So Much for Federal “Justice”
by Jacob G. Hornberger
December 2003/January 2004
Those who are still operating under the quaint and innocent notions that the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are antiquated technicalities in the new era of the so-called war on terror and that federal officials can now be trusted with the omnipotent power to do the right thing in their quest to impose justice on people might want to consider what happened in a federal district court in Texas recently.
The case involves a 75-year-old former CIA officer, Edwin P. Wilson, who has served 20 years in jail for illegally selling explosives in the 1970s to the Libyan regime of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi. Setting aside Wilson’s conviction, the federal court ruled that federal officials knowingly used false testimony to undermine Wilson’s claim that he had been acting under the direction of the CIA when he sold the weapons.
Let me repeat that crucial phrase — knowingly used false testimony. That’s right — U.S. government officials, who unceasingly portray themselves as righteous people who are only seeking truth and justice, especially in their “war on terror,” knowingly and intentionally used perjured testimony with the intent of punishing a person who, under our system of government, was presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with truthful and honest evidence in a court of law — and then knowingly and deliberately kept their wrongdoing covered up for two decades.
According to the New York Times, the federal court that set aside Wilson’s conviction “was scathing in its condemnation of the government’s conduct…. Judge Hughes said Mr. Wilson’s efforts to defend himself had been ‘contradicted by a dishonest agency memorandum issued from a bunker’ at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Va.”
The judge stated,
In the course of American justice, one would have to work hard to conceive of a more fundamentally unfair process with a consequentially unreliable result than the fabrication of false data by the government, under oath by a government official, presented knowingly by the prosecutor in the courtroom with the express approval of his superiors in Washington.
Of course, assuming Wilson’s contention is true — that he was acting under the direction of the CIA — several intriguing political questions arise: Why was the CIA illegally selling weapons to a regime that was renowned for supporting terrorist organizations around the world? Indeed, did the CIA and Justice Department go so far as to double-cross one of their own agents with perjured testimony in order to keep the CIA’s illegal sales of weapons to a state sponsor of international terrorism hush-hush from the American people and the people of the world? What did the CIA think that Qaddafi was going to do with those weapons? Not that the fearless members of Congress would dare to ask such questions, of course.
Meanwhile, U.S. citizens continue to languish indefinitely in U.S. military dungeons, denied all access to lawyers and family members, under the federal guise of “Just trust us because we’re righteous people who would never do anything wrong in our quest to impose justice in our ‘war on terror.’” Yeah, just as in the Edwin Wilson case. For that matter, just as in the Ruby Ridge and Waco cases, where the feds also knowingly and intentionally lied and obstructed justice in their quest to impose “justice” on people whom they felt were deserving of it.
Not that we needed it, but the Edwin Wilson case is just one more confirmation that our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are more important than ever, especially to protect us from corrupt federal officials who will stop at nothing — not even perjury — to impose their concept of “justice” on people against whom they lack truthful, credible, and honest evidence of guilt.
Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org.) and co-editor of The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration.
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Copyright © 2003 The Future of Freedom Foundation. All rights reserved.