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The terrifying prospect of an Attorney General Giuliani

janklowjanklow god's lonely man.Posts: 8,528 Regulator
little Balko for the day...
The terrifying prospect of an Attorney General Giuliani
Among the names being tossed around for Donald Trump’s attorney general is Rudy Giuliani, a politician that the journalist Jimmy Breslin once called “a small man in search of a balcony.” Of course, Giuliani’s name isn’t a surprise. The former New York mayor — who once said that “freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do” — has been a Trump adviser and surrogate for months. He’s actively lobbying for the Justice Department post, but he has also been mentioned as a possibility to head up the Department of Homeland Security.

It seems likely that Trump’s election is the end of criminal-justice reform at the federal level. Given his campaign rhetoric, and Trump’s endorsement by nearly every law enforcement agency in the country, I doubt we’ll see any more damning reports on police abuse from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. But Giuliani at Justice is an especially troubling proposition. This is a man whose career has been marked by prosecutorial excesses, knee-jerk defenses of abusive cops and an affinity for using the power of his political offices to get vengeance on his enemies.

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Let’s look first at his tenure as the mayor of New York. Giuliani has always been a stalwart defender of abusive cops.
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Giuliani of course was also the mayoral architect of “Stop & Frisk,” and still widely touts its success, despite the fact that murders in New York have continued to decline since the NYPD largely stopped the practice. Giuliani also stepped up street-level enforcement of the drug laws, often with the use of SWAT tactics and no-knock raids.
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Giuliani the mayor was also hostile to the First Amendment. He waged war on a Brooklyn art museum because it displayed a painting he found offensive. He later tried to assemble a “decency task force” to seek out art at public museums for possible censorship.
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In giving Giuliani a lifetime “muzzle award” for his hostility to free speech, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression wrote, “He has stifled speech and press to so unprecedented a degree, and in so many and varied forms, that simply keeping up with the city’s censorious activity has proved a challenge for defenders of free expression.”
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As the New York Times reported in 2008, Giuliani was also an incredibly vindictive mayor. The paper likened him to a boxer, writing that “he made the vengeful roundhouse an instrument of government, clipping anyone who crossed him.”
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The Times article lays out how Giuliani used licensing bureaus, housing codes and other city government infrastructure to punish whistleblowers, critics, detractors and disloyalists. He not only tried to get his political opponents fired; when he heard they were being considered for other positions, he’d call the potential new employers to pressure them to look elsewhere. Giuliani’s vindictiveness could be incredibly petty.
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As noted, Giuliani was quick to release the sealed criminal records of police critics and victims of police shootings and brutality. He wasn’t as forthcoming with his own records. Just before he left City Hall, he cut a shady deal with the city that transferred all of his records to his own private company, so only he could control who accessed them.
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For all Giuliani’s criticism of Black Lives Matter protests, the prospective next attorney general launched his political career by inciting an actual violent protest. When he ran for mayor in 1992, Giuliani spoke to a raucous crowd of white cops protesting then-mayor David Dinkins’s proposal for a civilian review board.
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It’s hard to think of a politician more punitive than Giuliani. As a federal prosecutor, he was credited for inventing the “perp walk,” the practice of parading arrestees before television cameras that prosecutors have notified ahead of time.
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As Dan Baum documented in his book “Smoke and Mirrors,” during his time at DOJ in the 1980s Giuliani also helped expand the scope and reach of civil-asset forfeiture laws more generally. As mayor of New York, he instructed city officials to seize the cars of first-time drunk-driving suspects. Even if the suspects were acquitted, under Giuliani’s proposal, they’d have to go to court (plus hire an attorney, pay court costs, etc.) to win back their automobiles.
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Perhaps no issue illustrates how Giuliani’s authoritarianism grows as he seeks higher office than immigration. As Jelani Cobb recently pointed out at the New Yorker, during his tenure as mayor, Giuliani was staunchly pro-immigrant. Recall that during the 2007 campaign, Mitt Romney accused Giuliani of running a “sanctuary city” in the 1990s. (He was right.)
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long read, but daaamn
kingblaze84

Replies

  • janklowjanklow god's lonely man. Posts: 8,528 Regulator
    also:
    More on the time Rudy Giuliani helped incite a riot of racist cops
    ...Again, here’s longtime New Yorker and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff recounting them in a recent piece published at the Cato Institute:

    It was one of the biggest riots in New York City history.

    As many as 10,000 demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Manhattan on Sept. 16, 1992. Reporters and innocent bystanders were violently assaulted by the mob as thousands of dollars in private property was destroyed in multiple acts of vandalism. The protesters stormed up the steps of City Hall, occupying the building. They then streamed onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they blocked traffic in both directions, jumping on the cars of trapped, terrified motorists. Many of the protestors were carrying guns and openly drinking alcohol.

    Yet the uniformed police present did little to stop them. Why? Because the rioters were nearly all white, off-duty NYPD officers. They were participating in a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association demonstration against Mayor David Dinkins’ call for a Civilian Complaint Review Board and his creation earlier that year of the Mollen Commission, formed to investigate widespread allegations of misconduct within the NYPD.

    In the center of the mayhem, standing on top of a car while cursing Mayor Dinkins through a bullhorn, was mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani.

    “Beer cans and broken beer bottles littered the streets as Mr. Giuliani led the crowd in chants,” The New York Times reported . . .

    Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin described the racist conduct in chilling detail:

    “The cops held up several of the most crude drawings of Dinkins, black, performing perverted sex acts,” he wrote. “And then, here was one of them calling across the top of his beer can held to his mouth, ‘How did you like the n*****s beating you up in Crown Heights?’”

    The off-duty cops were referring to a severe beating Breslin suffered while covering the 1991 Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn.

    Breslin continued: “Now others began screaming … ‘How do you like what the n*****s did to you in Crown Heights?’

    “ ‘Now you got a n****r right inside City Hall. How do you like that? A n****r mayor.’

    “And they put it right out in the sun yesterday in front of City Hall,” Breslin wrote. “We have a police force that is openly racist …”

    One black member of the city council was physically blocked from crossing the street by a drunk cop. Another was trapped in her car as cops rocked it back and forth. Both were bombarded with racist epithets.

    Giuliani never condemned the riots, the signs or the racist cops. He rode the wave of support from police and law-and-order voters into the mayor’s mansion. When his own campaign produced a report criticizing him for egging on the cops and then acquiescing to them after the fact, he ordered the report destroyed.

    Yes, the riots happened more than 20 years ago. And perhaps they could be overlooked if it weren’t for the fact that today, Giuliani is reliably among the first public figures to condemn the activists who protest police brutality. He has practically made a second career of it.
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  • The_JackalThe_Jackal Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He already said he isn't taking AG.
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Ephesians 6:10
  • janklowjanklow god's lonely man. Posts: 8,528 Regulator
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    He already said he isn't taking AG.
    just wanted to pick on Giuliani a little anyway
  • The_JackalThe_Jackal Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    janklow wrote: »
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    He already said he isn't taking AG.
    just wanted to pick on Giuliani a little anyway

    The fact he might be Secretary of State is far more scarier though.
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Ephesians 6:10
    kingblaze84
  • janklowjanklow god's lonely man. Posts: 8,528 Regulator
    The_Jackal wrote: »
    The fact he might be Secretary of State is far more scarier though.
    he really shouldn't be ANYTHING, for reasons stated above. and honestly, if you want to game it out, it'd be a lot better for Republicans to put a younger politician in there anyway.

  • rickmogulrickmogul black_samson Posts: 1,358 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He'll die in office.
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