iOS app Android app

Cliff Schecter

Cliff Schecter

Posted: September 12, 2007 02:17 PM

Political Imprisonment In America In The Age Of Rove


Is there anything you grew up believing about this country that this venal, vicious, amoral cluster of bleached, hair-club-for-men victims known as "neoconservatives" and "GOP operatives" haven't destroyed?

Seriously, whether it's preemptive war, illegal wiretapping, torture, destruction of an independent press, politicization of the military and bureaucracy of government, etc., they have successfully eradicated so much of what makes this republic great, that God only knows how we will recover.

But this story is particularly sickening. It is something you might expect in the old Soviet Union, China (the GOP's favorite trading partner) or a variety of other totalitarian nations, but I never thought would happen here. I guess this cynic is still a bit naive at times (let me be clear, I know this behavior opccurred in the past--particularly in the Jim Crow South--but thought, however, we were maybe headed toward a brighter future pre-2000 election).

The gist is this: The Republicans couldn't beat Governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat in blood-red Alabama. So they imprisoned him. And a GOP operative who knows the story is coming to DC this coming week to tell all:

Alberto Gonzales is out as attorney general, but there is still a lot of questionable Justice Department activity for Congress to sort through. The imprisonment of Don Siegelman, a former Democratic governor of Alabama, should be at the top of the list. Jill Simpson, an Alabama lawyer and Republican operative, is heading to Washington this week to tell Congressional investigators that she heard prominent Republicans plotting to use the United States attorneys' offices to remove Mr. Siegelman as a political threat. The case should be the focus of a probing Congressional hearing this fall.

If this doesn't make you sick to your stomach, you're either a Maoist or a Republican (same difference these days). There are other suspicious cases as well, like at least one jailing of a high-ranking Democrat in Wisconsin, for example. In other states, these anti-democratic antics are what the fired attorneys refused to engage in, i.e. trumping up case after case against Democrats because that's how Karl Rove likes to win his elections.

What, no grandfather clause reinstatement Karl?

Now, where does that bloated slug of a corpus, Mr. Rove, come up in this matter, you may ask? Well, right here:

If Ms. Simpson is telling the truth, she provides important support for Mr. Siegelman's claim that his prosecution was political. In a sworn affidavit, she says she was on a phone call in November 2002 with Governor Riley's son, Rob Riley, and Bill Canary, a Republican political operative whose wife, Leura Canary, is the United States attorney for Montgomery. According to Ms. Simpson, they were discussing the political threat Mr. Siegelman posed, and Mr. Canary said his "girls" - his wife and Alice Martin, the United States Attorney in Birmingham - would take care of Mr. Siegelman. Ms. Simpson said Mr. Canary also said the case had been discussed with Karl Rove.

The person who needs to be in prison is Rove. If we are to have any healing and move our system back to resembling one of equality under the law and due process--you know those oh-so-unimportant aspects of the democratic process.

To quote former Ambassador Joe Wilson, a "frog-walk" for Karl Rove is would be a start. Not to mention clearing the name of Siegelman, and others like him. Hopefully, that's why Rove and Gonzales scurried out of town, because we're getting just a wee bit closer to that frog march (maybe once again, I am being naive).