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.
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.
AIM Hosts Miranda's Coded Attacks on Kagan Topic: Accuracy in Media
Right-wing legal activist Manuel uses an Accuracy in Media podcast to change his previous praise for Elena Kagan to right-wing talking points, going so far as to make apparently coded messages by referring to "Jewish socialist culture in New York."
In a May 12 WorldNetDaily video ranting that we don't know how smart Barack Obama is because he hasn't released his report cards, Molotov Mitchell embraced another conspiracy theory: "Liberals desperately need you to believe that he's some kind of genius. That's the only way that they convince you that somehow all of this economic turmoil is somehow part of his master plan." That was accompanied by this screen image:
This is straight out of the right-wing obsession with the Cloward-Piven strategy and the belief that Obama is creating turmoil in order to keep the rubes off balance and increase his power for the upcoming dictatorship. That same obsession is shared by numerousWorldNetDailycolumnists.
Mitchell then goes on to claim:
[U]nlike Obama, I can at least prove I am at least somewhat intelligent. I'm a card-carrying member of Mensa, the world's oldest and largest high-IQ society. It's only open to people who score in the 98th percentile of standardized intelligence testing, normally a monitored test like mine was. Not only am I a member, but so are fellow WorldNetDaily contributors D.J. Dolce and Vox Day. And I highly recommend their columns.
Vox Day, huh? Mitchell picked the wrong week to recommend ol' Vox, who, as we detailed, spent this week's column telling whites to kick the brown people out of their communites and " reclaim their traditional white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture." Is that a view Mitchell "highly recommends"?
Dolce, meanwhile, is Molotov's wife, so his recommendation isn't exactly objective.
All of which just goes to show that being a member of Mensa doesn't necessarily translate into actual intelligent thoughts.
Ralph Reed keeps up his image rehabilitation project by repeating a falsehood about Elena Kagan in his May 12 Newsmax column, claiming that "Her attempt to defy federal law — reversed by the Supreme Court — by banning military recruiters from Harvard Law school during a time of war is only the most well-known example of her radical views."
Lachlan Markay asserts in a May 12 NewsBusters post: "In the latest example of a pattern of opacity, the White House has cut off the press's access to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Kagan has extensive ties to journalists, which only serves as a testament to this administration's determination to control the message on its major initiatives, including Kagan's nomination."
ONe of the examples Markay cites of this supposed insulating of Kagan from the media is the Washington Examiner's Julie Mason's criticism of a video of Kagan released by the White House. Markay highlighted Mason's claim that the video "doesn't count toward the administration's 'accountability' totals," and that "It's just another campaign commercial, masquerading as openness."
But Markay ignored what Mason also wrote in that same article criticizing the video:
It's standard practice around the White House (going back administrations) for any big nominee pending confirmation to stay away from interviews and unscripted public utterances until the voting is over. It keeps things tidy and minimizes variables. No biggie.
Further, as Media matters noted, a CBS News article on how the video "rile[d] reporters" stated: "Still, it's worth noting that it seems to be unprecedented for the nominee to be heard from at all before the confirmation hearings, other than in the initial introduction and in brief photo ops with senators."
In other words, there's no evidence the Obama White House is doing anything different with Kagan than what previous White Houses have done with their Supreme Court nominees. That seems like an important fact Markay should have mentioned.
Newsmax Proud Palin Repeated Its Lie Topic: Newsmax
A May 12 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers proclaims that "Sarah Palin cites Newsmax on her Facebook page for its article reporting that the Obama administration is targeting the military for pay reductions."
As we detailed, there are no "pay reductions" occurring; the Obama administration has proposed giving smaller raises.
Meyers adds that "Palin is a fan of Newsmax" -- which would seem to explain a few things about Palin.
New Article: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Do Gay-Bash Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is not happy about President Obama's plan to overturn the ban on gays in the military, which translates into a lot of gay-bashing by its columnists. Read more >>
Porter Curiously Denies She's A Dominionist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Janet Porter uses her May 11 WorldNetDaily column to respond to critics of her (sparsely attended) May Day prayer rally, curiously claiming that she's not a Dominionist:
Then there's the accusation that some who were there believe in "dominion theology," which, I'm told, wants a theocracy to rule the world. Not what I believe; not even close. We who attended May Day just want to obey God in every area of influence and use our freedom to spread the Gospel. If you do an Internet search on D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, or Charles Stanley with Dominionism, you'll see the same type of accusations were repeatedly made against them, too.
But as Right Wing Watch points out: "If Porter doesn't want to be portrayed as a dominionist, maybe she should stop organizing events based entirely upon dominion theology and stop issuing dominionist prayers seeking control over the media and declaring that her goal is "to take dominion in every area" and 'occupy until Jesus comes.'"
Aaron Klein's Sloppy Smear of Kagan Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've already seen, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is no longer keeping up the pretense of being fair to Elena Kagan -- he's clearly out to smear and destroy her any way he can. Now he's just throwing the smears out so sloppily, they've become laughable to anyone knowledgable about the facts (which, unfortunately, is not WND's target audience).
President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, helped shield Saudi Arabia from lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims seeking to target countries and leaders who helped finance al-Qaida.
"I'm very concerned about her views on executive power and her views with respect to the separation of power," Stephen A. Cozen, the lead attorney in the case for 9/11 victims, told WND.
"I believe she must be asked questions about whether or not citizens who are attacked inside the U.S. have the right to file suits domestically against terrorism financiers," said Cozen, the founder and chairman of Cozen O'Connor, a Philadelphia-based law firm with 24 offices throughout the country.
Cozen recounted to WND an April 2009 meeting he held with Kagen to present the case for his clients – thousands of family members and others affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks who sought damages from the Saudi kingdom, Saudi high commissioners and the country's rulers.
Kagan's friend-of-the-court brief argued Cozen's case would interfere with U.S. foreign policy. She urged the Supreme Court not to hear the case.
n her brief, Kagan acknowledged inconsistencies with the lower court rulings and even conceded there were legitimate questions about whether the Immunities Act should apply in Cozen's case for the 9/11 victims.
Still, she sided with the Saudis, who had presented their case directly to Kagen that the terror victims lawsuit was harming U.S.-Saudi relations.
The Supreme Court sided with Kagen and refused to here the case.
Aside from the numerous grammatical errors -- "here the case"? -- and misspellings of Kagan's name Klein is hiding the truth about Kagan's brief.
First, Klein doesn't bother to explain the origin of Kagan's brief. When Cozen appealed his case to the Supreme Court after it had been dismissed by a federal appeals court -- which pointed out that U.S. law bars such lawsuits unless the State Department has found that a government provided material support for terrorist groups, which the government has not done regarding Saudi Arabia -- the Supreme Court in February 2009 asked the U.S. Solicitor General's office to weigh in on the case. The amicus brief that was filed was done so by the Solicitor General's office, not by Kagan herself, as Klein falsely suggests.
Second, while Klein claims that Kagan "sided with the Saudis, who had presented their case directly to Kagen that the terror victims lawsuit was harming U.S.-Saudi relations," he also couldn't be bother to explain the details of her argument (nor could he be bothered to provide a link to the brief). The Philadelphia Inquirer did the work that Klein won't:
Kagan, in a 22-page amicus brief filed yesterday with the Supreme Court, said U.S. law generally barred lawsuits against foreign governments for supporting terrorism unless they met narrowly tailored exceptions.
Kagan said none of those exceptions applied, and she advised the court not to hear the case.
In her brief, Kagan said the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which governs lawsuits by American citizens against foreign governments, permits such lawsuits only if the U.S. State Department has issued a finding that the foreign government is a terrorism supporter, or if the government has been directly involved in a terrorism act within the United States.
It noted that the State Department has issued no such finding regarding Saudi Arabia and concluded Saudi government financial support for radical Islamist charities was too far removed from the 9/11 attacks themselves to cause the Saudi government to be liable.
Klein offers no evidence that her arguments deviated in any way from established law. Klein also offers no evidence that Kagan's deliberate goal in her brief is to "shield Saudi Arabia from lawsuits."
The Supreme Court ultimately decided not to hear Cozen's appeal.
This is a sloppy, lazy effort by Klein whose only apparent purpose is to smear, not to enlighten -- kinda like his attack book on Barack Obama.
CNS' Jeffrey Aims to Portray Kagan As Censor Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey is determined to portray Elena Kagan as a censor for arguing the government's side in the Citizens United case before the Supreme Court.
A May 10 article by Jeffrey originally carried the misleading headline "Elena Kagan: Government Can Ban Political Pamphlets" (since changed to the less snappy "Chief Justice Roberts: Kagan Asked Court to 'Embrace Theory of First Amendment That Would Allow Censorship Not Only of Radio and Television Broadcasts, But Pamphlets and Posters'"). Jeffrey recounted government arguments before the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which sought to overturn restrictions on political spending by corporations. The Court ultimately ruled in favor of overturning the restrictions.
This was followed by a May 12 column by Jeffrey rehashing the case and concluding: "Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to force Kagan to make extensive use of her faculty of speech in explaining why she believes government can shut people up."
But Jeffrey is assuming that Kagan's personal views on "censorship" are the same ones she argued for on the govermnent's behalf in the Citizens United case -- something for which he has provided no evidence.
When Kagan made her arguments in the Citizens United case, she was an employee of federal government making the federal government's arguments. In other words, she was doing her job. As SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein points out:
Some critics (and supporters) attribute to Kagan views on certain legal issues based on positions she took as Solicitor General. That criticism (and praise) is misguided. The Solicitor General acts as the attorney for the United States and therefore asserts the position of the government, without regard to whether she personally shares the same view. For Kagan not to have zealously pursued the interests of the United States in each case would have been an abdication of her duties. There are only a few exceptions – rare throughout our history – in which the Solicitor General concludes that the government’s position has no reasonable basis and therefore refuses to assert it; Kagan has not participated in such an extreme case.
Further, since she was arguing to uphold existing law as approved by Congress -- not impose new restrictions on political speech -- the point of view she was arguing is hardly out of the mainstream, as Jeffrey wants you to believe.
Jeffrey is basing his attack on Kagan on an assumption that he has no evidence to support.
UPDATE: Newsmax's Dan Weil took Jeffrey's initial article as inspiration for his own misleading attack on Kagan, headlined "Kagan Argued to Ban Political Pamphlets." Like Jeffrey, Weil baselessly suggests the views Kagan argued are her personal views.
WND's Big Gay Double Standard Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily employees hate gay people, so it's no surprise that WND would eagerly spread rumors that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay.
So we have a May 10 article by Art Moore slavering over "the question many privately are posing about" Kagan and repeating all the rumors.
Meanwhile, WND is reluctant to report on homosexuality when it can't be used as a cudgel against its political enemies. It has yet to report on George Rekers, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) board member forced to resign from the group after it was revealed that he traveled with a gay escort.
Sheppard Defends Limbaugh, Ignores His Falsehood Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard used a May 8 NewsBusters post to take offense at Bill Maher for saying mean things about Rush Limbaugh. Regarding Maher's claim that Limbaugh "said on his show this week that, that the Times Square bomber had an Obama bumper sticker on his car," Sheppard provided a transcript of Limbaugh's statement, then harrumphed:
As evidenced by the transcript, Limbaugh WONDERED if there was an Obama bumper sticker on the SUV and said someone would "MAYBE SEE" an "Obama 2012."
Wondering and saying "maybe" is far different than claiming something occurred, although clearly that's NOT a distinction the typically inflammatory Maher would likely understand.
That Limbaugh transcript supplied by Sheppard, however, began with the statement, "Guess what? Faisal Shahzad is a registered Democrat." Which is a lie.
It seems Sheppard thinks Limbaugh is above fact-checking -- a strange position for someone who works for a group whose purported job is to check facts.
Bozell's Evidence Kagan Is Liberal: College Drinking Over Dem Loss Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell uses his latest column to complain that "media liberals" are being coy about Elena Kagan's political leanings, even though she's obviously a liberal. Bozell then unveils his indisputable evidence:
As with Sotomayor & Co., media liberals greeted Kagan’s record as a great mystery, and because of that, no one should “pigeonhole” this woman as a liberal. But there it was in black and white in a sympathetic New York Times profile. She spent the summer of 1980 working to elect a left-wing Democrat, Elizabeth Holtzman, to the Senate. “On Election Night, she drowned her sorrow in vodka and tonic as Ronald Reagan took the White House and Ms. Holtzman lost to ‘an ultraconservative machine politician,’ she wrote, named Alfonse D'Amato.”
Maybe she’s not a liberal. If she thinks Al D’Amato is an “ultraconservative,” then she might just be a radical leftist.
That's right -- Bozell had to go all the way back to 1980, when Kagan was a college student, to find evidence that she's a liberal ... 30 years later.
That's the thin gruel Bozell and friends will try to stretch into repeated attacks on Kagan over the next few months. It's gonna be a long summer.
Unruh's One-Sided Attack on Kagan Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh's May 10 WorldNetDaily article on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination is a highly biased affair, quoting only right-wing groups critical of Kagan and making no apparent effort to talk to anyone for a response. (Biased reporting is Unruh's stock-in-trade at WND.) As a result several false claims stand uncorrected by Unruh.
For instance, Unruh writes that "Kagan had tossed military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus because of the military's 'discrimination' against homosexuals because they were not allowed to openly portray their chosen lifestyle in the ranks." Unruh also claimed that Kagan's "bold criticism" of the military'sDon't Ask, Don't Tell policy included "included throwing military recruiters off campus," and quoted the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins as saying Kagan is "marked by kicking the military off campus during the height of the Iraq War." Unruh further quoted Perkins claiming that Kagan has "hostility to the U.S. military" and a similar attack from the right-wing Center for Military Preparedness claiming Kagan has expressed "deliberate hostility" toward the military.
Unruh also uncricially repeats a claim from Jewish World Review that Kagan "treated two liberal law professors with kid gloves when they were busted for plagiarism." In fact, Harvard investigated the allegations and found no deliberate wrongdoing, and there is no evidence that the findings were motivated by politics.
Further, Unruh quotes several critics calling Kagan "pro-abortion" while offering no evidence to support the claim. In fact, she supported a late-term abortion ban in the 1990s.
A May 10 Newsmax article by David Patten uncritically repeats the maliciously false claim by Young America's Foundation that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan "trampled on the rights" of students during her tenure as the dean of Harvard Law School, and "segregated" students who sought to meet with military recruiters to hear about possible careers in the U.S. armed services.
Patten made no apparent effort to investigate YAF's claims. If he had, he would have found that YAF's attack is untrue.
First, students had access to military recruiters during Kagan's entire tenure as dean. Kagan prohibited military recruiters from using Harvard Law School's Office of Career Services for only one semester, spring 2005. During that semester, students could meet with military recruiters at the Harvard Law School Veterans Association office.
Second, Kagan consistently followed the law. The semester military recruiters were banned from using the OCS office followed a federal appeals court ruling that declared the Solomon Amendment -- which denied federal funding to schools that prohibited military recruiters on campus -- unconstitutional.
Third, military recruitment at Harvard Law School did not drop as a result of Kagan's behavior. Indeed, the number of graduates who entered the military from each of the classes that would have been affected by the single semester military recruiters were prohibited from using the OCS office was equal to or greater than the number who entered the military from any of Harvard's previous five classes.
YAF is spreading a malicious lie, and Patten allowed YAP to do it. That makes Patten a propagandist, not a journalist.