Monday, June 16, 2008

The New York Times finally notices: the LYNCH MOB PROSECUTION of Alabama's former Dem. Governor Don Siegelman. How timely....

The New York Times finally notices: the LYNCH MOB PROSECUTION of Alabama's former Dem. Governor Don Siegelman, who was ROBBED of his winning re-election win by the usual Republican "middle of nigh vote counting crew behind locked doors" "discovery" of some 5,000 previously uncounted votes. Gov. Siegelman took his 2002 election "defeat" in stride, but when he had the temerity to protest the vote rigging, and pledged to run for governor again.... KARL ROVE and the Bush White House SICKED FEDERAL PROSECUTORS on Siegelman, INCLUDING US ATTORNEY Leura Canary - the WIFE of Bill Canary, SENIOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR to Seigelman's Republican opponent, Republican nominee and Governor (by the above disputed election count) BOB RILEY!

The New York Times, the leading pro-war Neo-Con media organization in America (far more influential than even Rupert Murdoch's Fox "news" or Rev. Sung Yung Moon's Washington Times) actually deigns to take notice of the Karl Rove orchestrated partisan mugging of Governor Siegelman.

But even so, notice the bland, uninformative headline the Times' neo-con editors assign to the commentary - the old "Nothing to see here, move along, move along" theme. Were a Democratic administration to have put a Republican Governor in prison with such a partisan prosecution that quashed conflicting evidence, the Times editors would be putting that story on the front page, under blaring headlines.


[The Seigelman Prosecution in Alabama by Republican prosecutors smacks of]

a New York Times eitorial board editorial
Published: June 16, 2008

Don Siegelman, the former Alabama governor, is asking a federal appeals court to throw out his conviction on dubious corruption charges. His appeal has some surprising backers: a bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general has submitted a brief on his behalf. Congress is also investigating charges that Mr. Siegelman was politically targeted.

Skip to next paragraph
The Board Blog
Additional commentary, background information and other items by Times editorial writers.

Go to The Board » Mr. Siegelman was the Democrats’ strongest candidate to retake the Alabama governorship, and Congress has uncovered evidence that the United States attorney’s office in Montgomery — with possible White House input — may have decided to prosecute him to undermine his campaign. The former presidential adviser Karl Rove, who has been accused of pushing to have Mr. Siegelman indicted, has been subpoenaed by both the House and Senate, but has refused to testify.

While Congress examines those allegations, Mr. Siegelman is asking the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, to reverse his case on the law. Mr. Siegelman was accused of reappointing Richard Scrushy, then the chief executive of HealthSouth, to a health care board in exchange for a contribution to a referendum campaign for a state lottery.

Mr. Siegelman was convicted of bribery and related crimes and sentenced to more than seven years, and served nine months before being freed on appeal.

Laws against bribery must be used carefully. It is not a crime for an elected official to appoint a campaign contributor to a position. If it were, many ambassadors and judges — and the presidents and governors who appointed them — would be in jail. And partisan prosecutors would have far too much power to punish elected officials they did not like.

For an appointment to be illegal, there needs to be an express quid pro quo — something the prosecutors did not prove in Mr. Siegelman’s case.

Even the highly partisan Bush Justice Department appears to be losing confidence in its case. It originally appealed Mr. Siegelman’s sentence, hoping to add more than 20 years. It recently withdrew the appeal without explanation.

Congress should compel Mr. Rove to testify. And it should keep investigating this prosecution and what role crass politics may have played. While it does, the 11th Circuit should cast a skeptical eye on this case, based on the law and the facts.