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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Collateral damage of DOinJustice

Occupant: The White House had the gall to film a statement in the presence of bereaved families of soldiers killed or wounded in his dirty war in Iraq the other day. Maybe now he will make a statement in the presence of Georgia Thompson of Wisconsin and her family-- a casualty of his party's domestic dirty war? Hah.

The NYT today has picked up the story (which has been out for a while, see below) of Thompson's conviction on corruption charges before last fall's election, which the Republicans used as a campaign issue against Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Recently that conviction was summarily overturned, and strikingly so, by the US Court of Appeals. As the Times writes:
And in an extraordinary move, [the Court of Appeals] ordered her released immediately, without waiting to write a decision. “Your evidence is beyond thin,” Judge Diane Wood told the prosecutor. “I’m not sure what your actual theory in this case is.”
Who was this prosecutor? Why, the US Attorney in Milwaukee, Steven Biskupic: and of course Biskupic was not among those USA's fired for "performance-related reasons". Biskupic took on the case, even though it belonged in the jurisdiction of the USA for Madison. Now ask yourself if this all doesn't sound like what Domenici, et al, wanted David Iglesias to have done in New Mexico. Another, "loyal Bushie" hench-lawyer. Here is the Times' account of events:

While he was investigating, in the fall of 2005, Mr. Biskupic informed the media. Justice Department guidelines say federal prosecutors can publicly discuss investigations before an indictment only under extraordinary circumstances. This case hardly met that test.

The prosecution proceeded on a schedule that worked out perfectly for the Republican candidate for governor. Mr. Biskupic announced Ms. Thompson’s indictment in January 2006. She went to trial that summer, and was sentenced in late September, weeks before the election. Mr. Biskupic insisted in July, as he vowed to continue the investigation, that “the review is not going to be tied to the political calendar.”

But the Thompson case was “the No. 1 issue” in the governor’s race, says the Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman, Joe Wineke. In a barrage of commercials, Mr. Doyle’s opponents created an organizational chart that linked Ms. Thompson — misleadingly called a “Doyle aide” — to the governor. Ms. Thompson appeared in an unflattering picture, stamped “guilty,” and in another ad, her name was put on a graphic of jail-cell doors slamming shut.

Oh dear. One expects partisan campaigns to lie, create guilt by association, and so forth. But until now, one generally assumed that the "justice" system would stand above the fray. Not any more, here in Mugabe-land.

And Georgia Thompson? "Ms. Thompson, a 56-year-old single woman, seems to have lost her home and spent four months in prison simply for doing her job." Prison: yeah, there are some other folks seemingly who need a bit of time there. One of them likely lives in Wisconsin; there are a few others in DC, I reckon.

One last thing: starting last week, TPM reported here, here and here, that Mr. Biskupic had also initially been on the hit-list of USAs to be dismissed, but magically came off and retained his job. Who says ya can't get ahead anymore?


Blogger KISSWeb said...

C'mon, Tim Russert -- Katie Couric -- Matt Lauer -- Chris Matthews, let's see you push this one to the limit! Nancy Grace, where's your outrage now?

11:23 AM  

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