From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Today, Judicial Watch released a videotape from the FBI that was taken from a CITGO gas station near the Pentagon. Many believed the video would show American Airlines Flight 77 striking the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The videotape, which depicts views from the gas station’s six security cameras, shows that the CITGO cameras did not seem to capture the actual attack. The tape was partially obscured by the FBI to protect the privacy of individuals captured on video in the CITGO convenience store. The FBI released the videotape to us yesterday as the result of a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request and related lawsuit.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request on December 15, 2004 for all September 11, 2001 camera recordings, including the Pentagon attack from the Nexcomm/CITGO gas station, Pentagon security cameras and the Virginia Department of Transportation. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the FBI on June 22, 2006. (In May 2006, the Department of Defense released videos depicting the attack in response to another Judicial Watch lawsuit.)
With the release of this videotape, we are one step closer to completing the public record on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The CITGO tape evidently does not show the Pentagon attack, which the American people can now see for themselves. But, this videotape was the subject of intense public debate and now that it has been released to the public, there is no reason for further speculation about what it does or does not show.
The CITGO video can be accessed via the Judicial Watch website at www.judicialwatch.org.
Judicial Watch Letter Backs Rhode Island State Trooper’s Immigration Arrest
I want to call your attention to a letter sent by my colleague Paul Orfanedes a few weeks back to the Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police responding to a complaint filed by the ACLU. Paul Orfanedes is Judicial Watch’s Director of Civil Litigation and has developed quite an expertise on certain aspects of immigration law. The ACLU complaint was filed against State Trooper Thomas Chabot, alleging that he had acted improperly during a July 2006 traffic stop in Richmond, Rhode Island. The ACLU charged the officer with racial profiling and overstepping the bounds of his authority in his attempt to enforce immigration law.
According to an article by the Providence Journal, on July 11, 2006 at 6:30 am, Trooper Chabot pulled over a 14 passenger van for changing lanes without a signal. He then requested “immigration credentials proving [the passengers’] U.S. citizenship.” None of the passengers had documentation, and Trooper Chabot took the detainees to ICE headquarters in Providence. The 14 passengers were found to be in the country illegally and are being processed for deportation.
The Judicial Watch letter noted federal immigration law supporting the state trooper’s actions. Federal immigration laws make it a crime for any person to transport certain classes of illegal aliens and that any law enforcement officer has the authority to enforce criminal law in the area. The letter also pointed out that no entity can lawfully prevent an officer of the law from communicating with ICE regarding the presence of illegal aliens.
So, with the law on his side, why is there any question about Trooper Chabot’s actions?
This is just another example of the ACLU trying to protect those who have entered the country illegally. I alerted you earlier this week that the ACLU --specifically, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California -- is asking a California court to let its illegal immigrant clients and others “intervene” in our lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) over Special Order 40. ACLU lawyers are representing pro-illegal immigration groups and illegal immigrants in opposition to our lawsuit to force the LAPD to drop its politically-correct “sanctuary” policy.
Judicial Watch believes our immigration laws must be enforced, not ignored and we are fighting on multiple fronts to preserve the sanctity of our borders and of U.S. citizenship. Law enforcement officers such as State Trooper Chabot should be lauded, not attacked. To read Judicial Watch’s letter, go to http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2006/Rhode_Island_Letter.pdf.
Senate Republicans Fail to Move Forward on Judges
Thursday morning, an important Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was adjourned after 15 minutes due to a lack of quorum. The committee meeting was one of the last opportunities to move on several conservative judicial nominations in this Congress. Unless the Committee acts, key Bush judicial nominees, some having waited years, may never get an “up-or-down” vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
After having compiled one of the worst records on judicial confirmations in modern political history, it is shameful that Senate Republicans could not find the time to attend this key legislative meeting.
Only six of ten Republican Senators reportedly attended the meeting, leaving the committee meeting far short of its required attendance and the judiciary nominees out on a limb for another week when the next meeting is scheduled to take place. Judge Terrance Boyle, the longest waiting judge in judicial nominee history, was nominated to the 4th Circuit more than five years ago. Williams Myers nomination to the 9th Court has been on hold for more than three years, including a nearly two year filibuster before having his nomination returned last month.
The 109th Senate has the lowest number of judicial confirmations since 1972-73 with only 50 confirmations this term. Conservatives now have the opportunity to see the confirmation of more judges who will abide by the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, but some Senate Republicans apparently can’t find the time to attend the legislative meetings to make that happen.
Until next week.
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