Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Donald Trump blows an appointment

Trump has appointed William Barr to be Attorney General, the nation's top Law Enforcement officer and the head of the Department of Justice.  On the face of it, Barr is well qualified having served as AG under President George HW Bush.

But Bill emails to point out something that nobody is talking about, and which nobody is likely to talk about.  It's something that to me entirely disqualifies Barr and even makes him look like part of the swamp that Trump so famously promised to drain.

Ruby Ridge occurred on his watch as AG.  Not only did FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shoot down a mother holding her baby, but Barr led a full court press to keep the State of Idaho (or the Federal Courts) from trying him:
Barr received a routine questionnaire from the Judiciary Committee asking him to disclose his past work including pro bono activities “serving the disadvantaged.” The “disadvantaged” that Barr spent the most time helping was an FBI agent who slayed an Idaho mother holding her baby in 1992. Barr spent two weeks organizing former Attorneys General and others to support “an FBI sniper in defending against criminal charges in connection with the Ruby Ridge incident.” Barr also “assisted in framing legal arguments advanced… in the district court and the subsequent appeal to the Ninth Circuit,” he told the committee. 
After an Idaho jury found Weaver not guilty on almost all charges, federal judge Edward Lodge slammed the Justice Department and FBI for concealing evidence and showing “a callous disregard for the rights of the defendants and the interests of justice.” A Justice Department internal investigation compiled a 542-page report detailing federal misconduct and coverups in the case and suggested criminal charges against FBI officials involved in Ruby Ridge. 
Barr told the New York Times in 1993 that he was not directly involved in the Ruby Ridge operation. Two years later, the Washington Post revealed that “top officials of the Bush Justice Department had at least 20 [phone] contacts concerning Ruby Ridge in the 24 hours before Vicki Weaver was shot,” including two calls involving Barr.
While Waco was Bill Clinton's baby, this was done by a Republican administration.  Another Republican administration is putting the head honcho back in the saddle again.  Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.  And the New Boss presumably has a bad judgement in the competence and honesty of his subordinates as the Old Boss:
In January 1995, FBI director Louis Freeh announced wrist slaps for the FBI officials involved, including his friend Larry Potts, who supervised the operation from headquarters and who approved the shoot-without-provocation orders that “contravened the constitution of the United States,” according to the Justice Department internal report. When Attorney General Janet Reno later nominated Potts for deputy director of the FBI, top newspapers and members of Congress protested but Barr told the New York Times that his friend Potts “was deliberate and careful, and I developed a great deal of confidence in his judgment… I can’t think of enough good things to say about him.” A few months later, the FBI suspended Potts after suspected perjury regarding Ruby Ridge. (Potts was not charged and retired two years later.)
Nobody is going to talk about this.  The Republicans won't bring it up because it would embarass the President.  The Democrats won't bring it up because it would undermine their vision of an ever stronger and more ascendent fascist government.  We're pretty much on our own here.

President Trump, it's time to drain the swamp.  Barr has to go.


Old NFO said...

Sadly true, and that one got by me too.

Tewshooz said...

Gun Owners of America (GOA) has a big article on this and a link to send to your congress critters asking them to nix this nomination, citing all the above. Also, Barr wants to confiscate all guns...look it up. That was his stance in the '90s, although now he says he doesn't remember. They think we are stupid.

McChuck said...

No statute of limitations on murder.