Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for December 15th, 2009

Some good news on Paul Minor and others

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2009

Scott Horton writes:

Federal prosecutors who brought a controversial corruption prosecution against trial lawyer Paul Minor and two Mississippi judges, Wes Teel and John Whitfield, suffered a one-two punch in federal courts this week. The result is that Minor, Teel, and Whitfield are now all likely to be freed.

An opinion handed down in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans struck down convictions for bribery, finding that the charges, even if true, did not actually constitute a crime….The charges took the novel view that campaign contributions and campaign finance assistance can be viewed as bribes paid to judges. But this rationale was applied to only one side of the political ledger.

This is how despicable the Republican-controlled justice system became. Democrats were judged to have accepted bribes simply for accepting campaign contributions, even though they could not be said to have done anything in return. Republicans were never similarly charged, as of course they should not be.

The Southern courts are heavily stacked with Republicans, so the Appeals Court that is rectifying this case, as well as the Supreme Court which is likely to throw out other charges as unconstitutional, are Republican. Nor are the hands of the Obama Justice Department clean, though whether that is due to Monica Goodling hires or to Eric Holder is unclear.

But the wrongful charges were brought by Republicans, tried by Republicans and wrongfully judged by Republicans. Paul Minor spent time in jail. His wife died while he was there, and he was prevented from being with her, even briefly, near the end by Republicans. There is a deep evil in what was done to him.

By Republicans.


Posted in activist judges, corruption, Department of Injustice, Don Siegelman, evil | 11 Comments »

Honduras, Act VI, Day 15

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2009

Update: The dictatorship has been busy pinning medals to one another. RNS has the latest list.

Micheletti continues to not resign.
Radio Globo. Food prices, government budget, and the economy. 2% GDP contraction. A rooster crows in the background. Pretendisent Lobo says that he will not hang around in his office. He promises a humanistic Christian presidency.

Channel 36: At the hospital, Hospital Escuela, there is “not so much as an aspirin.” [Later] People are complaining that the government is not paying them. They are talking about Walter Trochez [see below]. He was tortured terribly, then shot in the chest. Bertha Caceres says she blames Gen. Vasquez Velasquez. The Director of Hospital Escuela speaks, describing a long list of problems. We have been seeing a lot of trauma victims, he says.

A gay rights activist, Walter Trochez, was murdered by people men dressed as police. Who we might guess were… police. 16 people from the gay community have been murdered during the coup.

The Grand National Dialogue, led by the Wolf (Lobo) himself begins with one of the parties at the table. Most attendees were from the Civic Democratic Union, which supported the coup. Five high-tension power lines were toppled in Yoro. These were wood, and were chopped down with an axe.

Via Adrienne, an article by Laura Carlsen in The Nation:

Honduras now faces a deeper political crisis than it did before the elections. The resistance movement has vowed not to recognize the Lobo government and has announced that it is moving on to create a broad national front to demand a return to the rule of law, the punishment of human rights violators and constitutional reforms.

Grassroots organization of farmers, feminists, union members and students has dramatically increased in the months of military occupation. Building on this will be a challenge, but the movement understands that it’s in for the long haul.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 14 Comments »

The next coup?

Posted by Charles II on December 15, 2009

Latin America is jumpy. The latest bad thing to happen is a threat issued against Cristina Kirchner. She was traveling from her residence to the city center by helicopter when a voice broke in to the communications band saying, “Kill the old bag. Kill her” and five seconds of a march associated with the former dictatorship was played. There is a currently a trial of the captain of the frigate Alfredo Astiz and 18 Marines over crimes against humanity committed in the Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada during that dictatorship. The message arrived at the moment the trial began.

In TeleSur, Fidel Castro, the ultimate survivor, says that the US is planning a new coup against Venezuela. I don’t think he’s right. I suspect the US is simply planning to influence the elections that are coming up in many countries. The US would be blamed for any coup, and at some point, the stench will get to be too much even for our allies. But meddling in elections is easy and almost invisible.

Posted in Latin America | 1 Comment »

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