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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

Why does the Obama administration seem to be covering up crimes of the Bush administration?

That is one of many important issues Larisa Alexandrovna raises in a powerful report at Raw Story.

Writes Alexandrovna:

Why is no one being held accountable? It is one thing to overlook a series of bad choices made in good faith. But the issues at hand have nothing to do with good faith or even bad choices. The allegations of criminal activity and extreme and willful abuses of power by officials of the Bush administration fall directly under the very definition of high crimes. . . .

The Watergate break-in, for example, appears insignificant against the backdrop of the Bush-Cheney legacy. No, the crimes are not small or even limited to a single genre or type of crime. From the outing of a CIA officer for political payback, to the massive illegal domestic surveillance program, to a policy of torture that resulted in multiple homicides; high crimes were committed and more startling, no one has been held to account.

Alexandrovna is particularly outraged at this week's news that federal prosecutors are seeking a 20-year sentence for former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, almost triple his original sentence:

Attorney General Holder stepped into former Senator Ted Steven’s corruption case on the grounds that federal prosecutors behaved unethically and possibly in a criminal way. This was the right decision, but why Stevens and no one else? Why are federal prosecutors demanding harsher sentencing in a case where the prosecutorial misconduct was far worse than it was in the Stevens’ case?

I might be able to answer Alexandrovna's last question; at least I have a theory about it.

In the Stevens case, a federal judge helped point out prosecutorial misconduct. In the Siegelman case, a federal judge was part of the misconduct. And based on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' flawed ruling that upheld much of the Siegelman conviction, it now appears that appellate judges are involved in a cover up of what really took place in Montgomery, Alabama.

My guess is that Attorney General Eric Holder has no problem pointing out, and dealing with, wayward prosecutors. But you can't deal with the Siegelman fiasco without looking into the conduct of corrupt judges. And that goes to the very heart of our justice system.

The Siegelman case shows that our justice is corrupt to its core, that even some of those we call "your honor" are, in fact, dishonorable.

My guess is that Holder simply does not want to deal with that--or, in a best-case scenario--he has not yet figured out how to deal with it.

Barack Obama unquestionably inherited an unholy mess from the Bush administration. And it's unfair to expect it to be solved in four months.

But the crimes in the Bush Justice Department simply must not be papered over. I can understand if Holder needs time to figure out how to tell the American people that their justice system is corrupt from top to bottom.

But he needs to get on the stick. A former governor in Alabama, who committed no crime, is looking at going to prison for the rest of his life.

Originally posted to RogerShuler on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:09 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Was at a Fundraiser with Carl Levin... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn, ohcanada

    ...in September of last year.  He opened up the floor for questions and someone asked him if we could expect any high level prosecutions of Bush admin officials under a Democratic administration.

    His answer was basically, "No."

    He said that there would probably be investigations, and if more information came out it should be acted on appropriately, but it's been pretty clear to everyone on the hill for a pretty long time that the Bush Administration "buck" never stopped with Bush, and probably not several layers of indecency down from there either.

    If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

    by TooFolkGR on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:14:09 AM PDT

    •  I'm not understanding. You're saying that ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caelian, rincewind, dewley notid

      ...the real decision-making regarding torture and other foul decisions by the administration were actually decided on the fifth or sixth tier? That neither Bush nor Cheney nor Rumsfeld had anything to do with those decisions? Or that they insulated themselves against them with plausible deniability?

      "Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?" - Michael Corleone

      by Meteor Blades on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:27:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Personally Do Not Believe That (0+ / 0-)

        But I think the whole thing was designed with that in mind.

        If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

        by TooFolkGR on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:39:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So why not go after Cheney and Rumsfeld (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caelian, rincewind, dewley notid

      and Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, and the whole 2001 formed "White House Iraq Group".

      These guys were the designers of these corrupt policies, along with the Oil Companies, the Rockefellers, and the global Banking Elites, that are bankrupting our own Country for their personal profit and control of global world resources.

      And, please, Bush may have been a puppet, but he was a willing and knowing puppet. Bush is directly responsible and he should be prosecuted. He orchestrated lie after lie after lie, in public, right on TV, over and over in order to kill millions of innocent people.

      _________________
      "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
      people of good conscience to remain silent."
           --Thomas Jefferson

      by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:29:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for sharing this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TooFolkGR

      Sad, but interesting.

  •  The politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn, chrome327

    of excusing torture in the name of National Security-

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." Blaise Pascal ...

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:18:50 AM PDT

  •  And We Are Getting - (4+ / 0-)

    A return to military tribunals, too.
    With hardy a peep from the Kossacks.

    •  kosville has become a haven for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnnygunn

      Obama adminstration activists.

    •  Most of DKOS just roots for D next to the name (4+ / 0-)



      Notice that most of the Diaries are just about cheering the demise of the Republican Party.  While this is understandable, what difference does it really make if the same corrupt and violent policies are just perpetuated by Obama?

      DKOS cares little that all these corrupt Wars, the mass-violence, the Occupations, the reckless killing of innocent people from aerial BOMBINGs, the authoritarian approach to government, the lack of transparency, the lack of any enforcement of the rule of law, the loss of civil liberties, etc. are all going on and on and on.  DKOS cares little that Obama ignored the will of the people and the 2008 Election, and just gave Bush-appointee Robert Gates FOUR More Years he did not deserve to just continue all these corrupt Bush-administration-era War and Orwell policies.

      The grassroots has gotten totally shafted by Obama.

      _________________
      "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
      people of good conscience to remain silent."
           --Thomas Jefferson

      by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:37:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the grassroots don't hang out here much either. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnnygunn

        This is an establishment dominated blog now. Rush the gate, and slam it shut again.

        •  Excuse me, but the anti-Obama "grassroots" (0+ / 0-)

          are alive and well here. What voices dominate the diaries? It's about five to one.

          •  The grassroots are not about 'anti-Obama'.. (5+ / 0-)


            It's about anti-WAR, anti-VIOLENCE, anti-BANKRUPTCY, anti-authoritarism, anti-Orwell.

            And it's about pro-Rule-of-Law, pro-Bill-of-Rights, pro-Civil-Liberties, and having open and honest Constitutional government.

            Obama just happens to be standing in the way, obstructing, and interfering with all those goals, along with shutting out and preventing single-payer advocates from having any voice in the policy making.

            He is on the side of the Bankers, the Insurance Industry, the War-Profiteers, and likes of Robert Gates, James Jones, and the corrupt War designers.

            He's not one of us.
            That's what his actions show.

            _________________
            "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
            people of good conscience to remain silent."
                 --Thomas Jefferson

            by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:02:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who would you put up for election? (0+ / 0-)

              Give me some names.

              •  Russ Feingold (4+ / 0-)

                Al Gore (I know he doesn't want to run anymore, but I can dream)
                Senator Barbara Boxer
                Dennis Kucinich or Robert Wexler for V.P.

                We need people who have some integrity, and who will not go along with the crooked deal...

                _________________
                "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
                people of good conscience to remain silent."
                     --Thomas Jefferson

                by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:24:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                  Some would argue that Gore's part in sanctions against Iraq during the Clinton administration would also make him tainted, plus there is a lot of baggage there.

                  That said, I was hoping to see Feingold's hat in the ring, and I voted for Kucinich in the primary...

                  There is no goal in the "War on Drugs" that couldn't be more effectively met by legalization & regulation.

                  by EthrDemon on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:49:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I like all these people, but (0+ / 0-)

                  they can't win. See, I got this thing about winning.
                  And God bless Al, I love him to death, but he would compromise too.

                  EVERYONE would disappoint. That's the sad truth.
                  If we had a people's revolution and started all over
                  maybe we could make it work this time. But for now, sorry, I see a charismatic winner like Obama the best bet for getting any kind of legislation resembling a progressive agenda.

                  •  Russ Feingold could sure win (0+ / 0-)

                    Why not?

                    Especially if he runs against someone like McCain or Palin or Romney or Guiliani, etc.

                    If any Democrat runs against Jeb Bush they are going to lose, because the Bush's will steal it if they can't win it outright.

                    _________________
                    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
                    people of good conscience to remain silent."
                         --Thomas Jefferson

                    by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 03:46:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I thought we were supposed to crash the gates (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnnygunn, dewley notid, bucadibeppo

          and go after the arrogant and corrupt Establishment...

          _________________
          "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
          people of good conscience to remain silent."
               --Thomas Jefferson

          by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:55:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The dlc dems are just as guilty of most of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caelian

    bad things that lead to war and went on during as Bush,so this predictable.  The dems are protecting their own asses.  The war was a bipartisan fuck up.

    •  It's more than just the DLC (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EthrDemon, bucadibeppo


      The DLC is just one of the components of a whole series of bad corrupting influences on the once-upon-a-time "peoples" Party.

      There is the globalist Council on Foreign Relations (Empire devotees), AIPAC (violent), The Banking lobby, the War Establishment (War profiteers), and the right-wing-Media noise machine all just leading the Democratic Party around by the nose (especially Obama) away from any true or substantive change in the political dialog.

      • Obama could be meeting with Single-Payer advocates in his office right now, but refuses to (he wants that issue to die out).
      • Obama could End all of these failed and bankrupt Wars within 3-4 months, and prosecute "terrorists" through non-chaotic, responsible Law Enforcement & Intell methods, and spare the whole World more mass-violence and heartache.
      • Obama could tell the Bankers to go stuff it, and get their rich friends to bail themselves out if they want to save their crooked businesses, and leave their dirty mitts off the public's money and U.S. Treasury money.
      • Obama could order the DOJ to uphold and apply the rule of Law with no exceptions, and no exemptions (whether you are Bankers, Torturers, Politicians, or CIA thugs), and finally restore this Country's reputation.

      He refuses to do all of these things, even though he has the power.  Obama is just Nancy Pelosi without the pants suit.

      _________________
      "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for
      people of good conscience to remain silent."
           --Thomas Jefferson

      by FreeSociety on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what I find (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EthrDemon, Youffraita, Reetz

    a faulty argument when folks conclude that the Obama Administration is covering up for Bushco.

    The Watergate break-in, for example, appears insignificant against the backdrop of the Bush-Cheney legacy

    Why, yes, yes it does.  And how long did it take for an investigation, impeachment hearings, arrests, convictions and resignation of the President?  That, according to Alexandrova, was small potatoes compared to the massive criminal enterprise we are facing today.

    Do you have evidence that no investigation is currently pending at DOJ?  Hearings are happening in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Just yesterday, Sheldon Whitehouse reacted strongly to the link between torture and finding Saddam Hussein's connection to Al Qaeda.  He said, if true, it is a crime.

    I would love to have an immediate announcement by the DOJ that investigations, subpoenas and grand juries are imminent.  I do not, however, have any evidence that zero is being done by the Administration.  I will be as outraged as anyone else if nothing happens -- but I tend to save my outrage for a more considered period of time.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by gchaucer2 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Triage (0+ / 0-)

    Right now the economy has to take top priority.  The world is dangerously close to entering another Great Depression and preventing this requires great focus.

    Reforming health care is another top priority.  There is momentum for doing something about this now and it's an important factor in stabilizing the economy.

    All work on the economy and health care have to be completed in 2009, preferably before fall.  After that, it becomes an election year and politics prevents anything useful from being accomplished.

    So 2010 will be a good time to go after past crimes, since the administration won't be able to get anything else done.  Plus it's good politics in an election year to show that the opposition party engaged in downright illegal activities that have helped terrorist groups recruit new members.

    Big Joe Helton: "I pay Plenty."
    Chico Marx: "Well, then we're Plenty Tough."

    by Caelian on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:33:20 AM PDT

  •  You anti Obamists just don't get it (3+ / 0-)

    Can't you see?!

    By NOT doing everything we elected him to do ... he is actually getting it done!  Not in the ... you know, "DONE" sense.  But in the sort of metaphorical, take-that-you-GOP-dogs sense.

    See, by SAYING you are going to end DADT ... and then actually not ending it the first moment you could ... you are actually drawing attention to the fact that DADT needs to be ended!  That's GOOD!

    By SAYING you are against being spied on by our government ... and then voting to support TelCom immunity ... you are really sticking it to the TelComs because now ... they never have to face the consequences which means they'll have to live with this for the rest of their lives!

    By SAYING you are going to end Military Tribunals ... and then keeping them in commission ... you are actually tricking everyone into the oldest Reverse Psych trick in the book!  Rush is never going to say he's GLAD Obama is keeping the military tribunals!  Just wait until the GOP starts CLAMMORING to shut them down because Obama won't!

    By SAYING you are against torture ... and then protecting everyone who did it ... you are actually making torture the bane of our existance!  There's no WAY we'll ever torture again!  Who would want to?!  They might end up in the news getting immunity!  How embarrassing!!

    Don't you see?!?!?!  By NOT doing what we elected him to do ... he's actually ... DOING IT!!!!

    Don't you see how BRILLIANT this trategy is?!?!?!?!

    .

  •  are you freakling kidding me? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stunzeed, Reetz
    are you freakign serious?

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:37:03 AM PDT

  •  Hey, what's the Alabama angle here? (0+ / 0-)

    Something isn't right.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:37:44 AM PDT

  •  I'm not a bit surprised (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caelian, oceanspray, bucadibeppo

    At Yearly Kos 2007, there was forum at which the candidates for president took questions. Jeffrey Feldman asked them about the issue of runaway executive power, and added that this was the question most asked by Kossacks.

    The candidates, ex-law professor Obama included, fell all over themselves in an effort to avoid answering it.

    Bottom line: don't expect much of a rollback of the Bush imperial presidency, let alone an effort to hold the Bushies accountable for their abuses of power.

    "You don't know what you don't know. And you'll never know."--former NFL coach Jim Mora.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:40:21 AM PDT

  •  The people who really run this country (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EthrDemon, bucadibeppo

    are not in the executive branch.

    It's a bit of a myth to think that they are.  But then again, America is built on myths 100%.

    William Casey "We will know that we have succeeded when everything the public believes is false"

    by Inky99 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:06:04 AM PDT

  •  Here's another good article (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bucadibeppo, chrome327

    entitled, "We Tortured To Justify War."

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." Blaise Pascal ...

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:19:54 AM PDT

  •  Do you think (0+ / 0-)

    their plan was to avoid prosecution by being so overwhelmingly criminal that no one would know where to begin going after them?

    "The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is to not think at all" Sir Peter Medawar

    by J Edward on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:21:27 AM PDT

    •  I think you raise a good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J Edward

      Maybe the question is: Is it easier to clean up a little mess or a big mess?

      My guess is it's probably a lot harder to deal with a big mess.

      I think that's one reason Holder acted in the Stevens case. You could pretty easily point a finger at wrongdoing by prosecutors.

      It's much more complicated in the Siegelman case. You have a corrupt trial judge, now what appears to be a corrupt appellate panel, an ugly trail that leads probably to the Bush White House. Some reports have indicated that Bush himself was keeping up with, and knew all about, the Siegelman prosecution.
      So you perhaps open up dirty laundry on one of the nation's best-known families.

      Holder must be thinking: Gee, how do I deal with this? Hope it goes away?

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