Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Dear Mr. Holder:

Posted by Charles II on May 18, 2009

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

I am writing to express deep concern about the unequal standard of justice applied to Governor Don Siegelman, to demonstrate that it seems to be part of a broad pattern of selective prosecution under your leadership, and to explain why if it continues it will lead to a breakdown in the Department of Justice.

The Siegelman case was one of a number of cases prosecuted by the Bush Department of Justice which appeared to be politically motivated and in which it was unclear that there was any underlying crime. Two of the charges against Mr. Siegelman have been dismissed, there is evidence of misbehavior by both the prosecution and the jury, and yet the prosecutors just recommended that his sentence be increased! One cannot help but contrast this with the trial of Senator Ted Stevens, in which the Senator seemed to have corruptly accepted favors but was let off with an apology because of prosecutorial misconduct. There are other cases of suspect prosecutions, such as that of Paul Minor, where prosecutorial vindictiveness rather than a commitment to doing justice seems to be in the ascendant, and no steps taken to redress the wrongs. How can this be called justice?

[The letter goes on to point out that torture, the 100 homicides of detainees, and the US attorney scandal are all things that probably need a bit of prosecuting].

You too, can write to ask Eric Holder why the Department of Justice is behaving as oddly as it is.

10 Responses to “Dear Mr. Holder:”

  1. Thanks for this, Charles.

    Part of the problem is of course in the DoJ itself. Stevens’ case, per some persons with knowledge, got messed up because the Bush hires that prosecuted it were incompetent and malfeasant beyond belief. Yet getting rid of them is difficult right now because DoJ had already been cut to the bone under Bush and it would lose what little institutional memory it has.

  2. Charles said

    I think that a little electroshock therapy and all the forgetting they can accomplish is in order, PW. The first rule of incompetent people is that you get rid of them so that they don’t screw up more things.

    I know that with civil service rules, this is not easy. So, assign them to prosecuting the pornography and marijuana cases, where the damage to the nation would be the least.

  3. omen said

    wonder if the prosecutor, who interviewed karl rove, asked him about this case.

    via lat:

    Rove is also tentatively scheduled to provide closed-door testimony to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and other members of the panel next month.

  4. Stormcrow said

    I think the bottom line here is that Holder was an Obama choice, not a Bush/Cheney choice.

    What that means is that most likely, Don Siegelman will rot in prison for the rest of his natural life, for the crime of being an embarrassment to a sitting Emperor President.

    It also means that the results of a Presidential election no longer matter.

    It also means that due process and the rule of law are meaningless, if you have given offense to someone at a high enough level in the aristocracy.

  5. Charles II said

    I hope you’re wrong, Stormcrow.

    The lawyer for Jill Dana Simpson, the whistleblower who provided the information that exposed this case, feels pretty optimistic about the appeal. My guess is that as long as public attention is not focused, these people are willing to let process play out at its own leisurely rate. That’s the usual organizational approach for which government bureaucracies are so well known. It avoids criticism.

    The problem is that here there is an innocent man, who is suffering has suffered in jail and piling on debt to do the appeal. It's time to slice through process– just as they did in the Stevens case– and do justice.

  6. Stormcrow said

    The only thing I see Barack Obama “slicing through” is the quaint notion of constitutional constraints upon the executive branch of government.

    Of course, he’s hardly the first American monarch President to do that.

    But he is the one putting the finishing shot home, after the firing squads of the last 40 years have turned the concept into Swiss cheese.

    He’s also putting paid to the faintest glimmer of hope that some sub-microscopic form of accountability of the high to the low will remain in place.

    I always considered the odds that he’d betray us all were unreasonably high. But I had no idea just how broad the scope of that betrayal would be, or how soon or how completely it would take place.

    Somebody, I’m not quite sure who, said some months ago that the “class war” had been a reality for the last 40 years, and that the middle class had lost that war.

    I guess most of us now know which side Barack Obama was on. Not that Dobson’s handpicked lunatic would have been any better, once McCain had gone to his hypocrite’s grave.

  7. Charles II said

    You may be thinking of Warren Buffett, who said, “It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.” – CNN Interview, May 25 2005, though the quote goes back much further, probably two decades, perhaps to Molly Ivins or Jim Hightower or Ralph Nader.

    But this is very old news. The upper class always engages in class warfare, and they almost always win. Remember that the New Deal only brought to America a social welfare state that had become the norm in Bismarck’s Germany 50 years earlier. We are much more powerful than we suppose, if we are willing to work together. That’s why divide-and-conquer politics is so central.

    I do think Obama has forgotten how quickly life can get uncomfortable if he betrays his promises. But we should not want to go down that road, because if he fails, this nation will fail with him. Rather, we should want to make him aware of the real situation through pressure. And above all, we should learn to work together, because solidarity and constancy of purpose is what will end the arrogance.

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