Dec. 10 News: Feds Rarely Lose Jobs Over Misconduct

Editor's Note: Below is a selection of significant blogs and news articles on legal reform and related political, security and media dimensions. The articles contain a sample of news, with the full article viewable by clicking the link.

ABA/USA Today, Federal Prosecutors Rarely Lose Their Jobs, Despite Misconduct Findings,Debra Cassens Weiss, Dec. 9, 2010

Justice Department investigations of prosecutor misconduct rarely result in serious sanctions for wrongdoing, according to a newspaper investigation. “Prosecutors have little reason to fear losing their jobs, even if they violate laws or constitutional safeguards designed to ensure the justice system is fair,” USA Today reports. Most violations result in reprimands, suspensions or agreements that allow lawyers to leave their jobs “with their reputations intact and their records unblemished,” the newspaper says.

The U.S. Justice Department refused USA Today’s request for a list of disciplinary actions taken against prosecutors, so the newspaper sifted through a decade of annual reports that summarize some of the cases investigated. The documents revealed just one termination. A Department of Justice lawyer was fired because she had been unlicensed for more than five years after she was suspended for failing to comply with legal education requirements, according to the 2009 report. The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended the firing of four other lawyers, but they either resigned or retired. According to the reports, OPR has investigated 756 complaints from 2000 to 2009 and found misconduct in 196 cases. Justice officials say they can’t release investigation details because of privacy laws.


The Hill/Common DreamsNader: I am Looking for Someone to Challenge Obama in 2012, Dec. 10, 2010, Elise Viebeck
Perennial third-party candidate Ralph Nader predicted on Wednesday that President Obama's tax deal with Republicans will earn him a primary challenge in 2012….."He's a con man. I have no use for him," Nader said.
Huffington Post, Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks On House Floor (VIDEO) Jason Linkins Dec. 10, 2010,

In the wake of the recent WikiLeaks document dump, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), the self-styled libertarian crusader who's spent the past half-decade building up a massive grassroots following, has emerged as a principal voice in support of the transparency that WikiLeaks has provided.

Civil Beat/Huffington Post, Internet Press Vulnerable After WikiLeaks, Dec. 10, 2010.

[T]he WikiLeaks case exposes the vulnerability of any publisher on the Internet….We're talking about how democracy can be diminished when government uses its power to silence a voice it disagrees with. Even more worrisome is how this case has exposed how foreign governments may be able to use their own criminal investigations to hurt and potentially silence journalists beyond their own borders.Salon/Unclaimed Territory, The media's authoritarianism and WikiLeaks, Glenn Greenwald, Dec 10, 2010.
After I highlighted the multiple factual inaccuracies in Time's WikiLeaks article yesterday (see Update V) -- and then had an email exchange with its author, Michael Lindenberger -- the magazine has now appended to the article what it is calling a "correction." In reality, the "correction" is nothing of the sort; it is instead a monument to the corrupted premise at the heart of American journalism.
Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or comment