In June, 2012 I wrote “Fast and Furious, Where are the Indictments?” and for some reason two people have read that article in the past two days. So I reread it, and noticed an error of fact about the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann, who was captured by Mossad and tried and executed in 1962, when I was 16. His trial was a daily topic of conversation among school kids.
A major point of that article was that…
…by law one cannot obey an illegal order, and “he does so at his own peril” (US Supreme Court, 1799.) It was this overriding Law of Humanity that caused the men who gave Eichmann his orders to be hanged at Nuremberg in 1946, and ultimately him 16 years later.
There are good reasons for this rule to extend beyond the inhumanity of mass murder and the magnitude of the crimes of the Nazis. The rule of law for even the solitary victim had to be upheld, and a reminder had to be sent to all those who killed from behind a desk, that they may stand in the well, just as guilty as the trigger men.
More than any human species, there is a presumption among every bureaucrat, from law enforcement to food inspection, that everything he does is under the color of law. No bureaucrat, at any level, will go out willy-nilly and write his own set of rules. (Well, almost never. There will always be rogue cops, for instance.) He/they always believe that their actions are protected by regulation and law. But also by their superiors who will provide cover should they step outside the line, even the tiniest bit…only not for the good of the Greater Good, or the Reich, but for the integrity of the team. The Organization.
This is a natural law with that particular beast. And Eichmann died believing he had done nothing wrong.
Fast forward: The “deep state” which has moved to illegally impede and remove an elected president as we speak, is but the most recent manifestation of this growing belief that the “national organization” is a self-contained moral universe.
(John Bolton may well showcase that moral universe for public viewing very soon, only from the Right instead of the Left. And in doing so, he may highlight all the points of joinder between his universe and the universe on the Left when facing a mutual enemy arising from outside the Organization, or the herd as it is often called. We may lead to further discussion.)
But for purposes of this discussion I want to review with historical context how the natural law of an subordinate Organization can feel justified to ignore or countermand the higher natural law that created them in the first place.
It’s an easy mind game of re-ranking and substitution, and once made a kind of corruption sets in. E.g.,iIt can become almost everyone’s sport when working for a sitting president and his wife who began their own pay-for-play regime, and generally get away with it, even moving into bigger (ask Haiti) and more lucrative heists (and depravities) after leaving public office.
Such thinking has staying power in an Organization, especially if there were no purgings or cleansing of those eight years; no public condemnations. It was almost natural that the next generation of opportunists to arrive would push the envelope even further, as occurred by a succeeding generation with a far different philosophical vision of political power, beyond mere wealth accumulation.
Since 2009 every change, as with the Bolsheviks in the 1920s and the Nazis in the 1930s, had to be “under the color of law”. There had to be a regulation covering every aspect of human life. The private life was supposed to be dead. Killed, actually.
With such a head start, (and few were really paying attention, or looking in that direction) it’s a little difficult to assess just what the actors inside the current coup attempt, from law enforcement to justice protection, to intelligence gathering, to legislation, actually believed as to be their rightful power under natural law and the Constitution, versus their understanding of being “under the color of law” inside the Organization.
For me questions first began to arise within the Department of Justice, FBI, and Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
It began with Fast and Furious, which was originally a creation from within ATF, under the Bush Administration, then broadened and renamed “Fast and Furious”, aka, “gun-walking” in 2009 involving both the White House and DOJ.
This means that those who gave the orders was known and well documented after the project came unraveled in late 2010, when Agent Brian Terry was gunned down by one of those guns that had been allowed to be illegally purchased by “straw buyers” in Arizona..
It has also been documented that junior ATF officers disagreed with how the plan was playing out even before that, and they put it in writing, just like John Wayne did in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”.
This new “Gun-Walking” plan, did not interdict the guns at the point of sale. And they allowed ex-felons to make the buys (a crime in itself). And the mechanics of just how the guns would be tracked once in Mexican hands was never made clear, for none of the 2000 or so were ever tracked once inside Mexico.
In fact, some of the ATF field agents operating out of Phoenix, (this happened in several states, with several Groups involved) were alarmed as they were ordered not to make arrests as they normally did, but rather to continue to allow the guns to walk into Mexican hands. One of the field officers, named John Dodson, complained to his supervisor, David Voth (who was later moved to Washington in 2011), who told him, and others
“I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors, or other adolescent behavior. I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have an exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don’t think this is fun you are in the wrong line of work – period! (March 2010, seven months before Brian Terry was gunned down in southern Arizona).
Q: Would a single death allow us to invoke the “Eichmann rule” with regard to the moving parties at DOJ (Holder, et al) and ATF? Well then, consider the unknown thousands of “undocumented” Mexicans who died at those guns’ hands.
Now it’s an easy question to ask, if only an unintended consequence. I’m certain that Holder and Obama did not wish those deaths. Just a bad idea, but once it fell apart, they took the Organization’s route to avoiding accountability. And to safety. A few ATF senior planners were reassigned, just as errant FBI officers were after the “accidental” (cynically, indifferent, incompetent?) killing of 76 Branch Davidians (a religious sect for you Millennials) near Waco in 1993.
So, did the escape of accountability help account for the team of Holder & Obama teaming up again to purposefully assassinate two American citizens abroad in 2011, as well as two innocent bystanders; Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, in two different locations, plus two other Arabs of unknown affiliation with his son?
In 2011 Eric Holder wrote a “Finding” that it was legally okay for an American president to take the life of an American citizen abroad if he/she were engaged in certain criminal or treasonous activities, posing a threat to Americans.
This was based on a long held secret memo from 2010 (and not made public until 2014) by Deputy AG David Barron, who is now a federal judge, appointed by Obama. Barron did not state it was justified to target any innocent civilians, and certainly not an American as al-Awaki’s 16 year old son was. (Ironically, in 2008 Barron published a legal article at Harvard, about George W Bush, with the catchy title:. “The Commander in Chief at the Lowest Ebb.)
So, it should come as no surprise that the chain of accountability had been blurred, just as Adolf Eichmann attempted to invoke with this “I was only following orders” that first led to a cynical attempt to entrap illegal gun traders, which killed hundreds if not thousands, to the indifferent justification for killing one innocent American child with a Hellfire missile in order to make sure you got his father at another location…all based on information provided by the same intelligence agencies who sit atop the current deep state.)
We cannot know whether it was bureaucratic cynicism or mere indifference that led to the death of three innocent (3) people at Obama and Holder’s hands in 2011. But we can easily see that “ensuring one’s ass is covered” is not just an important part, but the salient part of such bureaucratic decision-making, should things go wrong.
We can then certainly get a greater understanding of how this bureaucratic perspective might have affected the application process in the minds of the senior bureaucrats, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, and even the judges themselves in the FISA Courts that allowed for the unlawful surveillance of innocent American, which was no capital offense, but very possibly punishable.
Their asses were covered.
More than just a few are bureaucrats who will say they have always only been following orders, at the direction of, and the benefit for the Organization for which they serve, and have now, oops…seemingly transgressed.
Were they doing so out of love of the country they thought they represented? The attempt to undercut a living Constitution and the people probably never crossed their minds, but is now justification to proceed and inquire.
No statute of limitations should protect them.