We have witnessed a very strange month so far. Strange behavior, i.e., moral decision-making (something that was heading for extinction), has been exhibited by both Dems and GOPers. Maybe there’s a full moon out.
* The CIA, along with 15 other intelligence agencies, effectively castrated Cheney’s efforts to ignite WWIII with Iran as the focal point. We can only hope that the knife was long and sharp enough.
* The CIA also admitted to destroying more than a hundred hours of video, involving the torture of two individuals. The fact that someone in government would try to cover up what surely seems to be a federal crime, possibly a war crime, is no surprise. What is surprising is the almost uniform dismay and anger by law professors, congresscritters, and senators from both parties. Alas, it was not completely uniform. Tancredo, Cornyn, Kyl and a handful of GOPers either support the destruction, or wish to change the subject. Of course, this story has hardly started. Destruction of such evidence, being requested and ordered by the courts in several terror trials, means that those trials are at serious risk of dismissal. It also means that we can ( in accordance with the federal rules of evidence) use this spoliation of evidence to view that evidence in the worst possible light.
* The biggest surprise was how the US Supreme Court ruled today. In Kimbrough v. United States and inGall v. United States, by identical 7-2 votes, truly outrageous laws (or their application) were tossed. The court put those issues raised in those cases back in the hands of the trial courts. This is rather earth-shattering, given the people who now sit on the bench.
Kimbrough involved the 100-1 disparity between crack sentences and coke sentences. Given many years of data that showed no difference in criminal activity simply because the manner in which cocaine was ingested, the Court ruled that the trial courts had the right to ignore the hideous Crack sentencing guidelines and reinstated the original trial sentence.
In Gall, a college kid briefly got involved in an X ring (ecstasy), then cleaned up his act, and became, by all reports, a model citizen. He did not choose his friends well, however, and he was ratted out and charged.
The trial court gave him 3 months probation. The appellate court overturned it. The Supremes reinstated the original sentence.
In both cases, the two judges voting against rational thinking in sentencing were Thomas and Alito.
To top it all off, Condi Rice, in an aside, suggested that there was a possibility that she would not finish out her term as Sec. of State on CSPAN this morning, when addressing a collection of female diplomats. Now, that rational decision would be extremely welcome.
So, we are left with this. Except for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, more and more congresscritters and senators are willing to step up and stop this administration. The DOD and the intel organizations saw the light and for a year, refused to accept Vice Presidential pressure to gum up the intel on Iran. Pols on both sides of the aisle are irate that critical data was deliberately destroyed. And now, the Supreme Court actually did the right thing for a change. Amazing.