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Comment rescue: this comment showed up near the bottom of a discussion involving the eavesdropping hearing in San Francisco August 15.

First some background. An Arab charity was being pursued by the Justice Department. During the trial, the defense was handed a file consisting of all the wiretapped conversations. When the Justice Department realized they had handed a document over that was illegal at that time (today it is not) they asked for it back. Of course the defense refused, but a separate hearing decreed the file was covered under secrecy and could not remain outside the government’s possession.

Now it is starting to sound slightly bizarre, I know. The hearing progressed without the evidence and the government used the lack of evidence, to argue dismissal of the case.

The last word was this, spoken by the government attorney.

It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false.

 

That should be it…….right? With no evidence there is no case. Most of us shrugged our shoulders and settled for the inevitable. But one person did not. And thanks to that smart soul, the government’s house of cards, could still fall.

 

Let me just post the comment:

 

The government inadvertently produced a classified document that proves the plaintiffs were under surveillance. That document was ordered to be returned. But the plaintiffs still saw it and (presumably) the court saw it as well when it ordered it to be returned.

Then the government lawyer says to the court:

It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false,

Excuse me, but the attorney has a duty of candor to the tribunal. He is not allowed to lie to the court. He is allowed to characterize the evidence and to argue for a position, but he is not allowed to flat out lie.

He crossed the line. But what do you expect from the DoJ?

The point missed by all in and out of the court was that the attorney lied. Lying is illegal in ANY court. Don’t take my word for it, ask Scooter Libby?

What is at stake is whether our Justice system can survive this important case. For it sets a dangerous precedent if allowed to continue forward. If lying is allowed for the excuse of National Defense, then it is just a “slippery slopes’ slide” towards lying to protect a government official who is involved in security matters, or lying to protect someone who knows something that could be, in the atmosphere of the courtroom, stretched to cover any secret knowledge of a government function. We are suddenly in East Germany, 1959.

A line needs to be drawn. Lying cannot be condoned. Future Grand Jury fact finding investigations? Only if the witnesses or their lawyers are both ignorant and stupid………..

If the Ninth Court makes a decision that is unfavorable to the Muslim charity, then telling the truth becomes subjective. Sometimes it’s required; other times it is not.

What this does for our nation is provide a bulwark for shenanigans to permeate among our highest offices. Why not perform an illegal function, a future government official, might decree: No one can stop me if it done in secret……….

If “Truth” itself is to remain a viable force within America’s Justice system, then it needs to be honored right here in this Court case.

The book was given. It was seen. It exists. Either the government needs to admit its existence…….(they don’t have to show it)…………..or if the information seriously does jeopardize security (highly unlikely)…….the case needs to be dismissed. And all charges relating to the plaintiff, need to be dropped…………..

Just as criminals sometimes have to walk to keep our justice system honest, so must this charity………

I shake my head. I never, ever thought that my nation’s Justice Department would act like they’re in original Star Trek episode, and I would ever in my lifetime get to see “Truth” go on trial………….

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Lady Bird Johnson passed away yesterday.

I heard the news on my way to the beach. The “Please don’t be a Litterbug” song erupted spontaneously. My kids thought once again, that I had lost it………………….

In trying to explain to them what it meant, I realized just how much Lady Bird had influence my entire perspective on my place in this universe and my duty to this planet. It was subtle and by today’s standards, most jaded youngsters would say WTF. But when this came out, it was probably the first time that television was used as a tool to change or modify behavior.

As I reflect today, that very commercial is probably why I was templated to become the responsible environmentalist that I am today. Those who littered, were portrayed as being callous, selfish, and unpatriotic. As kids, we sang the song to each other, and when provoked, we summoned from the darkest, deepest reaches of our suppressed unconsciousness, the worst and most horrible epitaph we could think of: a litterbug.

Having always thought that I was responsible for my decisions and was the one who made all conscious choices in my lifetime, it was somewhat devastating for me to realize that I was but a product of early experiment of an early Manchurian Candidate type of programming.

Here is how it worked. It started with litter, moved on to DDT and Silent Spring, from there to clean air and clean water, then on to endangered species, then the eradication of rain forests, and from there to global warming, and now to the support of electricity from Wind, (I am also cheap)…………And all this from a television commercial.……….

I remember a teacher commenting that Lady Bird was not as pretty as Jackie had been. And that she lacked Jackie’s grace. But Lady Byrd’s legacy, at least to this young man and those with which he hung around, was far more lasting.

God bless you, Lady Bird Johnson. Rest in peace…….