Martha Mitchel was thought to be “crazy” when she spoke of corruption in the Nixon administration. I can’t even believe that this is going on in America, but it is. It must be exposed and stopped. If I fail to tell what will seem like a tall tale to some then I, too, am complicit.

  7. Thank you, Jill, for bringing Glenn Greenwald’s words to this thread. They are sobering, humbling, and a reminder of just how much is at stake.

  8. This has become more and more the US a statist that certain thuggery allowed and endorsed by the Obama administration.

  9. You mean Glenn Greenwald the sock puppet? Sorry but I’m not interested in anything he has to say. Integrity is a good thing and he has none.

  10. It was heartening to see that this was a long story in that fair and balanced newspaper “The Washington Times,” who as we all know is owned by in his own words the Second Coming of Jesus. Any relationship between that right wing propaganda rag and a real newspaper is completely coincidental.

    Some times when there are axes to grind and the wielders identities are unknown, you can’t win. For instance who are these “career” Justice Department lawyers from the Civil Rights Division? We know that during the time of GW Bush the JD’s CR division was run by conservative ideologues:

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/cats/civil_rights_division/

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/civil_rights_division/

    We also know for a fact that in the latter days of his administration Bush moved many political appointees into Civil Service status to protect their jobs and continue his ideology. We have no idea from the Washington Times “unbiased” article who the lawyers bringing this action were in a background sense and what their motivations are. Therefore we have no idea as to the merits, or lack of same of this case.

    Haven’t we all realized by now that we can’t rely on the MSM for anything resembling reality in their stories? In the case of the Washington Times there is clear bias, in the case of others in the MSM it is merely that all the good reporters are now on the net. Now it’s possible that there is a real story underneath here, but as yet the sources haven’t shown it.

  11. I’m with you Matt…except I’ll be toting my Ruger .357, and I think the ghetto rats they round up here in Denver and pay with crack to keep whitey away from the voting booths will have to choose between their crack and their life.

  12. Leave it to Socky the “progressive” to leave out the Second Amendment.

    A reminder to so-called “liberals”… there is nothing liberal about depriving citizens of their inherent right to self-defense, real liberals don’t cherry-pick the bill of rights.

    Oh btw, this blog is fantastic. Can it be I’ve encountered a big-city liberal with integrity who’s actually liberal (classical) rather than a warmed-over marxist?

    Bookmarked and moved to the top.

    Thank you very much.

  13. Wow, Professor Turley, did you really just make the argument; “What if this were the Aryan Nation or Soilders of God”???? Why was a similar argument considered so reactionary a month ago when people asked what if a white male had said he hoped his status as a white male would lead to wiser decisions??

    Don’t members of “suspect classes” automatically get a pass?

  14. It is really scary to think that any of you would post about being able to now bring weapons to the door of a polling place. PLEASE. Stop.IT. All this shows is that the Obama administration is not at all scared of backing a black nationalist intimidation, on video, and doing nothing about it. It continues to be the case that police may arrest you for video taping their interactions with the public in some areas. This is government approval of the right to video anything including the passing of people into the voting booth. USE IT wisely in catalogin all the actions of government starting…NOW! Cam badge (“communicator”) for all!

  15. Really, Senator? I have a CCW, so I’m legal to do so if I wish. Besides, who started this? Who gains from the intimidation? Why the very same administration. These two bit thugs will only back down when they understand that their intimidation tactics 3ill be met with legal force. I know that I was a bit over the top, but please, we’re talking about the integrity of the voting process.

  16. Besides, its scary to think that you presumably think its okay for black panther thugs to bring weapons to the polling places, and have all charges dropped by O’bumbles’ homies.

  17. Here’s the original DOJ claim below. Mike S., I’m not certain how anyone would find a man in a military-type uniform holding a club acceptable at a polling place. If you watch the video the man with the club is acting as if he has a right to act similarly to (bad) law enforcement officers. If he is just there to provide “justice” then what is his objection to being filmed? I worked to prevent voter fraud. I did not need a military-type uniform or a club to accomplish this aim. We used phones, lawyers, drivers and photographers to keep people from being intimidated or given incorrect information, or if this occurred, we were ready to file an immediate complaint and get them to the correct polling place to vote.

    “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Wednesday, January 7, 2009
    http://WWW.USDOJ.GOV
    CRT
    (202) 514-2007
    TDD (202) 514-1888
    Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against New Black Panther Party
    Lawsuit Seeks to Prohibit Voter Intimidation in Future Elections

    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and three of its members alleging that the defendants intimidated voters and those aiding them during the Nov. 4, 2008, general election.

    The complaint, filed in the United States District Court in Philadelphia, alleges that, during the election, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were deployed at the entrance to a Philadelphia polling location wearing the uniform of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and that Samir Shabazz repeatedly brandished a police-style baton weapon.

    “Intimidation outside of a polling place is contrary to the democratic process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Grace Chung Becker. “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed to protect the fundamental right to vote and the Department takes allegations of voter intimidation seriously.”

    According to the complaint, party Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz confirmed that the placement of Samir Shabazz and Jackson in Philadelphia was part of a nationwide effort to deploy New Black Panther Party members at polling locations on Election Day. The complaint alleges a violation of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits intimidation, coercion or threats against “any person for voting or attempting to vote.” The Department seeks an injunction preventing any future deployment of, or display of weapons by, New Black Panther Party members at the entrance to polling locations.

    The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which claims active chapters nationwide, is distinct from the Black Panther Party founded by Bobby Seale in the 1960s.

    The Civil Rights Division enforces the Voting Rights Act of 1965. To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/index.htm.”

  18. Glenn Greenwald brings real clarity to the issue of rule of law in his column today. Here’s part of it:

    “By the design of the Founders, most American political issues are driven by the vicissitudes of political realities, shaped by practicalities and resolved by horse-trading compromises among competing factions. But not all political questions were to be subject to that process. Some were intended to be immunized from those influences. Those were called “principles,” or “rights,” or “guarantees” — and what distinguishes them from garden-variety political disputes is precisely that they were intended to be both absolute and adhered to regardless of what Massing calls “the practical considerations policymakers must contend with.”

    We don’t have to guess what those principles are. The Founders created documents — principally the Constitution — which had as their purpose enumerating the principles that were to be immunized from such “practical considerations.” All one has to do in order to understand their venerated status is to understand the core principle of Constitutional guarantees: no acts of Government can conflict with these principles or violate them for any reason. And all you have to do to appreciate their absolute, unyielding essence is to read how they’re written: The President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” “[A]ll Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Even policies which enjoy majoritarian support and ample “practical” justification will be invalid — nullified — if they violate those guarantees.”

    I’m repeating this post as it seemed to bring out many trolls, I guess, because they hope no one will read it and think about it.

  19. This blog post by Glenn Greenwald does make the govt. nervous. I posted it and it doesn’t even show up. Glenn Greenwald really goes to the heart of the problem with ignoring the rule of law. Here again, are his words:

    “By the design of the Founders, most American political issues are driven by the vicissitudes of political realities, shaped by practicalities and resolved by horse-trading compromises among competing factions. But not all political questions were to be subject to that process. Some were intended to be immunized from those influences. Those were called “principles,” or “rights,” or “guarantees” — and what distinguishes them from garden-variety political disputes is precisely that they were intended to be both absolute and adhered to regardless of what Massing calls “the practical considerations policymakers must contend with.”

    We don’t have to guess what those principles are. The Founders created documents — principally the Constitution — which had as their purpose enumerating the principles that were to be immunized from such “practical considerations.” All one has to do in order to understand their venerated status is to understand the core principle of Constitutional guarantees: no acts of Government can conflict with these principles or violate them for any reason. And all you have to do to appreciate their absolute, unyielding essence is to read how they’re written: The President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” “[A]ll Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Even policies which enjoy majoritarian support and ample “practical” justification will be invalid — nullified — if they violate those guarantees.”

  20. Can ANYONE please tell me how DOJ can “drop the Complaint” AFTER a ‘Guilty’ verdict has been entered against all 3 Defendants when they failed to appear for trial????????

    USUALLY, under those circumstances (defendant failure to appear/guilty verdict entered) the next step is for the Prosecutor to request a bench warrant issue for the arrest of the criminal.

    To me, the ONLY feasible explanation is the “fix was in” before trial and the defendants told (by someone at DOJ) they wouldn’t have to appear in Court since the matter was not going to be pursued.

    I would LOVE the chance to sit across from these DOJ asshats and ask them “What exactly was the LEGAL basis for not pursuing this matter.

  21. “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Wednesday, January 7, 2009″

    Jill,
    You make my point Obama wasn’t in office yet, this was the Bush justice department. Secondly, the video just shows these two black and does not show any intimidation on their part, merely questioning why they were being photographed. One of the men was a legitimate poll watcher and the one with the nightstick was taken away by police. End of story. This was the only example that could be found of NBPP “intimidation” in the entire country on election day and wasn’t much of a story.

    Now having known actual Black Panther Party Members back in the 60’s I was never a fan. I thought the organization was a scam, or a COINTELPRO stunt. This new group is actually using the Panther name, but is an offshoot of the Nation of Islam and so is ascam trading off the old name. The NOI by the way was suspected to be in the pay of J.Edgar Hoover’s FBI and had a relationship with the KKK. However, this whole story was a Republican political setup. The video was taken by:

    “Stephen R. Morse, a blogger hired by Republicans to be at the polls and who videotaped the confrontation, said the NBPP members blatantly used racial insults on would-be voters and other poll watchers, telling one man, “Cracker, you about to be ruled by a black man.”taken from Washington Time Article.

    If these people were truly intimidating voters the call to the police would have sufficed and in fact did since the man with the club was removed. This by the way was the same Justice Department that didn’t investigate the intimidation of black voters in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Also it’s instructive to review some of the comments above:

    “and have all charges dropped by O’bumbles’ homies.”

    “I’m with you Matt…except I’ll be toting my Ruger .357, and I think the ghetto rats they round up here in Denver and pay with crack to keep whitey away from the voting booths will have to choose between their crack and their life.”

    “does this mean I can carry a Glock when I go to vote next time?”

    “You mean Glenn Greenwald the sock puppet? Sorry but I’m not interested in anything he has to say. Integrity is a good thing and he has none.”

    “This has become more and more the US a statist that certain thuggery allowed and endorsed by the Obama administration.”

    Do you have any doubt that for these people it is really about having a Black man as President? The original JD action was a Republican set up and the dismissal came about because it was apparent. It’s been put out there by Sun Yung Moon’s in house paper and apparently people from all stripes are once again falling for the chicanery.

    When does the request for a special prosecutor come about? The calls for impeachment? Finally, some nut with a Glock or a Ruger so agitated by this uppity Black man, might see a way out of his humdrum life and into the history books. You’re in poor company Jill and moreover you need to really read the story and follow the leads to see that it is just more of the same game used against Bill Clinton and that the case being tossed is actually a positive sign.

  22. From the CNN (1st link) link in the article:
    _________________________________

    {Quote:

    “We want to thank President Obama and his administration for dropping charges against us that were vindictively brought by the Bush administration,” Malik Shabaaz told CNN. “We don’t condone any type of illegal activity at polling stations.”

    End Quote}
    ________________________________

    So, Prez. O was directly involved in this administration of “justice”. Did he make his decision to tell the DOJ lawyers what to do over a few *beers* with the New Black Panther Party members? Perhaps that is why he does not want to release the White House Visitor logs of what PO calls the “People’s House”.

    Seriously, this is very troubling and an injustice.

  23. OK:

    1) People have in the past, and still do, fight and risk death in order to freely elect their own governments. The right to vote without being threatened or intimidated is basic and un-negotiable in a free society and is protected by our Constitution.

    2) Until January 20, 2009; it was the policy of the United States Government to support and defend that right to vote freely without intimidation; at home and abroad.

    3) The blatant, intimidating presence outside the polls of armed, uniformed thugs whose goal was to deter voting by their political opponents or terrorize voters into voting for their preferred candidates is something that the law already forbids; and there is overwhelming precedent of successful government prosecution of those who attempt to intimidate and/or terrorize.

    4) The decision to drop the case is openly admitted to be a political decision by the administration’s appointees to short circuit the prosecution. The conclusion that the law is being functionally suspended solely because the intimidation was carried out by supporters and possibly agents of this administration’s political campaign cannot be lightly dismissed and indeed to quote the header on this blog; Res ipsa loquitur.

    5) It is a reasonable conclusion that if armed thugs are outside polling places in any future elections; that it is highly probable that they are agents of the administration and further that they will not be subjected to legal process for any crimes that they commit.

    6) Any voter approaching such a polling place can assume that the “basic un-negotiable right” noted in #1 above is under direct attack.

    7) Given the items above, and knowing that the “rule of law” has become somewhat nebulous in the United States over the last 7 months, it would also be reasonable for that voter to conclude that there is no effective legal process to remedy this attack on his rights or to offer protection from the same.

    8) In the absence of a framework of legal protection, when basic Constitutional rights are abridged; the inherent right of self defense will come to the fore.

    9) In some, not all, but some cases; voters will meet the threat of deadly force, with deadly force of their own.

    10) This is not something that is beyond being foreseen by the geniuses of the administration. They will bear culpability for any blood that is shed. This may not be something unwelcome to them.

    Subotai Bahadur

  24. Mike Spindell wrote:
    _________________________________

    “Secondly, the video just shows these two black and does not show any intimidation on their part,”
    _________________________________

    Come on Mike. Your bias is very transparent.

  25. “The blatant, intimidating presence outside the polls of armed, uniformed thugs whose goal was to deter voting by their political opponents or terrorize voters into voting for their preferred candidates is something that the law already forbids; and there is overwhelming precedent of successful government prosecution of those who attempt to intimidate and/or terrorize.”

    The birther movement begins to collapse, so now we have a new issue to distract. This was two men, one a legitimate poll watcher and the one with the club removed by police, but it will be blown into an armed insurrection by those uppity Black people and seems to be fanned by people I respect who’ve let their dislike of the President, overwhelm their common sense.

    FFLEO,

    “We want to thank President Obama and his administration for dropping charges against us that were vindictively brought by the Bush administration,” Malik Shabaaz told CNN. “We don’t condone any type of illegal activity at polling stations.”

    There is nothing within that statement that would indicate that President Obama even knew about the case. Do some of your famed research and see who Malik Shabaaz and it will indicate that he made this as a statement to increase his importance. That’s what scammers do. Do you really think that the President would involve himself with a man like that, who even the original Black Panther Party denounces and says is a fraud.

    I have to say in all seriousness and sadness, that if these kinds of mistruths from the likes of Karl Rove and Grover Norqvist are allowed to perpetuate themselves, even among good, reasonable people, than we will have someone directing violence at our President, because all of this is aimed at riling up the crazies and people like Rush and Glenn are beginning to hint at it.

  26. Okay regulars, in all fairness to Mike Spindell, can we take a little *Straw Poll* after you view the video (a requirement)

    The Straw Poll Question:

    Do either or both of the 2 paramilitary-dressed men show or display any intimidation on their part in front of a polling place?

    Yes
    No

  27. Model 1066,

    First off, you’re full of it, nobody in Denver traded crack in exchange for voter intimidation. Secondly, Denver county’s moving to an all mail ballot for 2009, so your xenophobia shouldn’t keep you from voting anymore.

  28. Mike,

    Your right that the video did not show any intimidation, as the Huffington Post was quick to point out on Election Day. But that was not the sole thing the case relied on. The text below is quoted from an affidavit made by another pole watcher.

    “In all of my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation, and in my efforts in the 1960’s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi through participation with civil rights leaders and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and unfirmed men block the entrance to a polling location. Their clear purpose and intent was to intimidate voters with whom they did not agree.Their views were, in part, made apparent by the uniform of the organization the two men wore and the racially charged statements they made. For example, I heard the shorter man make a statement directed toward white poll observers that “you are about to ruled by the black man, cracker.” To me, the presence and behavior of the two uniformed men was an outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear. It would qualify as the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encounters in my life in political campaigns in many state, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960’s. I considered their presence to be a racially motivated effort to intimidate both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree.” – Bartle Bull

    I hope that we can return to an America where no voter feels intimidated at their polling place. Political appointees dropping convictions without explanation does nothing to further that goal.

  29. Mike S.,

    I have been racking my brains as to why the actions Obama takes, actions identical to Bush, often do not bother you. In many ways you and I have quite similar beliefs about society. I think that both you and Mike A. are very aware of racism, and I always read your both your posts, because I know you listen to the hate speech from the right wing (which by and large I don’t) so I take what you say about right wing racial hate speech seriously. I think it is grossly unfair of you to say that I am in the company of right wing racists because I say Obama is engaging in illegal and immoral actions. I have backed up my claims with reams of evidence. He is breaking the law and he is acting in an immoral manner. Your response to the evidence is to either ignore it or to say he’s not responsible some how, or he has to do it because Bush will kill him. You are entitled to those beliefs but I do not think they make sense or can be squared with evidence.

    Certainly the Bush DOJ was notorious for very selective prosecution. Obama has affirmed most of Bush’s case arguments regarding domestic surveillence and detainee abuse. He will even propose the jailing of the innocent. We have financial crimes under Obama going unadressed with his current attempts to gut the small bit of oversight left to the public. We have torture in Gitmo and Bagram. We have ungoing unlawful domestic surveillence. We have the illegal arrest of immigrants. We have the illegal bombing of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    From what I can tell, you feel that Obama is a victim. He is a victim of vicious racism, but that isn’t all he is. He is also a victimizer. Certainly every person should speak out against the racism directed at Obama and any other person of color. It is also true that Obama has victimized persons of color himself. He is currently victimzing many people, both here and abroad. If you are consistent in your philosophy of wanting justice for those who are victims, you must speak out against the victims of Obama as well as when Obama is the victim of racism.

  30. In that case I will agree that the troll posters are making truly racist statements. But I cannot agree that a man dressed in a military style uniform with a club is not, in and of itself, an example of voter intimidation. It’s great the police came and got him, but he should still do time for that act. I remember the Republican operative team who “rioted” outside the room when people were counting the votes in Florida. They were white. What they did was odioius, obviously intimdating and I believed they should have been arrested and done time for those actions. Voting is a precious right that ought not to be interfered with–no exceptions, no excuses. This man was intimidating and the vote counters were itimidating and they should be sent to jail-all of them.

  31. Straw poll: No more or less intimidating than a couple of good ol’ boys with ax handles. If I showed up at the polls and there was someone standing near the door with what I thought they could used as a weapon I’d call the police, you betcha’.

  32. Mike S I hate to say this but deep, deep, down inside you are a pole watcher. You will take your last breath defending this administration. At least the kool aid has begun to ware off on many here.

    Jill thank you for your very honest and factual posts.

  33. I don’t understand the outrage.

    Anything goes if you’re a Democrat… voter frauid, voter intimidation, illegal contributions, etc.

    Nothing new here… just Politics as Usual We Can Believe In.

  34. It is of course easy to ignore that this was one incident by this group, countrywide and that the man with the billy club was removed by police. That really required a Justice Department intervention?

    Michael,
    By the way “Civil Rights activist” as Bill O’Reilly calls him works for Fox News and the Wall Street Journal among others. Possibly not the most reliable or unbiased of witnesses, Michael, but hey what does truth matter when you have a chance to cast aspersions on the President?

    Jill,

    “From what I can tell, you feel that Obama is a victim. He is a victim of vicious racism, but that isn’t all he is. He is also a victimizer. Certainly every person should speak out against the racism directed at Obama and any other person of color. It is also true that Obama has victimized persons of color himself. He is currently victimzing many people, both here and abroad. If you are consistent in your philosophy of wanting justice for those who are victims, you must speak out against the victims of Obama as well as when Obama is the victim of racism.”

    I have spoken out, but before you accuse me of being a hypocrite, at what specific point before or after The President’s election have you given him a chance? To me this case is an example of what you in fact have been calling for, but has not happened quick enough for you. I have been consistent in my philosophy, but by the same token you have been consistent in your distrust of the man. You acknowledge he is a victim of racism, which by the way I have not stated, but you also after 6 months (actually right after Jan. 20th)you have been consistently attacking him.

    In this one incident I have factually raised doubts about this whole issue and how it has been blown far out of proportion and made into something it wasn’t. Why aren’t you asking any questions on why this was one of the few voting rights complaints brought by the Bush DOJ, when a multitude of worse charge have been made? Perhaps, it is carrying because a Republican operative conveniently arrived on the scene to video the two black men, but left or didn’t video the removal of the man with the club. As far as Mr. Bull went I believe he was identified as a Republican Poll watcher, an author who works for FOX and the WSJ, conveniently on the scene. The whole thing stinks and it surprises me that you choose to ignore the odor, because it is true that you and I share very many political views.

    FFLEO,
    Straw poll, considering that we have two guys who are going to bring guns to their polling place? Also some others who are openly racist? How does that work? Just as you do I calls them as I sees them and to me this is a trumped up case and story, with no substance.

  35. Read Michael’s account of the poll watcher’s affidavit, especially these excerpts, sans the verbal comments not available in the video (*x* emphases are mine)
    __________________________________

    {Quote:

    “Their clear purpose and intent was to *intimidate voters* with whom they did not agree. Their views were, in part, made apparent by the *uniform* of the organization the two men wore…”

    “To me, the *presence* and behavior of the two uniformed men was an outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear. It would qualify as the most blatant form of *voter intimidation* I have encounters in my life in political campaigns in many state, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960’s”

    End Quote}
    _________________________________

    My opinion is their very presence was intimidating and they identified themselves as “security” (implying that they had some LE authority to be present). Any legitimate LEO holding his baton and moving it up and down as he spoke would have also been intimidating.

    Such actions would have far exceeded proper LEO protocol at a polling place or anywhere else except in some riot situations where batons are sometimes drawn during an advance maneuver and at very few other legitimate times of allowable force. Any other improper display of a baton would have been grounds for disciplinary action. A baton or club is a weapon and LEOs is instructed how and when to use it as a tactical weapon within the *proper* ‘use of force continuum’.

  36. MIke S the song and dance is over. He’s been in office over six months. What will you do, give him the full 4 years then look back. The guy makes decisions everyday and as many here including the owner of this blog who said he supported Obama, he stopped short of saying voted but I assume support means vote have come to realize there is no change. Maybe you should go back to the photoshop post of Obama and Bush and read that again. That in it self says everything.

  37. Mike,

    A few of things, first the personal one: you seem a little out of sorts lately, I hope that there’s nothing going on in your life that a weekend of doing nothing but spending time with your family and a good book (If you can find a copy, my old stand by is still “Cities in Flight”) won’t solve.

    Second, I’d just like to say that I’ve always appreciated the way that you can still support the Obama administration in general while speaking out on specific issues. If anyone claims that you’re a blind follower of anything, they haven’t been paying attention.

    In defense of FFLEO’s straw pole, I just sort of assumed that it was aimed at the regulars.

  38. Mike Spindell,

    Attorney Bartle Bull, who has experience as a civil rights attorney, submitted his declaration *under penalty of perjury*. I would assume that an attorney would not risk his legal license to practice by lying in his declaration over this matter.

    http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:Ph7s3acR_7UJ:michellemalkin.cachefly.net/michellemalkin.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/bull-declaration_04-07-20092.pdf+Bartle+Bull&hl=en&gl=us

  39. Gyges,

    You are a ‘regular’. The straw poll is open to all, I just did not want the trolling vote to cause a rash of biased votes of YES. I want people’s real opinions.

    For example, I was surprised by Jill’s No vote**, but I am looking for actual unbiased opinions–as much as humanly possible.

    **(Jill is intimidated by LEOs–in general–but not by paramilitary guys with no training or authority holding a defined weapon in front of a polling place doing actions that a uniformed LEO would get in trouble over). However, that is honesty.

  40. “MIke S the song and dance is over. He’s been in office over six months.”

    Bdaman,
    It’s very true I am happy with my vote and its’ result. When one lives in an oligarchy run by Corporations and the M/I Complex change is a slow process. Given some of your opinions I would think you might understand it, but perhaps you’re just so cynical you’ve given up hope. By the way how many times have you called the WH complaint line, written to people in Congress, or the editorial sections of newspapers? Bitching is easy, working for real change can be a full time job even for a retired old fart like me.

    FFLEO,
    You probably missed it while you were posting but I’ve already addressed the poll watcher’s account. Tell me though, honestly, why this case involving a man who was removed by police and two men total, representing a rump group with under 20 members, that has no support requires DOJ intervention? When the Bush DOJ made no interventions in other more egregious voting rights cases, where literally tens of thousands of people were disenfranchised and intimidated, where was your outrage?

    This case was terminated as the beginning of a weening of DOJ, from DOJ people left with Civil Service status by the Bush Administration, who have all the understanding of the law exhibited by Alberto Gonzales and Mr. Yoo.

  41. Mike, the DOJ intervention was important because voting simply must not be tampered with at any level. I know voting fraud and wrongs have occurred in the past and perhaps cost Gore the election. However, from this point forward, such corruption at any level must never reoccur.

    To all: Mike and I have had more disagreements in the last week than our total time together within this blawg, combined. However, I consider Mike Spindell the finest among all of the fine people here; the old liberal hippy that he is and the old conservative goat roper that I am.

  42. “A few of things, first the personal one: you seem a little out of sorts lately”

    Gyges,
    If I am out of sorts its with anger at the birther movement and now this non-story. There are forces in this country that are working to get the President killed and that isn’t conspiracy madness, but a remembrance of the 60’s and the deaths of 3 very good people. Each one of them was slandered in the way that President Obama has been slandered and the content is the same tissue of lies. I’m not talking about specific policies but about the nonsense and attempts to de-legitimize him, which would justify the possible horrible acts.

    Look at some of the overtly racist responses on this thread alone. Hear the rantings of Rush, Glenn, Savage and Bill O. A climate of fear is being created and the crazies are being roused. This is a non-story promoted by the Washington Times.
    It is mainly a non-story because once again based on the facts of the story, if you accept the men were intimidating, the intimidation was removed and happened nowhere else in the country. This was not the basis of a DOJ case, but a local matter involving a group with no following or credibility. Yet it sets the meme, expressed the other day by Glenn Beck that the President “hates white people.” Why shouldn’t I get angry watching this occur and reading people I respect like Jill and FFLEO drawn into the silly game?

    FFLEO,
    Did you read your own link to see it was posted at Michelle Malkin’s website? I assume you know who she is. Bull by the way is a self proclaimed civil rights leader and never saw anything like it in the 60’s, but, however was himself born in 1970. now the Bartle Bull in question could be his father
    who practices law in NYC and is also a Republican and not quite the civil rights activist he makes himself out as. If it is the elder one would wonder why a NYC lawyer, votes in Philadelphia.

    “but not by paramilitary guys with no training or authority holding a defined weapon in front of a polling place doing actions that a uniformed LEO would get in trouble over”

    FFLEO, and the police came by and took him away, what’s the beef and where’s the beef?

    “It’s great the police came and got him, but he should still do time for that act.”

    Jill,
    I have no problem with that but then it is a local charge, not a DOJ lawsuit, which incidentally was only asking that the man arrested be enjoined from standing in front of polling
    places, not doing jail time

  43. Mike Spindell,

    Prof. Turley raised the question and my best guess is that he does not support Beck, O’Rielly, Rush et al. We have opinions, Mike, that does not mean we ever listen to those others’ programs–I do not–or that we support their views.

    Prof Turley stated in the article.
    _________________________________

    “At a minimum, there should be a fuller explanation of why this is not a violation and what are the limits for paramilitary groups parading in front of polling places.”
    _________________________________

  44. Mike,

    I’m on your side with both of those issues, and share in some of your frustration. As critical as I’ve been of Obama, this particular story has the manufacturer’s mark of Rush and his apprentices. I remember the Clinton years from a different angle then others here, the only time I was exposed to politics was listening to Rush on my way fishing with my Dad. Most people don’t realize that memories can be triggered by sensations other then just site. This story reminds me of how great it is to just go stand in a stream waving a stick around.

    You probably didn’t notice that my weekend break was a little longer then usual this past week, and that was mainly because I didn’t want to read any more of that festering wound of a conversation about Obama’s citizenship. While Vince has attacked the infection with admirable patience, I’m afraid that time doesn’t heal ALL wounds, sometimes the immune system needs a little help. I’m not sure what the penicillin would be in this case, but luckily amputating wasn’t nearly as painful for a conversation as it is for a body part.

  45. “Prof Turley stated in the article.
    _________________________________

    “At a minimum, there should be a fuller explanation of why this is not a violation and what are the limits for paramilitary groups parading in front of polling places.”

    FFLEO,
    I think JT didn’t look carefully into the article or what really happened. The way the article was phrased of course he would ask questions, so would I, but I delved into it further and looked at the statements being made and who had made them. I’ve been spending the last three damn hours doing mainly that.

    I haven’t talked of it but I’m also in the process of writing a rather long book and instead of making progress on it this afternoon as I planned all the writing I’ve done is on this blog and all the research has been looking into this.

    Nowhere have I stated that I thought these guys were justified, but they were dealt with appropriately by the local police. That DOJ went after them is a reflection of how things were done in the Bush years. That’s why 75% of the corruption prosecuted by the Bush DOJ was of Democratic politicians.

  46. “This story reminds me of how great it is to just go stand in a stream waving a stick around.”

    Gyges,
    I get the point. My only truly wonderful fishing experience was fly fishing, with waders, in a lovely stream in Kingston, NY, when I was 16. Don’t know why I never did it again, but the memory is wonderful and I caught nothing. The green of the flora, the sun sparkling off the water and the sound of it rushing past gave me a feeling of calm I often missed in my youth. Perhaps I should take up a hobby.

  47. FFLEO,

    I vote yes, he is engaging in intimidation and it is unacceptable to me. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear about that in earlier posts. Mike S., I have spoken up so many times about the abuses under Bush that I can’t count them. I have worked with groups to make certain everyone’s vote counted as I explained above, including in the 08 election. I looked at Obama’s voting record, his donors, his actions and came to the conclusion that he was not a person I wanted as president. It was not based on mindless hatred, but well researched and well thought out study and decision making on my part. My current opinion of Obama is based on what he is currently doing to other people and our Constitution. I cannot look at his actions and say he is doing them because Bush will kill him, becuase he has a secret plan or because he is a good person who somehow must do bad things. He is doing many bad things because they give him power, wealth and prestige. He’s doing what Bush did because he is just like him.

  48. Jill stated:
    _________________________________

    “But I cannot agree that a man dressed in a military style uniform with a club is not, in and of itself, an example of voter intimidation”
    _________________________________

    I misread your statement, which was clear after I read it again–I erred, not you.

    P.S. I perhaps should never seek volunteer status as a vote counter at any elections office, except for Floridian elections…

  49. I apologize for coming to this issue so late, but I have been very busy lately. I have to agree with Mike S. on this one. It is obvious that this was a case that should never have been brought to the Justice Department to begin with. The local police handled it properly and the so-called witnesses are far from non-partisan. If Obama made a mistake here it was not removing all non-civil service Justice department personnel. When you combine Michelle Malkin and the Washington Times on a story it has to be tilted to the far right.
    Former Fed, I vote no that there was no significant voter intimidation here because the police handled it properly.
    I do not agree with everything the Obama administration has done since gaining office, but this is a red herring that far too many intelligent people are swallowing.

  50. rafflaw,

    Thanks for your vote.

    Two questions; after you read attorney Bull’s signed declaration (at the link above), would you expect him to perjure himself over this incident? He is a poll watcher and not just only in his district. If he stated under penalty of perjury that he had experience as a civil rights attorney, would you tend to think he was stating a fact since those credentials are verifiable?

  51. Former Fed,
    This attorney appears to be a shill, whether it is the son or the father that we are talking about. You are asking me if I think this guy is perjuring himself? How many times have Republicans lied in public during the last 8 years? Too many to count. So yes, I doubt the veracity of his statement.
    Mike S.
    Get back to work on that book. I hope the JT bloggers will get a discount! By the way, make sure your publisher approves it for Kindle use, because that is my best chance to read it!

  52. I did some research on the NBPP. The Southern Poverty Law Center has declared them a hate group. I am linking to their site because they are dedicated to fighting hate groups of every stripe and there is information on white hate groups there, so that no one believes hate groups are just a problem occurring among people who are black. They have a very fine article on NeoNazis in the military at their home site.

    http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=214

    The wikipedia gives a very good run-down on the group. I hope people will read about this group which is a mirror image of white hate groups.

    JT’s analogy with white hate groups is not out of line here. If I saw Klan members at a polling station I would want the DOJ to go after them with everything they had. This is a black hate group and I think the DOJ should go at them with everything they have as well. To intimidate voters, even for a short time, until the police come and take someone away, is striking at one the vital rights of people in this nation. It should not be tolerated.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Black_Panther_Party

  53. ‘Get back to work on that book. I hope the JT bloggers will get a discount!”

    Rafflaw,
    Thank you for the encouragement and don’t worry you and the regulars will get signed copies, especially because if published, I’ll probably have plenty to give away because the best seller ain’t in the cards. Actually, I’ve got to finish it first and considering I’m about 600 pages in, with no end in sight and the knowledge I’ve then got to re-edit it, makes the whole thing daunting. However, down here in my gated country club community (I bought cheap and who’d of thought some poor Hippy from Brooklyn, would be in a place like this?), since I don’t golf, play tennis or play cards, I need something to keep me busy. JT’s Blog and the book have become mainstay’s that fill my life productively, oh yes and some swimming, beaching and traveling. It’s a tough life, but not only does someone have to do it, at the end of the day I feel fulfilled and that’s the important thing. AS for getting it on kindle, from your mouth to God’s ears.

  54. Jill,
    I had read the Wiki article before I posted yesterday. This is a group that I of course do not defend, or have any respect for. What you need to look at though is first who this party is an offshoot from, the Nation of Islam. The NOI was a movement run by Elijah Muhammad, a conman, and when Malcolm X discovered the truth he left them. The NOI eschewed the Civil Rights Movement and also allied itself with the KKK. They talked a tough game, but were decidedly un-militant. Their one saving grace though was they helped a lot of Black men get out of a prison mentality and did start many businesses in black areas. There were many suspicions that they were in the pay of the FBI to undercut the Civil Rights Movement.

    The NBPP, is in their mold so there is little doubt where they are coming from. They are really a fringe group that has minimal power in the Black community, but make good TV guests for the Media to frighten Whites about Blacks. This was why they were targeted by the Bush DOJ, to turn the focus away from their not investigating all of the Republican elective abuses and to specifically set up a mousetrap for the incoming administration.

    The Aryan Nation is today’s biggest extremist threat and they have ten time the membership and 50 time the money that the NBPP has. This whole thing was a set up Jill, down to the convenient video taper paid for by the RNC, who got no pictures of the police removal or of any intimidation of an outward manner. You also must realize that I’m well aware of the NBPP anti-Jewishness, so I could hardly be characterized as a supporter. I dealt with groups like this in the 60’s who would bluff intimidation and while longing for the microphones or TV cameras. They called it among themselves “Mau Mau’ing Whitey.” Unfortunately, some in White America eat this stuff up because it reinforces their stereotypes.

  55. Come on down South, you will be shown how to vote or swim. Now the swimming in like NJ style swimming except you are hand cuffed no cement booties.

  56. Mike S.,

    The man on the tape is saying what he means and wearing a military style uniform and carrying a club. Per se what he is wearing and the fact that he has a weapon is voter intimidation. Unless you believe that white Republicans asked him to come to the poll that way and gave him a script for what he said (and I don’t think you believe this), then he is responsible for his actions. No group, however small, nor any person, be it only one or two people should be allowed to intimidate voters. This somewhat reminds me of war crimes. There are a lot of people involved in war crimes, from both or neither party. So is the answer to ignore all of them, because there are so many, or do we go after those who committed war crimes? To me, the answer is, we go after those who committed war crimes. In this case, we have obvious voter intimidation by a weapon weilding person, who additionally is acting out of a black hate group philosophy. We also have a clear pattern of voter intimidation committed via lawyers and political strategists/operatives by the Republican party. “Some men rob with a gun, some men rob with a pen.” Is the answer to this problem to say that so many people are guilty that we can go after no one or is the answer that, if you commit voter intimidation, be it with a gun or a pen, you are going to do time? For me, it is the latter.

  57. Jill,

    You’re miss-reading what Mike has to say. Mike thinks these people should be punished. He just wants the right people to do the punishment. In this case he feels that the local officials are capable of handling it without the DOJ becoming involved.

  58. Jill,
    Gyges is correct you did mis-read what I said. Local law enforcement did go after these guys and they did their job. That would have been the end of it, but it wasn’t. Don’t you find it curious that the Washington Times own story stated that the blogger was called in by the Republican Party to video this.

    “Unless you believe that white Republicans asked him to come to the poll that way and gave him a script for what he said”

    First knowing the history of the NBPP I think it is highly likely they were paid, or told in advance to show up. Secondly, how did the Republican Party know in advance to tape there? Third, I just re-watched the tape and I didn’t hear the man with the club say anything inappropriate. What did you hear on the tape that I didn’t.

    How did the party know that at this particular polling place there would be anything to video. Isn’t it interesting that the prominent Bartle Bull, whether pere or fils, was a Republican who happened to be poll watching? Senior is a Wall Street Lawyer and Junior is an author yet there one of them was doing their civic duty? Doesn’t it further interest you that the video guy taped nothing showing overt intimidation, the billy club guy was taken away, in terms of accosting voters entering to vote? Yet wasn’t around to tape the officers coming and taking the club guy away?

    “No group, however small, nor any person, be it only one or two people should be allowed to intimidate voters. This somewhat reminds me of war crimes.”

    The group, by the facts was not allowed to intimidate, nor is there any evidence except by the Republican operatives involved in this, that any one was actually intimidated, leaving this a well handled local matter. There is also no evidence that the NBPP did this anywhere else in the country.
    The NBPP does not in fact support President Obama, or his campaign, so what exactly were they intimidating for?

    Since it violated local laws and was restricted to one site in Philadelphia this was a local matter and not the purview of the DOJ. The Aryan Nation for instance and the KKK are large groups that operate in several states. The Republican Party is larger than both of them and operates nationwide. Finally, to say this reminds you of a war crime is to make insignificant almost every post you’ve written to document war crimes on this blog and I find the statement beyond amazing. The reason I say this is that this incident is not within a thousand miles of the least of the war crimes you’ve discussed.

    “if you commit voter intimidation, be it with a gun or a pen, you are going to do time? For me, it is the latter.”

    Jill there was no gun to begin with so that is a hyperbolic statement. Secondly, if you read the dismissed DOJ’s
    recommendations that were asking for an injunction against the
    baton wielder to stay away from polling places, not for jail time. They weren’t asking for jail time because they could not have made a case that wouldn’t have been thrown out of court by the judge.

    “To me, the answer is, we go after those who committed war crimes. In this case, we have obvious voter intimidation by a weapon weilding person, who additionally is acting out of a black hate group philosophy.”

    Jill, you are as aware as I am of the first Amendment. Given that are you in favor of the DOJ going after every dissenting group in the country, knowing well that that would include the Cindy Sheehan’s and Pink Panther’s as well as the NBPP?

    “We also have a clear pattern of voter intimidation committed via lawyers and political strategists/operatives by the Republican party.”

    Yes and as I pointed out to you the Bush DOJ went after none of that, but picked this forlorn and set up incident in Philadelphia to go after. Primarily because they could stereotype all black people with it.

  59. Mike Spindell,

    You are as biased and partisan as any other ideologue, Republican or otherwise. You treat all contrary evidence as tainted, you twist facts, and you use ad hominem attacks more than any other regular does.

  60. FFLEO,

    I know Buddha hasn’t been around much lately, but I would hope your memory isn’t so short as to think that Mike even comes close to approaching the level of ad hominem attacks that Buddha uses on those he views as trolls.

    Does Mike use Ad hominem? Sure, so have you and I. Perhaps he views the evidence as tainted in this case because it IS tainted. I’ve Mike almost always considers the contrary opinion. Reread what Mike has to say on the matter, he is simply pointing out that this smells to high heaven. He’s not saying “Well those men shouldn’t be punished,” nor is he saying “I’m glad they were there.” He’s saying that the Strum und drang is being drummed up by people intentionally trying to discredit everything the Obama administration attempts.

    We have TWO men at ONE voting center, and the one that was an overt threat was removed. Is that worth all the attention this is receiving? Really?

  61. Gyges,

    I agree that there are more important stories and here is one of them from Glenn Greenwald:

    “This week, two more Guantanamo detainees — Khaled Al-Mutairi from Kuwait and Mohamed Jawad of Afghanistan — were ordered released by federal judges on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to justify their detention. The Washington Independent’s Daphne Eviatar notes this amazing fact: “In 28 of 33 Gitmo detainee cases heard so far, federal judges have found insufficient evidence to support keeping them in prison.” Virtually all of those detainees were held for many years without charges and with no opportunity for judicial review. Once they finally got into a court, federal judges (including Bush-43 appointed judges) in the vast majority of cases concluded there was virtually no credible evidence ever to justify their detention. Just consider what that fact, standing alone, means about what our Government has been doing.

    The case of Jawad is particularly striking because he was a young teenager — possibly as young as 12 — when he was shipped to Guantanamo in 2002; unquestionably tortured; never accused of being a member of either Al Qaeda or the Taliban; barely saved after a suicide attempt in 2003; and then kept in a cage for seven years and counting with no charges. I wrote at length about Jawad’s case here, and Scott Horton summarizes some of the miserable lowlights of his case today here. As Andy Worthington reports, so unpersuasive was the case against Jawad — particularly once the “confession” he gave after being threatened with his own death and his family’s death were, over the objections of the Obama DOJ, excluded — that the federal judge excoriated the Obama DOJ with an unusually strident and hostile tone for attempting to continue his detention. Adam Serwer considers the implications of Jawad’s habeas victory, as well as the fact that the Obama DOJ may try now to indict him on actual criminal charges in order still to prevent his release even in light of the judge’s ruling…”

  62. Gyges,

    There comes a time, even among good friends, when it is best to avoid further discussion on certain topics to avoid stating something you regret. The adage, ‘There are some things you say that you just can’t take back; so, be careful of what you say’ applies to Mike Spindell and me, for now. Mike is well aware that I like him, but his posts of late are just going to be something that I will skip for awhile.

    The ad hominem reference was against other regulars, with which Buddha does not engage, with one exception.

    I originally posted this on the wrong thread (Karl Rove).

  63. Jill,
    You are full of it. There was nothing disrespectful of you in my post, nor was there an ad hominem attack.

    “Finally, to say this reminds you of a war crime is to make insignificant almost every post you’ve written to document war crimes on this blog and I find the statement beyond amazing. The reason I say this is that this incident is not within a thousand miles of the least of the war crimes you’ve discussed.”

    This is the only thing that I believe you might have taken umbrage at and it in no way insults you, but pays homage to your constant denouncing of war crimes, in which I’ve consistently agreed with you. For you to compare this to the actual war crimes committed is factually hyperbolic as in the below standard definition:

    “hy⋅per⋅bol⋅ic
      /ˌhaɪpərˈbɒlɪk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hahy-per-bol-ik] Show IPA
    Use hyperbolic in a Sentence
    –adjective
    1. having the nature of hyperbole; exaggerated.
    2. using hyperbole; exaggerating.
    3. Mathematics.
    a. of or pertaining to a hyperbola.
    b. derived from a hyperbola, as a hyperbolic function.”

    However, to say someone is being hyperbolic and to cite the instance, is not an ad hominem attack, nor a nasty statement by any stretch of the imagination. If this is not the cause of the insult then what specifically is Jill?

    Am I not allowed to disagree with you? Am I not allowed to rebut your points? Am I not allowed to say that your argument is over the top? Who gave you the status of someone who can’t be disagreed with. This is the second time that you have accused me of insulting you, when I’ve merely disagreed with you and mildly at that.

    Now I truly find your claiming insult to be in itself insulting and I agree with you to let people judge for themselves. This isn’t about whether we disagree on a certain point, it is about whether I was insulting in my disagreement with you, which by any stretch of the imagination is simply not true.

    You seem to arrogate to yourself a special status in that people can’t disagree with you without it being insulting. I don’t believe you have a right to that status Jill and further if you are given it then it would go against the principles this site is based on. I’ve had tough debates with many of the regulars here, Mespo most recently and no one but you and some trolls have ever called me insulting. In the trolls case I was being insulting, in your case I wasn’t. You’ve read my stuff Jill, I am capable of being very insulting when the need arises. It’s not my style to be insulting with the regulars here and there is a body of work that proves it.

  64. I will stipulate that I’ve been known to shred trolls and that I don’t fight fair once it’s game on is well known. I do (generally) wait until they (the trolls) ask for it through either direct confrontation or tactical misstep although I will use prodding occasionally to determine if a borderline or unclear post is from an actual troll. I can be a vicious bastard, but I try not to draw blood needlessly. There have also been examples of me going to great lengths to diffuse conflict too. I’ve always tried to be as good a friend or as bad an enemy as people ask for with their behavior. That is the nature of my tao. However . . .

    I’m not sure why Mike is trouble.

    Sure, he’s disagreeing, but I’ve read that last post three times now and I still don’t get the insult. His reply was terse perhaps, but as one who can deliver a fairly serious mauling, I’m just not seeing it. Admittedly I am thicker skinned than most and under abnormal stress that could be keeping me from seeing it. Today was . . . today, but that is beside the point other than being relevant to my current state of mind and the perception of slight.

    I’m not trying to start trouble between regulars either, all three of whom I like and respect for different reasons. No response is required from any of the parties involved. I just thought a comment was appropriate since I was invoked.

    And that is all I have to say about that.

  65. “Mike Spindell,
    You are as biased and partisan as any other ideologue, Republican or otherwise. You treat all contrary evidence as tainted, you twist facts, and you use ad hominem attacks more than any other regular does.”

    “Mike is well aware that I like him, but his posts of late are just going to be something that I will skip for awhile.”

    FFLEO,
    That first quote is truly insulting and if you don’t want to read my posts that’s fine. However, you original post quoted at top showed a complete misreading of what I was saying and I find that more sad, than annoying.

  66. That Mike (like any of the regulars) is trouble goes without saying, but what I meant was “is in trouble.”

    And that is still all I have to say about that.

  67. BIL,

    I try to come to the defense of who-ever I see is being unfairly branded, I’m sure anyone who reads the comments section of this blog will agree. We’ve both come to Jill’s defense on numerous occasions, and in this case I have to say that I’m in agreement you, I just can’t see the insult. (Until Mike called Jill Full of it).

    I wasn’t passing judgment on you, you know I generally just skip your posts when you go into attack mode, but I understand your reasons. I was just stating that Mike doesn’t hold a candle to you when it comes to insults.

  68. MIke S:

    “I’ve had tough debates with many of the regulars here, Mespo most recently and no one but you and some trolls have ever called me insulting.”

    *********

    I always think the other side is “insulting” when they’re wining the argument. Call it a personal flaw!!

  69. “I was just stating that Mike doesn’t hold a candle to you when it comes to insults.”

    Aw shucks Gyges and I thought I was a regular wit and anyway he’s supposed to be The Buddha, who taught mildness in one’s dealings with their fellow man.

    “(Until Mike called Jill Full of it)”

    That was clearly meant to be an insult, but c’mon is that even really anything that one would equate as a real insult? No one here has ever told a friend or loved one that they were full of it? My model for real insults was the play Cyrano DeBergerac, in the dueling scene, now those were insults. My response here wasn’t even at Defcom status, why should it have been, we’re talking about a disagreement in viewpoints and not some line of political/moral principle being crossed?

  70. I hate every one and every thing; excepting present company of course.

    Let’s sing along; shall we Buddha?

  71. Bob,Esq:

    “I hate every one and every thing; excepting present company of course.Let’s sing along; shall we Buddha?”

    *************

    Now I am hurt!!

  72. Mike S.,

    My last attempt and I’m done. Here’s why your posts are insulting and here’s why they are factually incorrect.

    #

    Jill,
    “Gyges is correct you did mis-read what I said. Local law enforcement did go after these guys and they did their job. That would have been the end of it, but it wasn’t.” __ I am aware of your position and I do not agree with it. CNN did an interview with the NBPP and they called what he did intimidation and they kicked him out of the organization. I think he should have done jail time for his actions. That is my position and if differs from yours. It is not a misunderstanding, it is a disagreement on what consequences should follow. “Don’t you find it curious that the Washington Times own story stated that the blogger was called in by the Republican Party to video this.

    “Unless you believe that white Republicans asked him to come to the poll that way and gave him a script for what he said”–Is this what you believe? Was the man told by Republicans to go to the polls with a weapon and engage in voter intimidation? If it is what you believe, why? The NBPP did not say this man wasn’t a member of their organization. They have since kicked him out, but he was a member. I’m not against conspiracy theories but that one doesn’t make sense. If you have some evidence of this being a conspiracy I would be happy to read it and will give it an honest hearing. That people were at the voting both with cell phones taking pictures is not strange to me, because that is what ABLE was doing when we received complaints of voter intimidation. You may not like Republicans or the Washington Times but that doesn’t mean that the cell phone video is inaccurate.

    “First knowing the history of the NBPP I think it is highly likely they were paid, or told in advance to show up. Secondly, how did the Republican Party know in advance to tape there? Third, I just re-watched the tape and I didn’t hear the man with the club say anything inappropriate. What did you hear on the tape that I didn’t.”– As I said earlier it isn’t weird that people from the Republican party were out monitoring polling places. Democrats and those of us in non-partisan organizations were doing the same thing. I did think his questions were much like overly agreesive LEOs and I still have a hard time understanding why you think it is appropriate for him to show up in a military type uniform with a weapon at a polling place. As his own group said, he engaged in voter intimidation and they purged him from the group for doing so.

    “How did the party know that at this particular polling place there would be anything to video. Isn’t it interesting that the prominent Bartle Bull, whether pere or fils, was a Republican who happened to be poll watching? Senior is a Wall Street Lawyer and Junior is an author yet there one of them was doing their civic duty?”–This I’ve adressed twice above. “Doesn’t it further interest you that the video guy taped nothing showing overt intimidation”–it is over itimidation to dress in a military style uniform with a weapon, “the billy club guy was taken away”– as well it should have been, “in terms of accosting voters entering to vote?”–this was accosting voters, his own group got rid of him for that. “Yet wasn’t around to tape the officers coming and taking the club guy away?”–yep, that’s sleezy. The Republicans should have shown the whole thing.

    “No group, however small, nor any person, be it only one or two people should be allowed to intimidate voters. This somewhat reminds me of war crimes.”

    “The group, by the facts was not allowed to intimidate, nor is there any evidence except by the Republican operatives involved in this, that any one was actually intimidated,”–wrong, in the article with CNN the NBPP said they asked him to leave because they do not wish to engage in voter intimidation. That’s pretty factual when his own group says he should leave for intimidating voters. “leaving this a well handled local matter”–in your opinion, not in mine, I feel voter intimdation is quite serious and should trigger jail time.. “There is also no evidence that the NBPP did this anywhere else in the country.
    The NBPP does not in fact support President Obama, or his campaign, so what exactly were they intimidating for?”– That’s great they don’t do this elsewhere. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen here. You will have to ask these two men what they were intimidating for, I have no insight into their thoughts, nor do you. I did not claim they were intimidating for Obama.

    “Since it violated local laws and was restricted to one site in Philadelphia this was a local matter and not the purview of the DOJ.”–That is your opinion and people at DOJ disagree with you as do I. We may be wrong, but you may also be incorrect. “The Aryan Nation for instance and the KKK are large groups that operate in several states.”–true and there are small white hate groups which I do not want intimidating voters at the polls. “The Republican Party is larger than both of them and operates nationwide.”–agreed and it is my position that certain member of it should be arrested for engaging in voter intimdation as I clearly said above. “Finally, to say this reminds you of a war crime is to make insignificant almost every post you’ve written to document war crimes on this blog and I find the statement beyond amazing. The reason I say this is that this incident is not within a thousand miles of the least of the war crimes you’ve discussed.”–Here is where you fail to understand my point. I am drawing the analogy not to the actions of torture and killing civlians, but as I cearly stated, voter intimidation is as rampant as war crimes. This rampant nature has presented a problem for prosecutions for some people, because it is rather overwhelming and so many people are involved. This is the nature of my analogy and if you reread my post you will see I state this very clearly.

    “if you commit voter intimidation, be it with a gun or a pen, you are going to do time? For me, it is the latter.”

    Jill there was no gun to begin with so that is a hyperbolic statement”.–Again Mike, you are taking the words from a song as a literal statement. These lyrics were intended to show that both this man and members of the Republican party engaged in voter intimidation. This is your misunderstanding, not my meaning. “Secondly, if you read the dismissed DOJ’s
    recommendations that were asking for an injunction against the
    baton wielder to stay away from polling places, not for jail time.”–This is true. “They weren’t asking for jail time because they could not have made a case that wouldn’t have been thrown out of court by the judge.”–this is speculation by you and people in the DOJ disagree with your speculation. Neither of us knows the reason this case was dismissed.

    “To me, the answer is, we go after those who committed war crimes. In this case, we have obvious voter intimidation by a weapon weilding person, who additionally is acting out of a black hate group philosophy.”–I notice you fail to quote the entirety of what I said and then present it as a straw man in the argument below. That quote was about the need to go after people who engage in voter intimidation with a weapon and those who do it with a pen–ie, lawyers, and operatives in the Republican party. To misuse a quote by cutting it up and taking it out of context shows a weakness of character and argument.

    “Jill, you are as aware as I am of the first Amendment. Given that are you in favor of the DOJ going after every dissenting group in the country,”–that is an absolute misrepresentation of what I said and I believe you know you are misrepresenting my work. That is insulting. I am not, nor have I ever been in favor of the DOJ going after any group on the grounds of their speech. If the NBPP wants to parade down my hometown street shouting death to whites and so on, I’ve paid my ACLU dues to defend them. What I don’t have to do is look the other way when someone is spouting hate speech. Free speech belongs to me and to them. I may say they are idiots for what they believe. What they may not do is show up a voting booth dressed in a military style uniform and wearing a weapon. That is not about free speech. It is an unprotected action that even the NBPP has repudiated. So for you to make up something like this about me is truly wrong. It is immoral for you to say something about me which you know is untrue, presenting lies as if I had said them and I say, shame on you. “knowing well that that would include the Cindy Sheehan’s and Pink Panther’s as well as the NBPP?”–again, shame on you for misrepresenting what I said. I said no such thing and I support free speech for all, including the NBPP.

    “We also have a clear pattern of voter intimidation committed via lawyers and political strategists/operatives by the Republican party.”

    Yes and as I pointed out to you the Bush DOJ went after none of that, but picked this forlorn and set up incident in Philadelphia to go after. Primarily because they could stereotype all black people with it.”–I am aware that you pointed this out. You seem unaware that I pointed this out in several of my posts as well. This is what my analogy to war crimes was about. Voter intimidation takes many forms, all of them are wrong, no one who commits it should be left off the hook.

    When you call me names, misrepresent my argument, twist my words to your own aims–all of it is shameful and insulting. You seem unable to take on my arguments in a straightforward manner. For this reason, and because you are completely dishonest in your representation of what I am writing, I feel no longer that I will engage with you on this blog. You are being abusive. You should be ashamed.
    #
    65

  73. Jill, WOW, nice one.

    It’s called having blinders on no different then anything else we all do it, some more so then others. To help remove the blinders there are people who are trained to help called trainers. Here’s an example.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203609204574317090690242698.html

    Eric Holder was a senior partner with Covington & Burling, a prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm, which represents 17 Yemenis currently held at Gitmo.

    From thier website http://www.cov.com/probonooverview/probono.aspx?show=morehighlights
    The firm represents 17 Yemeni nationals and one Pakistani citizen held at Guantánamo Bay. The Supreme Court will soon review the D.C. Circuit’s ruling that ordered the dismissal of a number of habeas petitions filed by Guantánamo detainees; some of our clients are petitioners in the Supreme Court case. We expect to play a substantial role in the briefing. We also plan to petition the Supreme Court to hear our Pakistani client’s appeal from the D.C. Circuit’s order dismissing his case. Further, we are pursuing relief in the D.C. Circuit under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 for all of our clients. On a separate front, we filed amicus briefs and coordinated the amicus effort in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in which the Supreme Court in the summer of 2006 invalidated President Bush’s military commissions and in which we have obtained favorable rulings that our clients have rights under the Fifth Amendment and the Geneva Conventions.

    Mr. Holder, while Deputy Attorney General, pushed for the release of 16 violent FALN terrorists against the advice of the FBI, the US Attorneys who prosecuted them and the NYPD officers who were maimed by them, suggests that he was perfectly willing to put politics before the national security interests of the country. He is not suited for the job of attorney general, which is central to the issues surrounding the disposition of war on terror detainees.

    My point is, come on, are these two thugs really that bad. No, they did not commit any acts of terrorism. But I’m sure if they had, they would of still been looked upon favorably by this AG.

  74. Oh and by the way. Regardless of the law and in this example I don’t care what the law is. ANYTIME you remove a CHILD AT GUN POINT and return him TO A COMMUNIST COUNTRY, your an idiot.

  75. Still not seeing a reason for offense nor am I likely too.

    However, Jill, if you want to talk about twisting words, let’s talk about the word “abusive”.

    One does not get to be as thick skinned as I am without knowing EXACTLY what constitutes physical or verbal abuse both legally and philosophically.

    Disagreeing with someone isn’t “abuse”. But calling someone an abuser for disagreeing with you could be categorized as abusive. Abuse, abuser and abusive are all words with very specific application and they imply a necessary dualistic interaction (even if that interaction is between self as in the case of a drug addicts abusing themselves). It is also a “threshold allegation” in escalation – once spoken hard to retract. I had a marriage annulled because of abusive behavior. As in actual legally defined and sanctioned abusive behavior. As in “she got time” for it.

    As far as “abusive” goes, Mike’s behavior is not even in the same neighborhood let alone inside the park. Be as offended he disagreed with you as you like, but attempting to paint Mike as your abuser is quite frankly offensive tactically. It’s weak and it reads as a sign of weakness.

    You should not use that word so casually. You diminish its true meaning. Abuse requires a victim. You’ve been disagreed with, Jill, not victimized. The only harm you’ve done your position is with your disproportionate outrage and inappropriate word choice – NOT Mike’s statements (which I disagree with in part as I do yours). You could have made your clarification without trying to paint yourself as abused (which you weren’t or is at best debatable) instead of in disagreement (which is without doubt). Self-victimization may get you on Oprah, but it won’t win you an argument as a general rule. In fact, it often leaves a mote in the observer’s eye.

    If you’ve become this thin skinned, a salon that celebrates freedom of speech and the right to disagree may not be the best place to hang out. Perhaps you need to take a break. Everyone does from time to time. This can be a rough place and even the friendlies are capable of being tough customers. Even water eventually wears through stone. Don’t let that drive you to mistake friends for enemies or drive you to create new enemies over a point of relatively little import (isolated voter intimidation by non-state actors) considering the whole scope of the problem (fascism in general and the Neocons illegal usurpation of power by systemic manipulation of the campaign finance system to put their puppets in power). It’s the choice of going to battle over a molehill versus over a mountain.

    I invite you to revisit your word choice.

    Lest you risk throwing out the baby (the Constitution and friends of said document) with the bath water (the sunshine and trials required to re-claim the government for We the People).

  76. “Mike S.,
    Your argument is insulting and I will let what you said and what I said speak for itself.”

    Jill,
    Given you latest post I think your own words in all those posts directed at me are my best case and people can decide for themselves.

  77. Buddah Excellent advise/opinion and nicely worded.

    If you’ve become this thin skinned, a salon that celebrates freedom of speech and the right to disagree may not be the best place to hang out. Perhaps you need to take a break. Everyone does from time to time. This can be a rough place and even the friendlies are capable of being tough customers.

    I’m taking a break and on the way to a boat poker run. Livations and wetness with lots of visible fun bags attached to wonderful bodies. Have a great day!!!!

  78. Buddha,

    Mike S. said that I wanted the DOJ to go after dissident groups. I never said that and yet he presented that as my words, my thinking. That is absolutely abusive. That wasn’t just a misunderstanding or a disagreement. That was presenting me as believing and having said something I do not believe and did not say. No one has a right to present false statements about others and that includes Mike S. If you ever have someone taking an idea that you hold sacred, the right of free speech for all, and someone else misrepresents you as being against this when: 1. you are for it and 2. you have backed up your words with money and action and 3. you did not have this statement in your post, but someone else is saying you did, then that is abusive. It is wrong to misrepresent what someone else said. If you read my posts you will not see that statement or anything like it.

    Mike made up a statement from whole cloth, which he attributed to me. Here is what he said: “Jill, you are as aware as I am of the first Amendment. Given that are you in favor of the DOJ going after every dissenting group in the country,” I replied”–that is an absolute misrepresentation of what I said and I believe you know you are misrepresenting my work. That is insulting.”

    If you think that is O.K. then so mote it be, but it is not O.K. with me and I will not accept that.

    I went through Mike’s post line by line showing how it did misrepresent what I’d said and in this case, actually made up something I never said. If you think that is fair, again, that is your right, but I do not have to think it is right or accept this behavior.

    I do not object to people disagreeing with me. It happens all the time. I do object to name calling, twisting of my words and actually making something up and attributing it to me as if I’d said it. If you are fine with people doing those things to you that is your choice. In my book that is wrong. Since we are not the same people we don’t have to react the same way but that is crossing a line for me and I will stand up for myself on this matter. Choosing my words carefully, I consisder it abusive.

  79. My full original statement:

    “Jill, you are as aware as I am of the first Amendment. Given that are you in favor of the DOJ going after every dissenting group in the country, knowing well that that would include the Cindy Sheehan’s and Pink Panther’s as well as the NBPP?”

    Jills cropped version making what was a question into a statement and implication.

    “Jill, you are as aware as I am of the first Amendment. Given that are you in favor of the DOJ going after every dissenting group in the country,”

    This was cropped by Jill so she could claim abuse, when none was given. There was also further context which anyone can see, where all I was saying was that this particular act didn’t raise itself to the level of a situation the DOJ should involve itself in. Your charges of abuse and your supposed victimization by me was clearly because you did not like that I disagreed with you, using your own statements. I was neither abusive, disrespectful, nor did I engage in attacking you.

    Do you really think I’m an idiot Jill? I have read your posts for two years now and you have presumably read mine. To state that I was accusing you of being against the First Amendment is beyond absurd. When my point was why should the DOJ investigate this one isolated instance that was well handled by the local police?

    Perhaps you should heed your own words below because to me your behavior is moving beyond offensive into quite another realm. You neither have to read my posts nor respond to me if that is your choice.

    “Mike S.,
    My last attempt and I’m done.”

  80. Buddha:

    I don’t think Jill is being thin-skinned about Mike’s exchange with her. He deliberately misquoted her, attributing to her views that she finds abhorrent. In my book, this is an insult & a form of abuse.

    We should all be careful to understand what the other person has said & to be absolutely scrupulous when we quote or paraphrase that person. Anything less than this is sophistical & discourteous & can even descend to the level of abusiveness.

    If we are aiming at the serious discussion of political & social issues, we should all join the debate squarely. There should be no room for misrepresentation of the views of others.

  81. Is it ‘snit’ season again already?

    Mike S. I thought your statements about the MSM and the Washington Times the other day were thoughtful and well-reasoned.

    Should have said so. My bad…

    Let’s not forget that as our ‘resident voter fraud activist’, Jill, wasn’t even properly registered, herself, for the few (three?) elections…

    How is that even possible?

  82. So there is no confusion I mistyped my login…


    Is it ’snit’ season again already?

    Mike S. I thought your statements about the MSM and the Washington Times the other day were thoughtful and well-reasoned.

    Should have said so. My bad…

    Let’s not forget that as our ‘resident voter fraud activist’, Jill, wasn’t even properly registered, herself, for the LAST few (three?) elections… Including up to the day of the last Presiential one!

    How is that even possible?

  83. Mespo: “Now I am hurt!!”

    My apologies, it must have been my background in philosophy that pushed me to taunt the Buddha.

  84. The following regards attorney, Bartle Bull, who some within this blawg consider a possible shill, not the civil rights attorney/activist he claims to be under penalty of perjury, and is perhaps also capable of perjuring himself regarding facts in his declaration related to this thread. Oh how I would like Mr. Bull to find this thread and give us his response to the people here questioning his honesty and character.

    For anyone wanting to contact Attorney Bull, his e-mail address is available at his law office website link posted below.

    From Jones Hirsch Connors & Bull P.C.
    Attorneys At Law

    http://www.jhcb.com/staff.html#p_bull
    _________________________________

    {Quote:

    BARTLE BULL

    Education: Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 1963. Magdalen College, Oxford University, 1963 – 1964. Harvard Law School, J.D., 1967.

    Bar Admission: New York, 1967.

    Experience: Partner with firm since 1980. Publisher, President and Co-founder, Firehouse Magazine, 1977 – 1980; Director, New York Magazine, The Village Voice and New West Magazine, 1976 – 1980; President and/or Publisher, The Village Voice, 1971 – 1976; Associate, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, 1967 – 1970.

    Other Professional and Community Activities: Author of: Safari – A Chronicle of Adventure, The White Rhino Hotel, A Cafe on the Nile, The Devil’s Oasis.
    Published articles in The New York State Bar Journal, Connoisseur Magazine, Science Digest, Amicus Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News, The Village Voice, The New York Post and The New York Times;
    Director, Fulbright International Scholarship Program, 1977 – 1980; Vice President and Trustee, St. Bernard’s School, 1977-2001.

    End Quote}
    ________________________________

    Folks, regardless of our opinions, Prof. Turley’s ‘#1 LEGAL THEORY AND LAW PROFESSOR BLOG OF THE TOP 100 LEGAL BLOGS BY THE ABA JOURNAL’ must demand the highest standards of discourse possible when discussing a person’s character and honesty.

  85. Another quick method to communicate with attorney Bartle Bull is via telephone. His 212 Area Code phone number is posted right under his law firm photo and above his e-mail address link.

    Please give Mr. Bull a call to discuss his declaration. I know that from declarations I have signed, they become public record as soon as they are submitted to the court, just like legal briefs or amici curiae.

  86. Here is an interview with Attorney Bartle Bull. Now you biased people listen up. I do not have a TV and I disdain Mr. O’Reilly. Just listen to the interview and about Mr. Bull’s background as a liberal and the people–some black–that he has supported in civil rights.

    Bill O’Reilly: Black Panthers Intimidate Voters

  87. FFLEO,

    Thanks for finding this interview. Another aspect of this story that has been really bothering me is the lack of reporting on it. Besides the WT article I was able to find the DOJ original report and a short interview CNN did with the NBPP. I was wondering why I couldn’t find anything in the NYTimes and Washington Post that would give an analysis of the issue.

    The politicization of the DOJ has been a hugh problem for a long time. I would like to hear what the career people said about the case and I would like to hear what the political wing has to say, then I would like to hear someone really dig into the matter.

    I find that many important stories do not show up in our news. This is worrying and Glenn Greenwald was speaking to the muzzling of Bill O’Reilly and Olberman, just yesterday, by their corporate news owners. Our news appears completely managed and controlled.

    The other thing that has just startled me is the reversal taking place in the right and left wings in this nation. I don’t believe Bill O’Reilly every cared about Republican operatives engaging in all kinds of voter intimidation, now suddenly he cares. While his conversion to “caring” is obviously insincere, I’m glad he will do this story, even with bad motives, because someone needs to look into it. On the other hand, liberal groups who complained loudly about Republican voter intimidation, seem completely unconcerned about the issue in this case. It seems like few people are operating from priciple–that being, the intimidation of voters is unacceptable, no matter who is doing it, because the right to vote is a precious right which deserves our protection, each and every time. There seems to be the idea that if my team is doing it, it’s O.K. While Republicans were in power that is how many of them acted. Now Democrats are in power, and that is how many of them are behaving. But Glenn Greenwald was correct to point out that certain things are above politics and they are called rights. What he said bears repeteing:

    By the design of the Founders, most American political issues are driven by the vicissitudes of political realities, shaped by practicalities and resolved by horse-trading compromises among competing factions. But not all political questions were to be subject to that process. Some were intended to be immunized from those influences. Those were called “principles,” or “rights,” or “guarantees” — and what distinguishes them from garden-variety political disputes is precisely that they were intended to be both absolute and adhered to regardless of what Massing calls “the practical considerations policymakers must contend with.”

    We don’t have to guess what those principles are. The Founders created documents — principally the Constitution — which had as their purpose enumerating the principles that were to be immunized from such “practical considerations.” All one has to do in order to understand their supreme status is to understand the core principle of Constitutional guarantees: no acts of Government can conflict with these principles or violate them for any reason. And all one has to do to appreciate their absolute, unyielding essence is to read how they’re written: The President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” “[A]ll Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Even policies which enjoy majoritarian support and ample “practical” justification will be invalid — nullified — if they violate those guarantees.”

  88. There is one thing I would like to add. I think Glenn Greenwald’s post goes to the heart of what is going wrong in this nation. When people are willing to trade out other people’s rights, they may believe this is O.K. because it’s only trading out someone else’s rights. This belief never turns out to be correct. Once a right is taken, it is gone. For a time, it may only be taken away from those we consider our enemies, aka, our fellow citizens. But power changes hands, if not parties and the favored group becomes no longer favored. The right wing militias became offended by govt. intrusion into their lives only after it effected them. Up till that point, govt. surveillence was acceptable because they believed it was only happening to groups they didn’t like anyway-liberal peace and progressive groups. In the milita mind, taking away the rights of progressive groups was justified because they were the bad guys.

    One of the things that has most shocked and angered me about Democrats after the election of Obama has been their willingness to trade out the rights of others, because the person abolishing those rights is their candidate. Just from a practical standpoint, this is unwise. Obama will not be in power forever, but the rights that have been abolished will remain abolished.

    Glenn Greenwald is pointing out that there are rights, innumerated in our Constitution and our laws that no citizen should be willing to trade out for any reason. I think it is a powerful statement and truly worth serious consideration.

  89. FFLeo:

    Attorney Bull seems credentialed enough to me to listen to what he says. We liberals should guard against the natural human tendency to canonize our allies and demonize our opponents. Every event rises or falls on its own merit.

  90. Mespo,

    Thank you. That is the point I was trying to make and it helps to have an attorney weigh in with a general comment. We may disagree with what he states, but we must not outrightly disparage his credentials or possible associations with whomever or malign whatever political persuasions he espouses.

    As a nonlawyer, I take every declaration I have signed as a solemn oath. I would assume that any attorney who is a full partner in a law firm and with 42 years of lawyering experience would not risk his career or reputation by falsifying his declaration in this matter, or any other.

  91. FFLeo:

    “As a nonlawyer, I take every declaration I have signed as a solemn oath. I would assume that any attorney who is a full partner in a law firm and with 42 years of lawyering experience would not risk his career or reputation by falsifying his declaration in this matter, or any other.”

    *************

    We make a grave error assuming that men of honor and integrity do not exist. That is another one of those self-fulfilling prophesies. Thanks for serving as a counter-example to the cynics among us.

  92. “Director, New York Magazine, The Village Voice and New West Magazine, 1976 – 1980; President and/or Publisher, The Village Voice, 1971 – 1976; Associate, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, 1967 – 1970.”

    FFLEO,
    Before you accuse me of duplicity, which you just did, you should realize that I don’t make accusations lightly, or without research. Below you will find a references and link to Mr. Bull and his attachment to Rupert Murdoch, yes that Rupert Murdoch the prominent “liberal” publisher. I’m going to write this rebuttal in consecutive posts because I’m afraid if I put in more than one link it will be held for moderation and I did want to get back to you and your charges quickly, before

    “Rupert Murdoch” By Jerome Tuccille pp.58 through 62
    http://books.google.com/books?id=2mj1FcArTE8C&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=Village+Voice+Rupert+Murdoch+purchase&source=bl&ots=jIagzgSnAy&sig=kDl4eB6hijvnpmRGOkp0dcS8Dm8&hl=en&ei=Irh1SoP0ENH7tgemxdyWCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    Mr. Bull was an associate of Rupert Murdoch and helped facilitate the purchase of these publications by Murdoch and then was named to significant positions on them. That is how I knew about Bartle Bull, because I was a Liberal NY’er through those years and watched these two formerly excellent
    liberal outlets, deteriorate under Murdoch’s reign, of which the estimable Mr. Bull was a tool. This first happened to the NY Post, which for 130 years had been the leading liberal newspaper in NY, only to become a rag under Murdoch. The purchase of New York Magazine was described by former owner and up to that point friend of Murdoch as a “rape” and as the link showed Mr. Bull, the honorable attorney, was a key participant for which he was later rewarded with positions.

    Now Bull does claim credentials in the Civil Rights battles and did later even support Bobby Kennedy. However, loyalties change through the years, since you FFLEO have even said that you a loyal Republican voted for President Obama. See next post.

  93. Yes, loyalties change but, as I stated in another thread today, a person must never put loyalty above integrity. I am not loyal to Obama, as my next vote will demonstrate if he does not quit his own duplicities. I am steadfastly loyal to the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and the Bill of Rights et al. but I would never be loyal to any man under any circumstances who abrogates those foundations of our Republic/Democracy.

  94. Who is Bartle Bull? Surely, you are not confusing him with ‘Bartlebee’…!!!!!!! LOL

    I never heard of this lawyer, professionally or otherwise, when I was part of the established Boston legal community, before med school, and I lived in downtown Boston for the better parts of 20 years!

    He looks just like a lot of other Boston lawyers I do know, though.
    No question about that.

  95. http://www.questmag.com/questmag/200808/?pg=170

    The above link establishes that in the 2008 campaign Lawyer Bull was Chairman of New York Democrats for McCain. He had previously backed Rudy G for President but switched to McCain when Rudy G dropped out. Actually if you take the time to fully Google Mr. Bull you discover that he became disenchanted with Jimmy Carter, around the same time. It is curiously that his financial ties to Rupert Murdoch grew. If someone had looked further than that they would see he disliked Bill Clinton and perhaps that is why the “prominent Democrat” also didn’t support Hillary for the Presidency, but more likely it was that he was entwined politically with Rudy G.

    This now goes back to his Civil Rights credentials because Rudy G while while Mayor for two terms never would meet with Black civil rights leaders. Many people in the Civil Rights struggle moved away from it as they grew older, initially it was because the “Black Power Movement” eschewed and alienated
    white leadership. Even Eldridge Cleaver BPP celebrity became a dress designer in his later years. Clearly, Bull had become more conservative as he aged.

    Now to go to the Bill O’Reilly interview, on the propaganda network’s run by Bull collaborator Rupert Murdoch, Bull clearly states in his interview that he was at seven polling sites that day and that this was the only place he saw intimidation. Isn’t curious that the supposedly fair Mr. Bull was chairman of New York Democrats for McCain and visiting voting sites under the campaigns auspices in Philadelphia and came across the one site where a paid Republican blogger video’s the two men? He was hardly a disinterested party. He also mentions further in the O’Reilly interview that the man heading up the DOJ prosecution was one Christian Adams, had someone been interested in looking him up they might have found this about Mr. Adams:

    “In his day job, Christian Adams writes legal briefs for the voting rights section of the Justice Department, a job that requires a nonpartisan approach. Off the clock, Adams belongs to the Republican National Lawyers Association, a group that trains hundreds of Republican lawyers to monitor elections and pushes for confirmation of conservative nominees for federal judgeships.”

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/002990.php

    Which returns full circle to my premise that this whole thing was a Republican put up job to try to smear the President. Notice to in the O’Reilly interview Mr. Bull said he was never contacted by any other major media except for the Washington Times. So we have the Moonie Washington Times and the propaganda network FOX the only two media outlets interested.

    “Folks, regardless of our opinions, Prof. Turley’s ‘#1 LEGAL THEORY AND LAW PROFESSOR BLOG OF THE TOP 100 LEGAL BLOGS BY THE ABA JOURNAL’ must demand the highest standards of discourse possible when discussing a person’s character and honesty.”

    Yes it should FFLEO and frankly your “research” might no have met that test.

    “As a nonlawyer, I take every declaration I have signed as a solemn oath. I would assume that any attorney who is a full partner in a law firm and with 42 years of lawyering experience would not risk his career or reputation by falsifying his declaration in this matter, or any other.”

    People have a tendency to hear what they expect to hear and clearly Mr. Bull came there expecting to hear something. Beyond that though the point is not well taken because Bull risked nothing in making his statement, there was no way to prosecute it if it were a lie, or a convenient mis-hearing.

    Now does it seem like I mis-characterized Bull as a Republican, well yes it seems so, or else why would he be the New York Chairman of Democrats for McCain? As I stated:

    ME: “Isn’t it interesting that the prominent Bartle Bull, whether pere or fils, was a Republican who happened to be poll watching?”

    Yes I was wrong to call him a Republican, but the man clearly had a vested Republican interest.

    Me: “The group, by the facts was not allowed to intimidate, nor is there any evidence except by the Republican operatives involved in this, that any one was actually intimidated, leaving this a well handled local matter.”

    This is the essence of the point I’ve been making and I find that no one has directly answered any of my relevant points except to canonize Mr. Bull, who I don’t think has yet attained saintly status.

  96. “Yes, loyalties change but, as I stated in another thread today, a person must never put loyalty above integrity.”

    FFLEO,
    Interesting statement that since it avoids the main point which was that Mr. Bull has clearly shifted his point of view from his Civil Rights days. Then too were I of thinner skin I might think that there was a slap directed at me, but how could that be so?

    Oh yes, it doesn’t have to be because you already have cast aspersions at my integrity:

    “Mike Spindell,
    You are as biased and partisan as any other ideologue, Republican or otherwise. You treat all contrary evidence as tainted, you twist facts, and you use ad hominem attacks more than any other regular does.”

    “Here is an interview with Attorney Bartle Bull. Now you biased people listen up.”

    “Mike is well aware that I like him, but his posts of late are just going to be something that I will skip for awhile.”

    FFLEO, with friends like you I guess a man has no need for enemies. What I would have expected from you was a fair reading of what I wrote whether or not you agreed. Instead you chose to cast aspersions on my integrity, my supposed twisting facts and supposed ad hominem attacks. You will notice, if you bother to read this, that I nowhere attacked you or your integrity. The fact is that other than saying that Jill was “Full of it”, in response to her accusing me of being abusive, I never attacked her in the ways you describe. Polls, such as your previous one don’t interest me, especially when I am certain of my position. However, I invite anyone to fair mindedly go back through this thread and first show me where attacked Jill and/or FFLEO and secondly where my reasoning that this is another Republican hatchet job is specious. is specious.

  97. Mike, I simply cannot read more of your irrational biasedness on this topic. I strive to consider all contrary evidence running counter to any of my claims, but there is no point in trying to counter an ideologue’s nonfactual beliefs and innuendo presented as fact.

    If you post more, please do not do so for my benefit because I will not read your material until some time has passed and on a different subject. Regardless, I still like you and consider you a fine man.

    I am glad to read others’ opposing views about this thread because this is a very important issue to me.

  98. Mike S you are forgiven for inadvertently referring to this Bull
    character as a Republican since he was, at irst, a Giuliani supporter who to anybody who was paying attention, would consider to be ‘Bush on steroids’ if he ever got the nomination, much less elected.

    The NY/Rudy G connection alone smacks of Mukasey and his disastrous stint as Attorney General at DOJ all over again.

    That he ended up supporting McCain/Palin doesn’t conjur up ‘Democrat’, exactly, in my mind, either.

  99. Mike S”

    “Mr. Bull was an associate of Rupert Murdoch and helped facilitate the purchase of these publications by Murdoch and then was named to significant positions on them.”

    “The above link establishes that in the 2008 campaign Lawyer Bull was Chairman of New York Democrats for McCain.”

    ***************

    It is treacherous water indeed to equate the political views of a lawyer’s clients with the lawyer’s personal views. Even more hazardous is to divine why someone supports another for political office given the myriad of entanglements of family, business, past assistance, etc. I tend to judge credibility, inter alia, by relying on manifestations of past character, reasoning that leopards usually retain their spots. There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between. McCain seems an honorable man to me under most circumstances. As for Giuliani,… well, anyone can make a bad decision.

  100. “Mike, I simply cannot read more of your irrational biasedness on this topic. I strive to consider all contrary evidence running counter to any of my claims, but there is no point in trying to counter an ideologue’s nonfactual beliefs and innuendo presented as fact.”

    Translation: Don’t present me with any facts my minds made up, oh and by the way you’re a biased liar.

    “Regardless, I still like you and consider you a fine man.”

    Translation: You may be a biased liar but you’re a good person.
    I feel so comforted by that.

  101. “1980; Director, New York Magazine, The Village Voice and New West Magazine, 1976 – 1980; President and/or Publisher, The Village Voice, 1971 – 1976;” from FFLEO.

    “It is treacherous water indeed to equate the political views of a lawyer’s clients with the lawyer’s personal views.”

    Mespo,
    How much legal work do lawyer’s do as magazine Presidents and Publishers? Are you aware of how New York Magazine and the Village Voice changed into Right Wing screeds after Murdoch took over. Do you think that a President/Publisher and member of the board of Directors might have some involvement with their change of political attitude? That wasn’t lawyer’s work he was doing.

    “McCain seems an honorable man to me under most circumstances.”

    I didn’t discuss McCain’s honor so that is irrelevant. My point all along was that this was and continues to be a setup to go along with the current Republican Talking point that President Obama is a racist. I provided evidence of the reasons for my belief and attacked no one here personally in the process. In return most of the points I’ve made haven’t been answered and I have been called abusive, biased and a twister of facts. My integrity has been definitely questioned. It’s irrelevant whether people agree with my point of view or not, what is relevant is that there was nothing dishonorable in my making my case.

  102. I recognized early on after joining this community that were I to continue in it, I would be hurt. So I left.

    Mr. Spindell wrote: “There are forces in this country that are working to get the President killed and that isn’t conspiracy madness, but a remembrance of the 60’s and the deaths of 3 very good people.”

    When our President was sworn in with Lincoln’s bible, I received a case of deja vu. I perceived that Obama had already had the premonition that his life would be cut short, and accepted it. It was after all Lincoln’s death that healed this country.

    It is, in my belief, Obama’s death that will heal the world.

  103. Justice Department restrains lawyers in Panther probe

    The Justice Department has told the federal attorneys who filed a civil complaint against the New Black Panther Party for disrupting a Philadelphia polling place last year not to cooperate with an investigation of the incident by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    The commission last week subpoenaed at least two Justice Department lawyers and sought documents from the department to explain why the complaint was dismissed just as a federal judge was about to punish the New Black Panther Party and three of its members for intimidating voters.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/16/justice-restrains-lawyers-in-panther-inquiry/

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