Scary Iran Plot: Making an International Case before Passing the Ham Sandwich Test

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;

I want to return to something Manssor Arbabsiar’s attorney, Sabrina Shroff, said the other day. “If he is indicted, he will plead not guilty.”

I’ve suggested Shroff may have reason to believe Arbabsiar will get a plea deal before this ever goes to the grand jury. Which would mean no one would ever challenge the government on the many holes in this case [oh hey! that's me at Atlantic.com]: the claimed lack of taped conversations, the explanation why Arbabsiar cooperated, some holes in the government’s money trail (at least as it appears in the complaint), the remarkable coinkydink Arbabsiar just happened to ask a DEA informant to help him kidnap the Saudi Ambassador, and some perhaps incorrect interpretations of existing tape transcripts.

It would be very convenient for the government if this never went to trial.

But think, for a moment, about the government’s actions in this affair. It rolled out a splashy press conference. Joe Biden has declared no options off the table; Susan Rice is “unit[ing] world opinion” against Iran. And if that doesn’t work, Hillary Clinton will make personal calls followed by onsite teams to persuade allies that this whole plot isn’t a bunch of bupkis.

We have rolled out a giant campaign to use this plot to do … something … with Iran.

But it has yet to pass the ham sandwich test.

Our government has had eleven business days now to subject its amended case to the scrutiny of a grand jury, it had two and a half months to subject its original case to the scrutiny of a grand jury, and it hasn’t yet bothered to do so. We’re sharing our case with the rest of the world before we’re subjecting it to the most basic level of oversight enshrined in our Constitution. Instead of using the legal process laid out in our founding document, we’ve gotten the signature of a Magistrate Judge and run off with it to the rest of the world. And while I have no doubt of the competence of Magistrate Judge Michael Dolinger, the judge who signed the complaint in this case, that’s simply not the way our judicial system is supposed to work. Average citizens are supposed to review the work of the government when it makes legal cases, not just Magistrates.

All of which ought to raise real questions why our government has decided to share these details with the rest of the world, but bypassed the step where they’re supposed to share them with its own citizens.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

49 Responses to Scary Iran Plot: Making an International Case before Passing the Ham Sandwich Test

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @charlie_savage No no no no. That WOULD be cruel. 3 weeks ago the Kitties were a fearsome D.
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage That was VERY early in the game when it didn't look like it. I'm thankful they finally made it in fr the suburbs.
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm thankful the Squawks were stupid enough to let Golden Tate go.
27mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @MrPuma2072: Protesters in #Ferguson have been setting "traps" aimed at catching police "off guard" http://t.co/KYNIc8u2Fh
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm thankful that wasn't the Stafford pick it looked like.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Turkee Trash Tawk https://t.co/1ddqxmxfaX
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel OKOK, McCaffrey the MilleniaLab's online lawyers and agents. You win. But I'm suing for that lost finger.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel That point of the afternoon when the dog complains that he's not getting his share of the pack's bacon.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @zamnight Was stress-eating for a while, but you might be right abt celebration bacon.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Mega Tron!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @rdevro: Just hours before Peña Nieto's unveiling of new national security plan 11 corpses–some decapitated–found in Guerrero http://t.c…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nancyleong @LemieuxLGM I'm just stunned by how many people think this is the saving grace. It's not. And Holder has fed the mistaken belief
2hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2011
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031