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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, May 13, 2005

Reid cites FBI file on judicial pick

The Dems keep reaching new lows. As reported by Charles Hurt of THE WASHINGTON TIMES (registration required) minority leader Dirty Harry Reid "strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on 'a problem' he said is in the nominee's 'confidential report from the FBI.'
Those highly confidential reports are filed on all judicial nominees, and severe sanctions apply to anyone who discloses their contents. Less clear is whether a senator could face sanctions for characterizing the content of such files.

Dirty Harry said Judge Saad would have been filibustered anyway and then went on to say, "All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there."

It's unclear, I guess, if he technically violated the rules of disclosure, since he didn't say what was in the file, he just said that there was something in those files.
Republican aides pointed to Standing Rule of the Senate 29, Section 5: "Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."

Furthermore, a "Memorandum of Understanding" covering the use of FBI background reports limits access to committee members and the nominee's home-state senators. Mr. Reid would fall into neither category.

Sean Rushton of the conservative Committee for Justice asks, "Can you think of a better way to trash someone's reputation?" By saying that there "is bad stuff from an FBI investigation in a file somewhere and leave that hanging. This is character assassination of the lowest order and completely improper."

Now folks, Dirty Harry knows you cannot say what's in those files. Republicans are saying that this is an "underhanded smear".

Michael Bouchard, sheriff of Oakland County in Michigan and a personal friend of Judge Saad, said he is "absolutely" certain that the FBI file doesn't contain anything damaging.

"I think Harry Reid is lying," he said. "He's hiding behind something he knows he'll never be asked to show. Harry Reid is a coward."

Confidants of Judge Saad said yesterday that the judge would release the file but that he has never seen it, let alone obtained copies of it. Judge Saad is not permitted to see the file, Senate staffers said.

So what we have here then, is the minority leader dangling the "fact" that there is "supposed" information in confidential files that is "supposedly" bad knowing that:
  • You cannot disclose the contents of those files
  • Judge Saad has not seen the contents of the files
  • Judge Saad will NEVER see the files because he is not permitted to see the files
  • He (Sen. Reid) will not have to prove or backup these accusations
  • and there is no way for Judge Saad to effectively refute these allegations
Much like the theory that you cannot scientifically prove or disprove the negative,
("I know the myth of 'you can't prove a negative' circulates throughout the nontheist community, and it is good to dispel myths whenever we can....as it happens, there really isn't such a thing as a 'purely' negative statement, because every negative entails a positive, and vice versa.......negative statements often make claims that are hard to prove because they make predictions about things we are in practice unable to observe in a finite time.")

it's impossible to refute or disprove "unknown allegations" that may or may not exist. A truly despicable tactic. But, I guess we shouldn't be surprised.


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