Thursday, August 30, 2007

Did Rove and Gonzo Flee Siegelman Backlash?

Why did Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzalez choose now to get out of Dodge?

I have long believed that once the purged U.S. Attorneys, Carol Lam in particular, were able to get their stories out to the media the clear obstruction of justice by Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales would lead to their ouster, possibly their arrest. Lam's story in particular looks like it goes right into Dick Cheney's bank account.

But could they have run like hell because another, yet (natioanlly) unknown scandal was close to breaking?

Let's think back: When the purge became a large news story many observers made the point that while firing eight (that number moves around a lot) perfectly competent, in some cases exemplary, U.S. attorneys for a variety of ruthless political purposes is appalling, the damage done by the other eighty-odd loyal Bushie U.S. Attorneys was the real story.

Enter un-fired Alabama U.S. Attorney, Leura Canary. Wife of a notorious state politico William Canary. Confirmed with the first crop of Bush USAs in 2001, Leura Canary went on to prosecute former Democratic Alabama Governor (1999-2003) Don Siegelman. Siegelman (website) is in prison right now serving seven years after his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2006.

When Siegelman lost his 2002 re-election campaign to Republican Rep. Bob Riley, the margin was incredibly slim. Six thousand votes materialized in the dead of night giving Riley a three thousand-vote victory.

After years of continued, bitter partisan sparring between Riley and Siegelman, Canary was brought in with, according to a whistleblower, orders from Karl Rove and the backing of the Justice Department.

Now one of the key witnesses against Siegleman is up for sentencing in his plea deal, and the judge, perhaps compelled by distrust of Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department, suddenly doesn't want to allow that witness to walk despite the prosecution's recommendation.

From Harpers:

The House Judiciary Committee and its staff are continuing their preparations for hearings looking into serious irregularities surrounding the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, now imprisoned in Texas. As hearings loom ever more likely in Washington, the anxiety level in the U.S. Attorney’s Office run by Mrs. William Canary seems to be reaching the breaking point. Is a mild sedative in order?

How else to explain the latest bizarre eruption in the Courtroom of Judge Mark Everett Fuller? At a hearing to sentence former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, who cooperated with the prosecution and who the prosecution wanted to let off without time, Judge Fuller disagreed, insisting that Bailey serve time. Then Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Feaga offered this, as reported by the Associated Press:

The judge either didn't like Bailey's face or he thought this whole thing stunk bad, because he sent Baily up for 18 months.

Along the way, Canary recused herself from the case, but now Congress has subpoenaed her recusal papers and continue to investigate.

If Rove is made to sit down with Congress, this will come up and I will be monitoring the situation.

Hard to say exactly how hard Siegelman got screwed in this. He was convicted by a jury--though that jury had an emailing problem--so maybe he was a crook. Either way, independent judgment had no part in this prosecution. The integrity of the system was destroyed so Rove and Riley could eliminate a popular political adversary who was the only viable Democrat in a very red state.

Incidentally, Shit Daisy and Gonzo made it out of town ahead of the storm, and surprisingly, all anyone can talk about is toe-tappin' Larry Craig. Amazing how that months-old story just happened to leak the day after Gonzo absconded.

While Rove and Gonzo have reason to dread the outrage this story could generate, I'm thinking the accumulated damage sustained by both men on many fronts led them to the realization that their jobs were untenable. Of course, publicly leaving office doesn't mean you can't keep doing that job. Not in this administration.

Oh, and as bad as the misconduct is in this story, you'll likely never hear about it again.

AUDIO: If you didn't get all that, because I didn't get all that and I wrote it, Thom Hartmann tells the entire epic his way over the course of his first two segments of today's show.
Get this widget | Share | Track details

TAGS: , , ,

No comments: