Monkeywrenching v. Money Wrenching:
Earth First and Cascadia Forest Defenders scare the hair off privateers in public office. Howls, yelps and yibbers kissed the marble-arsed rotunda at the state capital in Salem on Monday. Once again the Forestry Board has carved out a nice little chunck of markers down the down. A favor done is a contract won.
The many faces of Fear: not the least of which is the horrror our elected officials feel knowing that once out of office the revolving dor leading to the private sector can either usher you in or kick you in the jacksie. Unless you are on good terms with the Boys in the Lobby...
And that makes all the difference in the world.
So why not? Why not show the timber industry a little love?
Why not indeed?
Obama and his successors in the White House would be banned from using false claims of national security to conceal “embarrassing or unlawful conduct” by the government, under new legislation proposed by lawmakers on both sides of the House.
The proposed State Secrets Protection Act, H.R. 5956, introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), would be the first law to rein in the president’s “state secrets privilege,” a nearly limitless power to kill litigation by claiming a lawsuit would expose national security information to the benefit of America’s enemies. First recognized by the US Supreme Court in a McCarthy-era lawsuit in 1953, the privilege (.pdf) has been increasingly and successfully invoked in the post-9/11 era to shield the government and its agents from court scrutiny in cases involving rendition, torture, warrantless wiretapping, and the lethal targeting of U.S. citizens.
“The ongoing argument that the state secrets privilege requires the outright dismissal of a case is a disconcerting trend in the protection of civil liberties for our nation,” Nadler said of the bill, unveiled last week. ”This important bill recognizes that protecting sensitive information is an important responsibility for any administration and requires that courts protect legitimate state secrets while preventing the premature and sweeping dismissal of entire cases.”
Also signing on to the legislation is Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin), John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan), and Zoe Lofgren (D-California).The bill, which has not been placed for a committee hearing, would require judges to find alternatives to dismissing lawsuits when the privilege is invoked. Nearly every time the privilege is asserted, judges toss lawsuits.