Travis Hardin Home : Essays : Siegelman Trial
From the LocSec: The Siegelman Trial
By Travis Hardin November 2007
Originally published in the newsletter of North Alabama Mensa
"When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross" --Sinclair Lewis, 1935
Again I mount the soapbox to talk of important matters, which is also your privilege. By the time you read this, the House Committee on the Judiciary will have heard allegations of selective prosecution by the justice department and its federal prosecutors, which is running 7:1 against Democrats. The circumstances of Governor Don Siegelman’s conviction and imprisonment is one of several stories to be told there. Those circumstances have made the New York Times and have been headlined in Time magazine, but non-independent Alabama newspapers have been nearly silent.
Democrats in power can be as corrupt as Republicans–but 7:1 as corrupt, without access to the spoils? An alternate hypothesis is that the justice department, especially under Gonzales, used the machinery of government for political prosecutions.
Indeed that is the story revealed by Jill Simpson, a Republican lawyer from Rainsville who "was shocked...to learn of the U.S. Department of Justice’s selective prosecution of Democrats", and saw "a legal duty...to report anything... unethical or illegal..." Her sworn statement is that she participated in a conference call with Alabama Republican leaders when the successful attempt to prosecute Siegelman was plotted. She has claimed under oath that in late 2002, she participated in a conference call in which a high-ranking Alabama Republican, William Canary, bragged that the U.S. attorney's office run by his wife would prosecute Siegelman; she said she was told of direct intervention by the president's adviser, Karl Rove, to prod the Department of Justice to approve an indictment against the former governor. The prosecution went judge-shopping and found a Bush Republican. Other indicted Democrats have similar stories they will tell.
The entire Bush administration, the hypothesis goes, is using the executive branch for political, financial, and right-wing religious ends. The Bush administration, with Cheney’s leadership, has made a power grab that claims for this president the powers of a king. A gang has taken our government. By gang, I mean a group that pursues common goals, usually illegally, using their apparent positions as merely cover, while their real loyalty is to each other. Gangs may recognize each other though signs, such as US-flag lapel pins.
The evidence of executive vice is everywhere you turn except the front pages of the newspapers. In Iraq, corruption has been at the center of the entire mission. Workers in the Bremer administration had to be right-wing Republican Christians. Soldiers and cadets are proselytized by their superiors. At home, only Bush Republicans are appointed as judges and prosecutors. The Bush FCC doesn’t oppose media monopolies. Government scientists are forced to deny the facts about global warming and pollution.
Black is white. I ask you: If it takes lies and intimidation to support a cause, is that cause in need of your support?
What do the people say about the takeover? They trample each other to get into formation first, to line up, and to say "Yes, sir" the loudest. The first to rush into formation are the supreme court and the Congress. Invade Iran? "Yes, sir!" The president needs more power? "Yes, sir!" Fascist-leaning governments speak to our primitive brains. It takes freedom from coercion, time, and thought by the cerebral cortex for reason to kick in.
Does the gang yet have such a hold on power and on our primitive
brains that they will declare the next election invalid? No, that’s too
risky. The military might rise up. Why not, as secretly as possible,
use the sacred power of one’s office to threaten, imprison, and make
examples of political opposition so no one will run for office? We’re
updated April 2016