The big news story of the past week was that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer had been patronizing prostitutes, and, in the glare of the media spotlight, quickly gave up his office.x40 But evidence points to a bigger story — that the Bush Justice Department did a hit on a Democratic enemy of its crony financial corporations. Consider that:
- Bush has put in place a warrantless wiretapping program, where the NSA is hooked into phone company data switches.x41 So the investigation could have started with a phone call or email turned up by that program, rather than a bank routinely notifying the feds of a suspicious money transfer, as has been reported.x42
- The FBI has charged the prostitution ring operators under the notorious Mann Act, a law against taking a woman across state lines for illegal sexual activity.x43 That musty law has a history of use for political hits, such as in 1944 when the feds prosecuted Charlie Chaplin for having an affair, in an attempt to run that politically progressive movie maker out of the country.
- Instead of targeting crime, such as the unsolved September 2001 anthrax attack on Congress, the Bush Justice Department has targeted persons.x44 Bush fired department prosecutors who did not prove themselves “loyal Bushies” by rushing prosecutions of Democrats before the 2006 election.x45x46
- The Spitzer case came from a full-blown investigation by the Justice Department’s tainted Public Integrity Section. During the Bush era, when Republican cronies have wasted many billions of taxpayer dollars, that division has opened six cases against Democrats for every one against a Republican.x47x48
- Before notching Spitzer, the Bush regime had already brought down a Democratic governor, Don Siegelman of Alabama. On election night 2002, Siegelman went to bed thinking he was re-elected governor, but some Republicans officials stayed up, found a “glitch” in the voting machinery, and flipped 6,000 votes to the Republican candidate, putting him on top. Siegelman proclaimed the election stolen.x49x50 Then in 2006, while running to reclaim the governorship, federal prosecutors got a loyal Bushie judge to take flimsy bribery charges (based on false evidence), and run Siegelman straight into federal prison, where he sits today.x51
- Spitzer, who made his reputation as the “Sheriff of Wall Street”, fighting big-time financial fraud, tied the Bush regime to the the sub-prime mortgage crisis.x52 Last month he wrote: “The [sub-prime lending] tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, [the Bush administration] will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.“x53
- One day after the sex scandal broke, and effectively silenced Spitzer, the government turned another page in the sub-prime mortgage scandal.x54 The Federal Reserve Board pledged to lend out 200 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to banks, taking shaky mortgages as collateral.x55
So, weighing this evidence, which was the bigger story last week: “Politician Caught with Pants Down” or “Bush Gang Cuts Down Sheriff of Wall Street”?
Front Page, 2008-03-13, The Queens Chronicle
An employee of a major investment bank, who requested anonymity, said the company chef had been instructed to break out bottles of champagne so that the staff could party and swap jokes about “client No. 9″ (i.e. Spitzer). New York Post
While the FBI has made gains in its scientific capabilities and understanding of anthrax, its slowness to move and its lack of direction in the early stages of the investigation led to missed opportunities. In this age when we face a new kind of enemy, we need to be able to adapt our counterterrorism and law enforcement strategies to meet the threat.
We ought to use this fifth anniversary of the attack to rededicate ourselves to solving the crime and ensuring that we are better prepared to confront similar attacks.
First, the FBI and the Justice Department must treat this investigation with urgency. Solving the crime would send an important message to the perpetrator(s), to those who are contemplating similar attacks and to the American people.
[Future chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, D. Kyle] Sampson wrote, “we would like to replace 15-20 percent of the current U.S. Attorneys — the underperforming ones . . . The vast majority of U.S. Attorneys, 80-85 percent, I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies, etc., etc.”
Five of the eight [fired federal prosecutors] were either aggressively prosecuting Republicans or else failing to prosecute Democrats to the satisfaction of local politicians.
Note that this prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions. During the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has opened 5.6 cases against Democrats for every one involving a Republican. Beyond this, a number of the cases seem to have been tied closely to election cycles. Indeed, a study of the cases out of Alabama shows clearly that even cases opened against Republicans are in fact only part of a broader pattern of going after Democrats.
A … key figure from the Alabama clan of [Jack] Abramoff associates is Dan Gans, … a Republican “voting technology expert” who played a mysterious role in the 2002 gubernatorial election—he was in Republican controlled Bay Minette, Alabama, when 6,000 votes inexplicably shifted from Siegelman’s column to Riley’s due to a “computer glitch.” Now this is significant for a number of reasons. The likelihood that this was an innocent “computer glitch” in which only one single candidate—Don Siegelman—lost votes is approximately zero.
… [Siegelman] describes having gone to bed on Election Night after having been declared the victor by 6,000 votes following the publicly-counted results. But then, he was then awoken at about 4:30am with the shocking news that the numbers had magically been flipped after the all-Republican Election Board in Baldwin County had “re-counted” the results, illegally, by themselves, after midnight.
Seigelman’s only guess about what could have happened: “Somebody electronically manipulated the election results.”
The results were then certified immediately by the Republican AG who denied a legally requested hand-count, and the votes were then immediately sealed and locked away beyond reach.
“This elections was stolen,” Seigelman alleges in the video, “There is no other kind, or sugar-coated way to say it.”
Last Sunday, CBS aired its long-awaited feature on the prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman.
The CBS piece, … came through on its promise to deliver several additional bombshells. The most significant of these was the disclosure that prosecutors pushed the case forward and secured a conviction relying on evidence that they knew or should have known was false, and that they failed to turnover potentially exculpatory evidence to defense counsel. The accusation was dramatically reinforced by the Justice Department’s failure to offer a denial.
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