Wednesday, October 17, 2007

When will this new trend of contemptuous conduct ever end?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:26 AM Permalink

There is a new sport in America, started by the bush maladministration, that is now trickling down to others and it bodes ill for the status and authority of congress. I am referring to the bush predilection to keep everything secret from congressional investigative and oversight committees.

The battles between bush and such committees are becoming a joke, where virtually every demand for any records from the executive branch is refused routinely, yet those committees don't use their subpoena power to demand the info and then actually hold people in contempt of congress until the documents are produced or someone goes to jail (and charges of contempt of congress may be tried by that body, so the DoJ, which is now totally corrupted, does not need to be the authority conducting trials for this kind of contempt, nor is the use of a regular court of law required, eliminating any possibility of a bush judge throwing out the case).

Other branches of government are following the bush model and are also refusing to cooperate with congressional committees; the State Department, the Pentagon, and other branches of government are refusing lawful requests and ignoring subpoenas.

Now even companies and organizations outside government are giving congress the finger. From an article at Huffington Post comes this regarding Yahoo! executives that may have committed perjury before congress:
A Yahoo Inc. executive was accused Tuesday of giving false testimony to Congress last year regarding the company's role in the arrest of a Chinese journalist.

A House committee wants Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and general counsel Michael Callahan to clarify at a Nov. 6 hearing the allegedly untruthful testimony Callahan gave Congress in February 2006.

"We want to clarify how that happened, and to hold the company to account for its actions both before and after its testimony proved untrue," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a press release. "And we want to examine what steps the company has taken since then to protect the privacy rights of its users in China."

Yahoo spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in an e-mailed statement that the committee's accusation is "grossly unfair and mischaracterizes the nature and intent of our past testimony." She said Yahoo's representatives have been truthful with the committee.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it is considering the committee's request to have Yang and Callahan appear before it.
Considering? Considering? What is happening to our legislative branch? Why the hell would congress even think of "allowing" a private company to "consider" complying with a congressional demand for further testimony?

Why are our Democratic committee chairs apparently unable or unwilling to use their power to demand the attendance of these Yahoo! employees at a time and date certain, with a very clear and enforceable advisement that failure to appear at that time and date WILL result in their prosecution for contempt of congress, that these employees would face prison time, and the company would be facing hugh fines for every day it takes to get the testimony?

Boy. This current batch of Democrats is more spineless than even I would have ever imagined. What good is power not exercised and justice delayed or denied?

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