Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The Electioneering Of The Federal Bench

Are either candidate's military recrds really the business of the general population? It seems that the Liberal 527 Group The Associated Press believes at least one candidate's records are. They have filed a lawsuit under the Freedom Of Information Act to get all of president Bush's records put out on the street.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr has obliged them by ordering The Pentagon to go record-fishing one more time. Hopefully mysterious faxes of blatently forged documents from from the Abilene, TX Kinkos won't be part of their search. The fact that this suit was in front of this particular judge was propbably not a randomly-generated act of faith.

Judge Baer's previous C.V. suggests a certain political philosophy that may not necessarily hail a George W. Bush reelection victory. Here is an example of his previous jurisprudence.

On May 16, 1996 Federal District Judge Harold Baer, Jr. removed himself from a Manhattan, NY drug case saying his decision was "in the interest of justice" for the defendant (Don Van Natta Jr., "Baer, U.S. Judge, Removes Himself From Washington Hts. Drug Case," New York Times, May 17, 1996, p. B1).

Judge Baer ruled on January 24 that the search of Carol Bayless' car was unreasonable because police brutality and corruption are so prevalent in some neighborhoods in New York City that it is natural for people to run away from police. He said that even innocent people flee the police in Washington Heights, a neighborhood where officers were viewed as "corrupt, violent and abusive." Because he found the search unreasonable, Baer excluded 80 pounds of drugs as evidence and a videotape confession in which Ms. Bayless stated that she had made at least 20 round trips from New York to Michigan since 1991 to ferry drugs.

But just because Judge Baer caught the attention of The Spartacus Webblog by striking down a law that prevented demonstrators from wearing masks on their faces while demonstrating, doesn't mean he isn't a reasonable guy.

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a victory for a Ku Klux Klan group, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a New York state law violates the U.S. Constitution by barring public demonstrators from wearing masks.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer held that the law violates the free speech rights of the Butler, Indiana-based Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. If the judge's decision is upheld, members of the group would be able to hide their identities by wearing hoods and masks at future New York rallies.
The city said it would appeal."

In fact, there is an excellent opportunity for Judge Baer to show bipartisan concern for informational bipartisanship. It seems Judicial Watch has a litigeous intrest in John F. Kerry's records similar to that of the AP in George W. Bush. In reponse to this inquiry, it seems John F. Kerry's records aren't all out there either.

Navy Personnel Command FOIA Officer Dave German wrote in an e-mail to Judicial Watch that the Navy "withheld thirty-one pages of documents from the responsive military personnel service records as we were not provided a release authorization." A "release authorization" would have to come from Kerry filling out and signing a Standard Form 180, something he has yet to do. A Standard Form 180 would authorize the complete release of all his military records. Judicial Watch filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in August to obtain Kerry's military records.

So all Judge Baer would have to, in order to be the wonderfully fair-minded guy we all know he is, is just order The Pentagon to dig up all of John F. Kerry's information whether he signs the SF180 or not. After all, it didn't seem like cBS News or Judge Bear needed any sort of permission from George W. Bush to go through George W. Bush's past like a PI digging through someone's garbage.

Update I: Blogs Of War questions where Judge Baer gets the chutzpah to release someone else's military records to the public.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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