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Friday, May 14, 2010
Klein's Sloppy Kagan Smear of the Day: Guilt by Association
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's latest smear job on Elena Kagan goes the guilt-by-association route (in further contradiction to his assertion in his Obama smear book "The Manchurian President," in which he laughably claimed that he didn't believe in guilt by association).

This time, Klein begins by Kagan referring to former Israel Supreme Court president Aharon Barak as "my judicial hero." The rest of the article is spent attacking Barak, whom he calls "universally regarded as one of the most extreme liberal activist high court justices in history."

The problem for Klein is that he never actually proves it. While he quotes various legal analysts calling Barak an "activist judge," at no point does  Klein explain how that translates to liberalism. Klein also writes:

Barak worked tirelessly to place the judicial branch over the executive and legislative, subjecting even the Israel Defense Forces to judicial scrutiny on matters of self-defense.

For example, he famously ruled numerous times in favor of the Palestinians and against the IDF, which petitioned to construct the country's security fence on private Palestinian land in areas that had been used by terrorists to infiltrate Israeli population centers.

Barak's rulings halted the security fence construction and were blamed for scores of terrorist infiltrations from the very areas where Barak had stopped the fence from being built.

Barak also ruled the Israeli Supreme Court had the right to judge the IDF during wartime and that his court could counter military orders.

At no point does Klein demonstrate how  ruling "in favor of the Palestinians and against the IDF" equates to being "extreme," or even "liberal." Nor does Klein cite the specific decisions regarding the Israeli security fence that he finds to be "liberal."

Such attacks, of course, are a highly selective reading of Barak's record. For instance, we found one instance in which a High Court panel headed by Barak ruled that the route of one section of the security fence is legal. And here's what the Israel consulate general's office in Los Angeles had to say about Barak and the security wall:

The decision by the High Court of Justice regarding the planned route of Israel's security fence in the northern Jerusalem area significantly emphasizes the important position of the rule of law and judicial review over Israel's security initiatives to protect its citizens from Palestinian terrorism. It also recognizes Israel's right to build a security fence that balances the security concerns of combating terrorism with the humanitarian needs of the local Palestinian population.

The court clearly determined that the goal of the fence is security in nature. President Aharon Barak wrote that the court "reached the conclusion based upon the factual background that the consideration for building the fence was security."

The court ruled, in accordance with international as well as Israeli law, that Israel's security authorities may plan the route of the fence based upon considerations of military necessity. At the same time, the court emphasized that the route must also take into account humanitarian considerations and a balance must be created between these two issues.

The court ruled that the Israeli government must reroute the planned fence in the northern Jerusalem area to balance those interests. The court rejected the claim of the appellants that, if the concerns were security in nature, the route of the fence must be along the "Green Line."

The court emphasized that security, and not political concerns, must determine the route without any connection to this or another line solely by balancing the concerns of security and humanitarian matters.

And then there's this statement:

To those who criticize the security fence, claiming that 'the damage outdoes the good', Barak responded: "Similar statements are made by others – one could call them the Israeli left – against the involvement of the High Court in matters pertaining to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. They say that the court overstepped its authority, viewing its ruling as negative. Why? Because most petitions are rejected, and they allege that this "legitimizes the occupation", and that therefore it would be best not to involve the court. I am of the opinion that this would be the most grievous of errors. The percentage of rejected petitions from Judea, Samaria and Gaza – is the same as the percentage of rejected petitions from inside Israel. The situation for Palestinians in the region would be far worse if it weren't for the High Court."

So it looks like Klein is lying again -- Barak did, in fact, take security into consideration regarding the fence, but he balanced it with concerns about the population being affected by it.

Aaron Klein doesn't want you to know the full truth about Barak, just like he doesn't want you to know the full truth about Kagan's brief as solicitor general in the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia.

Most importantly, Klein doesn't want you to know what a sloppy, hateful so-called journalist he is. And WND -- which doesn't care about the truth any more than Klein does -- will continue to print his smears with impunity, no matter how sloppy and hateful.

UPDATE: Media Matters finds something else Klein didn't report: None other than Justice Antonin Scalia has professed his respect for Barak.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 14, 2010 6:10 PM EDT

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