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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is Government's Case Against Siegelman Falling Apart?

Tommy Stevenson, of the Tuscaloosa News, raises that question in an interesting post about federal prosecutors' response to Don Siegelman's appeals brief.

Stevenson notes that news reports about the government's reply leave a number of questions hanging. For example, did prosecutors make a compelling case that e-mails distributed among jurors were fakes?

Siegelman attorney Vince Kilborn said the government's reply does not make a dent in his client's basic argument--that no explicit quid pro quo was proven.

In a second intriguing post, Stevenson raises this troubling question: Once George W. Bush and his henchmen are out of the White House come January, will there be people in both political parties saying, "Let's sweep the Bush era under the carpet and move forward; got to keep our eyes on the future?"

Stevenson says that kind of pressure will come--surely from Republicans and probably from some Democrats. But Stevenson points to the Siegelman case as a prime example of why criminals in the Bush administration must be held accountable.

Siegelman enjoys a certain level of freedom now, but there is no guarantee that he will keep it. Who knows how his appeal will turn out? And what about the financial and emotional wreckage that has been heaped upon the former governor and his family?

I might add a point to the ones Stevenson raises: As Siegelman himself has said, this story is not just about him. In the Mississippi case involving Paul Minor and former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield, three men sit in federal prison for crimes they did not commit.

Shouldn't we make sure that someone is held accountable for that?

What about Cyril Wecht in Pennsylvania and Georgia Thompson in Wisconsin? What about Alex Latifi in Huntsville, Alabama, who has seen his business ruined by U.S. Attorney Alice Martin? What about Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson, who has seen her property and professional life damaged?

For that matter, what about my wife and me? We've seen most of our life's savings wiped out. We no longer own our house free and clear. I've had my job wrongfully taken from me. (And I strongly suspect my wife has lost out on jobs because of our battles with corrupt Republicans. Judges can easily have a pen register placed on a phone, and I think an honest investigation would show that such a device cost my wife umpteen job possibilities over a roughly three-year period. In fact, evidence suggests that such a device probably was placed on my work phone at UAB. Did the university know about that and allow it to happen? I've asked myself that question a lot lately. More on this coming down the line.)

The people responsible for starting our legal nightmare clearly have ties to Bill Canary and Karl Rove. And my research is pointing in ever stronger ways toward people with connections to the Bush Justice Department costing me my job.

Do I want to see to it that someone is held accountable for the harm that has been done to me and my family? You're darn right. And I suspect that the many other people who have suffered under the Bush Justice Department feel exactly the same way.

That anyone would even think of sweeping these crimes under the proverbial rug is an insult to all of us--victims and regular citizens alike. And it's an insult to the basic constitutional foundations--the rule of law, due process, equal protection--that our country is built upon.


Anonymous said...

Keep biting back and biting back hard, please sir.

The schnauzer may not be known for ferocity, but damnit if they don't seem like tencious beasts.

The Mayberry Machiavellians are as much inept as they are unethical. With folks like yourself and Siegleman standing up to their underhanded (and completely transparent) attempts to keep their deeds from seeing the light of day, these a**holes will see the justice they deserve.

Keep biting back, sir. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

You might consider going to your local Democratic Party headquarters and looking at the party registration rolls and find a Dem that owns a business your wife may be interested in working for. Never know what ideas you might get! :)