Category Archives: Justice

Don’t like reality? Just make up a new one!

Read this post now on The Daily Caller!

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/24/dont-like-reality-just-make-up-a-new-one/

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When OJ Simpson was granted parole in Nevada last week, I was reminded that reality is a malleable construct in politics. Whether OJ really killed his wife and her companion in L.A. back in 1994 didn’t concern people fed up with a justice system sticking it to black America. Back then, protesters celebrated his acquittal. Many really believed he was innocent.

A result of strained race relations in Los Angeles? To be sure. An anomaly for the professional protester class? Hardly.

Consider the debunked cases of rape by the Duke lacrosse team in 2006 and then the University of Virginia Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in 2014. Proponents of the campus rape “epidemic” had no trouble presuming the guilt of the accused, marching in the streets and venting their rage across social media. It fit neatly into their narrative of white men abusing their privileged status.

Now the latest example of pre-fabricated protected class outrage comes courtesy of Islamist agitators and their apologists in the “international community”.

Last week the Israeli government, reacting to the July 14 murder of two police officers keeping the peace over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, installed metal detectors to screen entrants to the holy site.

A reasonable measure to keep weapons out of a sensitive place of worship? Not according to a Palestinian leadership which incites, emboldens, and rewards acts of terror. On Sunday Palestinian Authority President Abbas reiterated his objections:

“We will not allow the electronic gates to continue [to be placed] there,” he told a convention in Ramallah. “Sovereignty is our full right, and we need to supervise Al-Aksa and stand guard at its gates.”

Violent protests have begun, and international condemnation is sure to follow.

To Abbas, the scandal is not that his constituents gunned down police officers in cold blood. It’s not that the Palestinian Authority continues to use U.S. tax dollars to compensate the families of jailed or slain Palestinian attackers. It’s not that Palestinian media and educational curricula proselytize Jew-hatred in every corner of Palestinian society.

No, the injustice of the magnometers is the challenge to Islamic supremacy. Seizing on an ordinary and customary security device, Arab and Muslim leaders have found another convenient hook to hang their anti-Israel propaganda. It makes no difference that such devices are used at the Vatican, during the Hajj in Mecca, and of course, for entrance to the Western Wall plaza below the Temple Mount. (I’ve been screened every time I’ve entered Judaism’s holiest site.)

Why can’t the Arab world be fair-minded and rational about the whole affair? If people can endure metal detectors at airports and shopping malls, why not at a holy site? I’m afraid it has little to do with sensible policy, and everything to with political power.

Rationalizations for violence, abdication of due process, and moral double-standards obscure a wholesale lack of self-criticism. It’s easier for the Arabs to blame Israel than it is to assess their own political and cultural shortcomings. Likewise, progressive activists blame law enforcement, firearms, the religious right, and “patriarchal society” for the ills of American society. Few acknowledge fault in the decline of marriage, lack of accountability in the welfare state, or the glorification of violence in popular culture.

Across the battle lines for taxpayer dollars, regulatory control, and levers of multilateral institutions, the means always seem to justify the ends, facts be damned. It’s always been about power, not truth.

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Filed under Justice, Middle East, Terrorism

A sudden case of rule of law

dt_131216_cherry_picking_fruit_250x188 The executive branch of the U.S. Government — yes, the same one administered by President Obama — appears to be looking closely into the conduct of Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton.

Following a request in late July by inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies, the FBI has begun investigating the potential mishandling of classified information by Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Despite her best efforts to ignore, deny, deflect, misdirect, and redirect criticism over her decision to conduct official business through a private email server, and then to scrub the server clean, the wheels of justice have started to turn on Clinton.

Perhaps this development seems reasonable.  After all, if an official who is charged with safeguarding our nation’s most sensitive communications circumvents policies and procedures designed to protect them, then something should be done about it.

Then again, the agency that can do something is the Department of Justice.  Under President Obama, this agency does not have a track record of objectivity.  Consider the lack of accountability for the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle, the IRS targeting of conservative advocacy groups, the self-dealing and gross malfeasance by VA bureaucrats, and the strong-arming of investigative journalists.  While a few political appointees have been eased out of their jobs under pressure from lawmakers, DOJ has not pursued charges against any ringleaders of the scandals.  If there still are investigations underway, DOJ is setting new standards for foot-dragging.  When is the last time we heard from the White House about any of these shameful episodes?

It’s not as if DOJ couldn’t move quickly if it wanted to.  Take the events in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore over the past year.  When white police officers harmed unarmed blacks, the government found a way to move federal investigations — and their resolutions — to the front of the queue.

When it suits a political agenda, the White House is all in.  In 2009, President Obama appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible abuses by intelligence agencies in the wake of 9/11.  None of the alleged abuses occurred on his watch, so there was little political risk to the move (even if he later elected to quash any charges to avoid friction with the intelligence apparatus).

But when it comes to wrongdoing within his own administration, the president demurs.  In the case of IRS misconduct, he flatly dismissed the idea of a special prosecutor. “I think we’re going to be able to figure out exactly what happened, who was involved, what went wrong,” he told the press, “and we’re going to be able to implement steps to fix it.”  More than two years later, we are no closer to resolving the issue or restoring confidence in IRS impartiality.

From the very start, this administration has used a cherry-picker approach to law enforcement.  The letter of the law matters little when it comes to our immigration or drug statutes.  States are free to legislate in direct opposition to federal prohibitions against the sale of marijuana and cities are free to shield illegal aliens from ICE detention, all without fear of reprisal from the feds.  Despite laws on the books he once claimed tied his hands, President Obama issued executive orders blocking authorities from deporting whole classes of undocumented immigrants.   Defenders called it “prosecutorial discretion.”   Of course, when Arizona or Texas employed measures to beef up inadequate border security, no such discretion could be found.  The Obama administration came down hard.

All of which makes the probe into Clinton’s email practices curious.  Why would the president green-light an investigation of his would-be successor if he has the power to quash, or at least to slow-walk it?  Some attribute the decision to the independence and integrity of his new attorney general.  Others see Frank Underwood-style maneuvers behind-the-scenes to engineer a Joe Biden candidacy.  There may be a bit of truth in both explanations, but my bet is simply that there is fire behind the smoke.  Hillary has tested the limits of our collective tolerance for the Clinton way of doing business.  Even President Obama lacks the stomach to run interference on this one.

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Filed under Domestic Policy, Electoral Politics, Justice