I admire U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) and his attempts to investigate the U.S. attorneys scandal. I think Davis is one reason to hope that Alabama might someday enjoy a future that is much brighter than its present or its past.
But I had to chuckle a bit at his press release in response to Department of Justice (DOJ) refusal to release documents on the Don Siegelman prosecution to the House Judiciary Committee.
The press release was professional and well reasoned. And Davis makes many fine points:
* "It cannot be that any government agency can unilaterally declare its decisions off limits to the very Congress that funds that agency and that passes the laws that agency enforces."
* "Most astonishingly, the Department seems to assert that Congress's oversight role is somehow limited . . . . It is simply not within the Department's authority to make itself the arbiter of whether a congressional inquiry merits compliance."
I want to say, "Welcome to my world, Artur. Don't be so astonished.
"I've seen this kind of disregard for the law for seven years (and counting) in your home territory of Birmingham, Alabama. A certain species of Republican judge, in Shelby County, Alabama, and on the state's appellate courts, simply does not care what the law says. And the minions who surround those judges--prosecutors, magistrates, clerks, etc.--don't care either. They have no regard for trite matters such as due process and equal protection under the law.
"They have disdain for the rule of the law, so don't be surprised when they thumb their noses at you and other members of Congress.
"I encourage you to be strong in your pursuit of justice in this matter. But be aware that the issues you are examining go beyond law-enforcement, politics, the law etc. The underlying problem is a medical one.
"Yes, I would urge you to include an expert psychiatrist on your investigative team. In fact, here is just the guy you need to talk to.
"I'm not a doctor, and I don't even play one on TV. I don't pretend to be qualified to make a medical diagnosis. But having seen Republican corruption up close for seven-plus years, I am convinced a number of key players involved in my own case are sociopaths. And I have little doubt that a number of people you will be dealing with in your investigation are sociopaths, too.
"The American public often thinks that sociopaths are only people like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. But the term applies to far more people than you might think; experts estimate that 4 in every 100 Americans is a sociopath, meaning they have antisocial personality disorder.
"Here is a checklist of personality traits to look for as your move forward. And you might want to keep a copy of this book handy. Here's another book that might be helpful to you.
"The people behind this scandal, and my own case, are far more of a threat to America than Osama bin Laden could ever be. They truly are un-American. And they are in charge of many of our most important governmental systems.
"Good luck, and stay strong. America's future depends on getting to the bottom of this scandal."