Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The New Man at DoHS

His name is Michael Chertoff, and Elaine Cassell thinks he's a gremlin in the vein as John Ashcroft

This from her June 9th Op-Ed piece:

"But now I have a new gremlin to watch, someone who is as intent on undermining the law and Constitution as Ashcroft. I am referring to the man behind the criminal prosecution of terrorists, Michael Chertoff. Chertoff, former chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, and a scary looking guy if ever there was one, has been elevated to the level of Court of Appeals judge--the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. What's so scary about Michael? Well, besides having no judicial experience and being a right-ring radical who does not believe in the Constitution and wants to rewrite federal law and rules of procedure on an ad hoc, case by case basis, as it suits him, nothing I guess.

A good place to look for Chertoff's legal philosophy is in the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui , now taking place in the Eastern District of Virginia. Chertoff is not the prosecutor of course, Paul McNulty of the Eastern District is. But Chertoff is McNulty's boss and he is calling the shots. So Chertoff argued the government's case in the super secret hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals last week. The government is trying to block trial judge Leonie Brinkema's ruling that Moussaoui and his lawyers have access to the government's star witnesses against him. The government has refused and appealed. Judge Brinkema, who still believes in the Constitution, rightly ruled that to deny Moussaoui that access is a blatant violation of the Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses."


At 6:09 AM, Blogger William C. White said...

It always surprises me when liberals seem shocked to find out that Republicans and other conservative organizations/groups see the Constitution as a rough draft. If you watch FOX news, you'll routinely hear Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity say something like, "I don't care, I'd do it anyway." when they are told something is unconstitutional or illegal.

What makes this even weirder is that the Republican Party is supposed to be the party that advocates LESS government involvement in your life. But they turn out to be the Party that is most likely to create new laws restricting what a person can or cannot do or say. Republicans do not believe in due process, rights for the accused, or freedom from government thuggery. The sooner liberals realize this; the sooner liberals will be able to function in life as normal human beings.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Markkind said...

In a lot of ways, the GOP has a lot in common with Iranian Mullahs. Which certainly has it's good points and bad points. I tend not to get too excited with people like Chertoff in power. I figure he's part of the machine, not the exception

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