Monday, April 09, 2007

How can someone take the 5th ...

When no crime has been committed? Monica Goodling of the Gonzales' Department of Justice has refused to testify before congress regarding the firing of US attorneys citing the 5th amendment right that prevents a person from incriminating them self. We keep hearing from various quarters (even from anti-Bush pundits) that, while the firing of the attorneys may have been unprecedented and unethical, it was not criminal.

There are a few possible explanations:
  • Goodling is incompetent and consequently doesn't understand either the 5th or what constitutes criminal conduct (not likely).
  • Goodling knows that crimes have been committed. Not legal but slimy ethical violations which don't afford protection under the 5th amendment but actual crimes.
  • Goodling knows no crime has been committed and is invoking the 5th amendment under false pretenses.
Is there a loophole here? Is it legally acceptable to claim that you thought there was 1 in 1000 chance that you are criminally liable and use this claim as a basis for taking the 5th?

Any way you slice it something is foul in Alberto Gonzales' Department of Justice.

Quote of the Day

In a harsh condemnation of the U.S. mismanagement of Iraq, former Iraqi government minister Ali Allawi writes, "The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order."