Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Truest statement of the week

The jailing of Chelsea Manning is a particularly outrageous attack on democratic rights, carried out by a federal judge who is a byword for reactionary pro-government, pro-police and pro-employer bias, and a longtime collaborator with the national security state.
Hilton was one of a relative handful of federal judges selected by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, the special judicial panel set up to secretly rubber-stamp requests for spying authorizations for the FBI, CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies. The court is notorious for approving 99.9 percent of such requests. Hilton was on the panel from 2000 to 2007, during the period when the Bush administration set up secret CIA torture camps and enormously escalated the NSA spying on telecommunications and the internet.
Appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1985, Hilton proved his value to the military-intelligence apparatus early in his career, with a 1989 decision that cleared CIA operative Joseph Fernandez, charged with four criminal counts in the Iran-Contra affair, after the CIA refused to release documents required for the prosecution of the case. In effect, the intelligence apparatus ensured impunity for its own criminal operations by refusing to cooperate with the investigation by Special Counsel Lawrence Walsh, a legal dodge approved by Judge Hilton.
According to the website “The Robing Room,” which allows lawyers and litigants appearing before federal judges to rate their demeanor, legal knowledge, and bias, Hilton routinely incorporates prosecution and government briefs into his legal “opinions,” almost never rules in favor of individuals suing their employers, the police or the government, and frequently sleeps through oral arguments by defense attorneys.

One attorney, posting on the site, called Hilton, “The most prejudiced judge with regard to average and below average income United States citizens that I have ever observed. This judge has no sense whatsoever of the search for Truth and Justice and he clearly avoids any reasonable search for Truth and Justice, especially if a large corporation or the federal government is the defendant!”

-- Patrick Martin, "Chelsea Manning jailed for refusal to testify against WikiLeaks" (WSWS).

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