Wednesday Roundup

March 14, 2007

CREW has called for a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal wrongdoing in the U.S. Attorney firings.

immoral acts," is "increasingly incoherent:"

All of this would be merely absurd if it weren't for the dire situation of a military stretched thin by ongoing commitments across the globe. In the wake of the shortfalls, according to the University of California's Palm Center (where I am a senior research fellow), the number of convicted felons who enlisted in the U.S. military nearly doubled in the past three years, totaling 4,230 in the last four years. The recruits entered under the "moral waiver" program, which enlists those who otherwise would not qualify because of immoral behavior, such as committing felonies. This lowering of standards continues as two to three competent gay service members lose their jobs every day. More than 11,000 have been fired under the policy, including more than 800 mission-critical specialists and 300 linguists covering 161 different occupational specialties.

The Palm study should be required reading for Pace, so he can explain why gay counterintelligence officers are too immoral to serve in the military, while it made sense to admit Pvt. Steven Green, a high school dropout with three criminal convictions and a history of substance abuse who is charged with the rape and killing of an Iraqi family in Mahmudiya, Iraq. Green was enlisted through a moral waiver.

Conservative Senators have ended their filibuster of debate on whether or not we should end the Iraq War, freeing the Senate to consider a binding resolution which would begin strategic redeployment of U.S. troops within 120 days of its passage.

A bill to give congressional representation to the District of Columbia has passed a House committee.  ACS will host a lunchtime panel on the constitutionality of this bill tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

Judge Lee Sarokin asks "[h]ow much are we willing to sacrifice in the war against terror?"

Any criticism of the erosion of our civil rights is met with the argument that it is necessary and it is working. We haven't had an attack since 9/11! The questionable wire taps, secret foreign CIA interrogation prisons, possible torture, prolonged detentions without counsel or hearings, rejection of the Geneva Convention, the gathering of information by the FBI about American citizens and companies (revealed just today), the elimination of habeas corpus for certain categories of persons, etc. are all justified in the name of fighting terror and I believe, although I have nothing to substantiate it, that most of the country approves.

But since when have we tested constitutional violations by asking whether or not they produce favorable results? Do we condone beatings of suspects because they produce confessions? Do we condone unlawful searches because they disclose the whereabouts of illegal weapons or incriminating evidence? Do we condone the concealment of exculpatory evidence because it might aid the guilty defendant? Would we condone any of these practices on the grounds that they were necessary and were working! Or is the fear of terrorism so great that we are willing to sacrifice many of our cherished ideals and rights?

Texas moves forward with a bill to expand the death penalty to non-homicide crimes.

Anthony Ciolli of AutoAdmit, an online forum for law students that has been widely criticized for the wide range of racist, sexist and homophobic comments featured there, has resigned from the forum he helped create.

Bill Taylor explores the racially charged history of the term "mixed blood," a term which, as Taylor points out, was used multiple times by a Supreme Court Justice during oral arguments.