The Bothwell Letter

News from the Law Offices of Anthony P. X. Bothwell
350 Bay Street, Suite 100 PMB314 , San Francisco, CA 94133 Tel. (415) 370-5971
January 1, 2005 Vol. VII / No. 1


-- [1] Tsunami sends a message
-- [2] Feinstein, war critic, sees Fallujah
-- [3] Russians urge hands off Ukraine
-- [4] Moscow prisoner seen as 'hero'
-- [5] Death-row cases violated treaty
-- [6] World court's role debated
-- [7] Pilots win support against FAA
-- [8] Job, school rights defended
-- [9] Vote fraud probe urged
-- [10] Words of wisdom

Tsunami sends a message

Scientists at theTsunami Warning Center in Honolulu said they didn't have phone numbers for India and Africa. They should have gotten CNN to broadcast the tsunami warning, which was bogged down in government bureaucracies.

The tsunami tells us that the Fourth Estate must be a watchdog not only of human institutions but also of the Earth itself. The tsunami also tells us that we all are inhabitants of one small planet – and members of one human family.

In a constitutional democracy, the press is the independent Fourth Estate that, as the eyes and ears of the people, keeps watch on the performance of the government's three official branches – the executive, legislative and judicial. The term was first used in the English Parliament by 18th-century Irish statesman Edmund Burke.

In the 21st century, humanity needs an alert Fourth Estate to monitor governments and private organizations – and our planetary environment.


Feinstein, war critic, sees Fallujah

Sen. Diane Feinstein secretly visited Fallujah, her staff director disclosed to a Russian delegation visiting San Francisco Dec. 3, the day she entered the war-torn Iraqi city. "If we had it to do all over again," Jim Molinari said of the invasion of Iraq, "we would not have supported it. We should have remained in Afghanistan and finished the job." As for the Iraq war, he said, "You can't fight on someone else's ground – especially without justification." Molinari, who has worked for Feinstein since her days in City Hall, said that he recently visited Europe, and he noted: "Everywhere people asked, 'What's the matter with Bush?'" Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voted to authorize the Iraq invasion, but later found out White House claims of Iraqi WMD and Qaeda ties were false.


Russians urge hands off Ukraine

Russia and U.S. should keep hands off Ukraine, Russian lawyers saidwhen Feinstein's aide asked for their view of the vote crisis in the former Soviet republic. "It is better if our two countries abstain from involvement in Ukraine," said Sergey Osutin, head of the OSV law firm in St. Petersburg. "We hope this will not become another divider that will separate our two countries." Viktor Yushchenko, victor in the December re-vote, had been poisoned at the height of the presidential race in September. The visiting Russian lawyers used Feinstein's TV to watch CNN report live on the Dec. 3 Ukraine high court order overturning the election of Viktor Yanukovich, favorite of Leonid Kuchma, incumbent president. A Kiev whistleblower in 2000 disclosed a taped voice said to be Kuchma ordering the assassination of Georgy Gongadze, editor of Ukrainska Pravda, a Kuchma critic who was later beheaded. Yushchenko is expected to allow criminal charges against Yanukovich in the Gongadze case.


Moscow prisoner seen as 'hero'

Mikhail Khordokovsky, the jailed billionaire, has become a folk hero to many young Russians, according to sources in the Russian Federation. The Yukos Oil founder was arrested on trumped-up tax charges after he refused to stop funding pro-democracy parties in the Russian Federation. He has refused to become an expatriate despite indications that he would be released if he would agree to leave Russia. The seizure of energy assets and denial of civil liberties have added to worries of international investors and human rights advocates about policies of President Vladimir Putin. Atty. Tony Bothwell hosted a Rotary panel Nov. 22 at the Presidio of San Francisco, featuring Khordokovsky's American lawyers from the Greenberg Traurig firm – Sandy Saunders of Washington, D.C., John Pappalardo of Boston, and Maria Logan of McLean, Va.


Death-row cases violated treaty

The U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear evidence of U.S. violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The treaty, ratified by the U.S. in 1969, says diplomats "shall have the right to visit a national of the sending state who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation" (Art. 37). Hon. Thomas Buergenthal, the American judge on the International Court of Justice, told American Bar Association delegates at The Hague about dozens of Mexicans denied treaty rights in capital cases in the U.S. As of now, 51 Mexicans are on death row in nine states after having been denied access to their consulates. The world court ordered the U.S. to review these cases.

Our Supreme Courtin December 2004 agreed to hear the 51st of the cases, that of Jose Ernesto Medellin. The 18-year-old had a court-appointed lawyer who called no witnesses at trial and, in the penalty phase, called only one expert witness, a psychologist who had never met the defendant. "The state judges in these cases acted unconstitutionally," Bothwell said, explaining: "Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says 'all treaties made…under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.'"

World court's role debated

Eric A. Posner, law professor at the University of Chicago, in a column in the N.Y. Times, Dec. 30, argues that the International Court of Justice has to "adapt to great power politics or…wither on the vine." If he were a judge in a town run by the mob, would he "adapt" rather than hear a racketeering case? He suggests that the world court can't go on in its present form because its case load has declined. By this logic, we should repeal our antitrust laws because the number of such prosecutions has fallen. He claims the International Criminal Court is unacceptable because Americans could face war-crimes charges. Its charter, in fact, allows only cases in which a country's justice system lacks the ability or will to prosecute. Are we to infer that the U.S. isn't enlightened enough to indict war criminals? U.S. courts, in fact, pay heed to the law of nations. International law is driven by our hopes for a better world. We should redouble the effort, not turn back. – Apxb.


Pilots win support against FAA

"Scientific data shows a clear correlation between pilots' years of experience and records of safe performance. …[T]he Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), AFL-CIO, seriously is considering resuming its historic opposition to…the FAA's obsolete rule that bars piloting after age 59. The Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA) is on record strongly opposed to this antiquated rule. The Professional Pilots Federation (PPF), an organization of thousands of commercial airline pilots, likewise opposes the FAA's adherence to the so-called age 60 rule. ….

"The FAA has not identified a single airline accident anywhere in the world attributable to pilot age. Senior FAA officials privately conceded that there never was a safety or medical basis for the age policy, and that its sole intent was economic favoritism for members of the industry they are supposed to regulate. The age 60 rule doesn't apply to FAA pilots, military pilots, Air Force One pilots, or astronauts. It is out of touch with the rest of the world's major air powers and most members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). …. Today's enlightened airline executives as well as growing numbers of union leaders oppose it. The FAA publicly defends the rule on the basis of stereotypical, false ideas about pilots over age 59."

That's what Atty. Tony Bothwell wrote to Hon. Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House Minority Leader, on Dec. 14, urging congressional action on the FAA's age policy. Bothwell represents 12 PPF members seeking court-ordered exemptions that would allow them to continue flying after age 59.


Job, school rights defended

Law Offices of Anthony P. X. Bothwell currently serve as counsel for eight present and past employees of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in whistleblower retaliation and discrimination cases. The Bothwell firm previously helped win monetary settlements for four whistleblowers at the Livermore nuclear weapons facility, which the University of California manages under a U.S. Department of Energy contract. Current clients also include a whistleblower at the University of California San Francisco.

Atty. Tony Bothwell also is counsel in four pending suits against the City and County of San Francisco – two whistleblower cases, a jail strip-search case and a pedestrian accident.

In the Central Valley area, Bothwell recently helped two employees of a Fortune-500 company end discriminatory job assignments; helped a college student graduate by proving an instructor improperly altered grades; and started trial preparations in a bias case for former employees of a large law firm.

Bothwell has assisted clients in other cases ranging from IRS tax collections to international human rights issues.

Vote fraud probe urged

"There is abundant anecdotal evidence that the 2004 presidential election may have been stolen through tampering with vote software, particularly in Ohio. Moreover, pre-election polls showed Sen. John Kerry had the momentum to win. Exit polls showed Kerry winning. It's implausible that he could have lost Ohio while winning a massive landslide in next-door Pennsylvania. Ukranians seem more motivated than Americans to do something about election irregularities. We owe something to our forebears who shed blood for democracy."

That was our Dec. 17 message to U.S. Rep. John Conyers , ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, supporting congressional investigation of evidence of vote fraud in the presidential contest. You can e-mail your message through a Capital Hill website at


Words of wisdom

Carlos Gutierrez , dean of John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Management, sends two of his favorite quotes: George Bernard Shaw urged, "T he reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world – indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."


ANTHONY P. X. (TONY) BOTHWELL, Esq. – The State Bar of California, Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, American Bar Assn. (2003 delegate to the International Court of Justice, The Hague), National Lawyers Guild (Native American Indian Affairs chair), International Bar Association (Human Rights Institute), U.S. Holocaust Museum (Circle of Life), Southern Poverty Law Center (Leadership Council), Rotary Club of Fisherman's Wharf (International Projects chair), Georgetown Univ. School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S.; Boston Univ. School of Public Communication, M.S.; John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law, J.D.; Golden Gate Univ. School of Law, LL.M. summa cum laude. Professor, John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law. Who’s Who in the Law; Who's Who in America; Who's Who in the World.

Anthony P. X. Bothwell, Esq.
Law Offices of Anthony P. X. Bothwell
350 Bay Street – Suite 100 PMB314
San Francisco, CA 94133-1966 USA
Telephone (415) 370-9571
Facsimile (415) 362-5469

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