U.S. Rule of Law Tested by Strikes Against Libya

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

Andrew KreigMilitary action by the United States and its NATO allies to overthrow the government of Libya represents a dramatic new test of our nation’s commitment to rule of law, as even some members of the normally docile Congress are beginning to recognize. House GOP leaders this week thwarted a bipartisan effort to force a vote on United States participation. The NATO military strikes were never authorized by Congress, as required by the 1973 designed to ensure some semblance of the constitutional requirement.

We launched the Justice Integrity Project primarily to address gross due process violations becoming apparent in the court system, most notably in criminal cases being bought on a selective basis to railroad political targets of the White House to prison. Such practices in civil cases clearly require concern, as well. But the nation’s founders knew that war-making is the ultimate power of government. Therefore, they put strong protections in the constitution for checks-and-balances between Congress and the president in exercising this grave responsibility. If authorities in effect ignore those parts of the constitution why should any other part of our fundamental law and procedure remain safe?

Excerpted below, with links for further reading, are links on these vital issues from diverse commentators.

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June 2 Radio: Immigration Fights at Court and Borders

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

Margaret Sands OrchowskiThe Washington Update radio show I co-host on June 2 followed up last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding Arizona immigration law by hosting author Margaret (Peggy) Sands Orchowski, Ph.D, right, who published Immigration and the American Dream: Battling the Political Hype and Hysteria. A congressional correspondent, she explored the court decision and the historic background of the field in ways rarely discussed openly within Washington’s establishment.

Hosted with Scott Draughon, the show was heard live at noon (EDT) on the My Technology Scott DraughonLawyer (MTL) radio network, and is now available worldwide by archive. The interview began after our roundup of Washington-related national news. Advisory: Mac listeners need “Parallels.”

The Supreme Court delivered a victory to opponents of illegal immigration May 26 by upholding a law from Arizona that threatens to revoke the business licenses of companies if they knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The ruling was delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts. It rejected the arguments of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which argued that Arizona's effort is preempted by federal immigration law. This ruling is not on a more controversial Arizona immigration law still working its way to the Supreme Court. That law gives police more power to detain and stop those suspected of illegal entry.

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Complaints About Justice Department Go Nowhere

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

Andrew KreigArnett Thomas, a small business contractor, an ex-offender and a community activist from Irvington, New Jersey, travelled from his home near Newark to the nation’s capital this month with a simple objective: He wanted to hand-deliver legal papers to the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of a friend.

But the Justice Department’s rules forbade Thomas and a colleague from dropping off the filing. This was because of federal safety procedures created for installations such as the DOJ that secure potentially controversial personnel. The rules, created after the 2001 anthrax scare in Washington, DC, limit hand-deliveries by the public except in special circumstances. Frustrated by such rules that are largely unknown to the general public, Thomas and his friend, a retired policeman, sought me out at the nearby Justice Integrity Project offices following several months of correspondence with me about their larger concerns. Thomas is chairman of the Essex County Legal Defense Coalition for Sonnie L. Cooper, a defendant in a federal bribery case pending since early in 2010 in Newark’s federal court.  We discussed that case at a coffee shop a block from the Justice Department “Main Justice” headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Today, I provide my end of that conversation about DOJ complaint procedures. My goal is to guide others trying to find their way through the maze.  In doing so, I’ll show why cockroaches and deadly anthrax vividly illustrate how Washington really works. That comes later.  For now as an overview: Authorities keep procedures needlessly complicated. This complexity discourages complaints.

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May 26 Radio: Expert Analyzes U.S. Leak Charges

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

Former network news editor and CIA officer John Kelly analyzed on the May 26 edition of MTL Washington Update radio the White House prosecutions of suspected leakers within national security agencies. Under President Obama, the crackdown includes spy charges against former National Security Agency John Kelly(NSA) analyst Thomas Drake. Drake faces trial June 13 on charges of spying, lying to agents and obstructing justice after leaking secrets about government waste.

Kelly, left, questioned the public benefit of such all-out Justice Department prosecutions. He has decades of experience in such sensitive matters after working on cutting-edge stories as an NBC and CBS network news reporter and editor beginning in the 1960s, and then as a CIA officer during the Indochina war.Thomas Drake

The show I co-host with Scott Draughon was heard nationwide live at noon (EDT) May 26 on the My Technology Lawyer (MTL) radio network, and is currently available by archive. Click here to access.  Advisory: Mac listeners need “Parallels.” Listener questions are always welcome via (864) 685-7469 or email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

During our opening overview of Washington-based news, I summarized our Project reporting last Friday, “June NSA Trial Looms As Obama DOJ Crusades Against Critics.” The story explores why the Justice Department is prosecuting Drake, right (photo by Steven DePolo) and a number of other internal critics at the NSA, CIA and DOJ. They complained internally about government waste and other misconduct. Some also leaked information to the news media. Drake says the federal charges stem from his efforts to combat massive waste in government procurement systems. On May 22, CBS 60 Minutes broadcast a report that helped increase the story’s national prominence.

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May 26 Radio: Columnist On Governor's Scandal Cover-up

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

James HirsenHollywood-based commentator and author James Hirsen appeared on my radio show show, Washington Update, on May 26 to discuss his column, “How Arnold Was Able to Keep His Secret.”  Hirsen exposed one of Hollywood’s best-kept secrets: How a child born outside the marriage Arnold Schwarzenegger of movie star and two-term California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was kept hidden from family, friends and the press for 10 years.

Hirsen, the first guest on the show beginning at noon (EST), is the Hollywood "Left Coast" columnist for Newsmax, a law professor and a best-selling author. We explored the inside angle on the weekly public affairs radio show I've been co-hosting for nearly five years with Scott Draughon, founder of the My Technology Lawyer radio network that distributes the show worldwide. Our one-hour show was heard live beginning at noon (EDT), and is now on archive. To listen, click here (Mac access is via "Parallels").

Hirsen, above left, described how Schwarzenegger fended off rumors and a National Enquirer story in 2001 about his illegitimate child. He suggested also motives why Maria Shriver may have helped propel the scandal into the news.  "This is," he says, "a twisted and true story of betrayal, mystery, and finally confession."

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June NSA Trial Looms, Obama DOJ Crusades Against Critics

By Andrew Kreig / Project Director

The Obama administration’s shocking crackdown on government whistleblowers became more prominent last week with the New Yorker Magazine’s publication of a hard-hitting article about the plight of former National Security Agency officer Thomas Drake. CBS News weighed in also, with a May 22 report questioning why authorities accuse Drake of violating the Espionage Act, obstructing justice and lying to federal agents. The trial is scheduled to begin June 13.

Drake’s supporters raised his profile further May 18 by releasing a

of his acceptance speech for the annual Ridenhour “Truth-Telling Prize.” His speech accused the Obama Justice Department of instilling fear amongst government employees who might consider informing the public about official waste and other misconduct, including criminal violations. Drake said:

Truth-tellers, such as myself, are those who are simply doing their jobs and honoring their oaths to serve their nation under the law of the land. We are dedicated to the proposition that government service is of, for, by the people. We emphatically do not serve in order to manipulate on behalf of the powerful, nor to conceal unlawful, illegal or embarrassing secrets from the public, because truth does matter.

In January, our Justice Integrity Project broke on OpEd News, “Whistleblower Says: Obama's DOJ Declares War on Whistleblowers,” about the Obama crackdown on critics of government waste and misconduct. The column quoted four of the country’s most prominent recent internal government critics (aside from Drake) as describing why they thought the Obama administration was worse than the Bush administration in punishing critics.

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