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In an article published on Slate yesterday, editor Dahlia Lithwick does a great job documenting the genesis of the wingnut assault on Yale Law Dean Harold Koh, which reached a sort of apex yesterday when Fox News actually accused the Obama administration of trying to impose Sharia law in the United States. Lithwick writes:

It's 11:45 a.m. on April 1, and if you run a Google News search on Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School and President Obama's pick for legal adviser to the State Department, here's what you'll find: 13 pieces on far-right Web sites characterizing Koh as dangerous and anti-American; several Fox News stories, updated several times daily, one of which describes the anti-Koh screeds as "burning up the Internet"; and a measly two blog posts defending Koh from these attacks. By the time you read this, I suspect that Fox News will have a scrolling red banner that reads, "Obama's Koh pick imperils us all" (and ... wait for it ... BINGO!), the anti-Koh pieces will number 18, and the pro-Koh blog posts will number three.

And yet by my most recent tally, every one of the anti-Koh rants dutifully repeats a canard that first appeared in a hatchet piece in the New York Post by former Bush administration speechwriter Meghan Clyne. She asserts that Koh believes "Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts." The evidence for her claim? "A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that 'in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why Sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.' "

Needless to say, if the future lawyer for the State Department wanted to apply Shariah law willy-nilly in American courtrooms, it would be a terrifying prospect.

As Lithwick writes, it turns out that the story spun by Mr. Stein was completely false; Koh never proposed imposing Sharia law in the U.S. The organizer of the event at which Koh spoke wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Post debunking the allegations:

I was the organizer of the Yale Club of Greenwich event on March 13, which Meghan Clyne references.

The account given by Steve Stein of Dean Koh's comments is totally fictitious and inaccurate. I was in the room with my husband and several fellow alumni, and we are all adamant that Koh never said or suggested that sharia law could be used to govern cases in US courts.

The subject of his talk was Globalization and Yale Law School, so, of course, other forms of law were mentioned. But never did Koh state or suggest that other forms of law should govern or dictate the American legal system.

Hopefully, your readers are interested in the facts.

Robin Reeves Zorthian

President,
Yale Alumni Association of Greenwich

Still, despite the obvious malice behind the assault on Koh, it continues unabated in the wingnut-o-sphere and on Fox and on Glenn Beck's program. Lithwick writes that the silence of the mainstream media in the face of these vicious attacks is effectively complicity in the face of character assassination, and she's right.

Reporters may not feel like it's their obligation to come to Harold Koh's defense. But if they continue to let falsehoods about the Koh's of the world stand, one day some of them will find that they have become the targets of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

When that happens, will they wish they had spoken up when they still had a chance?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Phony outrage, eh? (17+ / 0-)

    Are you saying the wingnuts are engaging in Koh theatre?

    Love your enemies, if for no other reason than your friends may prove total dicks.

    by droogie6655321 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:39:32 AM PDT

  •  Heh (17+ / 0-)

    I take it that Robin Reeves Zorthian was totally unfamiliar with the NY Post, otherwise I doubt she would've closed her letter by saying:

    Hopefully, your readers are interested in the facts.

  •  Not despite the obvious malice behind the assault (8+ / 0-)

    ... but due to the obvious malice.  

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:41:40 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately... (5+ / 0-)

    Ms. Zorthian,

    As you might have figured, the readers of the Post aren't the problem (well mostly), it is the publisher and editors.

    They most certainly do not care about facts.  Facts in Murdochland just minor annoyances that if ignore long enough, the ignorant masses will never miss.

    To the GOP and their ilk... YOU LOST!!! So, STFU.

    by oxfdblue on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:43:25 AM PDT

  •  I dunno, "Zorthian" sounds pretty foreign (7+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't trust her...

  •  Can you just imagine what Michelle would say... (4+ / 0-)

    ...if any aspect of this story were true.

  •  Faux Noiz comedians are incorrect and liars? (4+ / 0-)

    NO!!!!  That is impossible as they are the fairly unbalanced channel.

    Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

    by uc booker on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:45:20 AM PDT

  •  I want to beat (10+ / 0-)

    the fucking shit out of Glenn Beck on live television.

    Is that wrong of me?

    In 1993, NO Republicans voted for the most successful economic program in history. NOT ONE. Wrong then, wrong now.

    by The Creator on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:48:39 AM PDT

  •  "You shall know them by their enemies" (14+ / 0-)

    That reflects well on Koh.  The fact that these people are making an enemy of Koh, who is simply one of the most prominent and well-respected legal academics out there, reflects with burning intensity on them.

    I want to hear from Glenn Reynolds and Ann Althouse and Eugene Volokh and Orin Kerr (only the last pair of whom I ever read, but some of you masochists read the others) about this.  Let's agitate for them to way in on whether the Dean of Yale Law School is qualified for a State Department position.

    Let's not just complain here, let's make this even more embarrassing for Republicans.  Let's challenge them to explain why they think Koh isn't qualified.

    So, Markos: we're supposed to hope Murphy wins in NY-20, but not donate to or work for him? Yup?

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:48:43 AM PDT

  •  Love this bit (7+ / 0-)

    When that happens, will they wish they had spoken up when they still had a chance?

    First they came for the gays, then they came for the Jews, then they came for ....

    DelicateMonster a slightly left of center reading experience

    by DelicateMonster on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:49:22 AM PDT

  •  I want to set up Sharia default swaps (12+ / 0-)

    You can get one from me for just $1,000.  If Obama ever implements any facet of Sharia law, I will pay out $1,000,000 to any holder.  I should advertise this on NewsMax - I wonder if I'd get any takers.

  •  BAM (12+ / 0-)

    Reporters may not feel like it's their obligation to come to Harold Koh's defense. But if they continue to let falsehoods about the Koh's of the world stand, one day some of them will find that they have become the targets of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

    They'd be right, of course, that it's not "their obligation to come to Harold Koh's defense."  It is, however, their fucking obligation to report the truth, and in this case, the truth "defends" Harold Koh.  The history books will not be kind to today's media.

    "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

    by Savage on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:50:28 AM PDT

  •  This is not a case of misunderstanding. (12+ / 0-)

    Somebody lied. If Koh had actually said something as bizarre as this, not only Zorthian but everybody in the room would have noticed.

    i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

    by Kimball Cross on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:50:38 AM PDT

    •  No kidding. (6+ / 0-)

      Does it not occur to these idiots that if somebody actually made proclamations like this at a public venue, they would be looked upon as the "crazy uncle" kind of guy.  He would never reach the level of prominence that he has.

      Shut up and go Galt already! There's plenty of us in line to take your place.

      by God loves goats on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:56:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not necessarily, but it's still bullshit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimball Cross, monsieur dufarge

      Koh might indeed have said precisely what he is "accused" of saying: "Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts." And so f*ing what??

      As I understand it, there are some cases in contract law under which the laws of a foreign state can be used to adjudicate a dispute in U.S. courts. If such a situation arose with respect to an Islamic state that employs Sharia law, Koh's observation would presumably be 100% correct.

      I think an excellent argument can be made that the GOP does not want Koh because he is so fiercely opposed to the human rights violations of the Bush administration.

      It still amazes me that the GOP couldn't vet its own VP candidate -- or Wurzelbach the Non-Plumber -- but they picked up on such an obscure statement of Koh's.

    •  Not bizarre at all -- here's how (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, Kimball Cross, monsieur dufarge

      Practically every contract you sign has a "choice of law" clause.

      Lets say there is a contract for the sale of a truck load of snowmobiles between a person from Alaska and one from Arizona.  If they want, they agree that disputes under that contract will be goverened by Deleware law.

      Let's say the deal goes bad and the US District Court in Arizona  gets the case under diversity jurisdiction... guess what state's contract law the federal court will apply? Deleware law.

      Now say, they agree on sharia law...

      What could be more American than freedom of contract?

      •  This could be a problem (0+ / 0-)

        Take your example one step further... one of the people in your example claims that the other stole one or more of the snow mobiles.

        Sharia law is interpreted differently around the world, but if found guilty, the thief could have his hand (Nigeria) or maybe foot (Iran) severed.

        This would be illegal under law.

        •  No problem at all (0+ / 0-)

          Theft is criminal law, not civil law.  You don't get to pick what criminal law you are prosecuted under.

          I don't know if sharia has a concept of "conversion," which is the civil law analog of theft, but even if it does, and the penalty is similarly extreme, a court would simply refuse to enforce it.

          But this isn't really the point.  The issue is that there are in fact some cases where a US court could apply sharia law, and there is nothing unusual or surprising about it.  No one ever suggested they would in all cases.

    •  False Noise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimball Cross, Matt Z

      They don't care what they say as long as it meets the low standard for journalistic integrity that governs Faux News.  This claim is a lie and easily disproven.  The problem is that False Noise creates so many lies each day, and people seem to be immune, because they don't inform themselves and they don't have any critical skills.  Brazen lies like those constantly fabricated by Fox are actually dangerous, because too often they are NOT addressed.

  •  NoQuarterUSA.net is full of nutjobs on this (5+ / 0-)

    I swear to God, that site is fast becoming a safe house for a three-way gathering of (1) disaffected and really pissed off Hillary Supporters (2) the right wing fringe and (3) lunatics of the Cult of COLB and "Obama is a Kenyan" and "Obama is a Muslim" clatch.

    They are all united in their anti-Obamaism, and nothing he does is positive in any way, shape or form.  

    I get that and I understand it.  But when you start smearing other people baselessly just because someone is associated with Obama, that's over the line.

    Those people are nuts.

    Change takes time. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that.

    by LarsThorwald on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:51:25 AM PDT

    •  I never thought I'd say this, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      but I have the tiniest (and I emphasize the word tiniest here) bit of respect for the wingnuts who say outright that their hysteria is due to the fact that President Obama isn't 100% white.  While they're racist idiots, at least they're not liars, too.

  •  This Type Of Irresponsible Attack Will Continue (9+ / 0-)

    Until someone is made TO PAY through suffering and humiliation.  

    I'm no lawyer, so I can't begin to address the possible avenues of redress available.  However, I am one of the silent masses who thinks that thirty years of this sort of vicious calumny is quite enough.  These cowards continue only because they ply their trade with impunity.  Should it cost them in the least, they would demur immediately.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:51:25 AM PDT

  •  Reminicent of the Holocaust Tale (6+ / 0-)

    when someone stood by & said nothing when those around him were being lead away to the camps, and, when it became his time, no one spoke for him, either. No, I'm not comparing what's happening here to the Holocaust.

    On behalf of my entire state, I apologize for Evan Bayh!

    by CityLightsLover on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:51:31 AM PDT

    •  I'm sure it's an intentional reference (5+ / 0-)

      Nothing gets past you, huh?

      Clearly, that's exactly what the author has in mind. It's reminiscent of the speeches by the German Protestant leader, Martin Niemoller:

      "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

      And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

      And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

      And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

      There's no precise recordation, and a later poem seems to have expanded upon Niemoller's remarks -- but it's more or less what he must have said. And, ti's more or less what the story writer had in mind here. Thanks for pointing it out, just in case someone out there didn't get the image.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:22:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  but then it will be too late (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, raincrow, Matt Z, Dirtandiron, rk2

    When that happens, will they wish they had spoken up when they still had a chance?

    Rev. Martin Niemoller answered that question:

    First they came for the Communists,
     and I didn’t speak up,
       because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
     and I didn’t speak up,
       because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
     and I didn’t speak up,
       because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
     and by that time there was no one
       left to speak up for me.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

    by royce on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:52:34 AM PDT

  •  I don't know what the wingnuts are freaking about (14+ / 0-)

    It seems that they want to impose defacto Sharia Law as it is.  A rose by any other name, and all that..

    The GOP has a choice: change or die. It appears that they have chosen 'Die'. Bully for them.

    by RichM on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:53:21 AM PDT

  •  Most rightwing media KNOW they're lying. (7+ / 0-)

    And they don't care.  They'll try to inflame any way they can, and lies are the easiest route to the emotional reaction they seek.  

    They know that if they repeat this long often and often enough, it will become a FACT.  And even the corrections of that fact will be seen as proof that someone wants to "cover it up."

  •  The right wing bullshit machine (5+ / 0-)

    needs to fought every second of the day.

  •  Nice Job, Dahlia....i always liked her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo

    someone give her a job on a "news" network so we can start getting "news" again...instead of bullshit

    simplicity is the most difficult of all things

    by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:58:03 AM PDT

  •  Of course, Sharia law could apply (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, tbrucegodfrey, kay dub

    in an "appropriate case" -- that is, for example, a case where the parties to a contract chose "sharia law" to govern their contract (and the public policy of the state in which the court sits or of the US didn't require Sharia law not to apply).  

    "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

    by Bartimaeus Blue on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

  •  Just sent to my father (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, rk2

    The Yale Law grad (yes he knew Clarence Thomas, who used to hang out by the vending machines in his overalls and he also lived across the hall from Alito when they were both 1Ls).  I'm sure he'll love it...

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:59:01 AM PDT

  •  I think it rises to libel (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, skywaker9, catfood, Aviate, Go Kid Hugo

    There is demonstrable damage to his reputation, and it's probably not hard to demonstrate malice, or at least callous disregard.

    I think that might get Fox's attention.

  •  We're much more interested in fighting each other (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, rk2

    Just check the wreck list, defending other dems OBVIOUSLY isn't half so interesting as cannibalization.

  •  Fox News Flailing About (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, RickMassimo, Go Kid Hugo

    Desperately trying to appear relevant. While the summit is going well in London, if Fox sees 20 people protesting, they scream about the hordes in the streets. Assholes.

    Soaking in carrot juice makes Boehner very emotional

    by Ky DEM on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:00:12 AM PDT

  •  Any rhetoric necessary to maintain infallibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms

    FOX 527 fills the void
    and it is goebbeled up by those in need

    Emergency everbody to get to the gulch.

    by 88kathy on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:00:14 AM PDT

  •  Yet another example of the sad state (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, Nicci August, Go Kid Hugo

    of the American culture. The media doesn't seem to care, nor do most Americans, that the right-wingers continue to take control of the American culture through their bullshit propaganda.

    It will be a better day when The Fox Noise Machine is shut down, disassembled, and thrown into the scrap pile.

    Only until then will I be encouraged for our country again.

  •  lies so much easier than truth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, Nicci August, rk2

    it spares the work of verification; it can be tailored to whatever outrage one thinks the audience might respond to; it cannot be refuted without reference to it, which exposes it to the air again, where it breeds.

  •  If you hold your breath waiting for a correction, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, Eddie L, Nicci August

    you'll turn very, very blue. Chain email from my dittohead relatives in 3...2...1....

  •  So why did they pick Koh?? (0+ / 0-)

    Where did he pop up on their radar screen so they could draw a bead on him?

  •  You use the term Reporters loosly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Nicci August, Go Kid Hugo

    Reporters may not feel like it's their obligation to come to Harold Koh's defense

    These people are not reporters.  Anyone who works at Fox is not a reporter.  They are populist conveyors.  Nothing more.

  •  New York Post by former Bush administration (0+ / 0-)

    speechwriter Meghan Clyne......need you say more?

    When Murdoch needs to create a flap of any kind, he baffles us with bullshit.

    Rupert Murdoch never has the data to dazzle us.

    This inflamed hemorrhoid of a man would be okay if he'd just take his medicine, publish porn magazines and stop scratching at politics. He is unfit to be CEO of bullshit.

    This is the reason that republicanism is a dirty word, minimizing the republic party since God-knows-when.

    Cheney should have taken care of this squeaky part of his mighty wurlitzer a long time ago. Only hubris and their glum and nefarious stupidity keep wingers churning the same desperate tunes.

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -M.Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:12:32 AM PDT

  •  Obama Needs The Hoax Debunkers back In Action (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, catfood, raincrow, Matt Z, Go Kid Hugo

    It was a major effort in the campaign.

    What, did they think the hoaxers were going to let up once he got elected?

  •  Murdoch is an asshole: ( * ) (0+ / 0-)

    ditto Meghan Clyne and Steven Stein.

    Murdoch and his minions have been degrading the republic party since he landed here. (I think he is secretly a Democrat!)

    He owns a printing company - he should stick to porn which he is good at.

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -M.Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

  •  Harold Koh (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DelRPCV, djs, VA Gal, elmo, rk2

    is impeccable, brilliant, conscientious, and profoundly effective.

    It is for testimony like this on restoring the rule of law and torture, and this, on the nomination of Gonzales, torture, and the rule of law, that right wing extremists are attacking him.

  •  Why this is absurd. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, imamish, rk2

    Under sharia law, homosexual activity is illicit. Does any reasonable person (i.e. non-wingnut) believe the Dean of Yale Law School and/or a President Obama nominee would oppose homosexual marriage, much less believe that a certain type of law should be enforced that makes the mere activity illegal?

    •  So why aren't the wing-nuts for it? (0+ / 0-)

      Please support your local library.

      by rk2 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:33:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ramesh Ponnoru is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rk2

        He wrote a whole book with the theme that Islamists attacked us because we are so immoral (i.e., we permit promiscuity, homosexuality, abortion etc -- the same targets of the Christian right here and the Isalmists.)

        The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

        by Upper West on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:36:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh, you'd think there'd be a lovefest (0+ / 0-)

          between the Christian right and the Islamists. But, oh, that's right, Christianity and Islam are both triumphal religions, so they're not allowed to agree.

          Please support your local library.

          by rk2 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:39:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Um, actually Obama is against gay marriage. (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry to pop your bubble, but he’s already stated he doesn’t agree with gay marriage and that he doesn’t want to expend political capital on the issue (see Advocate and other interviews).  He does, however, recognize that gay and lesbian Americans don’t have equal rights, and he’s willing to support including them in hate crime legislation and state level civil unions/domestic partnerships.  

      Basically he’s saying that marriage equality is important, but it’s going to be up to the rest of us to make it happen.  Black equality was stagnated just the same way, until a large number of whites demanded equality resulting in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Disempowered minorities can’t create their own equal rights, it’s gonna take straight people demanding equality for any change to occur.  Until we make a big push for equality, it’ll stay just the way it is, as a big wedge issue the GOP can use to motivate their base.  

      So, Obama supporters, get off your butts and start pushing for equal rights for gays, because the people who hate homosexuals are a lot more vocal.  Here’s an article to start you off:  How Barack Obama Can Solve the Gay Marriage Issue
      BTW, the Faux News problem should also be solved by us, We The (progressive) People.  It does us no good to shut down Fox.  They have a right to be on the air, and it’s useful to have their talking points spouted daily for all of us to see and hear.  Shut them down and we’re stuck tracking nebulous emails and thousands of wingers on talk radio, the Internet and printed pubs.  However, every time they lie and distort the truth, we should blast their network with calls and emails with opposing viewpoints. In the case of Harold Koh, blogs like this are a good starting place for our message.  Anyone want to set up an automated message sender for folks like us to pick and choose paragraphs and our own words to blast Faux news servers?

      We are the change we’ve been waiting for.  Let’s go lefties, it’s time to step up to the plate, especially in the faux news and the marriage equality arenas.

      •  President Obama is far from stupid. (0+ / 0-)

        He knows that despite that exhaustive efforts of media, academia, legal circles and pop culture, that the idea of homosexual marriage is not what the American people want. So, despite the scrubbed images of homosexuals as great neighbors, teachers of life lessons and all around great folk, the American people in EVERY state oppose homosexual marriage.
        Therefore, he must claim to oppose "gay marriage", but the end-round around that is through the justice department and court nominees. And, anyone who believes that EVERY nominee will not be vetted as to their support for "gay marriage", is either a fool or willfully naive'.
        Personally, I think its offensive this effort to compare homosexuals to black Americans. There simply is no comparison, nor is there any constitutional right to marry, unless the courts can be properly stacked with political rather than judicial/Constitutional appointments.

        •  The right to marry is pretty (0+ / 0-)

          firmly rooted in constitutional jurisprudence.  Loving v. Virginia is merely one case that discusses it - there are a whole litany of cases that articulate how the right to marry is protected by the Constitution.  The courts have not presently recognized the right to marry someone of the same sex, and the courts have indicated that the state can curtail or limit the right under certain circumstances, but that does not mean that the right to marry isn't recognized in constitutional law.

          I thought it was worth mentioning since the law on marriage isn't well known.  I don't think the rest of your comment necessitates a response.

          "Even if we cannot hope to complete the task, we are not allowed to shirk it." - Jewish Saying

          by rameyko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:24:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There are plenty of circumstances where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    archer070, imamish, monsieur dufarge

    Sharia would apply, such as contracts selecting Islamic law or Islamic courts as holding jurisdiction under choice of law provisions.  Arbitration agreements similar; a contract between two Muslim merchants to have an Islamic court or Islamic law adjudicate dispute would ordinarily be enforced like any other arbitration agreement.  Such an agreement might form part of a collateral dispute in a U.S. court, where the court would apply choice of law/conflicts of laws principles to effect the intentions of the parties.

    Such is already the case regarding the rulings of a Bet Din, a Jewish religious court adjudicating business disputes between observant Jewish individuals or business that they own.  Secular courts will enforce the decisions of such courts, not because they are religious but because the parties have agreed to vest decision-making power under applicable state arbitration acts or the like.

    It is less likely that a U.S., specifically state, court would enforce a prenuptial agreement if a provision thereof patently violated U.S. or state public policy, but even there a court would hesitate before overturning the express intent of the parties.

    In short, these braying wingnuts are ignorant rubes when it comes to understanding U.S. law.  This is not news.

  •  The art of hysteria (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West, imamish

    What if Abdul sues Muhammad in New York on a written Sudanese contract that provides "The parties agree that all disputes shall be resolved according to the law of Sh'aria"? Stuff like this happens all the time. The general principle is that a court is free to discover and apply the foreign law as long as doing so won't fundamentally offend against the public policies of the forum state. So our local court might award damages according to Sh'aria, but as to that provision about the loss of a hand, no. I hyperbolize for the sake of illustration, but foreign law is no stranger to our American courts.

    Of course these are subtleties. FOX et.al. don't deal in subtleties.

  •  Isn't one of the lessons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, imamish, Go Kid Hugo

    we were supposed to learn from WWII is that we are to speak up in defense of truth before the propaganda leads down a path of no return?

    Please support your local library.

    by rk2 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:21:55 AM PDT

  •  The neocon cancer continues to infect our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Go Kid Hugo

    bady politic. It is coordinated with the usual interest groups to make sure that there will be a US attack on Iran, and no two state solution in Palestine. Start the namecalling here: ___

    What were those radical founding fathers thinking when they referenced the foreign English Common Law. You know, that legal code that evolved from witch burnings and trial by ordeal.

    Apparently, if you have ever publicly referred to Sharia law, you are unfit to serve in the American government. I don't think we can rely on the "media" to report on what's really going on here.

  •  Is there a clarification somewhere? (0+ / 0-)

    Given that we are talking about lawyers all the way around, people who live to parse words carefully, I have a small problem,

    Stein:

    'in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why Sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.' "

    Zorthian:

    But never did Koh state or suggest that other forms of law should govern or dictate the American legal system.

    Zorthian's statement may refute something else, but it doesn't refute the Stein statement you highlighted.

    "I see no reason why x should not be applied under some circumstances"

    is far from saying "I think that x should govern or dictate the legal system"

    So -- is there a more direct refutation of Stein's actual statements?

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:25:19 AM PDT

    •  Why is hearsay generally inadmissible (0+ / 0-)

      in a court of law?

      Because of its inherent unreliability. And this is second hand hearsay, at least: Clyne writing what Stein told her he heard Koh say. Who knows if Stein is even relaying what he heard, or what someone else told him?  

      Anybody at Fox bother to go to the source and ask Koh about what he said? Never mind. I know the answer to that.

      •  Slipslidin' (0+ / 0-)

        This isn't a court of law, but if it were, both the statement and the response would be hearsay.

        Is there something that directly addresses Stein's statement?

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:38:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You could ask Koh directly (0+ / 0-)

          what he said, and what he meant by it. But then you wouldn't have this manufactured outrage.

          •  Koh is a less reliable source than Stein. (0+ / 0-)

            in this case, because it clearly is in Koh's best interest to deny saying it.

            But nobody has addressed my question:

            With a specific statement available by Stein -- published, not whispered, Zorthian publishes -- again, not whispered -- a very carefully parsed reply that does not directly address the original statement.

            Makes me think there's some fire to that smoke.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 12:25:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  um, excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

              You don't think the source of a purported comment is a reliable source? Geez. Would it satisfy you if Koh produced his lecture notes? I guess not...you've decided his word must somehow be unreliable.

              You do realize we're talking about a talk given not months, but years ago, right? I would be very surprised if Zorthian, or anyone else at the speech, claimed to have perfect and total recall of the words used in 2007 (unless they had a copy of the text).

              But you're probably right. This really must be part of a vast left wing conspiracy to insinuate Sharia law into the state department.

              •  The wingnut comes to the surface, I see. (0+ / 0-)

                Let's see ---

                "I am not a crook"

                Musta been true when Nixon said it.

                And why would Koh be a better source for what he said than Stein for what he heard?

                No logic to that.

                As far as vast left wing conspiracies, it's all in your head pal.  Like many a wingnut, you fall apart when forced to confront cold logic and facts.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 01:49:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let's take a minute and recap, shall we? (0+ / 0-)

                  You are the one claiming that there may very well be something to the story that Koh, a dean at Yale Law school and a well respected civil and human rights expert, believes Sharia law could be applicable in U.S. Courts. I'm claiming bullshit on this, and somehow that makes me a wingnut? Okaaay.

                  Koh is not a cipher, like Stein is. Koh has track record of scholarship and accomplishment. To my knowledge, he is not under investigation for lying, nor is he about to be impeached for it. What do we know about Stein and his credibility or lack thereof?

                  That you are completely disinterested in what Koh has to say on this matter shows you're not interested in the truth, but only in the smear.

                  So who's the winger, now?

                  •  But let's recap honestly, OK? (0+ / 0-)

                    I made no such claim.  What I said is that the response by Zorthian -- the part that was quoted -- was worded in a way that sounds like there was something to Stein's statement.

                    That you are completely disinterested in what I have actually said shows that you're not interested in the truth, but only in your own ego.

                    I think that means you're still the winger.

                    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                    by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:00:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your words are there for anyone to see (0+ / 0-)

                      Smoke, fire, etc.

                      Why not simply admit you got a little bit carried away on this one?

                      There's nothing sinister to parse in Zorthian's rebuttal. Zorthian didn't recall specific wording of a speech given in 2007, but recalled the import.

                      And, you do know how to check comment histories, don't you? I'd suggest you do that before you haul off and accuse someone here of being a winger. I've been around here a wee bit longer than you have, Mr./Ms. 143338.

        •  It directly goes to the "understanding" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          of Stein's statement. Stein's statement could simply be that that Koh said that, a priori, we shouldn't eliminate discussing how other legal systems such as Sharia handle certain kinds of cases, when it's relevant to the case at hand. That would be a completely innocuous statement, like saying that, a priori, there's no reason to not read Russian literature even if you happen to be an English-speaking writer, when trying to understand the writing of a Russian-American writer.

          But that's not the understanding of the statement, that's not the spin being given to it.

          For example, if there's a property rights case with a contract that was developed in Saudi Arabia but for some reason was being adjudicated in an American court, you'd of course have to reference Islamic (Saudi) law in order to interpret the understanding that the contract reflects.

          •  That makes sense, especially given (0+ / 0-)

            that another poster has provided a part of the statement beyond what is quoted here, and that part seems to go very directly to Stein's statement.

            I always get suspicious when I see replies that address something similar to, but not the same as, the thing they claim to address.  The portion of Zorthian's response quoted raised my antennae.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:06:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, folks always take advantage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac

              of the distinction between the literal meaning, and the meaning they read into it. Old, old propaganda trick that everyone uses: throw in some hot-button phrases and no one even notices the actual statement, and argues over their own invented statement; but the speakers can always claim they meant what they literally said if called on it.

      •  No, wait -- I'm wrong. It's not hearsay. (0+ / 0-)

        It would be hearsay if the statement were supporting the truth of what was said.

        Stein claims that he actually heard the statement made, so it is first-hand testimony of something that he experienced, hence not hearsay.

        However, it is only evidence that something was said, not that something was believed, done, etc.

        There is no court case, so it would be hard to classify, but it could even be admissible as hearsay if the judge could be convinced that it was a statement against interest -- and all of the hullaballoo suggests it might have been, er, if it were made.

        Ah gee. This hurts my head.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:45:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, then think about that game (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, dinotrac

          you play at kids' birthday parties, "gossip." One kid whispers something in another kid's ear, then they continue passing the story around the table until it gets back to the first kid, with the resulting story having very little resemblance to the original.

          Either way, when people pass things along to each other, distortion results.

    •  Earlier in the Zorthian letter (0+ / 0-)

      "Koh never said or suggested that sharia law could be used to govern cases in US courts."

      That's the direct refutation that I think you're looking for?

      "Even if we cannot hope to complete the task, we are not allowed to shirk it." - Jewish Saying

      by rameyko on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:30:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A big chunk of my country is fvcking stupid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Go Kid Hugo, rk2

    and fvcking nuts. I've met people who only get their news from Faux Noise, and they don't even seem to mind being lied to.

    *Walks off shaking his head in dismay ...

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:25:41 AM PDT

    •  They don't stop to think long enough (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eloise, Cenobyte, Matt Z

      about whether it is true and accurate. A serious lack of critical thinking skills.

      There was a report on NPR the other day about the affects of NCLB. One is that kids are really go at test-taking strategies now, but they can't actually do math and think about what they read and hear.

      Please support your local library.

      by rk2 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cowards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VA Gal

    They know that they can no longer just call him a traitor or "weak on terror" because he opposes torture and supports human rights, so instead they try this gambit.

    The idea that Harold Koh, a liberal Korean-American who sues war criminals under the Alien Tort Claims Act, has a secret agenda to impose sharia law, is so absurd that anyone pushing it deserves the same treatment that Lyndon LaRouche gets.  Any "journalist" who gives this oxygen is either a political hack or too stupid to be allowed outside without a nurse.

    Seriously, did Glenn Beck come up with this crap?  It's that stupid.

  •  Number-Crunching the 20th District (0+ / 0-)

    I ain't Nate Silver, but I live in the 20th District and just went through the absentee ballot application numbers, and my naive analysis looks pretty good for Murphy.

    Of the 10 counties in the 20th District, Delaware and Otsego counties were basically ties, no significant advantage to either candidate.

    Murphy won 5 counties:  Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Warren, and Washington.  There were a total of 5,326 absentee ballot applications in those counties.

    Tedisco won 3 counties: Greene, Renselear, and Saratoga.  There were a total of 4,030 absentee ballot applications in those counties.

    Columbia and Warren combined more than wipe out Tedisco's advantage in heavily-populated Saratoga.   Those two counties went to Murphy (56-44%, 2814 absentees), while Saratoga went to Tedisco (54-46%, 2581 absentees.)

    Bottom line, there were 1296 more absentee ballot applications from counties where Murphy did well.  And I think the NOP's are going to break heavily for Murphy.  Perhaps this is a skewed and not statistically useful way of looking at the race, but I'd rather be in Murphy's shoes.  

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:51:40 AM PDT

  •  whoops..... (0+ / 0-)

    whoops, meant to post those 20th district numbers in another thread.....

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:53:46 AM PDT

  •  "Wingnuts " (0+ / 0-)

    are only as powerful as the seemingly intractable Dem imperative to bow to their most idiotic nonsense, for no good reasons, political or otherwise.

    It grows tiresome doesn't it?  This idiotic, threadbare trope that there is some sort of rightwing juggernaut that dominates American Politics.

    Maybe at some point we can stop pretending that these marginal fascist clowns are central actors, stop granting their idiocy so much credence (and motive force), and start holding Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dems directly accountable for their own political actions.

    Maybe?

    Please don't feed the Security State.

  •  The Media Fix is already 'in'. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    The situation you fear is already here.  These 'reporters' don't report or clarify, not as an oversight, but as a job protection plan.

    The wingnuts run the MSM.  Period.

    These conglomerates need to be broken up and a return to fairness doctrine enacted.  The sooner, the better.

    What we're seeing daily is prima facie evidence of the need for same.  Not everybody has the time and resources to get true news off the internet.

    Enjoy.

  •  One neoCON after another, with both Stein and (0+ / 0-)

    Rothenberg noted in FP stories right now. WTF? We need a full-on frontal assault against these people. They are, day in, day out, attempting to subvert the government of The United States. Our government. They are traitors, one and all....

    What we have here, is an oliGOPolistic situation.

    by Hornito on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 02:51:21 PM PDT

  •  Glenn Beck didn't want to let it go (0+ / 0-)

    today either.  It just baffles me that people listen to things like that and don't bother doing any research.  I simply don't understand it all.  

    My dad is actually a Republican and he HATES Fox News.  One of my friend's mom is also a Republican and she hates Fox News.  Why is it that these people that are Republicans hate Fox News?  They know that they flat out lie about 90% of things.  

    I don't care if somebody is a very conservative Republican, but I do care when somebody in the media straight up lies about people and attempts to ruin their reputation for political gain.  Making ridiculous accusations and stating them as facts can completely destroy somebody.  I know this is politics and it's a tough thing, but don't they think even for a minute that the lies they are making up could potentially hurt somebody and their families?  Many things they say are taken way too far and they have absolutely no care in the world for that.  

    By the way...Today on Beck's show the headline on the bottom of the screen said how Sharia law is in the "Koran."  First of all, it's spelled Qu'ran.  Second, are you kidding me?  This Islamophobia and this fear they try to create about us Muslims is just horrendous.  Obviously they hate us, so why not simply leave us alone?  We get badgered and ridiculed for living our lives.  They state "facts" that are so incorrect.  At least 95% of the things that are a part of Sharia Law are not in the Qu'ran.  I say 95%, because things such as adultery and stealing are sins, but the number of lashing, stoning, etc isn't said.  Those are just lies...flat out lies.  And personally, I'm sick of my religion being accused of such false things.  

    Why won't Beck stand up and go talk to Muslims and see what they say?  Or better yet, why won't he actually READ the Qu'ran?  Yes...I said READ...the actual source where the facts would come from!  It may seem crazy for a Fox News person (besides Shepard Smith) to read and find out real facts, but it's really not that hard.

  •  Rove... (0+ / 0-)

    Oh Karl--how can we ever miss you, if you won't go away...

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