Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Breaking: Valerie Plame's Civil Suit Dismissed

Valarie Plame's civil suit has been dismissed by a Bush appointed judge. I have to add that note, because of course in this time where partisan reigns supreme, this point is very relevant.

From wilsonsupport.com:

Washington, DC -- Earlier today, District of Columbia District Court Judge John D. Bates dismissed Joe and Valerie Wilson's civil suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, presidential aide Karl Rove, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Richard Armitage. While Judge Bates recognized that the Wilsons' claims "pose important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials," he dismissed their suit on a threshold legal issue: that there is no constitutional remedy available to them.

While the Wilsons' lawyers are reviewing the decision, they anticipate filing an appeal. Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW"), one of the Wilsons' lawyers, said today, "While we are obviously very disappointed by today’s decision, we have always expected that this case would ultimately be decided by a higher court." Sloan continued, "We disagree with the court's holding and intend to pursue this case vigorously to protect all Americans from vindictive government officials who abuse their power for their own political ends."

Here is a little background on the judge who chose to dismiss this case:

On December 9, Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Congress' watchdog, the General Accounting Office (GAO), led by Comptroller General David M. Walker, lacked standing to sue Vice President Dick Cheney for access to the records of the energy task force. In his ruling, Judge Bates stated that "[t]here is no doubt here that the issues framed by the parties invoke core separation of powers questions at the heart of the relationship among the three branches of our government."

Judge Bates added that, in his assessment of whether the Comptroller General has asserted a sufficient injury to establish standing, "the Court must therefore be mindful that the standing inquiry should be 'especially rigorous' because reaching the merits of this dispute could require deciding whether an action taken by one of the other branches of government was unconstitutional."

Named to the bench by President Bush, the Judge is being attacked for his decision, with some arguing that he took the easy way out by deciding the case on the jurisdictional grounds of standing, rather than on the merits. Others are critical for what they see as a crushing loss for the public's right to know, coming at a time when Americans are demanding more accountability from their government and corporate leaders.

Arguments for dismissal were the following:

Defendants in this action argue that two statutes, whether considered independently or in combination, counsel hesitation [to recognize a private right of action) under the special-factors analysis.

The first and most important of these statutes is the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a (2000), which "regulate[s] the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information" about individuals by federal agencies. Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579, § 2(a)(5), 88 Stat. 1896, 1896. The second statute, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, 50 U.S.C. §§ 421-426 (2000), criminalizes the intentional public disclosure of information identifying a covert agent. Defendants contend that by enacting these statutes, Congress considered the proper recourse for individuals whose personal information has been improperly disclosed by government officials -- the alleged activity giving rise to plaintiffs' claims. Furthermore, the absence in these statutory schemes of a civil damages action against the offending officials was not inadvertent, and Congress has not plainly expressed an intention that the courts preserve Bivens remedies. Therefore, defendants argue, this Court should not imply additional damages remedies under the Constitution.

Oh please don't remind us of our now gutted, bleeding Constitution.

From the Washington Post:

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties.

"The alleged tortious conduct, namely the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's status as a covert operative, was incidental to the kind of conduct that defendants were employed to perform," Bates wrote in an opinion released this afternoon.

Bates also ruled that the court lacked the power to award damages for public disclosure of private information about Plame. The judge said that was because Plame and Wilson had failed to exhaust other remedies in seeking compensation from appropriate federal agencies for the alleged privacy violations.

Turns out that it's OK to commit the felony of outing a covert CIA agent if you are part of the Unitary Executive. Or if you are a King. Seems we have one or the other. At any rate, the judge certainly isn't going to question the power of a King.

Perfect storm today. Lawless. We are now a lawless nation. Look out world! Lawless nation with lots of big guns, coming through! (Duck and cover - we've been told that and duct tape work wonders.)

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