Law Enforcement

Did Obama pressure Gov. Nixon to keep the National Guard out?

Featured image I noted here that the National Guard wasn’t in Ferguson last night, and I wondered why. After all, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency in the St. Louis area — the potential emergency being the impending grand jury decision — and had mobilized the National Guard. In addition, the mayor of Ferguson had requested the Guard’s presence. Yet, the National Guard was nowhere to be seen »

The fire this time

Featured image Watching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity. Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either »

No indictment in the Michael Brown shooting

Featured image A Missouri grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The decision will, no doubt, be greeted by much outrage and perhaps some violence. At this time, I doubt that anyone outside of the grand jury process knows enough about the evidence to say whether Wilson should have been indicted. Unfortunately, this won’t stand in the way of a blizzard of »

Why conservatives should be wary of criminal sentencing reform

Featured image The war on standards in America proceeds on multiple fronts. Employers are under pressure to lower employment standards; public schools to lower student discipline standards; colleges to lower admissions standards; banks to lower lending standards, and so forth. America’s most basic standards are those embodied in its criminal laws. These standards are enforced through the penalites (usually in the form of prison sentences) associated with non-compliance. Conservatives generally have tried »

The Risen heist comes to FOX News

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen appeared on Greta van Susteren’s FOX News show tonight to promote his new book (video below). Van Susteren touched on the subject of Risen’s noncompliance with the subpoena requiring his testimony in the pending prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for violation of the Espionage Act. Van Susteren clearly has no idea of the issues raised by Risen’s conduct. I wrote about them »

Gabriel Schoenfeld: A Risen in the sun

Featured image Gabriel Schoenfeld has graciously responded to my invitation to comment on last night’s 60 Minutes segment publicizing the case of New York Times reporter James Risen. Mr. Schoenfeld is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the former senior editor of Commentary. He is also the author of The Return of Anti-Semitism and, most recently, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign. In Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, »

The Risen Heist

Featured image Last night CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast a segment presenting New York Times reporter James Risen as a martyr and a hero. Lesley Stahl’s report on Risen is posted here.. The video is below. Should journalists be free to choose which laws they are required to observe and which ones they can break at will? That, essentially, is what Risen is demanding as the trial of alleged CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling »

Bob McDonnell and the criminalization of politics

Featured image For former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, found guilty last week of fraud and extortion, I have only the small amount of sympathy reserved for those who fall from grace deservedly, but not due to true malice or viciousness. However, I agree with William & Mary law professor Jeffrey Bellin that charges like those brought against McDonnell present the real danger of criminalizing ordinary politics. The essence of the legal case »

What a “demilitarized” police force can look like [With Comment By John]

Featured image We’ve all seen the pictures presented by those who decry the “militarization” of American police forces. Typically, these pictures juxtapose sophisticated police equipment and weaponry with a crowd that is peacefully demonstrating or just milling about. But what does a “demilitarized” police force look like when the crowd is less peaceful? This video of an angry, jeering mob forcing the police into an ignominious retreat through the streets of London »

Only Dumb Cops Need Apply?

Featured image Kurt Vonnegut’s classic short story “Harrison Bergeron” is clearly fiction, right?  Right?* Check out this story from ABCNews today: Court Okays Barring High IQs for Cops A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower »

Eric Holder shows he isn’t interested in real justice

Featured image Eric Holder candidly acknowledged his objective in the Michael Brown case when he stated, “my commitment. . .is, long after this tragic story no longer receives this level of attention, the Justice Department will continue to stand with Ferguson.” One might have hoped that the Justice Department’s commitment in this instance would be to justice, rather than to standing with any particular group or geographic location. The two goals are »

Meet the Mustafa Family

Featured image Working for a Minneapolis-based bank holding company over a period of years, I learned that the Twin Cities are the hub of significant international crime, some of it believed to be related to the financing of terrorist organizations. See, for example, my 2007 post “Who Wazwaz that masked man?” Even so, this surprised me. Yesterday state and federal authorities disclosed the indictment of 20 members of a Twin Cities-based crime »

DREAMers From My President

Featured image The Christian Science Monitor reports on the tidal wave of would-be DREAMers (that would be Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) seeking the ministrations of Barack Obama in a story by Mark Sappenfield. Sappenfield doesn’t put it that way, but his account rightly notes that “the numbers are stark.” He writes: The Obama administration has linked the trend [of unaccompanied minors crossing the border] to unrest in Central American »

Abu Ghaith convicted

Featured image Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law — one Sulaiman Abu Ghaith — was found guilty today of conspiring to kill Americans and of providing material support to terrorists in federal district court in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, the conviction “bolsters the arguments of those who contend that civilian courts, rather than military commission, are suitably equipped to handle terrorism prosecutions.” I’m not buying that for a minute. Indeed, »

Our Criminal Justice System? It’s a Crime

Featured image One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state is that there are so many laws and regulations that no one can possibly know what they are, let alone obey them. Thus everyone is a criminal, and only the despot’s discretion separates the solid citizen from the criminal. Unfortunately, the United States is rapidly approaching–if it has not already reached–this dystopian status. So Glenn Reynolds’s great column in USA Today should »

Taking down D’Souza

Featured image Brad Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School and the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He is also the chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics as well as the author of Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform. Professor Smith brings his expertise on campaign finance law and regulation to bear on the prosecution of »

Obama at war — first with the Little Sisters of the Poor, now with the Fraternal Order of Police

Featured image President Obama has nominated Debo Adegbile to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. Adegbile is best known for heading up the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s race-based assault on the integrity of a dead Philadelphia police office in a quest to get his murderer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, off of death row. Adegbile is thus the perfect nominee to serve in the position held during most of the Obama administration »