Tag Archives: Shamash

Do Dead Lawyers Lie Still?—Attorney-Client Privilege and its Oxymoronic Effect on “Legal Ethics”

Every truth is routinely denied and falsified, every lie is affirmed and promoted.  So as I, with Mephistopheles, so often like to state: “Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint, und das mit Recht, denn Alles was entsteht, Ist werth daß es zu Grunde geht.”

Montana State Representative (former State Senator, all-time great guy) Jerry O’Neil and I have spent many hours discussing the question: what IS it that a LICENSED ATTORNEY can do that really makes a license worth having?  I am a thrice disbarred attorney, basically a victim of political games played by evil NeoCons in Texas.  Jerry O’Neil has obtained a license to practice as an “advocate and counselor” from several Indian Nations, notably the Blackfeet, but he has never sought the license of any state.  If ETHICS were the sole test of qualifications to be an attorney—Jerry O’Neil would be recognized as one of the greatest of all time, in fact, he would probably at the very least be on the Montana Supreme Court.   

What Jerry and I have concluded, along with many other people, is that, in terms of functional definition, relatable to any part of the U.S. Constitution, a lawyer is a person who takes the First Amendment VERY SERIOUSLY and does EVERYTHING in the second half (non-religious) clause of the First Amendment routinely:  An attorney SPEAKS, he produces and uses the press (i.e. printed matter) prodigiously, he peaceably assembles with others, and, above all, he PETITIONS the Government (and other private citizens) for REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.

But whereas the United States Supreme Court has found that there can be no licensing whatsoever for ANY aspect of religious practice (the first two clauses of the First Amendment) and has similarly said that there can be no “prior restraint”, i.e. censorship, of freedom of speech or the right to print anything at all, all branches of government, including the Supreme Court, have at least tacitly approved the licensing of attorneys.  

Even though the licensing of priests and preachers of the Gospel would never be tolerated under the free exercise and establishment clauses, even though the licensing of newspapers has throughout U.S. history been regarded as an abomination.  It DOES matter that the NDAA and Patriot Act have had a major limiting effect on America’s traditional freedom of speech, but my concern tonight, on this First Day of July and the beginning of the Second Half of the Year, is more parochial:

Is it at all legitimate that TWO of the few things lawyers can CLEARLY get by with doing, with more impunity and immunity, than anyone else (except President Obama himself) are TO LIE and TO KEEP SECRETS.

One of the more famous sources and/or manifestations of the lawyer’s ability to lie and keep secrets is known as “the attorney-client privilege.”  The basic idea, I think, is to encourage attorney-client candor, and to prevent a client from fearing to tell his attorney “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” simply because the attorney (without the privilege) might have to tell the whole world.  This makes sense and is positive, but DOES IT REALLY MAKE SENSE and IS IT REALLY POSITIVE if construed as broadly as it seems to be in the modern world?  

Given broad construction, is the attorney-client privilege not an instrument of corruption in and damnation against society?

For example, imagine if you will an upper middle class Father, a doctor, a surgeon perhaps, who has voluntarily relinquished his paternal rights in court so as to avoid further liability for child support and his ex-wives’ attorneys fees.  This doctor has, in both form and effect, “sold” his daughter and permitted her adoption by her new husband, who is neither a professional nor anything like the biological father.   The doctor would now claim duress.  He would claim fraud and coercion.  In particular, though the doctor/surgeon claims that since he was not able to arrange a complete discharge of his (admittedly unfair, oppressive, possibly illegal, but nonetheless Court ordered and enforced) financial obligations, he should have his daughter back.

Suppose this doctor hires a socio-political advisor and consultant.  Suppose that the socio-political advisor and consultant concludes that the doctor/surgeon is unfit as a man or a father, or even to claim those names and titles.  Suppose that the advisor and consultant concludes that this man, the doctor/surgeon cannot possibly be a competent father.  Suppose that the private advisor and consultant concludes this only after spending a total of nearly four weeks with this doctor.  

Suppose that the consultant concludes that a man is unfit to be a father if that “man” turns out in reality to be a pusillanimous pup who (1) breaks down in uncontrollable tears at every discussion of his serious legal and social problems, (2) speaks more-or-less constantly of his fear of prison, his fear of suffering, and his desire for death, (3) elaborates graphically upon his suicidal ideation, (4) his plans for international flight, and/or digging a bomb-proof air-shelter or bunker in his front yard, (5) a man who is confused and distressed within the confines of his own financial, professional, and even his sexual competence and prowess.  

Suppose further that the advisor and consultant is also a socio-political advocate for the regeneration of Traditional American Values, including Christian sacrifice, individual responsibility and manliness.  SHOULD THIS SOCIO-POLITICAL CONSULTANT CONSIDER HIMSELF, because of the pendency of legal proceedings, to be bound in any sense by analogy with the attorney-client privilege?  In other words, should an advisor keep secrets or tell the truth?  Will society benefit more from a conspiracy of silence (which is one of the licensed attorney’s true “superpowers”) or from exposing reality?

Should the advisor REMAIN SILENT, OR SHOULD HE SPEAK OUT, and by way of an “intervention” of sorts, do EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER EITHER TO SHOCK THE DOCTOR/SURGEON BY PUBLIC SHAME INTO REFORMING HIMSELF OR TO PROTECT HIS (presumably) INNOCENT TEENAGE DAUGHTER FROM HER DEEPLY UNSTABLE, ONLY MARGINALLY MENTALLY COMPETENT FATHER?  

Is not “intervention” the approved means, an emotional shock therapy preferable by far to the electro-shocks or lobotomies so long administered by the sadistic practitioners of primitive psychology and psychiatry, of approaching an addicted or deranged person mired in psychological turmoil?  

Analogy: the confessional and penitential privilege, the web of hypocritical deceit and deception to which the attorney-client privilege is often compared, which was and still is one of the primary sources of and shields for the child-buggery, priest-pederastry scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic Church.  Given that Christ assured an eternal lake of fire for those who harm little children, and that priests are quite literally sworn as Christ’s fiduciary vicars, is the penitential privilege  not an intolerably inconsistent thing to be scorned, derided, and abolished rather than preserved?  

The root concept of justice, throughout history, has been to illuminate the dark places of secrecy and hidden lies with sunshine.  The Ancient Sumerians, when oppressed, are known to have rioted violently and en masse in ancient Iraq (4th-early 3rd Millennium Mesopotamia), when any person in that land cried out publicly “I UTU”—an invocation of the Sumerian name of the Sun God (UTU), the supreme god of Justice.  To demand sunshine was to allege a deep cabal of secrecy and hidden lies*** and the people of Ancient Sumer and Akkad apparently found such things intolerable.  They only wanted to live in the sunshine of truth (or so their cuneiform texts seem to suggest: Egypt, by contrast, seems to have been much more comfortable with cultural institutions built upon and treasuring values of hypocrisy, secrecy and lies).

Within the Roman Catholic Church (no other branch of Christianity enforces a celibate priesthood), the confessional-penitential privilege gave rise, over the past near millennium if not more, to countless generations of children who must have hated and feared their priests and the Church as true monstrosities.  The Catholic Priest child molestation scandals have now been going on so long they hardly make the news, but have we reflected sufficiently on the ethical lessons and analytical consequences? A CONSPIRACY OF PERMITTED SECRECY and PROTECTS LIES and LEADS TO HYPOCRISY.  

I suppose this goes also to the question of whether recent Moscow resident Edward Joseph (“Ed”) Snowden, U.S. Constitutional Attorney Glen Greenwald, and other “whistle blowing” internet disclosers (e.g. Julian Assange of Australia) are traitors or among the greatest American (and Australian) Patriots ever to live.  My own bias on and answer to that point may be evident in the way I phrase the question.  My only complaint about Snowden is that he disclosed too little too late….

Attorneys in America have become a cabal, an elite, who control society but do not, for the most part, administer justice at all.  In fact, for the most part, I would submit to you that attorneys BLOCK justice, and the attorney-client privilege is one of their tools for doing so.  

In discussing the entirely hypothetical above, suppose the political consultant asked a local attorney with parallel experience with the same doctor for her opinion.  Under the dogma of “attorney-client privilege”, one North Florida attorney (Beth Gordon) wrote dramatically regarding this scenario: 

“I certainly don’t wish to engage in any kind of discussion . . . , what kind of a parent  [SOMEONE MIGHT BE], or anything else like that. I take my ethical duties very seriously, and therefore don’t wish to engage in anything like this.  . . . As an attorney, you can be appalled by someone’s behavior. You may or may not know this however- you cannot then feel free to share and discuss what you know about the client.”  

OK, as I understand this statement, SO ONE OF THE FIRST RULES OF LAW, THE ATTORNEY’S CREED, IS ONE OF SECRECY, I.E. LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE CENSORSHIP AND REPRESSION OF TRUTHFUL SPEECH—NOT MERELY IN THE CONTEXT OF A TRIAL WHERE AN INDIVIDUAL’S INNOCENCE MUST BE PRESUMED UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY—AND THE WHOLE POINT OF HIRING A LAWYER FOR A TRIAL WOULD BE DEFEATED IF THE LAWYER COULD BLURT OUT: “HE TOLD ME HE KILLED THE VICTIM, YOUR HONOR, THAT’S WHY HE HIRED ME.”  

So, the ritual presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings requires some sort of discretion on the part of an advocate.

But when an innocent third-party is involved, a child, do the same rules apply?  I submit that advocacy is only legitimate when it seeks the truth, to maximize sunshine, and to hide nothing.

I cannot help but wonder where Glen Greenwald would stand on this question.  I know he would violently (or perhaps non-violently, but vehemently) oppose compelling attorneys to reveal-client secrets in order to obtain convictions for terrorism—he is already on the record for this.  But those who defend American victims of denial of due process are presumably, at least in large part, defending people who are “actually innocent” of terrorist acts even though they may be “guilty” of hating America, and all that America has come to stand for, which is, after all, a gigantic culture of hypocrisy and lies.

Anthropological linguistics teach us that language is symbolic communication and that symbols are inherently abstract and hence, by definition, removed from the “reality” they describe.  So all language and all expression requires and demands deception of a sort: but is the purpose of law and litigation to protect the guilty or the innocent, and to maximize truth or to protect lies.  Lawyers seem to exist, in large part, to maximize protection for the guilty and to secure lies their “rightful place in the domination of world history”.

And in closing, I categorically deny that this is “sour grapes” on my part. I am NOT actually thinking about how the Austin, Texas based Admissions Committee of Western District of Texas in 1997-8 protected the one or two carefully selected and manufactured witnesses who testified in private, behind closed doors, with no recordings or transcripts, only committee summaries, from any cross-examination by me or my attorneys throughout the “Disciplinary Procedures” ordered by Judge James R. Nowlin against me. Or actually, they were protected from cross-examination until their testimony had been sufficiently rehearsed to be credible.  This was indeed an example of secrecy guaranteeing the efficacy of lies, but it goes back much farther than that.

 Rather, it is in memory of a Great-Grandfather of mine, known as “Judge Benny” who was a Louisiana Judge of impeccable albeit local reputation in Shreveport and Natchitoches who (at least according to family legend) had a knitted or crocheted and framed textile on the wall of his chambers which said, in a grand Louisiana tradition of cynicism, “Dead lawyers Lie Still.”

***It is Utu’s Akkadian-Speaking Eastern Semitic Successor Shamash who greets the Babylonian King Hammurabi and hands him the sacred laws, or pronouncement of laws, atop the Stela removed from Susa to Paris and now resident in the Louvre in Paris (with exact replicas at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and the magnificent Pergamon Museum in Berlin).  The Greek Apollo, tragically, acquired very few of the characteristics of  the Near Eastern Sun God of Justice—Apollo was more known for his sarcastic gifts mixed with curses (e.g. Cassandra’s true power of prophecy coupled with universally inaccurate disbelief) and any real justice or fairness.

A Prayer for True Memory and History on the 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, President of Washington & Lee University

Since December 9, 2012, I have been staying in the French Quarter, about a 20 minutes to half an hour leisurely walk to Lee Circle where a high pedestal support’s a statute of one of Virginia’s most famous sons, forever looking north because “you never turn your back on the enemy.”  My grandparents raised me to celebrate Marse’ Robert’s birthday and remember and study his life and heroism, both before, during and after the War Between the States.  I have never had any problem keeping his memory because I think he represents all the good values that were and ever could be called “American”—he was an exceedingly intelligent man of principles including loyalty and devotion, hard work, individual responsibility, skill and excellence.

This year I have not yet visited Confederate Memorial Hall, just south of Lee Circle.  It is probably the longest I have ever been in New Orleans without paying at least a quick visit, and there are many reasons for this but one is that it is no longer officially called “Confederate Memorial Hall” but has been recently rechristened “Louisiana’s Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall.”

Nothing is more insulting to Lee’s Memory or to the Heritage of the South in general and the Confederate States of America in particular than to refer to the War of 1861-1865 as “the Civil War.”  From the Southern adn Confederate standpoints, that War was as much the “American Civil War” as World Wars I and II were the “European Civil Wars.”   The analogy is fair enough only to the degree that after World War II, first the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) and then the European Union both sought to transform Europe into a new, single Continental Nation.  

The first movie ever filmed to be seen commercially by more than a million people was D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”, released in 1915, based on a historical novel entitled “the Klansman.”  The new nation born during and after the War Between the States was a centralized Republic with a top-heavy Federal Bureaucracy modeled very generally on the economic controls imposed top down from the Imperial Central in the later Roman Empire in a manner which has come to be known as “Byzantine.”

On this 206th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Edward Lee, son of  Governor Light Horse “Harry” Lee of Virginia, I pray that the honour and integrity of the South will be properly remembered, along with Lee’s individual, unique and irreplaceable, un-reproducable honour and integrity.  

I pray that people will start learning history more fully and accurately, and above all critically, with the understanding that the victors always write history, but that victory in war is not in fact justice in the eyes of God, despite what many of us, including many of us Southerners, believe about the value of “trial-by-battle” in the Mediaeval sense of “Justice by Duel.”  

Even in Mediaeval legal theory, Duels were ONLY fairly calculated to result in a decision by God when the two parties to the duel are equally equipped, armed, trained and skillful.  The armor and the horses had to be comparable and equivalent, and a weaker person had the right to appoint a “champion” to fight in his or her place, as Ilsa von Brabant famously did in Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” which even preserved the notion of combat only coming “at high noon” so that the sun would be in neither combatant’s eyes at the outset.   The title of one of the finest Western movies about a duel, Gary Cooper’s “High Noon” (1950) also retains this reference to the equality of the Sun God (Shamash) who presided over such duels (judicially approved and jury-supervised “trials-by-combat”) even in Ancient Akkad, Asshur (Assyria), and Babylon.

I pray that even under the Dark Skies of the Obama Presidency and all the propaganda coming out in this day and age, that a more just and inquiring notion of history will prevail in the collective, cultural memory of America, and that the virtue and dignity of the Southern and Confederate Constitutional position be realized and recognized, and the glory given to the Victorious Yankee North be tempered by the reality that northern industrialism produced the same identical level of misery and deprivation among white workers as was chronicled by Charles Dickens in England and Victor Hugo in France.  

I pray that people will understand that if we weep for Fantine and her plight in Les Miserables (published precisely in 1862, during the first full year of the War Between the States), we must also recognize the condition of “Free” labor in the North and Europe was in a hundred ways worse and more depraved than the plight of black slaves in the South.  If in no other, this is true in one major regard: only an insane slaveholder would really work his slaves to death, without caring for them as human beings, in that slaves were wealth and capital, and senselessly to destroy the life or health of a slave was like throwing gold into the sea or burning paper money backed by real gold (unlike the trash Federal Reserve Notes we use today).

By contrast, as shown in Dickens’ writings and Hugo’s, and as analyzed by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels and their followers, “free” laborers in the mid-19th Century in the North had no life-long security whatsoever.  

As soon as the “free laborer’s” strength or health should start to fail, that free laborer’s productivity declined or perhaps he was eaten up by the very machines he tended due to “assumption of the risk” by accepting employment.  The “Free Labor” capitalist therefore had a strong motivation to dismiss his worn out workers and throw them into the streets, a version of the “hellish life” captured in Les Miserables was worse than death itself. This reality was revisited (1998) by Joss Whedon in an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Anne” in which the residents of Hell work in a 19th Century style factory until they are exhausted and old (in just a short time as it turns out) and thrown back out on the streets of modern Los Angeles to live as homeless derelicts.

All these realities need to be weighed against the supposed virtuous abolition of slavery. And accordingly, I pray that people will begin to think and remember and reflect not only about the history of the 19th century, but of the 20th and even our own times.  Were we the victors REALLY the more virtuous parties in World Wars I and II, for example?  In World War I, the answer is a fairly certain absolute NO.  In World War II, the mythology has grown into a reality and even a political constitution and ecumenical social theory so thick that it is almost impenetrable.  

But if we look, again, at the details, and if we dare to compare the early German rockets or “Buzz Bombs” sent by Wernher von Braun against London in 1944-45 with the American A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think we will see that the American weapons were a far more sinister manifestation of technology.  What about the senseless fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945 when the war was almost over?  

Then if we look at the Soviets, whom we supported, and what they did to their own populations (Stalin’s purge of “the Kulaks” for instance, beginning in 1928), was our side as a whole really better than the Germans?

Even if the worst stories are true about German antisemitism, “ethnic cleansing”, and other population reorganizations and purges, no one can state that the Germans actually moved or relocated anywhere nearly as many millions of people as the Soviets and their allies forcibly relocated from the German sectors of East and West Prussia, Silesia, Posen, Danzig, and Eastern Pomerania, even as millions of Poles were uprooted and moved East to replace the Eastern quarter of Germany, after 1945-46.  

The Germans of the Sudetenland were also expelled from their homes of time immemorial.  The thousand year old Eastern boundary of the German people was moved back across Poland and Czechoslovakia to fit Stalin’s plans.  Again, who was guilty of greater genocidal crimes?  Or did Stalin’s relocations of the Poles, the Belarus, the Ukrainians, and the Germans count for nothing?

An since the war, have not the Allied Powers faithfully reenacted the predictions of perpetual war as framed by George Orwell in “1984“?  Have not the Communists become indistinguishable from the Corporate leaders they supposedly fought to overthrow as Orwell similarly predicted in “Animal Farm“?  Is there not evidence that, at least since Pearl Harbor and possibly since the explosion of the Battleship Maine, the United States Government has staged more than a hundred years of False Flag attacks against its own people to make certain that this condition of perpetual warfare exists and that there are more and more justifications (like the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut most recently) to curtail the fundamental freedoms and liberties for which George Washington, and Robert E. Lee, spent their lives fighting?

I pray that Americans will start waking up and thinking about reality, and observe the contradictions inherent in all things, but especially in our official versions of history, and that we will work to examine our past, our present, and our futures to discover and establish deeper and more meaningful truths about the sad story which is the epic of human history.

May everyone in the World in fact look to Robert Edward Lee and the Confederate States of America as emblematic of justice defeated, of liberty lost, and of the dangers of using imbalanced thinking and propaganda as tools of social change. 

As I have written a thousand times if I’ve written it once: Chattel Human Slavery was abolished everywhere in the world (as an openly and officially legal institution, anyhow….) between 1790 and 1930. ONLY in the United States of America did the abolition of legal chattel slavery result in war, and what a coincidence that this happened 13 years after the Communist Manifesto, in a Republican Administration with so many German Communist refugees from Europe in charge, and with Karl Marx’ official blessings and endorsements—none of facts which are EVER taught in American Middle or High School history classes…