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Court rules CIA is above the law

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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,136
3,834
126
If folk want their government back they will have to go on the streets and demand that money can't buy elections, that the folk who get elected represent them and not the rich.

This can only be done by revolution that forces change, which probably won't happen, or by calling a Constitutional Convention.

Year by year those who have power will rationalize their justification for having it regardless of past law.

We are going to have to figure out how to have security without risking everything to a secret government in excess justifying everything they do in our name. We can be destroyed by our own fears.
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
7,164
0
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I believe it was illegal for these tapes to be destroyed. Certainly there seems to be no Constitutional grounds which would allow them to ignore a court order.

The Obama administration argued that there should not be any penalty for doing so and the judge agreed. One can get away illegal acts if those who enforce the law refuse to do so.
"The Obama administration argued" what? Look, I know you dislike this POTUS but that is absurd. The CIA is entitled to legal representation in a criminal proceeding, and such counsel will always argue against penalizing his client. Suggesting that the so-called "Obama administration" should have done anything diffferent here is tantamount to arguing that the administration should have stepped in and deprived them of counsel or else ordered them to plead guilty of something they did 8 years ago. No POTUS has Constitutional authority to order anyone to plead guilty or in any way compromize their interests in a criminal proceeding.

So far as you believing it was illegal, the truth is that is was impossible to prove criminal wrongdoing here. The burden here is to prove that individuals who destroyed or approved destruction of the tapes knew there were pending court orders. All of the internal documents surrounding the incident were released and based on that record they were unable to prove it. Procedutors do not prosecute those whose guilt they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

It certainly seems like someone should have been thrown in jail for this, if not multiples, but what is true and what you can prove in court are two different things.
 
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Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
If folk want their government back they will have to go on the streets and demand that money can't buy elections, that the folk who get elected represent them and not the rich.

This can only be done by revolution that forces change, which probably won't happen, or by calling a Constitutional Convention.

Year by year those who have power will rationalize their justification for having it regardless of past law.

We are going to have to figure out how to have security without risking everything to a secret government in excess justifying everything they do in our name. We can be destroyed by our own fears.
I hear you. I'm not sure who else does because they support things as they are in spite of anything they claim. A Constitutional Convention is the only viable answer now.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
How about if the CIA says they're very, very sorry and it will never, ever happen again? It'll be ok then won't it?
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
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Was it actively destroyed to prevent being seen in court or was it a case of tapes usually are destroyed after so many years and it didn't make it down the line that these tapes shouldn't be?
I'm outraged by this decision. It was clearly a destruction of evidence to coverup.

The order to destroy the tapes had a clear consciousness of guilt: every such order of far less sensitive instructions had a standard operating procedure to be cc'd to the CIA legal department - this order made an exception and did not include them on the distribution. IMO, this is a clear case of putting the agency's interests above the people and the law.

It had nothing to do with any 'destroying the tapes because of a normal rule.'

This is the equivalent of Nixon destroying the Watergate tapes after the court ordered him not to, and the court then saying, 'well, we're not going to hold him accountable.'
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Psh be glad this isnt the Cold War. CIA had much more power back then.
You're right, and they were far more 'out of control' to the point of 'virtual treason' as Robert Kennedy called it, but that's no reason not to be outraged here.

Speaking of RFK, he wanted to dismantle the CIA if elected in 1968, at the height of their wrongs. That probably would have been a lot better for the country than the reforms later.
 
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Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
"The Obama administration argued" what? Look, I know you dislike this POTUS but that is absurd. The CIA is entitled to legal representation in a criminal proceeding, and such counsel will always argue against penalizing his client. Suggesting that the so-called "Obama administration" should have done anything diffferent here is tantamount to arguing that the administration should have stepped in and deprived them of counsel or else ordered them to plead guilty of something they did 8 years ago. No POTUS has Constitutional authority to order anyone to plead guilty or in any way compromize their interests in a criminal proceeding.

So far as you believing it was illegal, the truth is that is was impossible to prove criminal wrongdoing here. The burden here is to prove that individuals who destroyed or approved destruction of the tapes knew there were pending court orders. All of the internal documents surrounding the incident were released and based on that record they were unable to prove it. Procedutors do not prosecute those whose guilt they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

It certainly seems like someone should have been thrown in jail for this, if not multiples, but what is true and what you can prove in court are two different things.
You weren't here when Bush was President were you? I trashed him for things like extraordinary rendition, the suspension of habeus corpus in the detention of a US citizen arrested on US soil so disliking Obama is irrelevant. He's the guy in charge now who is following and indeed strengthening things like warrantless wiretaps, so no I do not apologize for mentioning the administration who is in the drivers seat. If you have been following this you would know that there was active discussion of the destruction of these tapes and indeed arguments have been made that in a time of war normal legal checks and balances do not apply. This is precisely what the last administration supported while I do not. Make no mistake I could not care less who holds the gun to our legal protections.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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This is a mother fvcking outrage.
The real outrage was the Obama administration letting them off criminal prosecution.

This is nothing but the dismissal of even minor accountability, which while infuriating, is far less harmful.

Even if this judge had 'allowed civil penalties', that's useless.
 
May 16, 2000
13,529
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Yes, it is. He probably posted that wonderful diatribe from the infield of OWS using the smartphone and data plan his parents bought for him...
Or on the new computer I just built working for myself in my own house while caring for my elderly parent rather than making him a burden on society...all after a couple decades of educating myself by working for others and serving in the military during a time war while raising a family.

Whichever, I'm sure it's all the same.

BTW, don't have a phone as mentioned because I refuse to participate in the rapist consumer pricing of American cell phone companies, unlike a bunch of you fascist, sorry, selfish enablers.
 

Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
13,313
2
0
The real outrage was the Obama administration letting them off criminal prosecution.

This is nothing but the dismissal of even minor accountability, which while infuriating, is far less harmful.

Even if this judge had 'allowed civil penalties', that's useless.
So that's it? There's really nothing anybody could do even if a bunch of people got together and hired lawyers because the administration said that's that and the supreme court said fvck you to everybody, we got the CIA's back? This is just outrageous.
 
May 16, 2000
13,529
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Secession is the only viable answer.
Either would work. Either redraft the rules from the ground up (letting any who don't agree leave the borders), or split it up (to either 5-9 more homogeneous ideologies, or all 50 existing borders) and let things sort on their own.
 

Nemesis 1

Lifer
Dec 30, 2006
11,379
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Wow. Frightening.

Vote RON Paul and watch the powers that be react. OF course Ron would be murdered befor they allowed him in . The War of 1812 was fought for this vary reason . TO bring the banks into power in the USA . Paul would remove that power. The Military industrail complex would Kill him . Actually the list is rather long . The Best man would be a dead man befor getting into office
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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So that's it? There's really nothing anybody could do even if a bunch of people got together and hired lawyers because the administration said that's that and the supreme court said fvck you to everybody, we got the CIA's back? This is just outrageous.
The *only* thing we could do is to pressure the government to change the policy, or to elect a different government. But no electable candidate today would do any different.

We had figures who would - Truman (who created the CIA) and the Kennedys - but it's become quite entrenched now.

When FDR built the Pentagon, he insisted it be a temporary war building, because 'giving them that large a base next to the politicians could give them too much power'. Ya think?

I guess Eisenhower agreed the prediction had come true, with his farewell speech - when a President could even say what he did.

To your specific question, the citizens have no legal 'standing'. It's a government choice.
 
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GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
Psh be glad this isnt the Cold War. CIA had much more power back then.
Did they? I wasn't aware they were running secret Death Panels back then like they do now. They don't even answer to the President (the elected representative of the people) and he has no clue about who they plan to assassinate, or plan to murder and on what evidence, or lack of evidence.

So much for Democracy.

Sieg Heil. The US truly is a fascist shithole.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Did they? I wasn't aware they were running secret Death Panels back then like they do now. They don't even answer to the President (the elected representative of the people) and he has no clue about who they plan to assassinate, or plan to murder and on what evidence, or lack of evidence.

So much for Democracy.

Sieg Heil. The US truly is a fascist shithole.
They were assassinating people then too, up to and including elected presidents, not always with Presidential approval.

When Lyndon Johnson became president, he referred to the CIA as 'running a damn murder, Inc.'

In the bay of pigs - already treasonous enough - the CIA had a plan with the Cubans if JFK cancelled the invasion, the CIA handlers at the training camp would let themselves be 'tied up' in a phony 'revolt' by the Cubans and the invasion would launch anyway, violating his orders, just as they carried on terrorism against Cuba after being ordered to stop and then falsified documents to claim the Kennedys had approved it.

Seems to me the CIA is far more under presidential control, at least, today than it used to be. Though of course we had Reagan claiming ignorance of massive corrupt operations...
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
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Prosecuting the CIA is like prosecuting the tooth fairy. You can't prosecute what doesn't exist. If the CIA has a problem they don't want prosecuted they can and will make it not exist.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
76
Did they? I wasn't aware they were running secret Death Panels back then like they do now. They don't even answer to the President (the elected representative of the people) and he has no clue about who they plan to assassinate, or plan to murder and on what evidence, or lack of evidence.

So much for Democracy.

Sieg Heil. The US truly is a fascist shithole.
Do you really think the government has always followed by the rules. There is the government that the public sees and believes in and the government that follows the rules of whoever has the most power at the time. It has always been that way and always will be that way.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
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Prosecuting the CIA is like prosecuting the tooth fairy. You can't prosecute what doesn't exist. If the CIA has a problem they don't want prosecuted they can and will make it not exist.
That's actually not correct. The CIA *can* be held accountable. It *can* be largely prevented from doing these things. It *can* have people prosecuted.

It's simply a political choice whether to adopt one set of policies - not holding them accountable or reigning them in - or another.

Admittedly, the Kennedy experience was one where they realized their appointee could not get control of the agency, and a major overhaul of the structure was needed then.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
76
That's actually not correct. The CIA *can* be held accountable. It *can* be largely prevented from doing these things. It *can* have people prosecuted.
If the head of the CIA kills the person that was going to report something who is left to report it ? The thing to understand about intelligence agencies is anything that the public learns about wasn't important anyway. The really important stuff never makes it that far.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
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If the head of the CIA kills the person that was going to report something who is left to report it ? The thing to understand about intelligence agencies is anything that the public learns about wasn't important anyway. The really important stuff never makes it that far.
Well, first, the head of the CIA doesn't run around personally killing people. Operations have a number of people involved. If the head of the CIA wanted to have someone killed who had embarrassing information, who's to say that the person wouldn't have made that information available through other channels? That people involved would go along with it if it were contrary to the president's policies? That an investigation wouldn't find it out? Etc.

You're incorrect that it 'never' makes it that far. In fact, we have a volume of information about activities not intended for the public.

Care to discuss the first CIA covert operation, the replacement of the government of Iran in 1953? Countless other known coups and such? The bay of pigs? The partnership with the mafia on many operations such as the attempts to assassinate Castro? The 'family jewels' revealed in the Church hearings? There's a lot more. Presumably there's a lot we don't know about, which is disconcerting considering how much we do know about.

The CIA has never run around casually killing American citizens who might 'expose things'.

For example, no violence was done to Daniel Ellsberg, who had the passionate hatred of the President for exposing the top secret Vietnam War history.

But never? Here's a story for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Pinchot_Meyer
 

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