The current issue of Time magazine has a major story about the Bush Justice Department and the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The article, in the country's premier newsweekly, has understandably put the prosecution team on the defensive.
One point, made by prosecutor Steve Feaga, jumps out at the Legal Schnauzer. Feaga struggles to explain why allegations by witness Lanny Young against Republicans Jeff Sessions and William Pryor were ignored while those against Siegelman, a Democrat, were taken with the utmost seriousness. That sure as heck sounds like selective prosecution, the subject of a Congressional investigation.
But wait, there is an explanation.
Acording to Feaga, Young never claimed to get anything in return for the contributions to Sessions and Pryor while he did make such allegations about Siegelman. "At the time Lanny was detailing having made contributions to other public officials, he characterized these contributions as legitimate. There was no understanding he would get something for them," Feaga says.
Hmmm. Feaga is saying there was no quid pro quo in the Sessions and Pryor cases, but there was in the Siegelman case.
Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning "something for something." If a quid pro quo was not present in the Sessions and Pryor cases, I know of a case involving a Republican where one clearly was involved.
I'm talking about the well-known biotech deal in Huntsville, engineered by Alabama Governor Bob Riley. That case certainly involved something (a nice campaign contribution for Teflon Bob) for something (scads of state money for a biotech center in Huntsville, bypassing the state's biomedical center in Birmingham at UAB).
Well snip my pickle and call me Shlomo, there's a quid pro quo. Somebody call Steve Feaga and his compadre Louis Franklin. I'm sure they will jump right on this case.
And by the way, talk about a double standard with the Bush DOJ. In Alabama, the Bushies are extremely concerned about the lack of a quid pro quo when charges are leveled at Republicans. In Mississippi, in the Paul Minor prosecution, Democrats were prosecuted and convicted even though a quid pro quo clearly did not exist. In fact, the jury instructions specifically told jurors that a quid pro quo did not have to exist.
I kid you not, and we will be laying this out in detail in the coming days.
Keep in mind, we're not talking about state courts, where the law in Alabama might differ from that in Mississippi. We're talking about federal court, under the big top. And yet one standard exists for quid pro quo in Alabama (involving Republicans) and another exists in Mississippi (for Democrats).
Remember Scott Horton's phrase--moral collapse. That's what we're talking about here.