Welcome To His Nightmare
I get that the administration may not feel that it can anger the intelligence community or the military by pursuing wrongdoing in the GWOT years under Bush. Ok, they don't want those headaches and fear that all the patriotic spooks and soldiers will refuse to do their jobs and allow Americans to be killed if there's even the slightest chance they could be held accountable for illegal acts. Right. Fine.
But I really wish someone could explain this ongoing Kafkaesque nightmare to me:
When the Obama Administration argued in a filing earlier this month that the Supreme Court should not consider an appeal by Don Siegelman, the former Alabama governor wasn't surprised, even though the Obama filing maintained the Bush-era stance in Siegelman's controversial corruption case.
"There's really been no substantial change in the heart of the Department of Justice from the Bush-Rove Department of Justice," Siegelman tells TPMmuckraker in an interview.
Siegelman, a Democrat, served roughly nine months in prison after his 2006 bribery conviction. He was ordered released pending appeal in March 2008. The case, which has been dogged by allegations of politicization and prosecutorial misconduct -- including links to Karl Rove -- centers on what the government called a pay-to-play scheme in which Siegelman appointed a large donor to a state regulatory board.
Siegelman has asked the Supreme Court to consider the definition of bribery, arguing that he merely engaged in routine political transactions. But, in the Nov. 13 filing that raised Siegelman's hackles, Obama's solicitor general argued that "corrupt intent" had been established in the trial.
While Solicitor General Elena Kagan was appointed by Obama, Siegelman says the DOJ staffers who are giving advice and making decisions on his case are the same people who were at the department under Bush. "The people who have been writing the briefs for the government are the same people who were involved in the prosecution," he says.
The filing by the DOJ is a sign that the Obama Administration intends to stay the course in the case, despite entreaties to review it, including a letter from 75 former state attorneys general.
What am I missing here? I realize that this is the most egregious case of DOJ political involvement during the Bush years and the one that most closely involves Rove since Alabama was his personal stomping ground. But is the Obama Justice department really not even having disinterested parties reviewing this case? Are they so afraid of being "partisan" that they are actually taking Rove's side in a monumental miscarriage of justice? If that's true, it's absolutely appalling.
This was a partisan prosecution designed purely to destroy a political opponent and install a member of the president's party into office. It was allegedly engineered from the White House. There is nothing that could be more corrupting to democracy than something like that. Presidents have been asked to resign for similar things. To let that go is a grave, grave mistake.