Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Hard Rain Journal 3-7-07: Justice Not Just Blindfolded, But Bound and Gagged?
Image: Themis, Goddess of Justice
Joe Wilson on his reaction:
I take no satisfaction in this. I think that the idea of a senior White House official being convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury is something that ought to sadden everybody who believes in public service. … I think we can take some satisfaction that the Constitution has been defended by the prosecution, by the system of justice and by the jury of peers that decided Mr. Libby’s guilt today.
On his wife Valerie Plame’s reaction:
Well, I think she wept when she heard the news. I was actually at a restaurant in Washington D.C. and she called me up and she just said, “Four out of five, guilty,” and she was very relieved. I think she will sleep well tonight knowing again that this part of this ordeal is behind us. But I would just say that whatever the last four or five years have been like for us, it has been mere inconvenience compared to what this administration has done to our service people and their families, in the prosecution of a war that was justified on misinformation and lies.
Joe Wilson on Keith Olbermann's Countdown, Transcript via Think Progress, 3-6-07
Hard Rain Journal 3-7-07: Justice Not Just Blindfolded, But Bound and Gagged?
By Richard Power
It is sad and eerily synchronistic that the guilty verdict in the Libby trial came down after several days of disturbing news stories about the Bush-Cheney regime's purging of US DoJ prosecutors.
But, of course, the US mainstream news media will not provide the context and continuity that the weird convergence demands, just as it refuses to acknowledge that both the Walter Reed scandal and the Katrina debacle are the result of Bush-Cheney regime's perversion of public policy and corruption of public service.
When will US House and Senate hearings be held on the abuse of power, e.g., their betrayal of US secret agent Valerie Plame, the fabrication of intelligence referenced in the Downing Street Memo, why Rove received the faxed peace offer from Iran and what he did with it, and so much more?
When will Rove and Cheney be issued subpoenas?
Yes, they will claim executive privilege and fight the subpoenas in court. But at least the questions will be raised and the political pressure will be kept on them for the rest of their term in office and hopefully beyond -- until they are compelled to give substantive answers to serious questions.
If the House and the Senate prove themselves to be as craven and complicit as the Washington Post editorial board was in its statement this morning, the Republic is truly lost.
Here are seven revelations on the purge of DoJ prosecutors:
John McKay, the fired prosecutor in Seattle, said he was incensed by the requests not to go public.
Looking around the open hearing room, he told a large group of reporters and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: "I did not feel at all intimidated. Instead, it made me angry. Hence my presence here."
McKay revealed a new allegation of political pressure. He said that in 2004, during a series of vote recounts in which a Democrat was narrowly elected governor of Washington state, the then-chief of staff for Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) called him and began inquiring about the status of a federal investigation into vote fraud.Los Angeles Times, 3-7-07
The former federal prosecutor in Maryland said Monday that he was forced out in early 2005 because of political pressure stemming from public corruption investigations involving associates of the state’s governor, a Republican.
“There was direct pressure not to pursue these investigations,” said the former prosecutor, Thomas M. DiBiagio. “The practical impact was to intimidate my office and shut down the investigations.” New York Times, 3-5-07
Today Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate whether Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) violated Senate Rules by contacting the U.S. Attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico, David C. Iglesias, and pressuring him about an ongoing corruption probe.
Sen. Domenici has acknowledged that he contacted Mr. Iglesias to inquire about an ongoing corruption probe of Democrats. Mr. Iglesias previously stated that in mid-October, he was pressured about the pace of the investigation by two New Mexico lawmakers. Raw Story, 3-5-07
I'm an Assistant United States Attorney in [*******], and am, of course, outraged by the U.S. Attorney purge, as most AUSAs are. I appreciate all the work you've been doing on this story. My own sense is that this purge has to be viewed as part a much larger story on the devastating impact of this administration's policies on the institution of the U.S. Attorney's Office. From a fiscal perspective, the administration has essentially abandoned the U.S. Attorney's Offices. That has led to a precipitous drop in the numbers of federal prosecutions, particularly in larger districts like Los Angeles. The effects of the budget crisis at U.S. Attorney's Offices across the nation are well documented...Likewise, from a policy perspective, the administration's War on Terror (TM) policies and practices have undermined the sacred foundations of the work we do as federal prosecutors. Talking Point Memo, 3-5-07
“A high-ranking Justice Department official told one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration that if any of them continued to criticize the administration for their ousters, previously undisclosed details about the reasons they were fired might be released, two of the ousted prosecutors told McClatchy Newspapers.” Think Progress, 3-5-07
The "unprecedented" U.S. Attorney firing scandal keeps getting weirder. It was revealed today that Michael Battle, the director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, will resign on March 16.
Battle personally informed the fired attorneys of their removal, but the Department of Justice insists he was not involved in the actual decision making process (he allegedly told them the order had come from 'on high'"). A spokesperson also said the timing is merely a coincidence and "is not connected to the U.S. attorney controversy whatsoever." Buzzflash, 3-5-07
Many news reports on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys have suggested political interference in the justice system, but none of the broadcast networks' evening news programs has even mentioned the case. Media Matters, 3-2-07
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Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and Words of Power. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Iraq, Iran, Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, Patrick Fitzgerald,David Iglesias, John McKay, Nancy Pelosi, Bush, Cheney, Karl Rove CREW, Walter Reed, Katrina, Thomas M. DiBiagio, I.Lewis Libby, DoJ, Richard Power, Words of Power