Is John Hancock rolling over in his grave?

You remember John Hancock, right?

He is memorialized for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence … so much so that the term “John Hancock” became, in the United States, a synonym for “signature”.


According to Wikipedia – the people’s encyclopedia –…

The traditional function of a signature is evidential of:

  1. The provenance of the document (identity)
  2. The intention (will) of an individual with regard to that document

For example, you signed your 1040 tax return – either physically or digitally, right?


Did you read the fine print?

Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete.


Do the same requirements and penalties apply to Federal officials?

Here are some head-scratching examples to the contrary …

Remember Benghazi?

Secretary Clinton signed off on the directive that security be cut back at diplomatic missions in Libya.

But – adopting a defense that would make George Castanza proud — she and the Administration argue, that doesn’t mean that she actually issued the directive:

The Obama administration called Hillary Clinton’s decision to sign an April 2012 cable authorizing the reduction of security for American diplomatic missions in Libya “standard protocol.”

“It is standard protocol that cables originating from the department in Washington go out under the authority of the current secretary of state with their signature, i.e. their name, typed at the bottom,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

“In this way, this secretary, Secretary Clinton and others before her, sign hundreds of thousands of cables during their tenure,” he explained, maintaining that Clinton did not mislead Congress when she testified that the cable in question was not brought to her attention.


= = = = =

Now, here comes Eric Holder.

According to the Huffington Post:

Attorney General Eric Holder personally signed off on the warrant that allowed the Justice Department to search Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email.

This places Holder at the center of one of the most controversial clashes between the press and the government in recent memory.

The warrant he approved named Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation, causing many to warn that the Justice Department was potentially criminalizing journalism.

The warrant also approved the tracking of Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, as well as his communications with his source, Stephen Kim.


Holder is already launching the Clinton defense: signed it but didn’t read it:

Aides reportedly told the publication that Holder felt “a creeping sense of personal remorse” upon reading the affidavit obtained by the WaPo describing Rosen as “at the very least … an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”  Source

Apparently, Holder didn’t feel a little uncomfortable when he actually signed the search warrant … without reading it.

Whatever happened to signature equals identity plus intent?

Do you think you’d get a do-over if you signed an erroneous tax return … claiming that you hadn’t read it?

I’m betting the under on that one.

Old John Hancock must be turning over in his grave.

= = = = =

P.S. I’m also betting that Lois Lerner – the IRS targeter-in-chief – will also argue that her signature on the Tea Party letters was also “just protoco;”.

Gimme a break.

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