Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Beautiful Side of an Ugly Bush "Justice" Story
The most beautiful person at our nation's seat of power, according to The Hill, is a young woman from Huntsville, Alabama.
Her name is Alexis Latifi. And if that name sounds familiar, it probably means you kept up with the various questionable prosecutions brought by the George W. Bush Department of Justice.
Alexis Latifi not only looks stunning, but The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful Persons" article indicates she is smart, interesting, and principled. The article, however, does not mention the ugly episode that led Latifi to Washington, D.C., with the goal of helping to repair her country's badly damaged justice system.
Latifi, a 24-year-old Republican, works as a staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). As an undergraduate at Auburn University, Latifi majored in biomedical sciences and planned to go to medical school. But then her father, Huntsville defense contractor Alex Latifi, was targeted in an investigation led by Alice Martin, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
The case against Alex Latifi and his company, Axion Corp., was bogus from the outset, and a federal judge eventually dismissed all charges. It became one of the most glaring examples of prosecutorial misconduct during the Bush years, drawing attention from publications such as USA Today and the ABA Journal.
Seeing her father's company ruined by a rogue federal prosecutor made a profound impact on Alexis Latifi. She changed her major as a senior to political science and now plans to go to law school. A desire to get experience in the legislative arena led her to Washington, D.C., and a position in Richard Shelby's office.
Irony abounds in the Alexis Latifi story. Evidence strongly suggests that her father was targeted because he is a Democrat of Iranian descent. The Hill lists Alexis Latifi as a Republican, even though it was a GOP administration that tried its best to ruin her family.
Does Alexis Latifi truly believe in GOP principles or is she just listed as a Republican because she works for Richard Shelby? We're not sure about the answer to that question. Our justice system cannot truly be healed as long as one of our political parties is a corrupt, dysfunctional mess. Perhaps Latifi realizes that and figures one way to move forward is to help bring about much needed change to the Republican Party.
On the subject of Richard Shelby, he should serve as a fine example of how not to do things. After all, it was Shelby and fellow GOP senator Jeff Sessions who happily signed off on Alice Martin's appointment as a U.S. attorney/thug.
Alexis Latifi is important not just because she looks really good. She has seen firsthand how a dysfunctional justice system can destroy lives. And she has radically changed her career path in an effort to help bring about reform.
It will be a tough battle. And we need more people like her.