Sunday, December 16, 2007

When you've bought all the judges and still have trouble getting convictions, blackmail the lawyers.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:59 PM Permalink

See this from The Boston Globe:
The Bush administration is pushing to take control of the promotions of military lawyers, escalating a conflict over the independence of uniformed attorneys who have repeatedly raised objections to the White House's policies toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.

The administration has proposed a regulation requiring "coordination" with politically appointed Pentagon lawyers before any member of the Judge Advocate General corps - the military's 4,000-member uniformed legal force - can be promoted.

A Pentagon spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the reasoning behind the proposed regulations. But the requirement of coordination - which many former JAGs say would give the administration veto power over any JAG promotion or appointment - is consistent with past administration efforts to impose greater control over the military lawyers.
Okay, so you've been held illegally for six years, you can't see the evidence against you, the rules change with each ruling against the bush maladministration, and now the government can tell your appointed attorney that their careers are over if they don't play nice with the military commissions monkey show trials.

This general said it best:
Retired Major General Thomas Romig, the Army's top JAG from 2001 to 2005, called the proposal an attempt "to control the military JAGs" by sending a message that if they want to be promoted, they should be "team players" who "bow to their political masters on legal advice."

It "would certainly have a chilling effect on the JAGs' advice to commanders," Romig said. "The implication is clear: without [the administration's] approval the officer will not be promoted."
"…they should be "team players" who "bow to their political masters on legal advice."

Does that statement scare the bejesus out of anyone but me?

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