Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Broken Oath

I, [insert name here], do solemnly swear to support, uphold and
defend the Constitution of the United States of America against
all enemies, foreign and domestic, to obey the lawful orders and
directives of those appointed before and above me, and that I
enter into this office without any mental reservation whatsoever,
so help me GOD

- Oath spoken by every FBI agent upon commission at Quantico

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury ...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself ...without due process of law

- from the 5th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

- from the 6th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Assuming that Mr. Woodward’s vouchsafe is sufficient proof, the media has begun the obligatory Liberal praise for former Deputy Director of the FBI, W. Mark Felt, for leaking information against President Richard Nixon to the Washington Post through reporters Woodward and Bernstein. “Hero” is a common word used for the former lawman, as though Felt should be held in equal or higher regard than, say, Marines currently serving in Iraq. I can’t help but believe that to many in the press, this is indeed how they see the matter.

Certainly, Richard Nixon’s conduct while President is inexcusable at times, and the tapes only reinforced the unsavory nature of Nixon’s anger against Democrats and the media. It should be understood, however, that Nixon’s aides played faction games against each other (remember Kissinger and Haldeman?), and in some cases the charges Democrats levelled against Nixon may have been redirected from the original culprit, to a more desirable target. Most people examining the Watergate scandal do not consider that President Nixon never had appropriate counsel; by the time Congress went after Nixon, Dean and Michell had already deserted him and madetheir own deals.

With that in mind, consider the conduct of Mr. Felt. As a Deputy Director of the FBI, Mr. Felt was a lawman, and answerable to the same code as any FBI agent. That is, if he found evidence of a crime, he was morally and legally required to bring it to his superiors’ attention.

Did Mr. Felt contact the FBI Director? No, he did not.

Did Mr. Felt notify the Attorney General? Again, no he did not.

Did Mr. Felt submit his evidence to a Grand Jury, or to his Congressman? Once again, Felt made no attempt to provide this information to any law enforcement or justice authority whatsoever

Instead, FBI Deputy Director W. Mark Felt conducted a personal vendetta against the President of the United States, passing along what he felt like telling, to Mr. Woodward, knowing the information would be printed as unchallenged fact, without any corroboration whatsoever, and without any sort of opportunity for the President to have an opportunity for rebuttal. This continuing action was in direct and deliberate violation of law and code.

In a Letter to the Editor of the Houston Chronicle, reader Jay Bute of El Lago hit the matter directly on the head when he asked whether, considering that a top FBI officer had complete control of what was released to the press, it might be possible that Felt could present whatever evidence he wanted in whatever manner served his personal interest and worse, could suppress or destroy evidence which might favor the President? At best, Deputy Director Felt violated his oath, obstructed justice, and violated the constitutional rights of Richard Nixon and his Administration. At worst, Felt damaged the entire balance between the Legislative and Executive branches of government, by usurping the process of investigation in order to attack a man he personally disliked.

While the Liberals cheer on Mr. Felt, keep in mind this basic fact: They are cheering a dirty cop.

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