We have shown that the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unlawfully on multiple grounds in the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy case. And we have posited that such judicial butchery almost had to have been done intentionally.
So we are left with this question: Why did the 11th Circuit cheat Siegelman and Scrushy?
Our best guess? Montgomery, Alabama, could be described as the "base camp" for Republican corruption during the George W. Bush administration--and going back even further, at least to the mid 1990s. An honest ruling by the 11th Circuit would have focused attention on trial judge Mark Fuller, U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, and their home base of Montgomery. The 11th Circuit, which is dominated by Republican appointees, clearly did not want that.
What we have, in our estimation, is an attempted judicial coverup. And it seems unlikely that the 11th Circuit acted in a vacuum. The court's bogus ruling probably was the result of significant external interference, meaning our federal courts are more poisoned and politicized than many of us can imagine.
An honest ruling by the appellate court would have shown that Fuller and federal prosecutors in the Siegelman/Scrushy case are corrupt political hacks. And it's possible that might have gotten the attention of a Justice Department that now is controlled by a Democratic administration. Granted, the Obama DOJ has shown no sign, so far, of having a spine. But in theory, an honest ruling from the 11th Circuit would have spelled out the myriad ways Fuller acted corruptly--possibly prompting investigators to look into some very dark corners of Montgomery, Alabama.
What might a serious investigation turn up in Alabama's capital city? Let's consider a few storylines that have strong connections to Montgomery:
* In the mid 1990s, Republican political consultant Karl Rove initiates a campaign to take over Alabama state judgeships. Rove's success, fueled with dollars from pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, leads to similar efforts in other states. Rove's compadre in this initiative is Bill Canary. And Canary's home base is . . . Montgomery, AL.
* Republican Bob Riley wins the 2002 governor's race with the help of votes for Democrat Don Siegelman that mysteriously disappear overnight. It later is disclosed that Riley's campaign is aided by millions of Indian gaming dollars that are laundered through disgraced GOP consultant Jack Abramoff. Riley's home base for the past eight years or so? Montgomery, AL.
* Attorney/journalist Andrew Kreig reports that Fuller's company, Doss Aviation of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded $300 million in federal contracts from the time Fuller began presiding over the Siegelman case in 2005. Scott Horton, of Harper's, reports that a 2002 filing shows Fuller is president of Doss Aviation, and his address is listed at the federal courthouse in . . . Montgomery, AL.
* Attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson reveals that she was told U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) owned and controlled Doss Aviation out of the Federal Courthouse in Montgomery. Doss mail was forwarded to Shelby's Senate office, but it originally was sent to . . . Montgomery, AL.
* Time magazine reports that lobbyist and landfill developer Lanny Young, a key witness in the Siegelman case, makes allegations of money laundering and bribery against U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor (who now just happens to serve on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals). These allegations, which are largely ignored by the Bush Justice Department, appear to have their genesis in . . . Montgomery, AL.
* Let's not forget George W. Bush's extensive connections to a certain central Alabama city. While in the National Guard, Bush reportedly drilled at Maxwell Air Force Base in late 1972 and early 1973. He also worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a family friend.
We probably are only scratching the surface here. The mind spins with what might be revealed from a serious investigation of actions in Montgomery over the past 10 to 15 years.
Did the 11th Circuit know this when it cheated Siegelman and Scrushy? The answer is almost certainly is yes.
Was the appellate ruling designed to keep a lid on the boiling vat of GOP sleaze that has been brewing in Montgomery for a long time?
Sure looks that way from here.