Something to Keep in Mind

The next time someone yawps at you about the extraordinary accomplishments of the Bush regime, you might want to drop this little tidbit on them (h/t):

Former Congresswoman and prosecutor Liz Holtzman makes a good point:

The criminal justice system identified and convicted some of those involved in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks. By contrast, not one person has been prosecuted for the 9/11 attacks, although seven and a half years have gone by. Even Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the masterminds of 9/11, is unlikely ever to be convicted in US courts because he was repeatedly subjected to torture. Significantly, the cruel and torturous methods used on detainees never yielded enough information to capture Osama Bin Laden or his chief deputy. So much for the claims of torture’s efficacy.

So what the fuck have we done for the last nearly 8 years? Oh. That’s right. Invaded the wrong fucking country so that a bunch of pathetic losers could play out their War President fantasies.

Anyone who still thinks the Bush regime was good for this country after clicking these three links is so terminally stupid that further conversation is useless.

Advice for Bush & Co.: Don’t Plan Any Trips Abroad

Because Spain’s legal community’s wanting to have a little chat about torture:

In some countries, they apparently take this sort of thing seriously:

In a ruling in Madrid today, Judge Baltasar Garzón has announced that an inquiry into the Bush administration’s torture policy makers now will proceed into a formal criminal investigation. The ruling came as a jolt following the recommendation of Spanish Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido against proceeding with a criminal inquiry, reported in The Daily Beast on April 16.

Judge Garzón previously initiated and handled investigations involving Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Argentine “Dirty War” strategist Adolfo Scilingo and Guatemalan strongman José Efraín Ríos-Montt, often over the objections of the Spanish attorney general. His case against Pinochet gained international attention when the Chilean general was apprehended in England on a Spanish arrest warrant. Scilingo was extradited to Spain and is now serving a sentence of 30 years for his role in the torture and murder of some thirty persons, several of whom were Spanish citizens.

Garzón’s ruling today marks a decision to begin a formal criminal inquiry into the allegations of torture and inhumane treatment he has been collecting for several years now.

Looks like European vacations are out for the Bushies. If they don’t end up in the Hague, they’ll be spending plenty of quality time in a Spanish jail. This is all to the good.

Of course, Spain may be able to stop doing our jobs for us. It seems the opinion in some circles is that if the President admits the former administration committed war crimes, criminal investigations must necessarily follow:

First up: Dem Rep Jerrold Nadler, who just told me in an interview that Obama’s comments leave the administration only one legal option: Investigate, and if necessary, prosecute.

“President Obama said, `They used torture, I believe waterboarding is torture,’” Nadler said, speaking of Obama’s comments about his predecessors. “Once you concede that torture was committed, the law requires that there be an investigation, and if warranted, a prosecution.”

Nadler and other House Dems have already called on the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to look into potential torture crimes. Yesterday’s comments from Obama, Nadler says, make it clearer still that this is the only legal path open to the administration — in part because Obama seemed to acknowledge that his predecessors had violated “international law.”

Ooo, that’s gonna get some right-wing panties in a twist. But they have a defense! Nixon told them so:

There are all kinds of problems with the “Frost/Nixon” movie, but it’s hard to miss the significance of the disgraced president saying, “[I]f the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” It’s one of those iconic phrases the political world recognizes as the height of abuses of power. Illegal acts are not made legal by virtue of a leader’s whims.

It’s the kind of thing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should probably be aware of. And yet, there was Rice speaking with some students at Stanford University, when she was asked if waterboarding is, in her opinion, torture. Rice replied:

“[T]he United States was told, we were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.”

I was especially impressed by Rice’s use of the phrase “by definition,” since it was literally the exact same phrase Nixon used to explain why presidents are incapable of committing crimes.

Digby expands on Steve’s observation about Condi’s comments, including more snippets of Condi’s supposed wisdom. I’m sorry the students at Stanford had to be sprayed with hoses of bullshit, but that’s what happens when Bushies are invited to talk about the law. I hope everybody got a good laugh.

Once we’re done clutching our sides, perhaps we could upstage the Spaniards. Prosecutions. Now.

Haters Freak Over Hate Crimes Legislation

Hate crimes legislation is on the way to becoming a reality, and the right-wing haters are livid:

We’re finally making progress on passing a federal hate-crimes bill: On Thursday, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.

Sure enough, as Kyle at RightWingWatch predicted, the right-wing freakout has begun. Unsurprisingly, Glenn Beck is already leading the way.

He invited on wingnut talk-show host Sandi Rios, who promptly declared hate crimes “thought crimes” (uh-huh, right). She also attacked Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, who was defending the bill from Republican attempts to nullify it by adding categories or victims by claiming:

Rios: Well, she’s saying that anybody that’s killed or harmed is not a real victim — unless they’re homosexual or gay or Jewish. Then they’re real victims. So you can murder more severely if they happen to homosexual or Jewish. It makes no sense.

Beck: Whatever happened to equal protection under the law? If you kill someone, you should go to jail!

Well, Glenn, that’s true. And people do in fact go to jail for killing people – unless of course they’re rich, powerful, and killing folks under the aegis of “national security” or poisonous corporations. What you fucktards don’t seem to get is that under law, there are aggravating factors to a crime. Kill someone in legitimate self-defense, and you don’t get treated the same way as someone who kills for monetary gain. Kill someone in a particularly heinous way, and you’re likely to get a harsher sentence. What this legislation says is that there’s another aggravating factor when you kill someone because you don’t like their religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. The majority of us think that people who kill other people for those reasons are dangerous enough to be treated a little bit more harshly under the law. Society’s also sending the message that certain crimes are more serious when they’re used to terrorize people for those factors.

Not that you Cons are sane enough to understand this.

Phoenix PD Behaving Badly

Note to police departments that think intimidating bloggers will help cover up their corruption: you’re only guaranteeing we all find out about your supreme dumbfuckitude.

This is becoming an old story. Blogger gets fed up with an out-of-control police department and starts exposing their actions to the public, police department proves the blogger right by trying to prosecute the blogger for vague crimes that really amount to “saying bad things about powerful people.” But in this case, the police actually raided the blogger’s home and seized virtually everything.

In what should send a frightening chill down the spine of every blogger, writer, journalist and First Amendment advocate in the United States, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who has been highly critical of the department.

Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.

The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment – which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation.


The warrant apparently listed “petty theft” and “computer tampering with the intent to harass” as the probable cause for the warrant, neither of which would justify seizing so much material. And the petty theft charge is truly absurd:

The allegation of “petty theft” against Pataky stem from photos he posted on his blog of police name plates that appear to have been taken from within the department. He said he actually made the plates himself.

Interestingly, almost everything he gets on the department comes from good cops within the department blowing the whistle:

“We were going to shut down the website after that but then all of a sudden all these good cops started hitting the site and sending us tips,” he said.

He said they would also deliver all kinds of internal documents from within the department exposing everything from a cop with multiple DUIs to another cop whose son was a child molester and was trying to get on the force (and was eventually arrested).

“We have about 50 to 100 retired and active cops who provide us information,” he said.

Phoenix has a serious problem. And now they’ve ensured their dirty laundry’s aired far and wide. This may be news to them, but there’s too many bloggers on the intertoobz to intimidate us all, or even enough.

To which all I can say is, good.

Eliot Spitzer Watches the Magicians’ Hands

It’s always nice to have a reminder that the smoke and mirrors are a distraction calculated to prevent us from seeing what’s really going on (h/t):

Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG’s bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG’s counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?

For the answer to this question, we need to go back to the very first decision to bail out AIG, made, we are told, by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, then-New York Fed official Timothy Geithner, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last fall. Post-Lehman’s collapse, they feared a systemic failure could be triggered by AIG’s inability to pay the counterparties to all the sophisticated instruments AIG had sold. And who were AIG’s trading partners? No shock here: Goldman, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and on it goes. So now we know for sure what we already surmised: The AIG bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already.


The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation.

Eliot Spitzer, you may remember, knows Wall Street well. As a prosecutor, he made their lives hell. He’s definitely a man worth listening to as these companies scramble for every last cent they can wring from taxpayers. He sees them for what they are.

Read the whole thing. Screw your outrage to the sticking place, and then start shouting before 10am Eastern. We can turn their smoke-and-mirrors into a conflagration. We can turn the magicians’ tricks against them.

Sheriff Joe Will Look So Pretty In Pink

Good thing he’s already measured himself up for some nice government-issue underwear, there. He’s likely to need it soon:

Now, I know that Sheriff Joe told Glenn Beck he “welcomes” any investigation into his bordering-on-fascist rule in Arizona’s Maricopa County. But I bet that nonetheless, he wasn’t smiling yesterday:

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil-rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office after months of mounting complaints that deputies are discriminating in their enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Officials from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division notified Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday that they had begun the investigation, which will focus on whether deputies are engaging in “patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures.”

An expert said it is the department’s first civil-rights probe related to immigration enforcement.

… The Justice Department frequently receives racial-profiling complaints against police departments, but investigations are rare, said David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and racial-profiling expert.

“The fact that this has come to their attention and they have announced their intent to investigate is highly significant,” Harris said. “It says there is enough there to be investigated. It’s not an iffy case that (can be ignored).”

Harris said this is the first civil-rights investigation stemming from immigration enforcement. The probe could last several months.

You can read the notice here. [PDF file]

Sheriff Joe, of course, is a first-rate fucknugget. He won hard Arizona hearts with his tent city and his pink underwear, but he’s way overstepped bounds by turning Maricopa County into his own little fascist fiefdom.

I do hope they consider throwing them in his own tent city. And I hope the investigation’s wrapped up sometime this July.

Why, yes. Yes, I am evil. Whyever do you ask?

Get Your Truth On

Time for some truth and reconciliation, with possible jail time to follow:

There’s a new poll out from Gallup and USA Today which one is headlining as showing there’s “no mandate for criminal prosecutions” and the other is headlining as showing that “most want an enquiry” into whether Bush’s anti-terror policies broke the law.

Those headlines aren’t mutually incompatible. There’s a hard core of around 30% of Americans who still cleave to Bush as a hero, an unsung genius who can do no wrong and think that a president can just declare actions legal and be done with it. There’s a slightly larger core of those who want America to return to the fold of the rule of law, presidential accountability and humanity. They’ve done some homework and realise that anti-terror tactics during the Bush Years were built upon the kind of deliberately twisted legal reasoning that got Nazi lawyers hanged at Nuremberg. And there’s a group – the undecideds – who want to know more before they make their minds up, and would understandably prefer the evidence to come from official governmental sources rather than liberal blogs and human rights groups. They want to trust their government and want that government to bring the facts out in the open. That’s just human nature and trying to spin the two different headlines about results of this poll as some liberal conspiracy is just being dishonest.

So give the people a Truth Commission. Let the evidence be made public in official hearings rather than tucked away in little-read reports from human rights groups about the Defense Department’s co-operation in running CIA secret prisons or in obscure blog posts citing studies showing the military have “disappeared over 24,000 video tapes of detainee interrogations. Let’s not rely on whether foreign officials and judges bow to blackmail in hoping to get details of why someone had his penis repeatedly sliced because he once read a satirical article online. Let’s get those Bush officials who have admitted their administration engaged in torture up on the witness stand, under oath.

When all of those nasty little details come out, the turnaround from “let’s put the past behind us” to “let’s put the bastards in jail!” could be fairly dramatic. Even if it doesn’t lead to a public outcry, however, it will at least serve as a sharp, humiliating reminder to certain individuals that there are consequences for war crimes.

Patrick Leahy’s all about that. He’s trying to deliver what 2/3 of the American public want: the truth. Head on over and show him some love. The more of us who sign on to the idea, the more likely it is the oblivious dimwits in Congress will realize we can’t just wave buh-bye to Bush and pretend it’s all over.

It won’t be over until the jailbird sings.

Why Extraordinary Rendition’s Not Always Eevviilll

So the L.A. Times reports that Obama’s keeping rendition on the table, and suddenly everybody loses their heads. Without looking, I can tell you how this will play out: the Cons will crow that Obama recognizes the need for torture, and the progressives will howl that he’s becoming Bush III.

Neither of which is true. Ask Dr. Rendition (aka Hilzoy):

Since the publication of the LA Times story about rendition yesterday, I’ve noticed some confusion about the topic. So Dr. Rendition will try to make things easy.

Q: What is rendition?

A: Rendition is the act of transferring a person into a different jurisdiction.

Q: “It occurs to me that this more benign definition of rendition as transferring someone to another criminal justice system, used to be called extradition. Can someone explain the difference to me?”

A: Extradiction is one form of rendition, as you can see from’s Glossary of Legal Terms, which defines ‘Rendition’ as “extradition of a fugitive who has fled to another state.” Here’s a nice example of the term’s normal usage from a hundred-year-old case:

“Among the powers of governors of territories of the United States is the authority to demand the rendition of fugitives from justice under 5278 of the Revised Statutes, and we concur with the courts below in the conclusion that the governor of Porto Rico has precisely the same power as that possessed by the governor of any organized territory to issue a requisition for the return of a fugitive criminal.”

That was just the first case I found when I looked. There are lots more.

Q: But extraordinary rendition means sending someone off to be tortured, right?

A: No. Extraordinary rendition is rendition outside normal legal frameworks. (Extradition is a form of “ordinary” rendition.) It includes sending people off to countries where we have reason to think that they will be tortured. But it also includes things like catching Osama bin Laden in another country and bringing him to the United States to stand trial. What makes something a case of extraordinary rendition is the way the person is transferred from one jurisdiction to another, not what happens to that person once s/he arrives.

Q: But don’t most people who talk about ‘rendition’ just mean ‘sending people off to other countries to be tortured’?

A: Probably. That’s the kind of rendition that became famous when Bush was in office. But remember: lawyers are not most people. They use all sorts of words in peculiar ways (besides using words like ‘estoppal’ that normal people don’t use at all.) To them, this is a technical term. They use it accordingly.

Glenn Greenwald, who is certainly no fan of torture, extralegal methods, and all that rot, puts forth a hypothetical that basically illustrates what extraordinary rendition’s supposed to be used for: extracting dangerous, horrible people from the countries where they’ve gone to ground and bringing them to a country that will prosecute. We’ve used this method many times in the past, and so have other countries, taking such people as Adolf Eichmann and Mir Aimal Kansi from their hidey-holes and delivering them to courts that tried, convicted and sentenced them for their crimes. The U.S. Department of State has a handy little chart showing folks who were either extradicted or renditioned between ’93 and ’99, back before “rendition” became a synonym for “snatch, disappear and torture the possibly innocent bastard.” Keeping the door open to rendition doesn’t mean Obama’s sliding down the slippery slope to Jack Bauer Fantasyland. Sorry, wingnuts, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for validation.

But what’s to keep rendition from becoming a dirty practice again? We all know there’s a dark side to it, just as there is whenever you get into gray areas of the law. Cujo359 once again comes through with a sensible proposal:

My own feeling is that the act of rendition itself may be necessary for some time, since there’s no way of enforcing any edict of the World Court or other international justice system in a country that doesn’t agree to abide by it. Perhaps in the long run, though, the only acceptable way of doing this will be to go through an international court to obtain a warrant. Messy as that idea sounds, it’s probably better than letting everyone do it on his own.

That begs the question of what would happen if the World Court declined to issue such a warrant in a case that clearly merited it, but it would be at least a step closer to bringing extralegal actions under the scrutiny of a court, where abuses could be minimized, and a judicial eyeball kept on rendition to ensure that renditioned people aren’t simply shipped off to be warehoused and tortured without legal recourse.

Even without such warrants, we can ensure that our own practice of rendition is restricted to bringing suspected criminals to trial in regular courts. It’s not a get-into-Guantanamo-free card. And considering Obama’s closing Gitmo and doing all sorts of things to show that yes, really, truly, he’s serious about this no-torture stuff, I imagine that’s exactly what’s going to happen when he revamps the rendition option. If not, enough of us screaming at him should do the trick.

John Dean Warms My Heart

I loves me some John Dean. For those of you who don’t know who the fuck I’m talking about, he’s the author of Conservatives Without Conscience, a FindLaw columnist, and former White House counsel to none other than Tricky Dick. There is no one on earth who can wield the Smack-o-Matic 3000 like a former Republican who had his ideals utterly shattered by the president he served.

His columns are always an education. Today, it was also a delight. John begins with a solid whack to Con bottoms that put a grin on my face from ear-to-ear:

Remarkably, the confirmation of President Obama’s Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder, is being held up by Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who apparently is unhappy that Holder might actually investigate and prosecute Bush Administration officials who engaged in torture. Aside from this repugnant new Republican embrace of torture (which might be a winning issue for the lunatic fringe of the party and a nice way to further marginalize the GOP), any effort to protect Bush officials from legal responsibility for war crimes, in the long run, will not work.

Isn’t that gorgeous? “A nice way to further marginalize the GOP.” I loves it.

But that’s not the blood and the bone of this column. No, he’s talking about the potential for prosecutions, and it’s looking good:

Bush’s Torturers Have Serious Jeopardy

Philippe Sands, a Queen’s Counsel at Matrix Chambers and Professor of International law at University College London, has assembled a powerful indictment of the key Bush Administration people involved in torture in his book Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. He explains the legal exposure of people like former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney’s counsel and later chief of staff David Addington, former Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo, the former Department of Defense general counsel Jim Haynes, and others for their involvement in the torture of detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and CIA secret prisons.

After reading Sands’s book and, more recently, listening to his comments on Terry Gross’s NPR show “Fresh Air,” on January 7, 2009 I realized how closely the rest of the world is following the actions of these former officials, and was reminded that these actions appear to constitute not merely violations of American law, but also, and very literally, crimes against humanity – for which the world is ready to hold them responsible.

Go, world! Woot!

The following is my email exchange with Professor Sands:

QUESTION: When talking to Ms. Gross you said you were not calling for such international investigations because we all need more facts. Given the fact that Judge Susan Crawford has now made clear that torture occurred, do you – and others with your expertise and background – have sufficient information to call for other countries to take action if the Obama Administration fails to act?

ANSWER: Last week’s intervention by Susan Crawford, confirming that torture occurred at Guantanamo, is highly significant (as I explain in a piece I wrote with Dahlia Lithwick: “The Turning Point: How the Susan Crawford interview changes everything we know about torture”). The evidence as to torture, with all that implies for domestic and foreign criminal investigation, is compelling. Domestic and foreign investigators already have ample evidence to commence investigation, if so requested or on their own account, even if the whole picture is not yet available. That has implications for the potential exposure of different individuals, depending on the nature and extent of their involvement in acts that have elements of a criminal conspiracy to subvert the law.

Heaven. I think I’m in… heaven.

QUESTION: Do you believe that a failure of the Obama Administration to investigate, and if necessary, prosecute, those involved in torture would make them legally complicit in the torture undertaken by the Bush Administration?

ANSWER: No, although it may give rise to violations by the United States of its obligations under the Torture Convention. In the past few days there have been a series of significant statements: that of Susan Crawford, of former Vice President Cheney’s confirming that he approved the use of waterboarding, and by the new Attorney General Eric Holder that he considers waterboarding to be torture. On the basis of these and other statements it is difficult to see how the obligations under Articles 7(1) and (2) of the Torture Convention do not cut in: these require the US to “submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution”.

This is sublime. If we don’t take these fuckers down, other countries could very easily do so. And I hope to fuck they have the political will. I count it a good sign Britain’s already got an investigation going.

Look, world. Don’t worry about the politics of this thing. Just apply some judicious pressure. Insist we try the war criminals. Poor Obama, he didn’t want to engage in “looking back,” but, y’know, there were those laws we have and the treaties we signed and all that pesky legal stuff, so we kinda sorta had to prosecute the fuckers who turned America into a nation of torturers. Darn the luck.

Really, it’ll be just devastating if you force us to hold our leaders accountable, but we’ll cope somehow.

And hey, aren’t you really doing Bush et al a big ol’ favor? Cuz they’re under a cloud and stuff, and like John says:

One would think that people like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, Gonzales, Yoo, Haynes and others, who claim to have done nothing wrong, would call for investigations to clear themselves if they really believed that to be the case. Only they, however, seem to believe in their innocence – the entire gutless and cowardly group of them, who have shamed themselves and the nation by committing crimes against humanity in the name of the United States.

Just so. On to the Hague!

This Is Why We Limit Police Powers

One of the common arguments amongst the law-and-order crowd is that we don’t have to worry about giving law enforcement agencies unfettered surveillance powers because they’ll only use them against the guilty. “If you’re innocent, you have nothing to worry about!” some perky authoritarian will chirp. “We can’t tie their hands!” Which sounds great and reasonable until news like this brings the kumbaya chorus to a rude end:

In July, the Washington Post reported on undercover Maryland State Police officers conducting surveillance on war protesters and death penalty opponents. Today, we learn that the monitoring was worse, and more pervasive, than first believed.

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored — and labeled as terrorists — activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a “security threat” because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. Angry consumers fighting a 72 percent electricity rate increase in 2006 were targeted. The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation.

One of the possible “crimes” in the file police opened on Amnesty International, a world-renowned human rights group: “civil rights.”

And people wonder why “civil-liberties types” worry about government abuse when it comes to surveillance of Americans.

Isn’t there some old police saying that states, “Everybody’s guilty of something?” Apparently, the MD state police took the next logical step and decided that they could make everybody guilty of something. The kumbaya chorus should keep this in mind the next time they’re prattling about how the police would never ever target the innocent.

The best law enforcement officers tend to take a jaundiced view of humanity. The worst tend to employ their police powers to enact their sadistic authoritarian fantasies. American history is full of mad, bad and simply mistaken policemen abusing their powers. This is why we can’t give them power without limits, which is something Antonin Scalia seems to have a difficult time understanding. If the above case doesn’t provide a wake-up call, Ed Brayton has another:

Ever since Justice Scalia declared that there was no more need for a rule against no-knock raids because there was a “new professionalism” among police, Radley Balko has been mocking that claim with example after example of corruption and incompetence by the police. Here’s a perfect one to add to the list. Jonathan Turley has the story:

Police in Galveston, Texas are being sued for allegedly arresting a 12-year-old Dymond Larae Milburn outside of her home as a prostitute in 2006. The girl did not realize that the plainclothes officers were police and fought back as she screamed for her father inside the house. She was reportedly beaten by the officers and ended up with sprained wrist, two black eyes, a bloody nose, and blood in an ear. Weeks later, the police arrested her for resisting arrest.

Sgt. Gilbert Gomez and Officers David Roark and Sean Stewart have insisted that their conduct was entirely appropriate.

The police were responding to a report of three white prostitutes working in the area, but some how ended up arrested and roughing up a 12-year-old black girl in front of her house.

The honor student was then arrested at her middle school on a charge of resisting arrest — but a mistrial prevented further prosecution.

Because it’s really easy to confuse a 12 year old black girl in her front yard for 3 adult white prostitutes on a street corner. And by the way, she was several blocks from where the prostitutes were allegedly at.


This is a perfect example of Scalia’s new professionalism. An amateur would have been fooled by her clever disguise as a middle school honors student of an entirely different race far from the scene of the alleged crime. But not these professionals.

div.blogMain p.newMeta2 a {display: block; float: left; margin-right: 24px; padding: 3px 0 3px 24px; background-position: 0 50% ! important; background-repeat: no-repeat;} Oh, yes. Beating a young black female. Uber professional, that is. We might as well throw the laws limiting police power and behavior right out the window, because they’d obviously never abuse their authority.

Police these days are so super-professional, in fact, that you can’t find stories of them killing people with the enthusiastic over-use of tasers here, here, here, here, here, and here. Oh, and a nice story about police shooting a man who took a Taser here. Oh, and did I mention that was all during the month of December? I especially liked the one about the man in diabetic shock getting shocked, didn’t you?

I’m not going to spend the next paragraph being fair-and-balanced and saying how much I wuv da police. Anyone who’s read this blog for a long time knows I respect and appreciate the vast majority of our policemen and women. Calling for clear and strict rules for them to follow, laws that restrict their behavior, and limits on their power doesn’t diminish that appreciation. Corruption and beatings and killings do. Things like that stain the reputations of the officers out there doing the job right. They make it harder for good officers to do their jobs.

For their sakes, let’s make it harder for law enforcement to go to such ridiculous extremes.