Wednesday, June 6, 2007

June 06_2007 - Some Thoughts on the “Scooter” Libby Sentence

I have no sympathy for Libby and his role in foisting the Iraq invasion on the American public. However, I have great empathy with his position as a human being who is being crushed like a little bug under the heal of Leviathan.

As someone who has been “invited” to talk with the FBI following the 9/11 attacks (which I declined to do) and who has been officially summoned twice to appear before grand juries I have some sympathy for Mr. Libby. The closest thing American law has to a Star Chamber this side of Gitmo is the modern grand jury process.

As originally conceived, the GJ was intended to protect persons accused of crimes by making the state prosecutor show before a jury of common citizens that first, a crime was committed, and second, that the prosecution had enough evidence to bring a specific person to trial for it.

Too bad that it ain’t how it all works in practice though. When you get up to testify, the only lawyer in the room is the DA. There is no impartial magistrate or judge to insure that the proceedings are conducted impartially and in accordance with the rules of evidence and the law. Persons giving testimony are not allowed to have legal counsel present. The panel of jurors only receives evidence as is supplied to them by the DA. Cross-examination of witnesses is not permitted. Oh, and the entire process is held in secret too. The public is not allowed to observe the proceeding, the news media is excluded, and anyone leaking info from the proceedings can be arrested. The transcript of the proceedings is withheld from any perusal by anyone, even you or your attorney, until such time as it is “unsealed” by the DA.

Real fair, eh? Even an experienced lawyer and political operative like Mr. Libby couldn’t avoid an indictment, and he knew all the rules, (rigged as they are) in advance, too. Now guess how much chance a non-lawyer has?

Bottom Line: Always refuse to testify by asserting your right to avoid self-incrimination. Assert the protection granted you by the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any questions. Enjoy your constitutional protection against self-incrimination it while it lasts. Which may not be much longer.

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zrated said...

it's foggy, but it seems like i remember something about those mythical "constitutional protections" of which you speak.

really though, i expect nothing less (or more?)of the u.s. injustice system.

The Anarchist Flamethrower said...

Your "constitutional protection" is to keep your mouth shut. Period. That's the only thing that saved me.