A surplus number of prosecutors needed some make-work, of course.
This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.
East Asia — China has apparently signaled it doesn’t have much confidence in the current thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea, as it was recently reported that the Chinese government has significantly reinforced its border with the Hermit Kingdom.
Citing a report from Radio Free Asia (RFA), South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo wrote Monday that China is “preparing for a potential war on the Korean Peninsula” by deploying additional troops and mobile strike groups closer to its dividing line with North Korea.
Chosun Ilbo wrote that RFA, which claims to have spoken with “a North Korean source in China,” reported Friday that “the Chinese military late last year deployed another missile defense battery at an armored division in Helong,” a city near its border with the North.
Additionally, “military units in Yanbian were relocated from Heilongjiang Province, thus adding 300,000 troops along the border,” Chosun Ilbo reported.
RFA’s source also said China has moved several missile defense batteries to reservoirs near rivers that serve as part of the border between the two countries. This is because, as Chosun Ilbo wrote, China’s troops “could be swept away if the North tore down the banks of the reservoirs or they were destroyed by missiles or air strikes.”
The South Korean outlet also noted that on January 24, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that the Chinese military unit that would be the first to cross the border in the event of war has been armed with China’s most sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.
The news comes days away from the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The lead-up to the games has seen a de-escalation in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, though many believe the softening of tensions will be temporary.
Meanwhile, newly published photos have revealed the extent of China’s militarization of its artificial islands in the South China Sea. Those waters are a major point of contention between China and the United States, with the U.S. accusing China of trying to aggressively exert its dominance in the region.
In the early hours of November 7, Janet Reno died at the age of 78 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Her niece “confirmed to CBS News that Reno died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends.” It’s unfortunate that, unlike many of her victims, she was permitted to shuffle off this mortal coil a free woman, unpursued by the hounds of justice. Janet Reno had a lot to answer for.
As state attorney for Dade County, Florida in the 1980s, Reno helped kindle a wildfire of moral panic in America over alleged widespread ritual child sex abuse, leading witch hunts in which children and witnesses were bullied and even tortured into making up the lurid stories Reno and her “expert” child psychologists wanted to hear. People went to prison for crimes that they had not committed — in fact, crimes that hadn’t actually occurred at all. Some may still be there.
Instead of finding herself fired, disbarred and prosecuted for the damage she’d done , Reno was appointed to the position of Attorney General of the United States by president Bill Clinton in 1993. She became the first woman to serve in the position.
She promptly established her approach to the new job, ordering the FBI’s 1993 massacre, with fire and chemical weapons, of 76 men, women and children at the Branch Davidian community outside Waco, Texas, a killing spree for which she publicly took “full responsibility.”
When someone admits to complicity in, let alone “full responsibility” for, 76 murders, it’s reasonable to expect a lengthy prison sentence or perhaps even death by lethal injection to follow the confession. Instead, Reno went on to become the longest-serving US Attorney General of the 20th century.
Another highlight of her tenure was the abduction of young Elian Gonzalez from family in Miami and his return to Cuba. Gonzalez’s mother had risked and lost her life bringing Elian to freedom in Florida. Reno handed him back over to the Castro regime.
Since the mid-1990s, I had devoutly hoped to someday see Janet Reno either brought before the bar of justice — in an individual criminal prosecution or perhaps a mass trial a la Nuremberg — or, at the very least, in perpetual flight and hiding like unto her spiritual exemplar, Adolf Eichmann. Her peaceful death “at home surrounded by family and friends” dashes those hopes.
Janet Reno successfully evaded real responsibility and liability for her actions to the very end. Good riddance.
My latest article for the American Institute for Economic Research is “Government Fuel-Economy Standards: A Big Mistake.”
“Thieves for their Robbery Have Authority When Judges Steal Themselves”: The “Asset Forfeiture” Racket
Like many thousands of other Americans, James and Lisa Leonard were victimized in an act of highway robbery perpetrated by police.
An April 1, 2013 pretext traffic stop in Texas led to the discovery of a safe in the Leonards’ vehicle containing more than $200,000 and a bill of sale for a house in Pennsylvania. No evidence of a criminal offense was found – but through the practice called civil asset forfeiture, none was necessary: The police simply stole the money and filed a civil action to “forfeit” it in a forum in which the victim bears the burden of proving that the money was not proceeds of criminal activity.
Predictably, the court ruled in favor of the privileged thieves who had stolen it.
The Leonards appealed this ruling to the US Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case, thereby passively ratifying the robbery. Although the Court is not required to explain or comment on a decision not to hear a case, Justice Clarence Thomas published an explanatory note describing the history of asset forfeiture, and criticizing the court system’s role in the process.
What Thomas wrote is hardly a revelation to those who have followed this subject, but this is the first time an official of his standing has conceded the obvious: Police across the nation routinely commit undisguised highway robbery.
Civil asset forfeiture, through which property can be seized without its owner facing criminal charges, has “become widespread and highly profitable” in recent decades, in no small measure “because the law enforcement entity responsible for seizing the property often keeps it, [and thus] have strong incentives to pursue forfeiture,” Thomas acknowledged. “This system – where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use – has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuse.
Forfeiture operations “frequently target the poor and other groups least able to defend their interests in forfeiture proceedings,” he continued, urging the federal court system to reevaluate its reasoning in approving a practice that amounts to a wholesale denial of due process protections.
Tragically, albeit predictably, Thomas’s indignation over what was done to the Leonards, and countless others in similar circumstances, did not motivate him to lobby three other justices to grant certiorari so that the victims could obtain redress.
F-35’s $400K Helmet Still Blinds Pilots on Night Flights
Here’s a great quote from Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan:
“The symbology on the helmet, even when turned down as low as it can, is still a little too bright,” he said. “We want to turn down that symbology so that it’s not so bright that they can’t see through it to see the lights, but if you turn it down too much, then you start not being able to see the stuff you do want to see. We have an issue there, there’s no doubt.”
We have an issue there, there’s no doubt.
For $400K, that’s just the kind of assurance we like to hear!
Another great headline today:
F-35 Chief: Loose Bracket Sparked Fire on Marine Corps Plane
And this article is recommended reading on this broader subject, now a classic, from Winslow Wheeler:
The Jet That Ate the Pentagon