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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stonewalling in Siegelman Case

Looks like Don Siegelman's lawyers are running into a serious case of stonewalling in their efforts to obtain documents related to the recusal of U.S. Attorney Leura Canary in the Siegelman investigation.

The Justice Department has refused to release 514 pages of documents related to Canary's recusal to Alabaster attorney John Aaron.

Aaron filed a Freedom of Information request and initially was told there were no such documents. Then the Bush DOJ responded: Whoops, check that, there are 516 pages related to Canary's recusal, and you can have two of them. And what were the two pages? A 2002 press release announcing Canary's recusal.

"How stupid does the government think we are to be satisfied with a five-year-old press release?" said Siegelman lawyer Vince Kilborn.

Kilborn's question is profound and goes way beyond the Siegelman case. Republicans who are corrupt (and I'm sure that doesn't include all of them; Jill Simpson has proved there are Republicans with integrity, and I don't think she's the only one) tend to think Americans in general are stupid. Actually it might be better stated this way: Certain Republicans, the loyal Bushies, etc., think Americans are so stupid or inattentive--or have so bought into Republican rhetoric regarding race, crime, tax cuts, religion, etc.--that they will let the GOP get away with most anything.

But you wonder: Will even the white suburban GOP base, even the white suburban base in the Deep South, start to wake up at some point? Will they see that the DOJ is refusing to release documents, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers are refusing to testify . . . will they finally see all of this and say: Something seems terribly wrong here?

Here is some rich irony: If the DOJ scandal truly explodes at some point, chances seem good the match will be lit in a GOP stronghold, the Deep South. The Don Siegelman case appears to be leading the way in the Congressional investigation, and I don't think the Paul Minor case in Mississippi will be far behind.

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