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One of the most shocking stories to grow out of the U.S. attorney firing scandal was the case of Alabama's former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman. Seigelman was convicted on corruption charges last year. That conviction, and the pressure that came from the Bush Justice Department to secure it, has been a focus of Congressional hearings, and now a 60 Minutes story that will air on Sunday.

Simpson spoke to Pelley because, she says, Siegelman’s seven-year sentence for bribery bothers her. She recalls what Rove, then President Bush’s senior political adviser, asked her to do at a 2001 meeting in this exchange from Sunday’s report.

"Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?" asks Pelley.

"Yes," replies Simpson.

"In a compromising, sexual position with one of his aides," clarifies Pelley.

"Yes, if I could," says Simpson.

Simpson says she found no evidence of infidelity despite months of observation. She tells Pelley that Rove, who had been a top Republican strategist in Alabama, had made requests for information from her before in her capacity as an "opposition researcher" for Republicans running for office.

Siegelman's supporters (which includes 52 former states’ attorneys general from both political parties) have been working with 60 Minutes for months to get this story aired in hopes that it will bring renewed interest in the case. Given that the show is going to air opposite the Academy Awards, that seems unlikely.

Scott Horton has covered this story in excruciating detail over at Harper's.

If you haven't heard of this case, or aren't 100% clear on its details, you owe it to yourself as an American, as a voter, or just as an educated, capable adult human being with any amount of political awareness, to make yourself familiar with this travesty. CBS will only go so far in helping you do it.

This really demonstrates the lengths to which Bush-Cheney's hyper-politicized Department of Justice can go. If they can railroad the actual governor of a state into prison and have pretty much nobody really sit up and take notice, what does that say about the extent of the damage to the country? Not just the DOJ (which is a goner), but about the supposed watchdogs of the media, who've been in large part either cowed into silence, or distracted by an endless stream of shiny objects?

Seriously, this means they can do this to anybody.

But worse than that, it means that anybody who finds themselves under scrutiny by the federal government now has license to charge that they're being politically targeted. Because if this can happen as Horton describes it happening, all bets are off. It has all the ingredients of the complete and total undoing of all federal law enforcement capability for the foreseeable future.

Nobody indicted by the Bush-Cheney DOJ can possibly help but wonder whether they're being targeted by the White House political machine. Not Don Siegelman. Not Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio. Nobody.

And once America realizes this really can happen (it's previously been unimaginable, and therefore all too easy to dismiss as "conspiracy theory"), you can bet your last dollar that any Republican indicted by a Democratic administration will be making that claim, too.

We've already watched in horror and amazement as Bush-Cheney, flouting the law left and right, painted the Congress into the "impeachment is off the table" corner for fear (among other things) of being tarred with the "revenge for Clinton" and "tit for tat" brushes. One hardly need stretch the imagination to foresee precisely this hurdle being thrown up in the path of a Democratic administration elected with a mandate to clean out the Republican Culture of Corruption.

That's the true measure of the damage the Bush-Cheney "administration" has caused. It's no longer just your basic looting of the Treasury. Dollar-based corruption we at least understand. But corruption of the actual mechanisms of the government itself? Corruption not meant to enrich, but to corrode public trust in the only system we have for actually holding corrupt officials to account?

We're now looking at federal law enforcement so grossly politicized that even a landslide victory for the opposition party might not be able to root the corruption out.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have injected the American government with a slow-acting poison it will take decades to overcome. And we haven't yet, in this post, considered how their "administration" has taken such pains to pave the path to prison for political opponents with tools previously so incompatible with the American system of justice as to have been unimaginable: completely unchecked (and indeed, uncheckable) domestic spying; indefinite detention; the suspension of habeas corpus; the official sanction of torture (and its mumbo-jumbo defense by a Supreme Court Justice); extraordinary rendition... the list goes on and on. Thankfully, none of what are arguably the most egregious departures from the tradition of American justice have been utilized in the most political domestic criminal cases. But how sure can we be, say, about warrantless wiretapping? If the thought gives you even a moment's pause, you're beginning to grasp the depth of the problem.

And one might well ask if it ever can be overcome. We have no model or metric by which to measure our ability to do it.

Watergate? Iran-Contra? Certainly the former, moreso than the latter, comes closest. But the last seven years have been one assault after another on the supposed progress made in "overcoming" Watergate. By some of the very same actors once thought purged from the body politic at the supposed end of our "long national nightmare," no less.

Read the Horton stories. Watch the 60 Minutes segment. Make yourselves aware. And demand of your candidates that they face up to this story's implications.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:04 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be watching (9+ / 0-)

    With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

    by f furney on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:07:48 AM PST

  •  Banana Republic (17+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of thing we thought we'd only ever see in a dictatorship - trumped up charges putting democratic officials behind bars. If Rove was involved heads must roll.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:09:12 AM PST

  •  ANd this is why we need a democrat (12+ / 0-)

    and must come together to support our Nominee and all democratic candidates.  We have to take back american and the DOJ and supreme court.  We need to clean house and we need Obama, Hillary, Edwards, Richardson, Biden, Dodd, Pelosi and Reid working with the next administration to clean the shit up.  

    "The woman's life is misery; for God's sake, people, at least give her a few good songs". NYT review of The Color Purple

    by arogue7 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:10:40 AM PST

  •  HEADS UP! Horton, other reporters under attack (38+ / 0-)

    Per Larisa Alexandrovna:

    Folks, I have gotten yet another heads up - a third in a two day period - which is why I am now taking this seriously, that some sort of attack piece is coming against me, Scott Horton, and anyone else writing about Siegelman and the Riley camp. I am hearing various versions of what the attack will look like and two publications have already been named as getting the hit ready.

    My understanding is that the whistle-blower, Dana Jill Simpson, Scott Horton of Harper's, Glyn Wilson of Locust Fork, and possibly (this I have only heard from one person) 60 Minutes are going to be smeared from here to eternity.  I don't  know the exact form the slander will take, but what I do know is that this will constitute an act of political war using an Alabama publication, possibly two - willingly I might add - to attack reporters.

    I am not going to name the publication(s) at this point. I am hoping that they have some sense of ethics and refuse to run the hit piece. But, I will say this and openly, any publication that acts as the personal attack dog of a group of corrupt politicians needs to be run out of business. Or let me put it another way, none of us are going to stand by and allow slander as intimidation.

    I ask that everyone - who believes in a free press; who depends on publications like Harper's, Raw Story, and TV shows like 60 Minutes for truth; everyone who believes in whistle-blower protection; everyone who does not want Soviet style justice in this country; and everyone who believes that this is still a country of laws - to please be ready to shame any publication that prints this hist piece into non-existence. Defend your reporters people, because they are all you have standing between you and an all-powerful authoritarian state.  You want a free press? Fight for it. So, I ask you to ready yourselves for this assault. If any Alabama publication runs this hit piece, I want to know you will stand with me - with us really.

    I will keep everyone posted on what happens.  Let's hope there is still some integrity left in the two major newspapers in Alabama. Certainly the citizens of Alabama deserve honest brokers in the news business.

  •  Thanks Kagro X for front paging this. There has (27+ / 0-)

    been a lot of good work and diaries on this here, including some by Dana Siegelman, his daughter.

    It is a profoundly disturbing story.  People think that it can't happen here, but political prisoners do in fact happen under Bush.  Even to a skeptic like myself, this is as bad as I have seen our process go awry, to the extent of real incarceration.

    Not hyping anything, but Left in Alabama has a granular/local archive of this.

    It's full of stars... T. Roosevelt: Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.

    by Terra Mystica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:11:21 AM PST

  •  Can someone explain something to me? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poliscizac, Philpm, GATXER

    When all was said and done in this case, the guv was corrupt, wasn't he?

    Regardless of whether Rove pushed for a prosecution, the fact that the guv took a bribe makes me think that this will be a loser for the dems.

    am i wrong on this?

    Many observers believe Fidel Castro will either be replaced by his brother Raul, or by his idiot son, Fidel W. Castro.

    by DanFreeman on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:11:42 AM PST

  •  I would like to see (5+ / 0-)

    a Democratic Administration freeze all hiring in agencies -- work with Congress to reduce funding to all agencies -- use the law to lay off staff -- last hired, first fired.  After the purge, renew the funding.  I think draconian measures are needed to start cleaning out these anti-American hacks.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM PST

  •  Let's be clear: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poliscizac, newfie53523, lisastar

    Siegleman is a crook.

    But the case against him is a crock.

    There are people who say, "If music's that easy to write, I could do it." Of course they could, but they don't. - John Cage

    by RoscoeOfAlabama on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:12:31 AM PST

  •  Past time we (5+ / 0-)

    created some of our own reality.

    Impeach, indict, try, convict, imprison.

    When they say Dem prosecutions of Republicans are political partisanship, tough shit.  The Republicans are lying.  Weather the storm and prosecute anyway.

    So long as we're creating that reality, here's some more:  there is no such thing as a preemptive pardon.  A pardon can only come after a conviction in court for a specific crime.

    Says who?  Says me.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:13:16 AM PST

    •  Part of me was wondering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmcole

      if Hillary wanted to be president so she could seek revenge against the RW conspirators.

      But then I look at her goofy husband and his ties to the political and corporate elite and reality kicks in.

    •  Reading this diary makes me wonder (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmcole, Philpm, Matt Z

      If the Bush administration isn't using this case to control the Democratic Congress.  By simply saying, "You too could be in prison, just like Don, unless you cooperate", it is a form of blackmail.  My tin foil hat isn't too far away, but it sure makes you wonder.

      "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

      by dangoch on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:33:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It can happen to Trent Lott's brother- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett, mmcole, Philpm, lightfoot

    in-law, uber-trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs. Lott has been "interviewed" by the Feds, while our other Senator, Thad Cochran may be called by the defense!

    "Don't nobody love me but my momma, and she may be jiving, too." B.B. King

    by mississippi boatrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:14:09 AM PST

  •  It is NOT airing (4+ / 0-)

    opposite the Academy Awards in most of the country.
    60 Minutes is on at 7 PM EST.
    The Academy Awards preshow begins at 8 PM EST.

  •  Somebody tell Broder ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmcole, Philpm, snazzzybird, Matt Z, TomFromNJ

    Before he again "eats quail at Rove's table, in the magnificent Texas hill country."  And notify David "Backup Dancer" Gregory.  Rove is human garbage, and if not for a shitty ballot design in Palm Beach County, would have spent the last eight years on the Texas Roadkill Commission ordering shovels for the workforce or some damn thing.  But noooo ... God was a Republican in 2000.  

    Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

    by Tuffie on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:14:35 AM PST

  •  Apparently the prosecutor involved in this case (7+ / 0-)

    is preparing to launch an attack on Dem AL legislators to distract from the 60 Min airing. Concurrently there may be a smear campaign afoot against bloggers and reporters on the case. http://larisaunplugged.typepad.com/ and read down to a earlier posting yesterday on this issue.

  •  Politicizing criminal investigations (5+ / 0-)

    and manipulating the criminal process are hallmarks of countries we, as a nation, are presumed to despise. Unless we have a sudden reversal in leadership committed to our Constitution our downfall will soon come.

    If it is spelled correctly---it's a typo

    by alasmoses on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:15:36 AM PST

  •  The decline and fall of the American Empire? (8+ / 0-)

    There have been several diaries and posts on DK over the last year or so pointing out that the decline of the Roman Republic was not an instantaneous thing but happened over the course of a century or so.  Likewise, after everything from Watergate to the Imperium of George II, Deo Gratia Imperiator Americanis (?), I am concerned that we're in the same galley.  If we are to reverse this trend, it must be now.  Otherwise, go buy your toga and watch for the Ides of March.

    Congress, that grand old benevolent institution for the helpless... -- Mark Twain

    by Stephen on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:16:11 AM PST

  •  And we still can't impeach anbody...? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, Matt Z, mofembot

    I would think this would send shivers down the spine of all Dems in Congress.

    If they do nothing to fix this bullshit, it could be them winding up in the slammer for no reason next time.

    What the hell is it going to take for Congress to take their oaths to the Constitution seriously?

    "I'd rec you if I could." - cometman

    by cometman on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:18:05 AM PST

  •  It's showtime! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, DanK Is Back

    And demand of your candidates that they face up to this story's implications.

    Thats what I'm waiting for. Our candidates have both had numerous oppotunities to show some real leadership that they have let pass.
    How about it HRC? want to impress the base and look like a leader? Want to get back in the race? How about taking the Bush admin head on about their vile corruption of our legal system.
    Hey Barack, want to put to rest once and for all those charges that you talk a good game but thats about it? Want to show some real leadership and make sure this gross violation of our principles is exposed and the parties responsible held accountable? How about spending some of that money and face time getting the word out on this?
    I want to believe that both our candidates can rise to the occasion. Lets see.

    •  If the economy wasn't so bad right now (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure we'd be hearing much more about this, but with so many worried about if they are going to have a job, a house, or food tomorrow, this isn't going to get a lot of people out to vote.

      The destination is known, and the mode of transportation is definitely a handbasket.

      by Philpm on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:21:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, maybe not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philpm

        The public fancy can be caught by all sorts of things. For HRC especially who is in serious trouble right now, she could do worse than take a gamble and try to recapture the spotlight as the leader in chalanging the Republican Culture of Corruption. Thats not a bad plank to run on in the primaries. It might be weaker in the general, but people love scandals. I think Hillary needs a Hail Mary here, time is getting short and this is a big fat opportunity to swing the base.

    •  Have they not both studiously avoided (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm, lightfoot

      any discussion regarding the unwinding and remediation of the culture of corruption?

      I mean, at least for campaign purposes, these issues appear to be completely off the table. Right?

      And if so, why is that?

  •  The crimes of the "administration" (6+ / 0-)

    are too numerous to list. But they aren't too numerous to try. In court.

    If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. -Carl Sagan

    by LightningMan on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:19:21 AM PST

  •  Bingo! (8+ / 0-)

    George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have injected the American government with a slow-acting poison it will take decades to overcome.

    That's it.  A simple and devastating truth. Detoxification is gonna be long and painful.  We've never done anything like it.  We've gotta do it.

    Almost nothing has a name.

    by johanus on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:19:55 AM PST

    •  Not just that (6+ / 0-)

      by looting the treasury and weakening the economy they've also told the doctors to go home.

      Obama is going to have a real mess on his hands. The Republicans will take every opportunity to blame Obama for their own weakening of America; we must strengthen the media so that they are fully aware of the evil that has already been done to us.

      But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

      by banjolele on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:33:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This story strikes sheer terror in my heart (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, Matt Z

    These guys are really, really scary.

    I'm going to send another $50 to Obama now.

    "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom"--Obama. "I'm trying to change!"--St. Louis Woman

    by St Louis Woman on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:20:18 AM PST

  •  people have speculated for a while (10+ / 0-)

    that one key to KR's power was that he had something on everybody: he deliberately recruited closeted gays for positions of power (no pun intended) in the R party so that he could control them with blackmail threats if they didn't toe the line.

    When I first heard this theory I wasn't cynical enough to believe it but now it sounds a lot more plausible...

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    one million O donors by March 4!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:20:19 AM PST

  •  Rove needs to go to jail for a long time. (7+ / 0-)

    To put an exclamation point on the fact this shit is not the way things are done in a democracy. Otherwise you can bet that at some point further down the road, Rove-spawn will adopt and fine-tune Rovian tactics and further plague our electoral system. Job one of Attorney General John Edwards should be to nail this bastard.

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:20:56 AM PST

  •  this case embodies the Bush Regime perfectly (5+ / 0-)

    I hope this gets some legs, because it is the perfect example of the corruption.

    They will go after Jill Simpson hard. I might add, if you have time to kill, a read through her deposition is a rollicking good time. She is quite colorful and she dishes a lot of dirt about Republican tactics.

    But this case has everything wrapped up in it, and the record from legal proceedings to back it up. It has corrupt politicians, dirty campaign tactics, blackmail, bribery, corrupt USA, a corrupt judge.

    All that, and Karl Rove!

    "Politics is the entertainment branch of big industry." Frank Zappa

    by whitewidow on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:21:47 AM PST

  •  Quest is such a lousy example to hold up (4+ / 0-)

    As if Nacchio (ex-ceo) of Quest is some sort of political prisoner. It may be ok here, but should it go farther than the confines of this blog, you set yourself of for major embarrassment. This guy was a league above the Enron boys and the Worldcon boys in terms of fraud and stealing from shareholders and  employees.

    I've posted on this numerous times. So I'm not going to do a lengthy rundown. All I can say is this man epitomizes corporate thievery at the highest level and should never be mentioned in the same sentence as a guy like Gov Siegelman. You saw how easy it was for them to conflate Iraq and 9/11. Your handing them another one when you mention Quest and Siegelman in the same sentence.

    Oh, by the way, a close friend of mine was fired their after 11 years of service because they decided to fire everyone that was making $14 hour so they could replace them with $8hr workers with no benefits. So even without Nacchio, it appears he left a stain that still permeates the place.

    No I never worked there. If you don't like this, do some research. I'm outta good analogies, or humor for this. If they added a 0 to his sentence some justice may have been done. As it is , he's getting off light.

    Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

    by Dburn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:21:52 AM PST

    •  No one should ever have to ask questions, then. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliaAnn, PsychoSavannah, Philpm

      The fact that we do is a tragedy in itself.

      The "tough on crime" Republicans have made it easier than ever to doubt the legitimacy of law enforcement.

      That's disgusting all by itself.

      •  I'm not sure what questions has to do with Quest (0+ / 0-)

        No offense to you. I'm glad it got your attention. Maybe you can put up a diary on the front page so people will knock off the Nacchio- Seigleman comparison.

        You know what the right would do. If Seigleman's case started becoming a major problem (it's a bloody shame-60 minutes itself used to mean a major problem in the past-not anymore)  They would see Nacchio's record and then Nacchio and Seigleman would become one just like Iraq and 9/11. That's still a problem today.

        Lets not start another ignorant conflation between two unrelated people here especially since one is a good guy and one is a very bad guy  especially with Rove involved. Don't give that fucker an inch.  

        Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

        by Dburn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:04:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And Qwest's founder and owner is a rightwing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm

      headcase - I'm actually surprised they didn't go along with the Administration - must be some kind of Libertarian...?

      The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad; For the multitude of thy iniquity And the great hatred...

      by Tirge Caps on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:28:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to post this same thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, NYContrarian

      Joe Nacchio may have done the right thing in the FISA issue, but that does not negate all the terrible things he did to the workers and shareholders of Qwest.  He is not a good guy, and I sure wish that people would stop holding him out as some hero.  He isn't.  

      •  I'm guessing (0+ / 0-)

        But the key would have been US West  an acquisition Nacchio made becuase so much of Quest was hot air, he needed a real company as analysts were starting to question his surreal projections a bit more closely and starting to look under the sheets to see if there was a company there.

        I'm not sure of the timing purchase of US West and the Wiretap request. Either Nacchio asked for an access price that the feds said no to or Nacchio and US West management were just not that close yet where he could say "Hey boys we're gonna provide a spigot right into the NSA. Subpoena? Oh hell no. ".

        It's possible that someone they needed said they would quit or US West attorneys asked WTF? and Nacchio didn't have enough control yet- meaning his own people in place- to override them on soemthing sensitive like breaking the law for the sake of the company.

        Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

        by Dburn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:54:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Point Taken (0+ / 0-)

      Okay, I'll read up on Nacchio. I confess to having jumped to a hasty conclusion based on cursory research.

      My bad.

      For a sardonic laugh, go here: Sic Semper Tyrannus.

      by JG in MD on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:33:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  US West was puchased in July of 2000 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        http://tinyurl.com/...

        I'm guessing that wasn't enough time to fire all the people and replace them with operating execs who would  open a pipe up for the Govt without a subpoena.

        They would have been more likely to do it if it had still been run by the former CEO. But imagine taking orders from a new CEO to do soemthing you know is illegal and also one that has a bad reputation among employees.

        Hell his own execs probably wouldn't have done it. Nacchio couldn't do it without help. He treated everyone like shit. He got extremely wealthy as did a small circle, but this was BS roll up company, so getting lower paid employees to go against the law probably didn't go over well.

        If your looking for heroes, it's probably in the operating execs ranks at US west. They probably did it not for country but for fear of Nacchio not being there for them if trouble came down. He was definitely the type that would fire someone if it could keep trouble away from him.

        Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

        by Dburn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 07:01:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sun. Feb 24 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vard

    Sunday, Feb. 24 is Gov. Don Siegelman's birthday.

  •   breaking: Hillary will go after MI and FL (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    jdmorg
    Hidden by:
    PsychoSavannah, ClapClapSnap

    just in case you thought her parting words were a concession speech, here's what some of us feared was coming:

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpoi...

  •  Sunday Feb. 24 is Gov. Don Siegelman's birthday. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vard, BlueStateRedhead
  •  Congress to grill Mozilo, O'Neal, Prince over pay (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdmorg, Philpm, whitewidow, JG in MD

    Two high-profile former Wall Street CEOs and the head of the nation's largest home lender will testify next week before a congressional committee examining the link between executive pay and the mortgage crisis.

    A total of 10 witnesses are due to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday including Countrywide Financial's (CFC, Fortune 500) founder and CEO Angelo Mozilo, former Merrill Lynch (MER, Fortune 500) Chairman and CEO Stanley O'Neal and ex-Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) chief Charles Prince.

    All three executives made headlines last year for their companies' bad bets on the U.S. housing market - and for their own lofty compensation. Their pay is drawing scrutiny from lawmakers at a time when homeowners across the country are at risk of losing their homes and as the country teeters on the brink of recession.

    http://money.cnn.com/...

    •  I would like to see the total dollar figure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      demnomore, jdmorg, Philpm

      for the profits, underwriting fees and bonuses that went to the firms, execs, mortgage underwriters and investment bankers that were originating these mortgages and underwriting the securities. And the bonuses for the traders, too.

      Then, can we ask for it all back to pay for the mess they have made?

      I really enjoy working my ass off to stay even and then getting to bail these people out every 10-15 years or so after they fuck up again.

      "Politics is the entertainment branch of big industry." Frank Zappa

      by whitewidow on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:30:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post. (5+ / 0-)

    We've already watched in horror and amazement as Bush-Cheney, flouting the law left and right, painted the Congress into the "impeachment is off the table" corner for fear (among other things) of being tarred with the "revenge for Clinton" and "tit for tat" brushes. One hardly need stretch the imagination to foresee precisely this hurdle being thrown up in the path of a Democratic administration elected with a mandate to clean out the Republican Culture of Corruption.

    This is the apex and what makes me grind my teeth in frustration as the Democrats have just taken it. They have lost the political battle, even with country behind them and even the media ready to spring on something good, and yet, they do next to nothing, fall for the same tricks over and over again and basically look so weak to the American public that they have managed to pull Congress' approval rating down below the President's.

    My god, they can't over come what the public might think, how the media might respond, what the Republicans will say? That's what's stopping them?

    Oh boy.

    The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad; For the multitude of thy iniquity And the great hatred...

    by Tirge Caps on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:24:11 AM PST

  •  Destruction Indeed (5+ / 0-)

    I think this point needs to be hammered home again and again: Bush/Cheney are working to destroy our trust in our institutions, so that these institutions cannot be used against them and their friends.

    It is fiendish, it is diabolical, it is up to (down to) Cheney's best. But it can be overcome.

    First, by calling it out for what it is.

    Second (first, really) by appointing people of integrity and making sure everyone knows that. Fitgerald for AG, perhaps?

    Third, by working with Congress to strengthen oversight and watchdog provisions to restore the people's trust.

    The people are not stupid (19% excepted). They can see progress as well as regression. The anger at Bush/Cheney that has been building up all these years is not just from Iraq, it's from the realization of the damage they have done to our way of life and basic values.

    We need to hammer that home in the campaign, and tie McCheney to these actions. That will make this election a real watershed.

    Yes, it's a crisis. It's also an opportunity.

    It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by DanK Is Back on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:24:44 AM PST

    •  even the koolaid drinkers might not be stupid.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm

      just taken advantage of, brainwashed and manipulated in to working against their own best interest.

      And ,of course, it's possible that they are stupid.

      "Politics is the entertainment branch of big industry." Frank Zappa

      by whitewidow on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:33:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Sad Reality for Me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, DanK Is Back, JG in MD

    is that things have gotten so bad that I no longer feel I can believe anything my own government is telling me.  This is why we need a change and why my hopes are so high for 11/08

  •  It started much earlier... (10+ / 0-)

    George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have injected the American government with a slow-acting poison it will take decades to overcome.

    You can trace it back to an earlier period. When Reagan got away with the Iran Contra affair, it became OK to lie and cheat if it was tied to the patriotic public good.

    Then during the Gingrich revolution, we had many Rethug leaders posturing publicly while privately doing exactly the opposite. The idea that if you are in power, you can get away with deviant behavior probably took hold then - witness the wave of Rethugs that are headed to jail - Dukester, Ney, DeLay (he should be), Renzi, - they all cut their teeth during this era, even with a Democratic President.

    When Rove approached Jack Welch in 1999 to throw his weight behind the Rethug candidacy, in lieu of which he was promised a liberalized policy for media consolidation, that was when the real floodgates opened up. Then with Rupert Murdoch buying up Fox, they finally had a bullhorn to spread their poison. Even petty thieves from the Nixon era like Gordon Liddy and Ollie North from Reagn era, who were hibernating, got succor and came back to life.

    So this poison started long back.

    The anti-dote to this is NOT looking for Democratic leadership in Washington DC - whether the president or the Congress or Supreme Court. It must be the people power that the spread of the internet is providing. When there is a swiftboat operation starting to belch, like against Rick Noriega in Texas, then people have to rise up and oppose it quickly. People need to rise up and say that we have had enough of Rethug manufactured reality. We have to vote out lockstep Rethugs. Only after there is a proper reform movement in the Rethug party, can the poison be completely removed.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by Suvro on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:26:50 AM PST

    •  oy vey - Iran-Contra (7+ / 0-)

      I mean, I just can not believe to this day how that all ended - and that we saw people resurface in this administration like Poindexter at Total Information - and all that came out only because they wanted to make some stock market on tragedies - no one even made too much of a deal that a man convicted of lying to Congress, destroying evidence and being involved in supporting an illegal covert war in violation of a multitude of national and international laws, was in charge of a creepy government organization called Total Information Awareness.

      And why does Elliott Abrams have a job?

      This is what happens when the Congress does not pull through. You get these people showing back up in government and Alberto Gonzales gets to make 30K everytime a group of people want to hear him affix this administration to Abraham Lincoln.

      ugh.

      The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad; For the multitude of thy iniquity And the great hatred...

      by Tirge Caps on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:39:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Action Plan? (0+ / 0-)

        We use the phrases "rise up" and "take to the streets" as if that would do any good. Channel that feeling somehow?

        When something happens that's unconscionable we should all call every newspaper, small and large, within a 50 mile radius and talk about it, whether they cover that beat or not..

        We are stymied and furious about it, but I think we have to go the next step.

        What if, when something happens that we can't abide, we call every organization we can think of that has a podium: The Rotary Club, the Kiwanis, certain churches, toastmasters, everybody that has a meeting? Ask to speak, and if that doesn't happen (it won't), go to one of their meetings as a guest and talk to everybody we see about what has happened. Obnoxious, people might not like us at first, but we'll learn to give a calm and persuasive argument if we do it often enough. Hell, they stand on street corners in Hyde Park and give speeches. We could even do that.

        Dammit, we have to do Something.

        For a sardonic laugh, go here: Sic Semper Tyrannus.

        by JG in MD on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:46:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  yes, and the being afraid to look weak on defense (6+ / 0-)

      also started a lot earlier, 1950 or so, when McCarthy started the still continuous tactic of accusing Democrats of not hating "the enemy" enough.

      4 presidents continued to fight a war in Vietnam, 3 of which did not want to and were advised repeatedly that it was not working and would not ever work, because they couldn't look weak. The 4th was Nixon, who was a complete psycho and was chomping at the bit to use the nuclear bomb.)

      I'm really tired of the paranoid segment of the population getting to run things.
       

      "Politics is the entertainment branch of big industry." Frank Zappa

      by whitewidow on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:40:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is not corruption (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js, mmcole, Philpm, Matt Z, mofembot

    It is willful and planned destruction of our Democracy, of any and all Constitutional Rights. Their goal is the establishment of a fascist regime.
    I am beyond believing this is a bunch of bad, money greedy, assholes. Rove and his ilk are looking for permanent and total takeover.
    Anyone thinking Rove's silence of late is not dangerous is  being dangerously naive.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King Jr."

    by Oke on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:27:35 AM PST

  •  I am watching and every time I think of... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Matt Z, mofembot

    "impeachment is off the table" by Pelosi, it fries my ass.

  •  [click] (0+ / 0-)

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:28:43 AM PST

  •  Siegelman is a political prisoner (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, mmcole, Matt Z

    Simple as that.

    (-7.00, -5.18)
    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

    by admiralh on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:31:09 AM PST

  •  So.... Kagro... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, mmcole, JG in MD

    Watergate, Iran-Contra (and on and on) - sure, but Loose Change - never right?  (I know, I will now be banned forever.) Because little "big" lies are ok to talk about, right?  A govenor can be practically "disappeared" But a really big lie? nope - that can't happen here, huh?  I think you have scraped the tip of this iceberg... it only gets uglier and uglier...

    Melissa
    Conspiracy Theorist

    yes.we.can -- just watch us!

    Dissent is Patriotic

    by mwjeepster on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:32:28 AM PST

  •  thanks KX most important nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

    by seesdifferent on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:34:10 AM PST

  •  One suggestion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, mofembot, JG in MD

    "George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have injected the American government with a slow-acting poison it will take decades to overcome."

    This isn't my idea, and it actually came from a guy who was discussing how to get the government to admit what they know about U.F.Os, but I think it works:

    A truth and reconcilliation commission like they had in South Africa.  The Bush Admin people would get a guarantee of immunity if they admit to what they knew and what they did during their time in office.

    It would clear the air and allow the government and the public to move on.

    •  No moving on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm

      Until every single person in this adminstration who aided and abetted the illegal invasion of Iraq and the illegal torture is brought to real justice, it will happen again.  It has since Watergate....three biggies we know about.

      No moving on until justice is meted out, fairly.

  •  why Alabama? Why him? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Philpm

    what was so special about this case that made it possible for Rove to choose this person and this state at that time. I have read a lot about the case and have never found an answer to that question. Anyone know?

  •  See Raw Story for details on Seligman conviction (8+ / 0-)

    From Raw Story on Seligman.

    The idea that a prominent politician -- a former state governor -- could be tried on charges that many observers consider to be trumped-up, convicted in a trial that involved numerous questionable procedures, and then hauled off to prison in shackles immediately upon sentencing would be almost unbelievable.

    But there is such a politician: Don Siegelman, Democratic governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. Starting just a few weeks after he took office, Siegelman was targeted by an investigation launched by his political opponents and escalated from the state to the federal level by Bush Administration appointees in 2001.

    This is a detailed outline of the vendetta against Seligman, including his immediate jailing, an odyssey to prisons all over the U.S. making it difficult for family and attorneys to reach him, and charges of a break-in at his attorney's office and jury tampering.

    When it finally came time for sentencing, Judge Fuller imposed a sentence of seven years, four months and would not allow Siegelman to remain free while his case was under appeal. Within hours of his sentencing, Siegelman had been taken to a federal penitentiary in Atlanta.

    In the days immediately following Siegelman's imprisonment, another set of strange occurrences further underscored the serious ethical and legal questions surrounding this case. First his lawyer's office was broken into, although the thieves took nothing of value and only appeared to have been looking for files. Then, ten days later, Siegelman was sent on an extended odyssey to prisons in Michigan, New York, Oklahoma and finally Louisiana -- during which time his attorneys were led to believe that he had been moved to Texas.

  •  Whitewater Redux etc, etc, etc........ (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, whitewidow, mofembot, JG in MD

    Hell, they did it to a sitting President !

    What the hell's going on out here--Vince Lombardi -6.75/-5.85

    by Patrick B on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:41:32 AM PST

  •  I voted for Seigelman (8+ / 0-)

    And I'm pretty sure our current governor, Riley, stole the election.  Late on the night of the election, after everyone but a couple of his supporters had left a polling place near Mobile, a whole bunch of ballots were "found" that just so happened to be overwhelmingly for Riley.  It was actually enough to make a difference in the election overall.  My bullshit meter exploded, but almost nobody cared.

    I've often said that the problems with the Bush regime are so many and so extreme that they are protected by the fact that no one wants to believe such things could happen.  Things this dramatically bad can't happen in America, so I must be a paranoid extremist.

  •  Meantime, Siegelman languishes in jail (5+ / 0-)

    STILL NO TRANSCRIPT!!!!
    For 239 days ( that's 7.75 months) Siegelman has been
    in prison without being able to appeal his conviction.

    It has been 20 months since Siegelman’s trial ended
    and no trial transcript has been produced by Fuller's
    court. This is in violation of the rules of criminal procedure
    which require a transcript within 30  days of sentencing.
    Siegelman can't appeal his conviction with out an
    official trial transcript.
    ....................................................
    A total of 87* days after
    the first order by the Appellate Court  Judge Fuller issued
    an order stating that the case had no grounds for appeal.
    That same day, Oct 4, 2007, Fuller's Company, Doss
    aviation was awarded an $18.1 million dollar contract
    from the government

    donsiegelman.org/

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:41:39 AM PST

  •  Full Disclosure. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, Philpm, mofembot

    Everything, and I mean everything that the law/justice systems do in this country must be completely visible to the public.

    100% free of charge, above board and easily viewable. The only way to gain confidence is for the investigations and prosecutions to be fully above board.

    But I'm not sure if that's even possible.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:45:03 AM PST

  •  Scott Horton has been truly remarkable on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm

    and he has shined the light on Birmingham News and other Newhouse family-owned newspapers' involvement in deceiving the public re:  Gov. Siegelman, so it is not surprising that Bush/Cheney, Rove and his counterparts would come after Horton and others through these biased publications.  And if the attack appears as Phoenix Woman warns, it assuredly will come from the Newhouse family chain.

    It is truly a political prosecution and epitomizes the utter corruption of this administration and all the party underlings and other enablers - such as the sympathizers in the Alabama media - who have signed on to it.

    Not that there would ever be any reason to be cynical about the Justice Dept.’s motivations and timing, but could this in any way be related to Renzi's indictment today - to take some of the thunder from the Siegelman revelations by showing that the Justice Dept. also goes after Republicans?

  •  As you suggest, this case is the quintessential (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, JG in MD

    embodiment of what our society and political culture has become.  Whether we get a Dem or R as president this go, these powers are there, and unreported by major media.  

    Scott Horton and Larisa Alexandrovna are the extreme exceptions, and as Phoenix Woman pointed out, they are paying a price.

    There was a time when this would have been pursued broadly, and strenuously.

    This combined political culture will be inherited by the next Pres.  God willing they will eschew, formally, these powers.

    It's full of stars... T. Roosevelt: Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.

    by Terra Mystica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:07:00 AM PST

  •  Gov. Seigelman's daughter posts here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demnomore, Matt Z

    Please read Dana Siegelman's previous posts and provide support for her as well.

    Dana is a wonderful person and is dedicating her time and efforts to bring justice for her father. I say this not only as a former constituent and concerned citizen from Alabama, I say this in support of my friend as well.

  •  corruption has buried us (0+ / 0-)

    We can't trust our institutions, our financial markets are not trusted by the world, and the cheap oil that has driven our economy turned downward in May of 2005.

     Bush is just a symptom - we're seeing the end of an empire here, folks, and its going to get ugly.

  •  Doesn't air opposite the Oscars. (0+ / 0-)

    At least not everywhere.  On the east coast, 60 Minutes runs from 7-8.  The Oscars start at 8.  I don't believe the Oscars will affect 60 Minutes viewership in the central time zone either.

    The only way this won't get traction is if the broader media ignores it and the Democratic party blows it off.

    Plenty of opportunity to launch this thing despite the Oscars, which I predict will be one of the least-watched in history.

    -

    "Judge me on the content of my character, not the underwear on my head."

    by Bill in Portland Maine on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:22:55 AM PST

  •  If it can happen to a govenor....IF? (5+ / 0-)

    It already has.

    Georgia L Thompson, natural born US citizen and Wisconsin civil servant railroaded on corruption charges just before the 2006 elections in an effort to taint the Democratic governor.

    Jose Padilla, natural born US citizen, arrested on US soil, denied habeus corpus, and tortured into insanity while in US military custody.  Finally brought to trial in civilian courts after the Bush administration dropped all original charges and their insistence that his case could not be tried by the American judicial system.

    Brandon Mayfield,natural born US citizen and US Army veteran arrested as "material witness" on very dubious fingerprint evidence connecting him to the Madrid bombings. Initially held without charges, access to a lawyer and in locations undisclosed to his family, he was freed within 2 weeks probably the international, not American, press reported that Spanish authorities denied the fingerprint matched.

    Jamie Leigh Jones,one of several natural born US citizens raped and mistreated by American contractors while working in Iraq will never be able to see her rapists go on trial due to unwillingness of State and Defense Departments to bring American contractors under rule of law.

    That's just off the top of my head, and as long as I am willing to type.  

    We should all remember the flip side of this:  
    the master criminals of this criminal administration, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and all their henchmen have defied American law, our signed treaty obligations and international conventions on war, for years and will never be punished.  The one bit player, Scooter Libby, who was tried and convicted, was pardoned by this president who has suborned more law-breaking and corruption than Jesse James, Ken Lay, Manuel Noreiga, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George HW Bush, all put together, ever dreamed of.

    None of us should be surprised that a governor or so is convicted on trumped up charges for political gain.  None of us have been safe as long as this criminal cabal, masquerading as the American government, has been in power. The fact that most Americans feel that they have not been directly impacted by official criminality is luck and ignorance.

    Whether or not the next administration restores our lost freedoms and security remains to be seen.

    It is far better to be thought a fool than to invade Iraq and remove all doubt.

    by clio on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:27:52 AM PST

  •  You Write... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demnomore, mmcole, Philpm, lightfoot

    If you haven't heard of this case, or aren't 100% clear on its details, you owe it to yourself as an American, as a voter, or just as an educated, capable adult human being with any amount of political awareness, to make yourself familiar with this travesty. CBS will only go so far in helping you do it.

    ...I say same with Sibel Edmunds

    ...Now we need CBS to help with this as well.

    "When the going gets Weird...The Weird turn Pro". -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Blue Shark on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 11:37:28 AM PST

  •  Who cares about another glitzy award show? (0+ / 0-)

    I plan to watch 60 Minutes!

    Moreover, in honor of the occasion, I will post a long-planned sequel to my diary, Found: Rove's playbook for attorney scandal," including some goodies the mainstream press has been missing.

    But, first, I must buy some popcorn!

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:13:31 PM PST

  •  I've often thought that these tactics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lightfoot, Matt Z

    are part of a the grand strategy of Republicans to change American perception of its own government and the role of the government.  Whereas citizens trusted government and became reliant to an extent on various actions and services as part of the New Deal, Republicans feel that the system as it is/was between 1932-2000 naturally led to Democratic popularity and success at the ballot box.

    They decided they needed to fundamentally alter the way Americans assess and relate to their government.  If citizens are suspicious of their government, or even find their government criminal, great.  The goal all along is to eradicate the federal government, a supremely difficult task unless citizens find the actions of the federal government immoral, contemptible or better yet, worse than that.

    It is all part of the grand attempt to remake Americans relationship with government and ultimately American democracy.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:15:04 PM PST

  •  Does this not indicate a modus operandi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lightfoot, Matt Z, JG in MD

    "Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?" asks Pelley.

    What other Democrats has Rove 'got the goods' on?

    It sure goes a hell of a long way explaining the inexplicable actions over the last 7 years, and more specifically after achieving a majority after 2006, in regards to Democrats 'folding' to hand the Bush White House everything he wanted despite going against their base's every wish.

    The question of what does Bush have on these people always came to my mind at each and every surprise vote result. But it was always tinfoil hat territory. Until now. Now there's evidence that this is the actual Bush White House modus operandi.

    And explains a heck of a lot.

  •  Another hit piece "advanced" by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Advance Publications, the same media moguls that own the Cleveland Plain Dealer currently trying to bring down Dennis Kucinich in his house race.

    In the Siegelman case, there were numerous reports of biased reporting from newpapers owned by Advance Publications. for example, Crazy as a Loon reports:

    Don Siegelman, Fascist News: Advance Publications, Inc.

    Still receiving comments from Southerners extremely angry about former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman's fascist, politically motivated imprisonment. When news media sources are dishonest, no longer trustworthy, and so obviously biased, it's time for the entire country to brace themselves for what may follow. Readers send more comments:

       Atlantaflash says:
       The three largest newspapers plus the Internet site al.com in Alabama are all owned by Advance Publications, INC. They literally print nothing but lies about all Democrats in the state. They will not allow their investigative reporters any access to these cases. If they would have investigated and printed the truth about Don Siegelman like the locally own papers done the Canary's would have been run out of the state by its citizens before now.

       It has taken a few months, but most Alabamians now know the truth about their good friend Don Siegelman, about the conspiracy that removed the most popular Democrat in Alabama by Bush's appointees and how his elections were taken from him.

       These three newspaper instruct their writers to start every article that they write about Siegelman with this statement, "our newspapers endorsed Riley and we believe Siegelman to be a crook" then they twist every sentence after that to sound negative.

       Many of us are dropping our subscriptions and are switching to locally owned newspapers.

    Mike Hale says:
    When the books leave the press next fall about the persecution of Alabama's most popular Democrat Ex-Governor Don Siegelman, they will be best sellers; I guarantee. I don't know of anyone in the history of the United States who has had the constitution torn up and thrown in their face, by all levels of the federal government like Siegelman has. On top of that, the three largest newspapers in his own state have been a big part of this conspiracy. The newspapers are owned by the media giant, Advance Publications Inc. Whose writers have pacific orders on how to write news articles that involves Democrats. These newspapers are feeding this same false information to the AP Associated Press and the TV and radio media. This is a form of nazism and is against the law. I have requested that the FBI conduct an investigation of Advance Publications Inc.
    [...]

    The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. -FZ

    by lightfoot on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 01:03:44 PM PST

  •  The story made it to CNN! (0+ / 0-)

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." - RFK

    by atemptfailure on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 02:01:21 PM PST

  •  I recently went to jury duty (0+ / 0-)

    It was in state court, not federal, but it got me thinking about what I'd say if I were on a federal jury panel.  I'd want to know if the prosecutor had served under Alberto Gonzales, no matter how many layers under.  I'd want to ask if Gonzales wanted him/her fired.  If NOT, I'd want to ask if that isn't proof he or she is corrupt, since Gonzales apparently tried to fire all the USA's who wouldn't do his partisan bidding.  

    I'd also want to know the party affiliation of all defendants.  I could imagine myself being impartial for a Republican defendant, but for any Democrat I'd assume it was a politically motivated prosecution from the get-go.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 02:50:19 PM PST

  •  Justice, then mercy (0+ / 0-)

    There's a simple solution to restore trust.

    Put them on trial. From Scalia to Republican politicians and staff to media barons to the lobbyists behind so much of this. Open all the drawers. Hiding anything will be much more damaging in the long run. Let them be tried and mocked and removed from their positions of power.

    And then - even for the most egregious cases, let them be forgiven. Presidential pardons for most.

    Why? Because that way they can't claim the whole thing was "political". They were pardoned in the end. And in the meantime their guilty conduct is out there in the open for all to see. Doing justice wins minds; mercy wins hearts. But mercy only after they've been tried and convicted, not before!

  •  This is another reason why we need Obama.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....he's the only one who'd have the non-partisan stature to be able put together a credible bi-partisan commission to undo this damage.  

    When I say "bi-partisan", I mean a commission that is stacked with Republicans like Patrick Fitzgerald.

    This commission should then form a prosecutorial task force that is staffed entirely with Republicans like Fitzgerald. Their brief would be an aggressive campaign to investigate and prosecute all DOJ misconduct under the Bush Administration.  

    Then the corrupt bastards wouldn't be able to say it's a partisan witch-hunt or payback: because everyone hunting them would be Republicans who put the rule of law above the Party.

    Ok, there would be an element of payback: if you were a responsible Republican like Fitzgerald, wouldn't you want a shot at the people who'd ruined your Party?

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 03:58:19 PM PST

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