The Rule of Law

[NOTE Nov. 18: This post has been featured today on Crooks and Liars (@”above the law“). Thanks Mike!]

I didn’t want to go here, and the country probably doesn’t, either, but Alan Keyes has decided to go there, and that means the gloves have to come off.

alankeyes

From Ballot Access News:

Alan Keyes Files Lawsuit Over Obama Eligibility

November 16th, 2008

On November 13, Alan Keyes and his vice-presidential running mate in California, Reverend Wiley Drake, and other members of the American Independent Party, filed a new lawsuit over Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president. Keyes v Bowen, Superior Court, Sacramento, 34-2008-80000096-cu-wm-gds. Read it here.

Unlike other lawsuits about the eligibility of either John McCain or Obama to serve as president, this case has a presidential candidate plaintiff. All the other cases have been dismissed because the plaintiffs were said to lack standing. This is the first case with a presidential candidate-plaintiff….

Desperate, sad, and a reminder that the rule of law matters. Keyes is a glory-hogging a*hole, of course, on a par with Theodore Nugent and that Godzilla from Wasilla. Obama, as the son of an American citizen is an American citizen, just as John McCain (born in the Canal Zone) is. But the phony birth certificate smear? Disproven here and here *. This is old, tired news.

[* Associated Press:

Oct 31, 2008

HONOLULU (AP) — State officials say there’s no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said Friday she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.

Fukino says that no state official, including Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed that Obama’s certificate be handled differently.

She says state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

Some Obama critics claim he was not born in the US.

Earlier Friday, a southwest Ohio magistrate rejected a challenge to Obama’s citizenship. Judges in Seattle and Philadelphia recently dismissed similar suits.]

Ahh, Keyes. Carpetbagged in by his Organ-Grinder to run as a Republican against Obama in the Illinois Senate Race in 2002, and now after running against Obama AGAIN, for president, sour-grapesedly trying to deny Obama his American citizenship status, or, rather, doing so in a sour-grapesian manner.

I didn’t realize that Keyes was such a sore loser.* What a guy.

[* Heck, I didn’t even know he was RUNNING for president. But, evidently, there are 40,000 Americans drunk enough, delusional enough, or just bat-sh*t crazy enough to have voted for him — the rumors of Prozac shortages must be true, then.]

You’d think that the ratfink owed the Democratic Party a mulligan, considering that Cheney and Bush were clearly residents of Texas, in violation of the Constitution. But, magically, a residence in Wyoming suddenly became Cheney’s “official” residence, as lawyers trumped Reality itself, and we should have EXPECTED the last eight years. The oak is contained in its acorn, after all.

When you start by defying the Constitution in a slithery way, you’re going to CONTINUE to do so. The last eight years are proof of that. The problem is, as the senior democracy in the West, what we do matters, and it has a resonance in the rest of the world that WE are responsible for. (Who else could be? “Conservatives” are big on “personal responsibility,” and here’s a prime example.)

This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of law and the rule of law. *

[* You may recall the “rule of law.” It was a favorite phrase used by Republican congressmen and senators to explain why a consensual blowjob must be punished, lest the very foundations of our legal system crumble. Of course, we must admit that they were right, since the succeeding Administration (“We’re a-gonna bring honor back too thuh White Haouse”) has been an exponentially expanding collapse of the Rule of Law. OK, it was actually “We’re going to restore honor and integrity to the White House.”]

postcard

No: the issue is one of the resonance of American compliance with law. We severely damaged the concept of international law when we invaded and occupied a country in a “war of aggression” that violated the very precepts of the Nuremberg Trials that WE had helped create. Ditto the Geneva Convention(s).

The proof of the pudding came in the recent report of Vladamir Putin’s conversation with President Nikolas Sarkozy of France:

The Times of London

November 14, 2008

… Jean-David Levitte, Mr. Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, reported the exchange in a news magazine before an EU-Russia summit today. The meeting will be chaired by the French leader and President Medvedev.

With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr. Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr. Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr. Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr. Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr. Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr. Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.” […]

Remember, we started this experiment in democracy over 230 years ago, and most of the new democracies on Earth (and there was a flowering of them in the 1990s) look to us for their cues. From Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe refusing to step down after an electoral defeat to the strange electoral shenanigans in Mexico, all of these can be laid directly at our feet. They believed in democracy, and we showed them how to pervert it.

Listen to Putin: “the Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

masked-necktie-party

George’s masked necktie party … this is how JUSTICE looks?

Is there anyone in the world, EXCEPT for gullible Americans who doesn’t know that (leaving aside the window dressing) George Bush set out to hang Saddam Hussein, and got his wish in a cowardly maneuver in which Saddam was hanged in SECRET in a warehouse by a bunch of guys in ski masks?

Why would Vladimir Putin have any respect for the rule of law at that point? He thinks that lynching is COOL. And now, he wants to do it, too.

And Sarkozy’s reminder of what happened to Bush (politically, but not legally) is a proof that our reaction, finally, to the lawlessness of Bush’s war set an example, too.

We need to keep going.

We need a full prosecution — without vendetta, without a political circus — to not merely re-establish the United States of America as a country under a rule of laws and not of men, but to re-establish OUR devotion to that cherished concept, and to set an example to the Vladimir Putins of the world. In the case of millions yet untortured and un-assassinated, it is a matter of life and death, and not merely some fashionable form of patriotic chic.

Here, listen to the newly-elected mayor of Jerusalem, from the Jerusalem Post [13 Nov 08]:

Secular businessman Nir Barkat was elected Tuesday as the next mayor of Jerusalem, handily defeating his haredi opponent and receiving a mandate for his vision of economic development for the capital….

“I stand here and express my thanks for the great honor I have been given to serve as the mayor of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people,” Barkat told jubilant supporters as he claimed victory at a pre-dawn celebration at a modest Jerusalem hotel. “Tonight, Jerusalem has won.”

Barkat, a former paratroops officer, promised to be a mayor for “all of Jerusalem’s residents,” including the city’s large haredi and Arab populations.

Now, don’t tell me that line wasn’t directly taken from Barack Obama’s speech at Grant Park. I would go further, and suggest that the Jerusalem promise will be fulfilled to the degree that the Chicago promise is, or, at the very least, it won’t be fulfilled any more than the Chicago promise is fulfilled.

omahapaper

The law is not a respecter of persons and the same law applies to all. To re-establish that, you have to start at the top. This is actually one of the few places where “trickle down” most assuredly applies. When the president (alleged) of the United States not only engages in wholesale disregard of the laws, but also turns a blind and winking eye to the wholesale disregard of laws by others, who can ask the citizen to obey the law?

Why does he get to break the law and I don’t?

Just because it’s simple at an elemental level doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still carry elemental force: it does.

lady_justice2

We have forgotten the preamble to the Constitution, as though it were there merely as window-dressing. In fact, it trumps the rest of the document: it gives us the lens to study that venerable contract through:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Get it? “establish Justice” is a prime directive.

If the people believe in the law, then people are lawful. If the people do not believe in the law, there is no law, even though many may get arrested. Even our judges and jurists can lose faith in the law, and that is an ugly brew that still needs addressing. We have to return to being a lawful nation.

That’s why the politicization of the Justice Department and the dismantling of the oversight of the courts is so pernicious. Just because we’ve decided to change administrations (and I’ll believe it when it happens, and not a moment before) doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods yet.

If we really want to put the chill in the Putins of the world, we need to prosecute the malefactors, without regard to station or rank. Not only will we set an example, but we will effect the reinvigoration of democracies around the world.

equaljustice

over the entrance of the U.S. Supreme Court

I do not believe, convenient though it would be, that we can afford to forgive the excesses of the Bush Administration, any more than we can continue them. To do so would openly invite a more ruthless president to assume full imperial powers.

That’s what happened to Rome. We need to restore our democracy here at home. With civility, but civility has its hallmark in lawfulness. And turning a blind eye to lawlessness at the highest levels serves neither justice nor civility.

This must never happen again.

I have a modest proposal, however, to at once act lawfully, and to remind the world of our committment to lawfulness.

President Obama should reverse George Bush’s renunciation of the International Court.

US Renounces UN’s World Court
Move outrages human rights groups
Dateline: 05/07/02

Through a letter to the U.N., the Bush administration has reserved the right of the U.S. to ignore decisions and orders issued by the International Criminal Court. The action effectively neutralizes President Clinton’s signature to the treaty creating the court.

Established under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1998, the court was established to serve as an ad hoc world tribunal responsible for prosecuting war crimes and “crimes against humanity,” when national criminal justice systems are “unwilling or unable to act.” [See: Establishment of the Court]

And then we allow the extradition of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and that old war criminal on the lam, Henry Kissinger.

And let them be tried at the Hague. THEY don’t have a death penalty, recall.

It would be poetic justice.

And a little poetry is not out of line, if it helps to popularize that establishment of Justice we do our best to live under.

Even Alan Keyes ought to understand that.

Courage.

============

crossposted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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4 Responses to The Rule of Law

  1. Pingback: The Rule of Law

  2. Ginny in CO says:

    Hey Hart!

    I am hoping Obama will decide (perhaps with pressure from the AG appointed) that he can pursue the reforms AND investigate, prosecute BushCo. Don’t think Glen Greenwald and a lot of us are going to let up on these arguments.

    BTW. Point I like to make about whether Barack is a legal US citizen. The Secret Service decided to give him protection very early, at an estimated budget of $100,000,000. Now is there really anyone who believes they would spend that kind of money on someone they, of all agencies, could figure out would not be eligible?

    These peope are beyond crazy, ignorant and developmental delay.

    Probably too many drugs of the sniffing kind.

    Ginny

  3. Alan says:

    I think at this point the best thing to do is to submit in court proof of citizenship (birth certificate) so everyone can shut up.

  4. Hey, Ginny! Yes, we need to go after them. Crimes in this case unpunished guarantee FUTURE crimes of exactly the same sort. Unless we stand up for the laws that WE passed.

    The whole Obama Birth Certificate kerfuffle was ridiculous and sad the first time; then it was creepy and desperate the SECOND time, and when the Hawaii Secretary of State explicitly answered the question, that ought to have answered the “issue” once and for all.

    But some people would rather drink the koolaid than face the music, I guess.

    Just remember, though: a large number of these people ALSO believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old (and, presumably, flat) and that the dinosaurs were all killed when the Flood of Noah was cutting out the Grand Canyon (presumably with their carcasses).

    A cubit here and a cubit there and pretty soon you’re talking about REAL psychosis.