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Senate, Obama Administration Join Deadly Alabama Political Farce Surrounding Don Siegelman


COMMENT: Appoint­ing a quin­tes­sen­tial fox to guard the Alaba­ma polit­i­cal chick­en house, the U.S. Sen­ate, fol­low­ing Oba­ma’s shame­ful lead, sees fit to ignore the “body count” dis­cussed in FTR #742.

Worth remem­ber­ing in the con­text of Alaba­ma polit­i­cal mis­chief is the fact that the the state’s Air Nation­al Guard was under the super­vi­sion of the gov­er­nor of that state, as were the records of George W. Bush’s alleged ser­vice in that body.

Those records were a focal point of con­tro­ver­sy in what should have been a scan­dal stem­ming from the inquiry into Bush’s ser­vice record, dis­cussed in inter­views with Russ Bak­er about Fam­i­ly of Secrets.

Note in the milieu that enabled the Beck nom­i­na­tion were “Democ­rats” tied to Karl Rove and the GOP, rather like the Tony Rezko milieu in Chica­go, dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 654, 655,

Once again, the inci­sive political/legal blog Legal Schnau­zer lays it down:

“Coverup in the Siegel­man Case Now Extends to the U.S. Sen­ate”; Legal Schnau­zer; 7/5/2011.

EXCERPT: While many Amer­i­cans were prepar­ing to eat bar­be­cue and shoot fire­works for the Fourth of July, the U.S. Sen­ate engaged in an extra­or­di­nary act of cowardice–not to men­tion neglect of duty.

The Sen­ate approved by voice vote on June 30 the appoint­ment of George Beck as U.S. attor­ney for the Mid­dle Dis­trict of Alaba­ma. Beck replaces Leu­ra Canary, the Bush appointee who helped turn the Don Siegel­man case into per­haps the most noto­ri­ous polit­i­cal pros­e­cu­tion in Amer­i­can his­to­ry.

But here’s the kick­er: Beck also played a promi­nent and high­ly ques­tion­able role in the Siegel­man case. Beck­’s nom­i­na­tion was an oppor­tu­ni­ty for sen­a­tors to grill a key fig­ure in the Siegel­man pros­e­cu­tion, to help deter­mine how the U.S. jus­tice sys­tem went bad­ly off track in the Bush years.

The Sen­ate, how­ev­er, elect­ed to punt, giv­ing Beck a free pass into his new posi­tion and throw­ing an extra  load of dirt onto a coverup of Bush-era crim­i­nal­i­ty. For pro­gres­sives who once had hope for the Barack Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion on jus­tice mat­ters, con­sid­er this: Beck is an Oba­ma nom­i­nee, and the Sen­ate is con­trolled by Democ­rats.

Have Democ­rats come to “own” Bush/Rove scan­dals that made a mock­ery of the U.S. con­sti­tu­tion? It sure looks that way from here.

Why does the Beck “con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing” emit such a foul odor? Andrew Kreig, direc­tor of the D.C.-based Jus­tice Integri­ty Project, pro­vides answers in a splen­did overview piece out today:

The U.S. Sen­ate approved by voice vote June 30 a new U.S. attor­ney for Alaba­ma, there­by extend­ing a series of dis­graces blight­ing the fed­er­al jus­tice sys­tem in that state and nation­al­ly. The Sen­ate vot­ed to approve George Beck, 69, to run the Mid­dle Dis­trict office in Alabama’s cap­i­tal city of Mont­gomery. The Sen­ate failed to require that Beck, right, appear at a hear­ing to answer ques­tions about a host of pend­ing issues.

The most impor­tant ques­tion is how he could super­vise per­son­nel in that office who framed for­mer Alaba­ma Gov. Don Siegel­man after Beck him­self rep­re­sent­ed the main wit­ness who helped secure con­vic­tions. It remains as the nation’s most noto­ri­ous polit­i­cal pros­e­cu­tion of the past decade. In 2008, CBS 60 Min­utes report­ed that DOJ’s pros­e­cu­tors coached and threat­ened Beck’s client Nick Bai­ley in up to 70 inter­ro­ga­tions with­out required dis­clo­sure to the defense. Our Jus­tice Integri­ty Pro­jec­t’s four-part inves­tiga­tive series cit­ed below explains fur­ther why Beck’s role is espe­cial­ly dis­turb­ing. . . .


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