Patterico's Pontifications


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Passes The Buck On Immigration

Filed under: Buffoons,Crime,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Justin Levine @ 5:37 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

The San Francisco Chronicle continues to do a stellar job in keeping on top of this important story.

The latest

San Francisco — With his handpicked juvenile probation chief at his side, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said today that he is powerless to order that the city turn over underage illegal immigrant criminals to federal officials for deportation.

Instead, Newsom said at a City Hall news conference, the question of what to do with illegal immigrant minors who deal drugs and commit other crimes is one for juvenile court judges, the district attorney and public defender to sort out.

“I don’t have the authority here,” Newsom said as he stood beside Juvenile Probation Director William Siffermann. “I have a bully pulpit. The courts have the authority here.”

Keep in mind that this is the same mayor who somehow determined on his own that he did have the authority to wed same-sex partners without previous court authority. Very rich indeed….

Read the whole thing from the Chronicle here.

Federal Panel: Accusations Against Detainee Were Bare and Unverifiable

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 am

A federal appeals court has ruled that a detainee was held on secret evidence that proved to be not much evidence at all:

In the first case to review the government’s secret evidence for holding a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a federal appeals court found that accusations against a Muslim from western China held for more than six years were based on bare and unverifiable claims. The unclassified parts of the decision were released on Monday.

With some derision for the Bush administration’s arguments, a three-judge panel said the government contended that its accusations against the detainee should be accepted as true because they had been repeated in at least three secret documents.

Jeez. Sounds like the “triple-sourcing” on a Chuck Philips story.

The court compared that to the absurd declaration of a character in the Lewis Carroll poem “The Hunting of the Snark”: “I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.”

“This comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true,” said the panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Not good.

The remedy: release, transfer to a new country, or a new hearing.

Add this to the Kafkaseque nature of the tribunals process, which has forced detainees to respond to secret evidence, together with the criticism by a former chief prosecutor that the Administration was rigging trials there to ensure convictions, and the picture is not pretty.

By the way, this ruling is a product of a three-judge panel that includes two judges appointed by Republicans. What’s more, it is not a consequence of the Boumediene decision:

The appellate panel reviewed Mr. Parhat’s case under a limited procedure Congress provided for challenging military hearings at Guantánamo. The case was argued before the Supreme Court’s decision on June 12 that detainees have a constitutional right to seek release in more expansive habeas corpus proceedings.

But if this sort of evidence is any indication of what courts will see in habeas hearings, those could be ugly. We could start getting “Through the Looking Glass” quotes.

In further detainee follies, we have our first charges in the USS Cole bombing. We’re seeking the death penalty. What possible defense could the detainee have? You guessed it: his claim is that his confession was tortured out of him.

As I have pointed out before, while torture could be necessary in the cartoonish “24” situation to save lives, when applied as a general interrogation technique, it’s likely to result in confessions being ruled inadmissible. As I said:

when you’re doing your weighing and balancing, realize that you could be throwing any admissible evidence down the drain. If you’re saving millions, it’s probably worth it. If you’re not saving anyone, then you might consider that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Let’s hope that what remains in the USS Cole case, if the confession is tossed out, doesn’t end up getting compared to some Lewis Carroll story.

World War III: The Preview

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:15 am

Is Israel planning an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities?

And if it is, could Israel pull that off with conventional weapons?

Police Misconduct? Yes — If the L.A. Times Is To Be Believed . . .

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:05 am

This sounds really bad — if you believe what the article says.

The thing is, I don’t trust the L.A. Times.

I’m not saying I do or don’t believe it. I’m saying that I want to see the evidence myself.

I’m saying I’m done blindly trusting this paper. I’ve been burned too many times.

The editors say they have the video. Would it be asking too much for them to post it?

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