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A Tale Of Two JAGs

Some people are ruled by courage and justice, and some are ruled by fear and petty personal ambition.  See if you can tell which is which between Sen. Lindsey Graham and Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld.

First, via Spencer, Lt. Col Vandeveld:

…“If someone is acquitted, then, as we do today, we should release him,” Vandeveld says. “I know the president has said he does not want release someone who’s a threat to the American people. As a prosecutor of 20 years, I can tell you that happens every day in the U.S. — the recidivism rate is huge. It’s worse than people want to think about. But it’s worth the risks that one has to take if one believes in democracy and the rule of law. There are two systems already in place [for dealing with dangerous people]: military courts martial under the [Uniformed Code of Military Justice] and Article-3 [federal civilian] courts. There’s no reason to lower our standards to obtain convictions would not obtain otherwise.”

Spencer has much, much more at the Washington Independent on this, including summaries of yesterday’s testimony which will piss off a lot of folks on the civil liberties, rule of law end of things.

Lt. Col. Vandeveld is scheduled to appear before Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Subcommittee that covers constitutional and civil liberties issues beginning at 10 am ET. The C-Span schedule doesn’t appear to be covering it, so I’m looking for a livestream from the committee now.

Now, here’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, also a JAG, from the eviscerating habeas MCA discussion days. See if you sense a difference in tone and motivation:

"I’m curious to see what the five new Democrats would think about giving terrorists the ability to sue our troops in federal court and having federal district court judges make wartime decisions," Graham said Wednesday. "I got a feeling a lot of them would agree with me."

One deals in truths, facts and reality, the other makes it up as he goes along. Lovely.

If I can find a livestream for the committee, I’ll link it up here for everyone.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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