Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Make a Film Exposing Rove, Then Get Indicted

Hollywood director John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator, The Hunt for Red October) must be wondering about the curious timing of recent events in his life.

His latest work, a documentary called The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove, recently became available for viewing at http://www.politicalprosecutions.org/. Mark Crispin Miller, at News from Underground, calls the film "staggering." The 52-minute film shows in stark detail that the depradations of the Bush Justice Department went well beyond the well-known case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

But guess what happened to McTiernan once his latest work became widely available. He was indicted. A grand jury issued an indictment against McTiernan last Friday in a wiretapping case involving private investigator Anthony Pellicano.

S. Todd Neal, McTiernan's attorney, raised the issue of retribution in his client's case:
"The prosecutor has taken one count and tried to expand it into more charges in a new indictment," he said. "There seems to be retribution because John refused to play ball the way the prosecutors wanted and because we were successful on appeal."
This causes a couple of questions to come to mind:

* Did the retribution come partly because of McTiernan's film that is highly critical of Karl Rove?

* Even though Barack Obama has been in office roughly three months now, has anything changed in the Department of Justice? Is it still just as corrupt and abusive as it was under George W. Bush?

Are politics involved in the McTiernan and Pellicano case? The answer appears to be yes, apparently because they have ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Deadline Hollywood lays it out.

How important is McTiernan's film about Rove? Let's listen to Mark Crispin Miller:

Although McTiernan is a master of suspense and horror (he directed Predator and Die Hard), this 52-minute film is certainly the scariest he’s ever made, since its story isn't fiction, and concerns a massive strike against the rule of law, and democratic government, right here in the USA. This documentary lays it out as clear as day: Karl Rove’s careful orchestration of at least six hundred partisan prosecutions by the Department of Justice, so as to give the GOP a big leg up on this or that Election Day.

Miller also addresses the dangers Obama will face if his administration tries to sweep Rove's massive wrongdoing under the rug:

Now, every time Obama pulls some stunt like this on Bush & Co.’s behalf, his defenders tell us that it’s merely “tactical,” and that he’s doing it in order to accomplish this or that Good Thing, etc. But what Good Thing could possibly outweigh, or justify, acceptance of a government that just keeps winking at enormous violations of the law? And, to speak in more pragmatic terms, what exactly does Obama think the right will give him in return for such surrenders? If he thinks they’re going to cut him any slack, he is radically misjudging them–and that’s why they have not been rightly judged.

So what about the McTiernan indictment? Is its timing just a coincidence or did it happen for a reason? Consider this scary thought: Alabama attorney Jill Simpson, the whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case, has been raising concerns for weeks about Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig. Simpson says Craig's former D.C. law firm, Williams & Connolly, represents numerous former Bush administration officials, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, and Dubya himself. Craig's ties to Williams & Connolly represent a massive conflict of interest, Simpson says, and might explain why the Obama administration has shown little inclination to hold former Bush officials accountable for their wrongdoing.

Simpson, by the way, is hardly a backbencher when it comes to Craig. She's had extensive professional interactions with him, and does not like what she has seen. In fact, she suspects that Craig might have tipped off Rove, one of Craig's personal clients, about the probable contents of her testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Also, Simpson is not alone in raising questions about the Obama administration's tendency to embrace policies once touted by Bush officials, particularly on justice and terrorism matters. Scott Horton, of Harper's magazine, has raised similar concerns.

It should be noted that in the roughly three months of the Obama administration, the main beneficiary of the new justice regime has been former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), a Williams & Connolly client. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has shown no inclination to review cases that appear to involve political prosecution of Democrats, such as Don Siegelman in Alabama and Paul Minor in Mississippi. Siegelman and Minor, of course, are not clients of Williams & Connolly. And a serious review of their cases is likely to cast a very bad light on Karl Rove. That is something Greg Craig probably does not want to happen, Simpson says.

Want a thought that will make you lose your breakfast? Did the McTiernan indictment, coming after the release of the director's film about Rove, happen for a reason? Is someone in the Obama administration, namely Greg Craig, looking out for Karl Rove's best interests and not the interests of justice? Could the Obama administration, as of now, be practicing a brand of "justice" that isn't a whole lot different from what Bush officials practiced?


Matt Osborne said...

I had not heard of this movie...

James Greek said...

What happened to our first amendment?!