Thursday, March 22, 2007

Practical Applications of Purge Paranoia

The U.S. Attorney Purge grows more mythic by the day. The ramifications of these indefensible misdeed are myriad and of epic proportions. Similarities between The Purge and Watergate are obvious. By comparison, Watergate pales into insignificance. Whitewater looks like a speck of sand on the beach next to the leviathan that is this scandal. Bush, Rove, Cheney, Gonzalez and many others at the next highest level of government could (should) go down because of this.

So large is this turn of events that it almost defies narration. What we know now can't be squeezed into a blogpost. Even round-ups, a form I am quite fond of, fail to contain the scope of this baby.

I will narrow my focus here to one story. This one has not widely been covered in this wicked shitstorm of information, but it seems to characterize the taint placed on our entire government by this case.

From The Miami Herald:

Former Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, sentenced to almost six years in prison for his fraudulent purchase of a South Florida gambling fleet, can receive a reduced sentence if he continues to assist prosecutors in a far-reaching Washington public corruption probe, federal officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. attorney's office in Miami filed the paperwork seeking to reduce Abramoff's 70-month prison term stemming from the SunCruz Casinos case, but did not specify any time off his sentence.

Instead, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Paul Huck to delay that decision until a hearing is held to weigh Abramoff's value as a witness in the Washington influence-peddling investigation.

I placed the words "The U.S. attorney's office in Miami" in bold, italics and a larger than usual font because those are the key words here. This deal is being negotiated by THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN MIAMI and JACK ABRAMOFF'S ATTORNEYS. The result of these negotiations is that Abramoff's jail time is going to be reduced. Do I have to spell this out? Every U.S. Attorney retained in this scam Karl Rove cooked up is tainted, because if they weren't tainted, they would have been fired.

Is there any doubt that Abramoff's sentence will be reduced and at the end of the day, all his alleged co-operation will amount to nothing at all? "That's justice for ya," is what they'll tell us. "We didn't have a case."

Maybe the conclusion I have jumped to is wrong. Doesn't matter. It's clear that the obvious politicizing of the Justice Department by the Bush Administration has only increased the density of the Orwellian clouds hanging over Bush's America. If you ever trusted them before, how can you trust them now or ever again?

UPDATE: For a clear example of the same kind of conflicts of interests caused by politcial meddling in prosecutions and investigations, there's the government's case against the tobacco industry. Not surprising that this case comes up as an appendage to the current scandal because anytime the winner in a court case says "wait, let the loser pay me $10 billion instead of $130 billion." I know I go around asking for $120 billion less than I'm entitled to in all my court cases. Want my card? I'm a great lawyer, really.

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