web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Doctoring Documents: Postscript

Last week we called attention to the extraordinary reports that the Obama administration had taken to scrubbing references in official documents to Jerusalem as part of Israel.

We noted that these alterations occurred in the course of litigation over the right of Congress to require the State Department to list Israel as the place of birth of American citizens born in Jerusalem if they so requested.

The Obama administration has maintained that any such references would be tantamount to recognition of Jerusalem as part of Israel, which is contrary to U.S. policy and therefore beyond congressional purview as a matter of constitutional law.

We don’t believe the litigation has anything to do with U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as part of Israel but rather is a question of the powers Congress has over what appears on U.S. passports. But it was our assertion of possible criminality involved in the scrubbing that drew some interesting comments.

The New York Sun, though supportive of our general theme, was not persuaded that a crime may have been committed. And our citation of the case of President Clinton’s national security adviser Sandy Berger, who was convicted of pilfering archived documents, as support for our suggestion that criminal acts may have been committed, was pooh-poohed by a reader because Berger’s action took place after he left government (see Letters, this issue).

The relevant federal statute here, 18 USC Sec. 2071, is titled “Concealment, Removal, or Mutilation Generally” and provides as follows:

Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceedings, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceedings, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

On their face, then, the Obama administration’s actions would seem be covered by the federal criminal statute.

The Sun reminded readers that it ran a story by Rick Richman, just after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, which first reported “the existence of a series of pictures on the White House website from Vice President Biden’s 2010 trip to Israel, describing him as being in ‘Jerusalem, Israel.’ ” Indeed, Richman’s piece was headlined by The Sun as “Jerusalem Case at Supreme Court May Pit White House Web Site Against the President.”

The Sun also noted that “the case involves the constitutionality of a law that regulates how the State Department refers to place of birth in passports of Americans born in Jerusalem. Normally the State Department just lists ‘Jerusalem,’ with no country. In 2002 Congress required that if an American born in Jerusalem requested, the State Department must list the birth place as ‘Israel.’ Both Presidents Bush and Obama have declined to follow the law, claiming it interferes with presidential prerogatives – and would complicate the peace process. The Sun’s dispatch queried whether the required designation of ‘Israel’ on an individual’s passport really presented an issue of constitutional proportions, since the White House acknowledged on its own website (as did the CIA and State Department on theirs) that Jerusalem is in Israel.”

And The Sun went on to note:

Five days after Mr. Richman’s report, the Weekly Standard put one of the photos of Mr. Biden, and its cutline, up on its website. Within two hours, the White House had scrubbed from the pictures the references to Jerusalem being in Israel. Omri Ceren, a blogger at Commentary Magazine’s “Contentions” site, discovered an even broader pattern suggesting that documents from the Bush era that had referenced Jerusalem, Israel had been scrubbed as well. In the May issue of Commentary, Mr. Ceren writes that, “while some administration officials were telling reporters and the public that there were no Bush-era documents referencing ‘Jerusalem, Israel,’ other administration officials were busy scrubbing Bush-era documents referencing ‘Jerusalem, Israel.’ ”

Kudos to The Sun and, of course, Commentary, for focusing on this story. We wonder at the failure of the media generally to pick up on it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Doctoring Documents: Postscript”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

So Hamas needed a way to end the blockade and secure the release of its prisoners.

Many of us thought Mr. Obama’s diplomacy strategy was simply a device to dodge a decision that force was necessary to ensure the rogue state of Iran would not get its hands on nuclear weapons and thereby pose an existential threat to world peace.

In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

Unfortunately, we must deal with some of the practical lessons of this tragedy. The murders did not happen in a vacuum.

It is no secret the president is furious with Republicans in Congress for blocking his efforts to change immigration laws.

The Rebbe was an acknowledged Torah scholar, seminal Torah personality, and one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/doctoring-documents-postscript/2012/05/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: