Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CONTEMPTIBLE


The sad, twisted saga of Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama who is now rotting in federal prison because he was a Democrat in GOP-controlled Alabama, is only one very small part of a much larger story. It is key to understanding what has happened in the last seven years to the Department of Justice; how it has been hijacked by organized criminals, and why at least seven U.S. attorneys were fired in 2006 by then Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. And now two senior aides to the First Fool have been issued the first contempt of Congress citations in a quarter of a century.
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When White House chief-of-staff Josh Bolten and Bush's former counsellor Harriet Miers (photos above) were subpoenaed to testify before Congress and explain what role in the firings each of them might have played, both of them defiantly, arrogantly chose to ignore the summons, citing "executive privilege" as their reason for not appearing. The House is now in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Attorney General to force him to initiate an investigation into the matter. Executive privilege allows a president to withhold information from Congress only when national security is involved. According to the UK Guardian: "Since Bush has repeatedly denied playing any role in the prosecutor firings, today's lawsuit argues, his privilege cannot extend to shield senior aides....Democrats have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into the prosecutor firings, but the ramifications of the lawsuit could extend far beyond one political scandal." This is where the Siegelman case becomes instructive. Very, very instructive.
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If you'll remember, Governor Don Siegelman was convicted last year in a bribery sting. The "crime" he committed was accepting a five-hundred thousand dollar check from an Alabama businessman which was immediately deposited in a fund that went toward educating the children of that state. Siegelman then re-appointed the man to sit on a board of directors that he had sat on under three previous governors!
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Does that make any sense to you? I didn't think so.
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The U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush/Gonzalez Department of "JUST US" in late 2006 were not fired because they did a poor job; they were fired because they refused to take part in the political persecutions that were being ordered by Karl Rove. One of the Bush-appointed US attorneys who persecuted Siegelman is Leura Canary, whose husband Bob was one of the campaign managers of Bob Riley - a Siegelman political opponent and the current governor of the state of Alabama!
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You can smell it, too, huh?
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You would think that someone with so blatant a disregard for the Constitutional rights of a fellow citizen would be fired from her job. You would think that such a person would be tried, convicted and sent to prison for five or ten years for such an obviously illegal political prosecution. You would think both of those things but you would be wrong. Leura Canary still has her job and is still a member in good standing of the Bush Mob. The scandal of the firings of 2006 is the fact that the attorneys in question not only refused to persecute Democrats who were obviously innocent of any crimes, they pursued Republicans who were just as obviously guilty. A case in point would be Carol Lam of California. She successfully prosecuted disgraced Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. You would think that so skilled an attorney would still have her job, wouldn't you? Again, you'd be wrong.
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If the Olympics had a semantic gymnastics contest, Attorney General Michael Mukasey would take home the gold medal. According to Mukasey, Josh and Harriet didn't commit any crime when they refused to answer a Congressional subpoena. This, by the way, is the same Michael Mukasey who less than half a year ago, during his confirmation hearings, refused to admit that waterboarding is illegal. Oh, yeah, that Michael Mukasey! In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he wrote: "The contempt of Congress statute does not apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an executive branch official who asserts the president's claim of executive privilege. Accordingly, the department has determined that the noncompliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers did not constitute a crime."
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How does this guy even sleep at night? Is there anyone out there with half a brain who would still deny that Mukasey is nothing more than a third-rate political hack? Anyone??
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Maybe the 110th Congress won't go down in history as the sorry, pathetic cowards they've portrayed themselves to be up until now. Finally they seem to be taking bold and decisive action. Finally they seem to be exhibiting a little, long overdue courage. Said Nancy Pelosi on Monday:
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"The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that."
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Good for her! Better late than never, I say. But it is only a start. They need to go further - much further. Back in November during Mukasey's senate confirmation hearings, Diane Feinstein said (as only Diane Feinstein could) "I really believe this person will be an independent source of fresh air in the department." As I remarked at the time, "Come again???" Anyone, face as straight as a yard stick, who would deny the blatant illegality of torture, was going to be the source of many things - no argument there - fresh air is not one of them. As always, Russ Feingold was prophetic when he said, "If Judge Mukasey won't say the truth, that this barbaric behavior [waterboarding] is torture, how can we count on him to stand up to the White House on other issues?" Obviously he can't be counted on to stand up to anyone.
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Mukasey is almost as corrupt as Gonzalez (if that's even possible). He needs to be impeached at once. Not only that, but any nominee that Bush puts forward as a replacement should be promptly rejected. It is now plain that this president is not going to choose a qualified person to serve as Attorney General. They can't do anymore damage than they already have with no one heading the Justice Department. A rudderless ship will drift for a spell but will rarely sink outright. Let it drift.
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HARRIET! SURELY YOU JOSH!
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Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten should be given a twenty-four hour deadline to appear before the House of Representatives. If they refuse to comply, a federal warrant should be issued and and both of them sent back to Washington handcuffed and in shackles. Were something that dramatic to happen, it's almost assured that George W. Bush would immediately pardon the two of them. That's fine! Let it happen! It would only - yet again - demonstrate to the American people the utter contempt with which this disgusting little piece of shit feels for the basic tenets of the Constitution put forward by our Founding Fathers over two centuries ago. In other words, let George be George. He'll only end up hanging himself in the long run. The most incredible thing in this entire, sorry story is the fact that this corrupt, imbecilic and mediocre woman, Harriet Miers, was Bush's original choice to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Her only published opinions to date were a handful sycophantic notes, written to Bush when he was still the governor of Texas - in which she comes across as not quite as intelligent as your average, infatuated thirteen-year-old, circa 1967, writing a fan letter to Davy Jones:
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"Dear Governor GWB, You're the best Governor ever!"
"You and Laura are the greatest!"
"You're the best!"
"Thank you for all you and Laura do for the people of the state!"
"Hopefully, Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool' - as do the rest of us."
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No. It really doesn't get any stupider than that, does it....
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It's rather sad to reflect on the certainty that very few people in the most corrupt administration in American history will ever be punished for the high crimes that have been committed in the last seven years against the people and Constitution. The final hours of the Bush presidency will find the soon-to-be-ex-president furiously issuing pardons - hundreds of them - THOUSANDS OF THEM - to the criminals and cowards who faithfully, mindlessly did his bidding. Given the arrogance and stupidity of this half-witted frat boy, he probably actually believes that a president can legally pardon himself. No doubt about it, the hideous bastard is in for one dark and deeply disturbing surprise.
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As has been said on this site more times than can be accurately counted, George W. Bush will be remembered as the first United States president in history to go to federal prison.
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He will die there.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
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SUGGESTED VIEWING:
"Iraq For Sale"
A film by Robert Greenwald
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AFTERTHOUGHT:
Did you ever - in your wildest dreams - think that you would live to see the day where you would feel a sense of teary-eyed nostalgia for the likes of Dick Nixon and John Mitchell?

8 Comments:

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom,
You chose an excellent title for this piece. The present administration is indeed "contemptible".
Though the pResident took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, he has demonstrated at every turn the hollowness of his words. Instead, he and those that have implemented his dictates are guilty of nothing less than TREASON.
Should the next administration decide that the credibility of the USA is worth regaining with the other countries that share this planet, nothing short of WAR CRIMES TRIBUNALS, wherein the USA set the precedents at Nurhemburg, will suffice.
Let's supply the same "justice" as has been previously applied to other tyrants.
I'll supply the ropes.
W

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You make an excellent point, Dubya...er...I mean "W" - sorry 'bout that pardner. It's a point I've made on this site before and on AlterNet. The restoration of America's credibility in the international community of nations depends on nothing less than that these despicable bastards and bitches (Hi, Condi!) be held accountable for their crimes against Americans in general and the men, women, and little children of Iraq in particular. That will be the key to our international salvation.

All the best,
Tom Degan

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,

Another fine posting and let's just hope that this time the Democrats don't crumble but pursue this to a satisfactory conclusion. This has been truly the most despicable administration I have lived through in my 66 years and whatever happens to them,it can not be bad enough.

Note to W - keep the rope, instead of hanging them, let's just let them rot the rest of their miserable lives out in a prison.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Phil said...

One can only hope that DUHbya (yeah, it's spelled with a capital DUH) will hang himself, and if not, that someone else will do the job for him. Rotting in prison is an acceptable alternative, but let it be in a maximum security pen where DUHbya stands a good chance of ending up as Bubba's bitch.

 
At 12:33 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

Please, please, please, let it be so! Gives me something to look forward to!

peace

 
At 2:14 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Dear Tom, If Dimwit Dubya goes to prison, we are going to have a PARTY. I want to see Cheney and Rove in the Big House, too. Sad to say, I am not as optimistic as you are about prison sentences for these thugs. Pelosi is only now whining about the absence of justice, but "Lady Beneficent" has been a major blockade on the road to that very same justice. Diane Feinstein, by the way, is as crooked as a dog's hind leg. It is not in the least suprising that she supported the nomination of Mukasey. The woman is an idiot. Even if the upcoming election puts the Dems in control,they will spout all kinds of conciliatory blabber about "putting the past behind us," "looking to the future", "for the good of the country" blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum. The crooks, thugs, and charlatans will slink off to collect huge speaking fees from right-wing extremist groups, and live like kings and queens on their ill-gotten gain that awaits them in the Cayman Islands, Belize and Switzerland. They will sit on the Boards of Directors of big corporations,like the Carlyle Group, earning huge sums and continuing to promote the destruction of humanity. But, I most fervently hope I am wrong. If I am wrong, I will come to NYC, e-mail you and invite you out to dinner, your choice of restaurant, (since I stay for free with my daughter in Brooklyn)and toast the wondrousness of your predictions. No sarcasm here. I am serious. Nothing would make me happier than to see that justice is alive and once again surviving in this country.

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger John said...

Thanks for again writing the thoughts I've had swirling in my mind, but too occuped with staying alive to write them myself. I have often wondered WHY the American populace cannot seem to be aware of what's going on IN PLAIN SIGHT,and blindly go along with the farce that's being called "The American Ideal?"

As a retired American, a disabled veteran,that had to move to the Philippines in order to survive on a fixed income, I have the opportunity to view my country, free from the incessant commercials/reality shows/soap operas(including the crime? shows) etc. I surf the internet for the American news and newspapers, watch foreign news outlets, and am constantly made aware of my country's standing in the eyes of the world. Most people ask me, "How can your people be so blind to the truth concerning your President and his cronies? Isn't your Constitution supposed to protect the nation from such attacks upon the very fabric of your nation?"

I defend America by speaking of the history of hope, and dreams accomplished, even in spite of her faults, and the freedoms that cannot be denied, although they have been deferred for some. I shock many by what I say, since I'm a Black man, but even though I've experienced racism, from childhood into my 67h year of life, my nation, the United States of America, is STILL the BEST PLACE in the world to be a citizen of!!!

 
At 1:16 AM, Blogger Common Intelligents said...

Well Tom. You know King Louis and Marie Antoinet were beheaded for the contempt for the public well being. How times change. It seems the American people have become the most gutless public in the history of the world.

I can't scream loud enough. But such as the people of 'Who Ville" we have to make as much noise as we can muster up. Fore the Sheeple just carry on mindlessly un concerned because they have not recognized the seriousness of our situation. This is what must somehow be relayed affectively.
The best way is showing the deception and how the repugs misdirect their attention away from the truth with every bit of media they can use.

With the contemptable Pelosi it seems congress is hopeless too.

Man I could go on and on, but Here I'm talking to the choir.

Let us be relentless and diligent in our efforts.

Common Intelligents.

 

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