Friday, July 18, 2008

Will the Democrats ensure that justice is served for Siegelman

I’m sitting here in Austin listening to Sam Seder interview Don Siegelman about the horrific actions that Karl Rove orchestrated in order to wrongfully imprison him for 9 months, and even though I knew some of the background, I am frankly shocked as I hear it straight from his mouth.

Once again, as Don said, “all roads lead to Rove”, and here is yet another example of a gross overstepping of any legal or moral lines by Karl Rove - carried out by fellow republicans and more importantly, yet again against a prominent Democrat.

And just as Rove (yet again) has skipped out on testifying before Congress, and just as we see more “sternly worded letters” or “stern comments” by top level Democrats and “significant interest” in investigating Rove and his illegal acts - such letters will be ignored, such subpoenas will be mocked, such comments will be dismissed by republicans, and the story will not be covered nearly enough by the corporate media.

Siegelman has just said that now Congress wants to investigate Rove’s involvement in this - yet another example where Karl Rove is involved in illegal acts against Democrats. Just like the White House emails, just like the prior refusal to testify, just like ignoring other subpoenas, just like the Plame leak, just like the US attorney firings, just like the smear campaigns and every other illegal thing that Rove has done.

There is a website set up called that calls on Congress to make Rove testify or to hold him in contempt of Congress. Besides the obvious call for everyone to visit this site and send a note to Congress, it raises a question that I have been asking for quite some time, as well as a major concern about how the Democratic Party Congressional leadership treats its own.

Why is the Democratic Congressional leadership so unwilling to take all steps to not just investigate abuses of power and crimes by republican members of this administration but ALSO to protect members of its own party who have been wrongfully charged, imprisoned or targeted by Rove and the republican party?

The republican party, for all of its faults, take care of its own. Now granted, usually it is in the form of cover ups and stalling and obstructing justice and commuting of sentences for criminal charges. But they DO take go to great lengths to take care of their own.

The ONLY remedy here for the Democratic Party is to take care of one of their own - a GOVERNOR who was wrongfully charged, convicted and imprisoned for partisan political purposes. It would show that they are not only serious about “having each other’s backs” but also to hold one of the biggest criminals in this country - a criminal who is hated by such a large number of Americans accountable for his illegal acts.

This is a no-brainer. It would be a travesty of justice to not fully investigate and hold Rove in inherent contempt if he refuses to testify, just as it has been a travesty of justice for there to not be full investigations of all of the other crimes committed by this administration (or republican party members) over the past 7 years. These actions, as Sam Seder just said, are corrupting the chief law enforcement department in this country.

To have Rove be the one at the center of this and to hold him accountable would be a bonus. But the bigger picture is how this reflects on Democratic Party leadership. Will they make sure that one of their own is vindicated and that justice is served? A pardon by President Obama of Siegelman would be great. But even if Obama wins and even if he pardons Siegelman, this would not be nearly enough.

Will criminals be held accountable when their actions result in the wrongful imprisonment of a high level Democratic Party member? Or will this be brushed aside with no accountability?

The result of this investigation will go a long way to show whether top Congressional Democrats are more concerned with protecting their own from wrongful and illegal acts, or if they are afraid of “rocking the boat in the name of partisanship”. There is a BIG difference between the two.


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