web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.
State Dept Press Corps Shapes US Response to Netanyahu’s UN Speech
Latest Indepth Stories
FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Narendra Modi

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

ISIS terrorist

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, July 1, 2014.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

Home is Milwaukee where their congregation, Beth Jehudah, and community always await their return.

A murderous uprising is taking place in Israel; On the roads, In the mixed Jewish-Arab cities.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

More Articles from Editorial Board

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.

We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.

The Jewish Press endorses Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Party gubernatorial primary election.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: