One Corrupt Lawyer Disbarred

An entire party full of corrupt lawyers yet to be disbarred.

A three-judge panel on the D.C. Court of Appeals stripped Libby of his ability to practice law after he was found guilty last year of obstructing the investigation in the CIA leak investigation, WTOP radio reported.

Next up, Alberto Gonzales? Harriet Miers? John Yoo? David Addington?

(I suspect Mary has a prioritized list in her back pocket…)

125 replies
  1. al75 says:

    I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know – can W. intervene and personally give him his law license back?

  2. BayStateLibrul says:

    Two questions for Dana Peroxide:

    What does Georgie think of his social security plan in light of
    the fucking meltdown of the stock market?

    Can you describe Bushie’s feelings when he heard the news on Scooter,
    and how does he plan to circumvent the disbarment?

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    Bush can pardon him, that wouldn’t FORCE the courts to return his license, though I’m certain they’d take it into account. FWIW, if we had a president who wouldn’t abuse his pardon power it would seem to me that a pardon should entitle him to get his license back.

    But this is just noise. It makes no difference to Libby, he likely knew he was going to lose his license when he chose to stay silent. He’ll live well on wingnut welfare, secure in the knowledge that he won’t have to answer for anything.

    Boxturtle (We need to modify the power of the pardon. Every presidnet in my lifetime has abused it except Carter)

  4. klynn says:

    Outside of a chance in PA my question is for Ismael,

    Could he practice in Canada?

    Worse yet, anyone know if he could get a license to practice in Mexico? If yes, then I imagine that “free trade zone” on both sides of the border that Hunt is going to build on all his land will be his location of practice.

    answered my own question:

    To do business in Mexico, U.S. businesspeople nearly always need to hire a Mexican attorney. Reciprocity that would allow U.S. licensed attorneys to practice law in Mexico and vice versa is not a part of NAFTA. This is not surprising in view of the significant differences between the two legal systems and their laws. Further, it is helpful to remember that even in the United States, licensing of attorneys is done by the individual states. Thus, most attorneys in the United States take a bar exam and seek admission to practice law in only one state; only a small percentage of U.S. attorneys go through the extensive efforts necessary to become licensed to practice law in two or more states.

    U.S. businesses usually use their own U.S. attorneys for matters related to U.S. law and hire Mexican attorneys to work with their U.S. attorneys and to handle legal practice in Mexico. While U.S. attorneys are not allowed to practice law before Mexican courts, they are permitted to register as legal consultants and establish offices in Mexico from which they can advise their clients. Beyond the need for a licensed attorney who is knowledgeable about Mexican law and legal practice, working with Mexican attorneys makes good practical sense. Mexicans place great value on contacts and relationships with people they know and trust as they do business. Thus, working with a Mexican attorney can facilitate business transactions in informal, yet important, ways going beyond legal requirements.

    Mexican legal education and licensing are different from those processes in the United States. In Mexico, there are two levels of attorneys. At the first level, a student of law obtains a five-year degree in law. (This is roughly equivalent to the four-year undergraduate programs in the United States.) After passing courses and oral exams at his or her university, the prospective attorney becomes a licenciado and abogado (attorney). (The term licenciado is applied to graduates of various programs of study at that level in Mexico, not just law. Mexican abogados do not take a bar exam such as the exam required of U.S. attorneys in most states.) The abogado can practice law in any part of Mexico. The abogado’s powers are limited, however, and many kinds of significant legal transactions, such as transfers of real property, can be handled only by a notario público. Although the words notario público translate literally to “notary public” in English, the notario público is not at all the equivalent of the notary public in the United States. The notario público has received advanced education and training beyond that of an abogado and has been appointed to serve in a specific geographical area within one of Mexico’s states. He or she can move to another part of that state or to another state in Mexico only by applying and competing for another opening in that new location.

    • Ishmael says:

      Not impossible for Scooter to try and practice in Canada, but EXTREMELY unlikely. THe fact that he remains a member of another state bar doesn’t help him. If he were to apply for a practicing certificate in Canada, he would have to list all the bars of which he was ever a member, and whether he had been disbarred or disciplined seriously, and they would in my opinion respect the disposition of another bar for something as serious as perjury and obstruction of justice. They say that they never close the door completely on a disbarred lawyer, in case of really exceptional rehabilitation, but it hardly ever happens. Alger Hiss, despite his conviction for perjury, was subsequently readmitted to the Massachusetts bar after his disbarment, but this is the exception rather than the rule, and it took over 20 years.

      Just a personal thought, but I personally think that this stings Scooter worse than anything else – it would be hard on any lawyer, but especially one who was as big a member of the Establishment as he was, with the emphasis it places on status.

      • Petrocelli says:

        Ishmael, are there any individuals or Corporations up here who would like to have Scooter as their attorney ?

        I don’t think it would do well for their image …

        • Ishmael says:

          Doubtful as an attorney, but I would not be surprised if certain companies would throw some consulting work his way on the sly as a way of currying favour with Bushco. And while I may get flamed for this, and I am in no way condoning his actions, but I believe there is the prospect of rehabilitation for everyone, including in a professional context. John Dean was disbarred for his role in Watergate, but he has made postitive contributions to the legal world since then. The hurdles he would have to overcome would be very high, and require a lengthy and comprehensive history of good works, but disbarment in most jurisdictions is not permanent.

          • skdadl says:

            If Libby were in serious straits, I’m sure the Fraser Institute (American readers: read Heritage Foundation) could find him a welfare home here, but we don’t actually believe things are that bad for him, do we?

            Much as I love us, I can’t believe that your average Washington spoiled-brat master of the universe wants to come here except as a last resort. And that thought helps me to sleep at night, even though we have too many of our own spoiled brats right now.

            To many of our American friends, though: congratulations. I was very affected to read this news, and I think it is to the credit of many people.

            • Ishmael says:

              Even Alan Eagleson still has his defenders in Canada, and he stole money from disabled hockey players and ripped off Bobby Orr.

                • Petrocelli says:

                  Scooter might be paid to consult on widening the Neocon brand up here …

                  HarperCo is working hard to bring Neocon style rule to Canada …

                  • skdadl says:

                    I know, and sometimes I’m scared. To me, HarperCo are so obviously absurd and incompetent. But then I read the story of the Bush administration, absurd and incompetent all the way through for seven years, and I start to doubt myself and my convictions.

                    So, I dunno. How can they succeed when their mentors in the U.S. are in such disgrace? And yet it feels as though people in Canada have just not woken up yet to the problem. If there is an election soon and Harper wins a majority, I’m going to start talking to, I dunno, the Norwegian consulate?

                    • Petrocelli says:

                      That’s why the Liberals haven’t brought down his regime as yet … might be ready by the fall. IMHO, Dion needs to be replaced …

      • klynn says:

        But it looks like he could have a job as a “consultant who knows US law” to corps irt NAFTA for either Canadian or Mexican corps and just work with lawyers in their respective countries. That could pay well…

    • nolo says:

      so — monica goodling’s case looks,
      to me, EXACTLY like elliot abrams’. . .

      but someone needs to bring the
      charge of false testimony,
      and win the conviction, in DC.

      the case of bradley schlozman: exactly
      like elliot abrams’. again, someone needs
      to bring the charge of false testimony,
      and win the conviction, in DC.

      the case of alberto gonzales: exactly
      like elliot ambrams’. . . yet again, who
      can be trusted to win the conviction in

      i dunno. we’ll see.

      n a m a s t é

  5. DeadLast says:

    OT (it still deals with lawyers though)

    There is more Federal Prosecutor scandal brewing in Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, US Attorney O’Brien has disbanded the corruption investigation task force in order to make it easier to investigate corruption. Then he threatened anyone on his staff who discussed the matter publicly.

    Who knows, maybe O’Brien would give Libby a job as an investigator.

    • bmaz says:

      I would have thought that after 2000 every Democrat would be adamant about getting every voter to the polls and insuring that their vote counts for something. It is sad that this race has devolved to the point where folks are more into their petty candidate preferences than in seeing that every vote be cast and counted. Doesn’t look to me like the Obama people and their supporters are above petty partisan politics like they claim at all; some old self serving baloney. Oh well.

      • Petrocelli says:

        My sense of it is the DNC hasn’t given its blessings to a re- vote, they are still looking at how it can be accomplished in a fair and orderly manner.

        Further, there were many Dem supporters who voted for Romney because their own primary was illegitimate … Kos was a major player in this.

        Barack just wants to be sure that these people will be eligible to vote, that and maintaining the new primary won’t be gamed …

        I strongly condemn Hillary and her supporters for putting the blame at Obama’s feet; those who moved up the primary should be tarred and feathered …

        • BlueStateRedHead says:

          …and the 12 mil hrc guys inc, corzine, how about their offer to pay, what do you think?

          • Petrocelli says:

            I think it’s great that they can find the money for the new primary, the bigger issue would be ensuring the Dems who voted for Romney can now be eligible to vote in this primary and the vote cannot be gamed …

            • bmaz says:

              I see no reason that those individuals should get to vote in both party’s primaries; why should their right to double vote “be insured”? I am open to being convinced, but I sure am not as it stands.

              • emptywheel says:

                Because unlses you let them vote, then you’re asking the rules in effect on January 15 (that is, that that was the vote and it wouldn’t count) remain in effect now, when that is no longer the case.

                A fair vote is one in which free actors, given a set of rules regarding an election, make a choice. If you change those rules after the fact, it is, inherently, not a fair election, because you’re asking people who made a rational choice given one set of rules to live with that choice given another set of rules.

                And of course, having just a select group of Dems be subject to that old set of rules while everyone else is subject to a new set of rules has an inordinate impact on just one side–it is inconceivable that Hillary’s supporters would have crossed over. So you’re already giving Hillary an unfair advantage for breaking the rules.

                That said, I would be happy to live with a mulligan that disenfranchised these people, but it won’t happen, bc (as I said) some insitutional labor types were advocating cross-overs and they have a good deal of sway in the party, it being MI.

                Also, all taht is MOOT bc the legislature won’t approve a new election. Anyone who pretends it’s not moot is simply posturing.

                  • PetePierce says:

                    For one it’s not legal to privately finance public elections like the proposed one in Michigan. For another, the Clintonistas haven’t been able to actually secure the financing. George Soros shut them down in no undcertain terms yesterday.

                • bmaz says:

                  No, I see the logic in that, and it is pretty compelling to a degree. I also suspect you are right about the labor interests. I never said my view was perfectly fair; quite frankly, that is a concept that cannot be salvaged at this point. I also agree it is probably all posturing at this point. Why does the legislature have to agree if it is funded by the party? I assume you are right and that would be my initial thought too; but if you think about it, why can’t the Dem party do something on it’s own? Yeah, I know, it is all fantastical, I get all dreamy eyed every now and then.

                  • emptywheel says:

                    One of the reasons the Dem party is not pursuing the “do it on your own” approach is because Hillary Clinton was adamantly opposed to “caucuses” even though everyone with a scrap of sense knows that ours is a firehouse primary, just like the NM caucus that she won.

                    Hillary has too much staked on attacking “caucuses” to have approached this in the way that would have been most practicable.

                    And in the interim 2 weeks in which she has been naysaying a MI “caucus,” we’ve lost a good deal of our time to pull of a caucus on June 3 (since it would require renting places to hold the vote for an entire Saturday.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      No. I’m saying it’s unclear who wins this clusterfuck race–she has the luxury of having clusterfuck outcomes still included in any non-vote solution, so even if nnothing happens, she will probably win some advantage here.

                      Keep in mind, too, that what Hillary is really after–since a vote is likely to be 50-50 or close–is some way to get the superdelegates from MI seated, since she has a great deal of support among superdelegates here.

                      So she, in truth, doesn’t really give more of a shit about our votes than Obama does. She gives a shit about Jennifer Granholm and Mark Brewer’s votes. Hers is no more of a glorious stance for democracy than Obama’s.

        • bmaz says:

          I dunno, Obama hasn’t been very aggressive in seeking a revote; now he has selfish reasons that are understandable for taking that position, just don’t be telling me how above petty politics and better than everyone else he is if that is to be the case. And the DNC has indeed okayed a revote in both states as long as it is conducted within guidelines. And Dems that decided it would be cute to go for Romney, like Kos so brilliantly urged, don’t really concern me in the least. I know I’ll probably catch hell from EW, but I didn’t like that too cute by a half junk back then, and I don’t have much sympathy for it now. You have a right to vote once and have it counted; those Dems that went for Romney had their vote counted. I am concerned only with people whose votes have not counted. I don’t care who they vote for if Obama that’s great; if Clinton, that is fine too. I will respect what ever the result is; but I want them to vote.

          • Petrocelli says:

            You are infinitely wiser than me in these matters and I enjoy reading your comments as much as I can.

            Where is the link that the DNC has given their approval for a Michigan redo? Whatever I’ve seen says the details are still being worked out, with emphasis on these two issues.

            I did not say that Obama is above petty politics, I stated that Hillary is trying to put all the blame for this debacle at his feet when it should be placed elsewhere.

            If the people who voted for Romney cannot vote, should the people who voted in an illegitimate primary also be cast out? I’m asking this for real, not trying to be a smart*ss …

            • bmaz says:

              There are likely bedbugs at the Fox studio that are wiser than me; so you give that line up! It was a general statement by Howard Dean i saw him make on the TeeVee. He simply said that he had no issue with revotes as long as they were conducted within the party guidelines; so, I agree, the details have to be evaluated.

              As to Clinton, Heh, we know she is not above petty politics and that is what she is doing. No, it is not all Obama’s fault, not at all; he is, however, dragging his heels trying to run out the clock on the issue.

              As to the last question, no, the ones that voted in the illegitimate primary should not be cast out. Their votes have not counted for anything. In fact, to some extent, I care more about protecting those people than I do ones that didn’t vote at all. These people wanted to, tried to, have their votes count. Also, I am not saying I am violently opposed to the Dems who went GOP being allowed to participate; but something about that doesn’t really sit right. Doesn’t seem like you should get to have a meaningful vote in both party’s primary. I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but that is my current take. My opinion is worth no more than anyone else’s; I speak only for me, and trust me I am wrong all the time about all kinds of things….

              • emptywheel says:


                I think you’re really underestimating the degree to which Michiganders knew that the election wouldn’t count. That was the entire underlying presmise of the election. I believe there is NO ONE, Hillary support, Obama support, or Edwards supporter, who believed that, by voting, it would increase their chance of having their vote count in anything other than a beauty contest with one participant.

                So given that premise, how can you fault the rational decisions of anyone who voted in it (or didn’t vote) one way or another. You simply can’t claim that the rational decision people made in Jnuary should in any way be interpreted as the rational decision they would have made had the rules been different.

                • bmaz says:

                  I can’t. I am just being a jerkwad armchair quarterback causing trouble from my comfy perch here in the outdoor office by the pool in the 75 degree sunshine. But you folks in Michigan do need some quarterbacks currently…..

          • Ishmael says:

            I’ve been really loathe to talk about the Clinton/Obama race because I don’t want our little salon here to turn into the piefights that are going on in DK, Digby and FDL. But I don’t think there is anything especially remarkable about either Hillary’s or Obama’s tactics on the re-votes. To use a March Madness metaphor, Obama is up by 10 points with a minute left in the game, and is trying to run out the clock because it is in his interests to do so. Hillary is trying to get the ball back as many times as possible and get as many 3-pointers (big wins in Michigan and Florida) as she can, and in order to do so will “foul” Team Obama and hope he messes up on his free throws. Both of them are playing the game on terms that they believe will help them win – I don’t think that is too surprising.

            • bmaz says:

              Agreed completely. My point, hopefully, isn’t about the candidate battle, it is simply to get the votes cast and counted; whichever one wins, after that, even if it is a multiple ballot floor fight (I’d love to see that just so I could experience it) is fine by me. i do get a bit piqued by the high and mighty view some of the Obama supporters project; jeebus he is still just a politician, albeit it one with a different schticht.

              • Petrocelli says:

                I hope that my comments didn’t come across as being a supporter of Obama … I’m still hoping Gore enters at the Convention … foolish dreamer that I am … *g*

                • bmaz says:

                  No not at all. I just use whatever comment I am making to try to get my point across. And, for my money (don’t have any, but still…) I don’t want this site devolving into the candidate war; probably hard to tell that since I seem to constantly gin up the voting issue though. Just for the record, I was a Gore whore too.

                  EW – No kidding. With the track record you have, freaking Pelosi will spring with impeachment next week. Thanks a rot….

            • Hugh says:

              Good description. I have been surprised at the virulence shown by both Obama and Clinton supporters in the threads. Neither is terribly progressive and both would be vastly better than McCain.

            • PetePierce says:

              She isn’t scoring 3 pointers Ishmael. You’re falling prey to what the networks want as they put on March Madness and primaries within weeks of each other. We don’t vote as states. We vote for Delegates. We unfortunately have a crazy quilt of the most arcane rules imaginable. They make a law clerk’s parsing of legislative intent in an appellate opinion look like a bright line. They should be abolished. We need rotating regional primaries–that would wipe all this song and dance off the map.

              A three pointer is a basket from a certain distance. Winning Ohio by 10 points, losing Texas clearly as to delegates, and narrow victories in every other state but one are not big state wins or 3 pointers. That’s why HRC is so far behind in delegates.

              I’m sorry the TV networks put up states and talk about “winning states”–but the eye on the prize is delegates in voting districts–nothing else. The only significance of the states in this primary is that they have Democrats who make up byzantine, baroque, over the top intricate rules.

              Obama’s not running out any clock. There isn’t a clock. A contract was signed back in October of 2007. Several attorneys who went to Ivy League law schools were of age and they signed them. The only one who wasn’t an attorney was Bill Richardson, and he signed the agreement. He was a governor and he has a staff of over 100 attorneys.

              I do like your March Madness analogy. If your as good at roundball predictions as you are at understanding this government and this court system, who do you put in the final four?

              I grew up in Louisville, so I got to see an awful lot of UK and UL games. UK refused to play UL until the legislature forced it.

              • Ishmael says:

                Well, actually I disagree, you do vote as states, because each state decides how it will run a caucus or primary, and how the votes and delegates will be allocated. I don’t think the DNC tells Texas how to run its primary, and the states decide who will participate, either open or closed. If each Congressional District had a certain number of delegates, and there were a national one-day primary, I might agree with you. The primary process differs from the election to be held in November because it takes place over weeks and perhaps months depending on the year, and the slate of candidates is likely different in the later states than it was in the first. That’s why I think there is a role for superdelegates, who can act in the best interests of the party as events play out.

                As for basketball? I’m picking UCLA to go all the way!

                • PetePierce says:

                  All that is granted, but my point is we don’t award states as winner take all. The race is about the delegates.

                  I can tell you significantly what would happen if she were able to steal super D’s. Hundreds of thousands of people won’t vote for her. Turn on black radio if you can receive it in Canada.

                  Many of us will vote for the candidate who wins the pledge delegates period.

                  If the Super Dees disenfranchise us, they elect McCain.

                • PetePierce says:

                  I don’t know also if you’ve picked it up but one thing that is harming Clinton with a substantial number of Democratic voters, is her clear support of John McCain. If I knew nothing else and was in a vacuum but her statements supporting McCain who has no idea which end is up either as to foreign policy or domestic policy, that’d be reason enough for me not to vote for her.

                  It is beyond egregious for her to have trashed Obama in favor of McCain repeatedly and using a permutation and combination of ways to do it.

      • PetePierce says:

        From where I sit, bmaz it was made very clear to both candidates who signed a contract with four states back in October what the consequences would be, and they agreed to them. Those consequences are playing out. You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game after you signed a contract to abide by them.

        The Democratic leadership in both states was extremely childish, and they were explicitly told what would happen, and major Democratic players in the Florida legislature propelled their respective legislatures into defiantly moving up. Numerous statements like Jennifer Granholm of Michigan were made to the effect that this would be over by SupTue and their citizens would therefore, not get a vote.

        I do not want to squable, and won’t, but I see the petty partisan politics embodied by the desperate Clinton side, not the Obama side. I also see all this Reverend whoever the hell crap–with him now on my TV screen more than Britney, Martha, or OJ, driven by the type campaign the Clintons have tried to run.

        My thoughts and reality on the ground right now, are expressed very clearly here:

        Rules Count

        The Democratic National Committee gave Florida and Michigan Democrats every opportunity to work with the agreed-upon calendar, but they chose to not play by the rules.

        There is no such thing as a do-over. Do-overs are what you get when the end results don’t matter. Do-overs are what children do on a playground. Adults accept their mistakes, learn from them and move on.
        Carrie Giddins is the former communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party and a political communications consultant.

        That is not the case, and they could have been showcased as very pivotal states. Hopefully, they will learn their lesson and everyone will push for rotating primaries.

        In a last desparate move, the Clinton campaign has illegally tried to finance a public election with private money–and tried to change the rules because it’s the only way she thinks she can get the popular vote (won’t happen). George Soros turned her down yesterday–no money.

        A lot more people than the Obama campaign are saying”you made the bed–get under the covers.”

        The Michigan legislature is going to leave on vacation with a strong message for Governor Granholm, Debbie Dingell, Carl Levin, Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger who has been treatening Michgan legislatures with loss of campaign money. If anyone believes that Granholm and Dingle are doing this because they aren’t partison, then they believe their will be no cheese on heads in Greenbay, Wisconsin.

        A number of attorneys in the Michigan legislature know privately buying a new election is illegal and they aren’t biting.

        I talked with Super Dees who are in direct contact with the DNC Credentials Committee members and they are telling Harold Ickes “No Mas!–Give it up” and accept the agreement she signed. They have told Levin just that, so his posturing in an Op Ed in NYT yesterday was a waste of ink. I find it consummately disingenuous for these Democrats I named in Michigan to try to counch this as a “disengranchised voter” argument. They screwed up. They simply believed this thing was going to be over and Clinton would be crowned on Super Tuesday. That ain’t what’s happening.

        Your original favored candidate, Edwards took his name off the ballot in Michigan and abided by the agreement and behaved just as Obama did.

        I don’t understand why in the world, you are blaming Obama and his campaign when all the candidates signed an agreement with four states.

        The agreement set up all candidates not to campaign and to take their name off the ballot in Michigan. Most Obama supporters didn’t show in Michigan. The Three Card Monte that Clinton “left her name on the ballot” in complete violation of the agreement carries no weight.

        If as Clinton is saying this morning “to remember I’m the one who kept my name on the ballot” I find that regrettable. She took a course in contracts.

        You don’t start changing the rules in the middle of an NFL playoff game and then accuse the otherside of being afraid to play by your rules made up on the fly.

        I predict the delegates will be seated. They will be seated after the Super Delegates have overwhelmingly gone to Obama, the Credentials Committee has told Levin and the others in Michigan what they are telling them this week, and Clinton has dropped out of the race.

    • emptywheel says:

      I haven’t discussed the latest non-developments, no, largely because as I understand it, the real issue is that the legislature will not pass this (ergo, at this point, the offer to pay for it is all a bunch of posturing), and that the parties involved got stuck on a really sticky issue: what to do with the people who crossed over to wreak havoc on Mitt. That is, there’s no way to figure out how to decide who to allow to vote, since it was perfectly allowed to have Dems vote for Mitt in an effort to fuck with their election (I’ve heard some institutional labor people were endorsing that view, too, which would be really bad if they couldn’t vote).

      Last I heard (yesterday, as the mulligan was being declared dead even though Hillary was still posturing on it), they were going to try to come up with some dumb number based on the January results combined with national poll results to seat delegates. Also, the March 29 delegate selection based on the January 15 election is still on.

  6. nolo says:

    i think i know the answer — based on my
    time prosecuting dishonest attorneys — one:

    a disciplinary proceeding is generally con-
    sidered sui generis, which means it
    is neither civil, nor criminal — but somewhere in between.

    two — PA will also disbar scoots, on
    a doctrine called “reciprocal discipline“.

    sui generis” becomes important, for example, in the
    case of elliot abrams (think iran contra affair,
    here) — as it leaves the courts, state and federal,
    here the DC courts (and, eventually, the PA bar
    authorities) with the ability to impose discipline
    without worry that a pardon will nullify the outcome.

    as the abrams court ruled, the law cannot “close
    its eyes
    ” to what abrams (and thus, libby) have done.
    abrams was merely suspended; libby — disbarred, but that
    difference is of no moment. in short, NO PARDON will work.

    See, In re Elliot Abrams 689 A.2d 6 (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, February 1997):

    The Board of Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Bar recommended that former Assistant Secretary of State Eliot Abrams be suspended from law practice for one year, asserting that Abrams had engaged in “dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation” by giving false (but unsworn) testimony to three Congressional committees regarding the role of the United States government in what has become known as the Iran-Contra Affair. Following Abrams’ conviction, upon a plea of guilty, of criminal charges arising out of his Congressional testimony, President Bush granted him a full and unconditional pardon. Although Abrams conceded before the Board that the pardon did not preclude Bar Counsel from maintaining this disciplinary proceeding, he contended that the President’s action blotted out not only his convictions but also the underlying conduct, and that Bar Counsel’s charges should be dismissed. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “although the presidential pardon set aside Abrams’ convictions, as well as the consequences which the law attaches to those convictions, it could not and did not require the court to close its eyes to the fact that Abrams did what he did. “Whatever the theory of the law may be as to the effect of a pardon, it cannot work such moral changes as to warrant the assertion that a pardoned convict is just as reliable as one who has constantly maintained the character of a good citizen.” State v. Hawkins, 5 N.E. 228, 237 (Ohio 1886)….[In particular], the pardon could not “reinvest [Abrams] with those qualities which are absolutely essential for an attorney at law to possess or rehabilitate him in the trust and confidence of the court.” In re Lavine, 41 P.2d 161, 163 (Cal. 1935) (citation omitted). Accordingly, we hold that this court’s authority to impose professional discipline was not nullified by the presidential pardon. . .

    it is a certainty that PA will impose
    reciprocal discipline — and disbar
    scoots inside PA — for the exact same
    conduct. . . he’s done as a lawyer.

    p e a c e

    • bmaz says:

      No, I don’t think even a full pardon can squelch a bar action per Abrams. However, I would hazard a guess that the bar action needs to be based upon the underlying conduct, not on the conviction itself. Arguably, if the bar action is based solely on the criminal conviction having been entered (and bars often do just suspend automatically upon entrance of a conviction), and not the underlying canons violated by his conduct, then the revocation/suspension may not necessarily stand up.

      • nolo says:

        agreed, bmaz — but the CONDUCT here is
        all set forth in court transcripts, hand-
        written notes, and wildly-varying accounts. . .

        to say nothing of judge reggie walton’s ex-
        oriating opinions on the subject.

        he’s done — absent some truly jaw-dropping
        corruption INSIDE the DC appeals system, AND
        the PA bar system (not likely), he’ll never
        practice law again.

        n a m a s t é

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, I agree with that; but it is key that the bar have incorporated all that as a factual basis as opposed to making it a simple license action upon conviction, that is all I am saying. He is indeed toast if it is done properly.

  7. Neil says:

    “When a member of the Bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory,”

    District of Columbia Court of Appeals wrote in its opinion

    Terpitude (n.)
    1. Inherent baseness or depravity; corruptness and evilness.
    2. An act evident of such a depravity.

    Irving let us down. Irving also let his family and himself down to protect Dick Cheney and Mr. Everything-he-touches-goes-to-shit.

    Nonetheless, Irving is welcome in conservative think tank policy circles and who knows, we may see him as a regular on Fox, or get to read his column in Newsweek.

    If he recieves a pardon in January, by what process could he reclaim his law license?

    • nolo says:

      he can only reclaim his law license AFTER
      the DC bar authorities, and the PA bar
      authorities, rule specifically that he has
      been “rehabilitated” — that ain’t gonna’
      happen, until he FIRST admits his conduct
      was blame-worthy
      . the cases are legion, on
      this point — he’ll need to show true con-
      trition (NOT LIKELY!), and show affirmative
      good works, from that point forward, to have
      even a prayer of being granted back his law
      license. . .

      if he is still alive in say 2018, and has taken
      full responsibilty for his crimes, AND has done
      exemplary work in some noble field of endeavor,
      he might have a shot of getting it back, in time
      to die with it. . .

      of course, that’s just my opinion, here.

      n a m a s t é

      • Neil says:

        that ain’t gonna’ happen, until he FIRST admits his conduct was blame-worthy.

        You may be right about the bar requiring that condition I don’t know but does a pardon require that condition? I think it “did” as in used to but those are the old rules, chimpy writes them as he goes and he’s got help in all the right places.

        • nolo says:

          as to pardon-power, no. if he
          gets a pardon, it is simply a
          political act — that ends the
          stain of the criminal conviction.

          but — as to getting his law license
          back — (shortly before he dies) — he
          will CERTAINLY have to take responsibility
          for his sworn lies, and the fall-out

          read: not. going. to. happen.

          n a m a s t é

          n.b.: perhaps i am being to harsh — perhaps
          he will have an “epiphany” on the morning of
          january 20, 2009(!)

          and, perhaps not. he’ll still be paid “teh
          wingnut welfare
          “, so long as he remains defiant.

          • Ann in AZ says:

            but — as to getting his law license
            back — (shortly before he dies) — he
            will CERTAINLY have to take responsibility
            for his sworn lies, and the fall-out

            read: not. going. to. happen.

            So you are basically saying that this disbarment lasts into perpetuity and is not able to be reinstated ever, no matter what? Is that your opinion or is it legal facts of life? My other question is, what does the ABA have to do with disbarment? I always thought that the bar association had a lot to do with disbarment, but now it appears it is the courts that hold sway, not the bar association.

            • looseheadprop says:

              Disbarrement lasts until a succesful reapplication.

              The Bar Associations, all of which are voluntary groups (clubs), don’t decide who gets admitted or disbarred, the courts decide who they will allow to practice before them.

              That being said, the bar associations in some instances provide pro bono services to the courts, or sometime pay for some associated cost, in carrying out this function

            • nolo says:

              Ann — well, here is the rub:

              his chance for eventual reinstatement
              rides on his taking full responsibility.

              i just don’t see scoots doing that.

              i would love to see a john dean story,
              here, but i guess i lack that imagination.

              as to the ABA — the american bar assoc.,
              it is an education/trade group, mostly.

              most people who refer to “bar authorities”
              usually mean the arm of the state supreme
              court, usually a through a disciplinary commission,
              charged with enforcing the rules of conduct.

              some states still allow “bar associations”
              to mete out discipline, but not many, any longer.

              no, the power to regulate the practice of
              law is vested, by rule or statute, usually
              in the given state’s supreme court. the state
              supreme court usually has a commission to
              administer the actual prosecutions — sorta’
              a quasi-administrative law court.

              once the commission imposes discipline, an
              affected lawyer may appeal, all the way to
              the state’s supreme court. usually, final orders
              of discipline are entered by agreement before
              the state supreme court.

              whew — sorry to tell you how to build a watch,
              when you simply asked what time it was. . .

              n a m a s t é

              ps: forgive the myriad typos, and glitches,
              in many of mine, above — hurrying out now.

  8. Quebecois says:

    If Scooter tried to get a license in Canada, Harper would make sure he’d get in. From 24 Sussex to the border, red carpet…

  9. Rayne says:

    VERY OT — Anybody from New Mexico here? Know of anybody interested in a paying gig as a citizen journalist for an online outfit?

    Email me: rayne_today AT yahoo

  10. Petrocelli says:

    What was the process for disbarring Scooter ?

    How can Addington, AbuG, etc. be drafted into similar hearings ?

  11. Petrocelli says:

    EW, are there links to the process that lead to Scooter being disbarred and how the others can attain the same fate ?

    • nolo says:

      the path for others, not YET convicted
      of crimes involving “deceipt, misrepresent-
      ation or moral turpitude
      ” is rather

      it starts with the filing, by any citizen,
      in the state (or district, in DC), of an
      informal letter of complaint.

      then it must wend its way through the
      quasi-administrative law process that
      is the commission, and ultimately, if proven,
      be the subject of a court order of discipline.

      i suspect several senators, and congress-folk
      have already sent the letters to the DC authorities
      ex rel. Gonzales, Goodling, Schlozman, et al.

      it will take time. the “fast route” is to
      simply present an order of conviction for
      enumerated crimes (perjury, conversion, etc.)
      to the court. they give the conviction a form
      of the ld “full faith and credit“,
      and the attorney may be disciplined.

      more on this, another time — gotta’ jet!

      n a m a s t é

  12. Ann in AZ says:

    Thanks, LHP and nolo. Appreciate the prescient answers. Nolo, I really was looking for your more thorough explanation which clarifies some other things I was wondering about too. Like, I must have lived in a state at one time that allowed the bar assn. to mete out discipline. Also, I currently know of an atty. here in Phx. that has been brought up on charges from misappropriation of funds, co-mingling funds (she basically used her trust account as a personal piggy bank to feed her shopping fetish), check kiting, you name the fraud, she pretty much committed it. Yet she is working for a major corp. (can’t remember which one.) I think I was told that she oversees contracts to make sure they are legal, proper, and enforceable. Presumably, either the company is not yet aware of her own legal troubles or what she is doing does not fall into the category of practicing law, or both.

    • nolo says:

      as to your facts on the woman in
      arizona, i bet bmaz can tell you
      more. i suspect her time is coming
      [dishonest conduct need not be in
      one’s role as an attorney — bank
      fraud, seeking a loan for one’s house,
      for example, can make the subject of
      a disciplinary proceeding, in all jurisdictions],
      before the relevant commission’s
      hearing board — the equivalent of
      a “trial court” [with the important
      difference that, in most states, the
      proceedings are NOT public, until the
      discipline is FINAL — read: supreme
      court!] — but, again, AZ may still be a
      state that lets the bar assoc. handle discipline — i dunno.


      you’re on.

      i’m out the door!

      n a m a s t é

      • Ann in AZ says:

        as to your facts on the woman in
        arizona, i bet bmaz can tell you

        In regard to the lady lawyer here, she has already been disbarred and my understanding is that she took a plea bargain that did not include time in prison, although the state fund had to pay out a lot of money to her defrauded clients. Needless to say, there are some forms of mental problems involved, not the least of which is literally, a shopping addiction. I think the disbarment and the plea bargain also took place subsequent to her employment, so I don’t think they necessarily were aware of all of her legal entanglements, nor do I know if they care as long as it doesn’t affect her work there. Of course, they are unlikely to put her in a position where she can find a way to divert funds to herself. But if they didn’t do due diligence in hiring her, that’s entirely their problem and I don’t personally care. It’s just curiousity to me.

  13. bmaz says:

    Ann in AZ – The state bar here is analogous to a prosecutor’s office in a way. But misconduct matters, and punishment thereon, are determined by the disciplinary commission of the Supreme Court of Arizona. The work of the girl you describe doesn’t sound like it requires a bar card to perform, but if she is a member, it sounds like she will have disciplinary problems.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, we will do fine. Going to need everybody’s help though, I have some big sandals to fill. Maybe a Bracketology Trash Talk is in order….

        • Ishmael says:

          Baseball predictions perhaps? I will put mine on the table right now – the mighty world champion Boston Red Sox sweep the plucky but vastly overmatched Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series!!!!

          • klynn says:


            Do you WANT to be charged for inciting a riot?

            Okay, bmaz, breath…breath…your snark will catch up…

          • bmaz says:

            I’m so sorry, it looks like your Shill is on the shelf. Without Curt all Beantown has is a hundred years of frustration…..

            • Ishmael says:

              …yes, I’m so frustrated after the sweep last October, and I don’t know what we’ll do without the Schill, especially because all we have is Beckett, Dice-K, Ortiz, Manny, Lowell, Papelbon, the best young players in baseball….

              • BayStateLibrul says:

                Don’t forget Jacoby, and the Sox opener is at 6:05 AM on Tuesday.
                I get up at 5:30 AM, so it’s perfect.
                My grandson is spending the night, we’ve got our fantasy draft

        • klynn says:

          My oldest just got home and is ready for Spring Break. Looked over my shoulder, glanced the thread and said, “Cool Bracketology! That bmaz has got game!”

  14. klynn says:


    You both have my son in stitches…In between his laughing he’s making comments like, “They could take this on the road…this is the best ’stand-up sports comedy…”

    Then I mentioned you have day jobs and WHAT your day jobs entail.

    No offense…He laughed harder…

    • klynn says:

      Thanks. We need the laughter right now!

      Yes, ANYTHING beats pie throwing these days. I’m pretty much not even visiting FDL anymore. I’ve questioned whether some of the pie throwing is actually “jodi types” just pulling a “progressive mask” to invade “issues dialogue to break-up threads and drive away constructive contributers. There are a few who pie throwing just seems tactical…

  15. bmaz says:

    Yeah, well my “day job” so far today has consisted of reading, blogging and some phone calls while sitting on the patio by the pool. Now I am going to the carwash. As Bush would say, It’s hard work I tell ya, hard work! Now, if I could figure out how to bill this portion of my “day job” at the standard $300/hr., everything would really be groovy.

      • bmaz says:

        Hey now, I have represented homicide defendants, numerous child molesters (including two priests and some other kind of reverend), major cocaine suppliers, drunks, forgers, athlete criminals and the con man that ran a huge sting on a bunch of local state legislators; but i do draw the line at some point where I just couldn’t morally represent some clients. Halliburton would be over that line. (pssst – how much would the upfront retainer be just out of curiosity???)

        • Ishmael says:

          I think Dick Cheney just gives you a blank cheque from the US Treasury and tells you to fill in whatever you want!

            • Rayne says:

              Diamonds have less utility, more variable in value.

              Bearer bonds are still traceable.

              It’s gold or platinum for me — although I think I would have liked my gold paid out on Monday rather than today at USD911/ounce.

    • klynn says:

      Honestly, he thinks both of you are brilliant and he enjoys reading your opinions on many issues brought up here (of course that includes EW most especially).

      The young man would make an amazing lawyer, and he’s a really good kid (um, that did not type out the way I intended).

      He has an idea for you bmaz…He thinks you should do a “Trash Talk” sports book…

      He just read Ishmeal @ 90 and said, “Ohooooooo!!!! THAT hurts!”

      • Ishmael says:

        Oh please, the LAST thing the world needs is a book on the alleged superiority of Arizona sports, except maybe lawn bowling or shuffleboard. Now, the rise to dominance of the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots, THAT would be a best seller!

  16. Hmmm says:

    OT – “As you browse, we’re able to categorize all of your Internet actions,” said Virasb Vahidi, the chief operating officer of Phorm. “We actually can see the entire Internet.

    “The company, called Phorm, has created a tool that can track every single online action of a given consumer, based on data from that person’s Internet service provider. The trick for Phorm is to gain access to that data, and it is trying to negotiate deals with telephone and cable companies, like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, that provide broadband service to millions.”

    So much for whole-internet hoovering skepticism.

    Hey, maybe the NSA should get into the ad business. Y’know, just as a profitable sideline. Entrepreneurial approach to surveillance services. Think it’d cut our Federal income taxes?

  17. klynn says:

    Okay, the kid almost cannot breath! He’s holding his sides and heaving with laughter.bmaz! Ishmael!

    Again, MUCH appreciated!

  18. JohnLopresti says:

    this may post only once; then again, maybe WordPress sees some funny links:
    I was trying to find a location offnet, so next time KRove leaves office or if Miers/Bolten agree to take the fifth before a House committee, someone might forward an instaMessage to the blogOwner, kind of a typeAhead cache, in a sense: could be MtLebanon; also could be a shoreline with remote vistas of erosion and natural forces mapped on the landscape on lake MI; maybe simple early springtime streamsides in WI; one might have to contemplate the feasibility of sending a runner of sorts to the vicinity of the Catanbrian Sea, so called, though I suspect these climes have WiFi; even on some Mediterranean island with stonehenge era village remnants tourist cottages likely have caught the internet bug, as a climb to the nearest hilltop will reveal, coastlines stretching into the distance flecked with urban resorts of sorts; I suppose there may be a caretaker cottage timeshare for visitors at the former lawschool campus where Phoenicians studied in past times, may be an excellent place to make a timeline in a library. But for the moment it might be advisable as one commenter on another thread suggested to hire a Sherpa for the journey there, one that interfaces well with Documentum for logging emails and attached files; say, maybe that is it: CREW had a favorable response to its demolition of the Payton evasion declaration two days ago, and the judge ordered OCIO to state its objection to making a forensic copy of the disaster tapes so the millions of hidden emails could be produced without cost to the EOP budget; the reason I would think the latter is promising is its timeline for production of a response is tomorrow, the first day on “vacation”. bon v.

  19. Mary says:

    Huge w00t, although poor Scooter must look at the list of things done by those who still have their licenses and wonder, “why me.”

    Unfortunately, I have known disbarred lawyers who did just fine in corporate officer settings and, as Abrams shows, there’s no bar to keep Libby out of politics or from being part of a well financed “think tank” (is that where he still is).

    The main benefit of having someone disbarred is, I think, a little lost in the Libby case and is unfortunately not likely to ever happen for other lawyers like Yoo, Thompson, Ashcroft, Goldsmith, McNulty, etc. etc. etc. and that is that no one can every again use them as excuse for actions taken “in reliance on” their opinion.

    Still, it’s something.

    102 – Pete I was in lawschool at UK after a Louisville reporter broke some stories about payoffs and things that made the UK basketball program go through all kinds of grief and I remember things like bumper stickers with the reporter’s name on them and very very unpleasant things said about him.

    I love Lexington like it is heaven on earth, but despite working in Indiana and living in KY, I’m not a big basketball fan. I managed to almost get physically injured by someone who went on to be a State AG when I made a joke after a very abysmal UK loss.

    People think hoosiers are serious about their basketball, and they are, but UK supporters bleed blue.

  20. Mary says:

    65 – “i suspect several senators, and congress-folk
    have already sent the letters to the DC authorities
    ex rel. Gonzales, Goodling, Schlozman, et al.”

    Do you really think so? I would have taken the bet that they haven’t. Goodling should be subjected to discipline with what is on the public record. But I don’t know if there is enough in the public record for the rest and I really don’t believe that any Republicans are pursuing them or that any Dems have the guts to try to make themselves an issue in a disbarrment proceeding.

    Of couse, OPR should have referred for disciplinary action in a myriad of instances (to me, the Thompson sign off on sending Arar for torture and the Comey presser would tops some of the lists) but it seems to have long ago become an institution for the rehabilitation of retired lab monkeys – with successful retraining to dutifully see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

    • skdadl says:

      On the subject of what will happen if no one pursues:

      Have people noticed that someone thinks that Sara Taylor is still employable?

      To me, Leahy’s thundering confrontation with Taylor last year (over her “oath to the president”) was a great moment for everyone who believes in democracy, and I wouldn’t have expected her to recover as any kind of public figure from that exchange. But there she is. This is really getting shocking and shameful.

      • PetePierce says:

        LOL skdadl it’s TV, and “TV so-called news organizations” knows no shame–they want eyeballs however they can get ‘em. *g* When Taylor quit, there was a lot of press on her “expertise” that was worth money to some people as a dirty trickster/Rovian type of mailing list organizer. If Taylor were to write a tell-all book, she could show where a lot of bodies are buried. She’s like the political version of a Criminal Minds serial killer.

        But what I see her doing on MSNBC is just shilling for McCain and against democrats There are already designated Shills. Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough can turn any situation into their attempt to undermine the Democrat they are talking about at the moment. Dee Dee Myers will spin any words that come her way into Clinton justification. This is the type of thing I expect out of Taylor.

    • nolo says:

      mary — deep EPU stuff, here, but. . .

      actually — any judge in the district
      may also simply refer the matter(s)
      on to the disciplinary commission in DC.
      so, too, could any citizen — and i suspect it
      would be okay, even if the citizen lived
      outside of DC — given that the alleged-
      misstatements involved federal rights;
      federal government matters, and thus
      affected all u.s. citizens’ interests
      in justice and equal protection. . .

      so, there may be many avenues already in play.

      but, yes, i do think one or more staffers
      inside sen. leahy’s, or rep. conyers’ offices
      may have sent copies of the relevant pages of
      the transcripts on to the DC bar authorities.

      if i lived nearer DC, i would. [it is usually
      true that a few interviews are conducted with
      the complaining witness(es), so proximity to DC
      would be a good, useful, thing.]

      finally, the disciplinary authorities may begin
      proceedings on their own motion. way back when,
      occasionally, we would open a file based solely
      on a reliable newspaper report — and it would not
      surprise me to learn that one or more progressive
      types work in the DC disciplinary commission’s offices.

      but we shall see. AGAG, at least, presents an almost
      dead-on match to the abrams facts — will anyone prosecute?

      again, i am shrugging.

      p e a c e

  21. Mary says:

    Pete – I work in Evansville IN, live across the river outside of Henderson, but went to UK specifically to be in Lexington. I have horses and since I went to Lexington the first time, in high school, I loved it truly madly deeply. I’d like to move back, even though the politics are the damnedest there.

    I have cousins in Louisville and am pretty attached to it too, but Lexington is Lexington.

    There was a case when I was in school where several prominent people were being charged and one very non-prominent slacker. I can’t remember the charges, but I remember that the prominent folk were all acquitted, but the not-so-wealthy guy not only was convicted, but convicted of conspiracy too – with no other “conspirator” convicted. It was fun for the press and one of the noveau riche acquittals was a tiny, very brassy, very gaudy, very reach woman who literally got up on a box in Triangle Park downtown after the acquittal and took up a bullhorn to boozily talk about the wonderful justice system.

    OK – those aren’t the parts of Lexington I love, but they do make for some memories.

    • PetePierce says:

      I learned to fly planes in Louisville and my first significant solo cross country was to fly “down” or “over” to Evansville. There was also the time I stupidly forgot to check the wind and flew all over Indiana from town to town, and got back blown down the Ohio river from Louisville (I got an adrenaline rush when I saw it had vanished from the face of the earth as I flew accross the river). and it was getting dark. I had to use the instruments to get back, and thought I was going to land in Cincinnati.

      I haven’t explored around Lexington near as much as I should have, or would have liked to, but it is great country. I’m sorry UK lost this afternoon. I didn’t get into the rivalry that much–I just liked being at the games where teams were national contenders.

  22. Mary says:

    OT –
    Canadian court to hear arguments on the issue of whether or not information held by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service regarding Khadr, his treatment at GITMO, and exchanges between the US and Canadian governments as to Khadr, whould be released to Khadr’s lawyers defending him at GITMO.

    I have to wonder what the chances are that the Canadian court would require the turnover of information, but the fact that they were able and willing to overrule the Justice dept is pretty interesting.

    From the tenor of the lawyers quotes, I wonder if the approach is that information regarding criminal behaviour against a Canadian citizen (even by another country or perhaps by conspiratoral actions by the Canadian secret service?) can’t be kept “secret” by the Canadian govt and if they have knowledge of things done in violation of treaties and criminal law standards for treatment of Canadian detainees, there is no protection to keep that info secret?

    If that’s it, maybe Mukasey can clarify the issue of how waterboarding, stripping, assaulting, freezing, threatening, burying alive, etc. detainees are all just a little repugnant – like Speedos on Dick Cheney, but not actually criminal.

    • skdadl says:

      That’s the Supremes! Goddamn. I did not know this, and it is very good news. Our Supremes are good.

      IANAL, and I have no idea how this case got to the Supreme Court, but that is great news. I don’t understand the language about overruling the Justice Department — the government doesn’t control the court (praise the Lord), and I don’t see the connection.

      Well, Ishmael will know more, but this is very good. Very very good.

  23. Johnbo says:

    After years of an investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald that was undermined by the lies of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, we get this sad and almost useless conclusion – Libby is disbarred in Washington D.C.. Oh yeah, he got a hand-slap of a fine. Oh, and don’t forget he’s on PROBATION!!
    We all know he will be taken care of, probably living out his days giving speeches for tens of thousands, writing a book for a fat fee, and on salary at some right-wing slime hole of a foundation or “think” tank. His fine was probably paid by his defense fund as were all his legal expenses. And, Bush may even pardon him and wipe the slate clean and get him reinstated to practice law. And, it took years of concentrated effort to get to this point – the ONLY investigation by a special prosecutor in the entire history of the Bush ll Administration.

    This is truly depressing. There are so many people like Libby that deserve the full investigative treatment and – unless we can FORCE this system to somehow hold them accountable – they will all fade into the woodwork ready and able to continue doing what they’ve done so successfully during the Bush years whenever opportunity again presents itself. Many of the people most in need of prosecution were in the middle of the Iran Contra scandal and either avoided prosecution, were pardoned by Bush l, or received immunity to testify. A case can be made that, if they had been prosecuted and held accountable, they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did under Bush ll.


    • Leen says:

      Hundreds of thousands of people doing more time for robbing a gas station.

      Yet many in the Bush administration (Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, run free after they pushed, lied, disseminated false WMD intelligence and started an unnecessary and immoral war. Rove, Libby, Ari Fleisher and the rest of the rats who outed Plame run free after outing a CIA Noc agent and undermined National Security.

      Why does anyone wonder why there is so much dis-respect for this countries justice system.

      I know my youngest daughter and many of her friends who followed the Plame trial with me at Firedoglake have little to no respect for our justice system after Libby was commuted. Important lessons learned. Our justice system is not close to Just!

  24. Mary says:

    skdadl – I’ll see your “I did not know that” with one on Sara Taylor. So MSNBC needs pundits who have taken an oath to George Bush? Why. Isn’t that what Perino is for?

    I think what the article was trying to say (but I may be putting too much recent US nonsense overlay on it) was that the Canadian file on Khadr is classified or secret or some similiar designation, so Justice was saying they didn’t think the Court (as opposed to the Prime Minister or secret intel folks) “should” make the decision to release or not release it, since it might have things (like, oh, maybe the findings that were made public, then withdrawn, about the US needing to be treated as a state sponsor of torture) that could be sensitive for international relations or national security.

    That’s how the administration here keeps, sucessfully, getting things like el-Masri and Arar’s cases kicked out of court, while of course just ignoring the criminal prosecutions of the torture conspirators in those cases. So that is probably the prism through which I read that story and since I don’t understand Canadian law and haven’t read the pleadings I may be all wrong.

    I do give kudos, though, for the resounding “piss off on your advice, we can think for ourselves” approach they seem to have taken and, even if they in the end decide not to have things released, the fact that they made it clear that the court has the authority is worth something in and of itself.

    • skdadl says:

      Ok, I see, and you’ve helped me to read the Reuters report better. The situation here is not so different, although Ishmael would know better how to describe where and how the lines are drawn. I’m not sure about that use of “overruled,” though. The court just listened to the two sides and then agreed to hear the case; isn’t that what always happens, and don’t we usually just say they agreed to hear the case?

      What makes the defence case so strong imho is the involvement of CSIS in the interrogations at Guantanamo. I think that is a gotcha, or it should be. Khadr was born here; if interrogations by agents of our government raise Charter (like your Bill of Rights) issues, he has a right to be heard here, and he and his attorneys have or should have access to the relevant documents.

      Well, in a just system they would. We have some funny secret systems here (”security certificates,” eg) that are still being argued out after the gung-ho post-9/11 enthusiasm of police and intel agencies for trampling over civil liberties. You know about Arar, eg. I’m thinking that this is another case of the politicians and security smartypantses outsmarting themselves by joining in too enthusiastically with your, ah, regime. (I’m working really hard here not to say anything rude about CSIS.)

      As you may know, when Justice O’Connor wrote his report on the Arar inquiry, he made decisions about what to include and what to exclude of the testimony he had heard in camera (because the government claimed it had to be so heard). But then he submitted his report to the PM, whose advisers made dozens of redactions on the usual silly grounds. The commissioner appealed those redactions to the Federal Court (two levels below the Supremes), which I believe restored some but mostly deferred to the Crown. I don’t know why O’Connor didn’t carry on with the appeals — maybe because the report was so overwhelmingly conclusive anyway, and the government were prepared to negotiate the formal apology and cash settlement with Arar, a human priority. (The redactions are perverse, too — instead of the usual blacking-out or blank spaces, they are just asterisks, so you can’t tell how much is gone.)

      At least O’Connor is on the record, though, as doubting our government’s notions about what is a genuine state secret.

  25. Leen says:

    Accountability. Who would have thought. Throw the American public some more bones! Please…we are starving for justice.

  26. Leen says:

    John Dean has been pointing out for quite some time how many of the criminals that have served in the Bush administration (and many other administrations should be impeached) so that they can never again serve in any future administrations.

    Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President:
    Why Not Have A Realistic Debate, with Charges that Could Actually Result in Convictions?
    Friday, Dec. 15, 2006

    Addington was first on John Deans list (he mentioned this at one of Firedoglake’s blogside chats)

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