Friday, March 16, 2007

Gonzo's Great Masquerade

There are two absolute truths in life, I have discovered. Behind every good man is a great woman, and behind every news story is the truth, sometimes way behind.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, (D) Ill., made a startling yet simple statement on the floor today. A statement that is probably going to fade from the forefront due to the media feeding frenzy of mainstream journalists tasting the blood of an impending doom over Attorney General "Gonzo's" expected short tenure.

"Today, as we learn more about the Attorney General's failure of leadership, many are eager to debate the future of Attorney General Gonzales and whether he will remain in office. But as we examine how these U.S. Attorneys were fired, we must not lose sight of the real story. What is happening to these ongoing public corruption investigations, from southern California to Nevada to Arizona to New Mexico?"

The plot thickens. So what about these "public corruption cases"? Where do we stand with this, and what exactly is Emanuel referring to? Well, I am so glad you asked!
Going back as far as January 19 of this year, Scott Lilly of The Center For American Progress wrote this in a piece called "Blood on the Courthouse Floor"

In an article headlined, “Bush Removal Ended Guam Investigation,” The Los Angeles times reported that “a U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.” With at least six prominent federal prosecutors recently removed from office, many of them managing large scale public corruption cases, many are wondering if history is not repeating itself.

Oh, and that brings me around to my third absolute truth, history always stutters. ( I know I said two absolute truths at the beginning of this post, but ask anyone you know, things always happen in threes.)

So what are these "stutters" actually? Well, Lilly goes on in his piece to describe the most prominent and known infractions as these...

"Among those fired were Carol Lam, the U.S. Attorney for San Diego, who last year won a conviction against Congressman Duke Cunningham (R-CA) in the biggest bribery conviction in history, and Paul Charlton of Arizona, whose office is investigating charges involving land deals and influence peddling against of Republican Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ).

Also stepping down is the U.S. Attorney for Nevada, Daniel Bogden, whose office last year won corruption convictions against two Clark County, Nevada Commissioners and may be looking into campaign law violations by at least one member of the state’s Congressional delegation. Next door in New Mexico, David Iglesia is being asked to leave after winning convictions in the past year of two former New Mexico State Treasurers."

Are we really still pandering to the defense on issues such as Abramoff and Cuningham? Is this administration in bed with the Mafia in Nevada? State Treasurers from one of the poorest infrastructure States in America? I for one intend to follow this story unfolding way, way far behind the hype. Possibly an even larger hype looms ahead?

I think that the esteemed Representative from Illinois puts in all in perspective when closes his statement with these most eloquent and foreboding words

"The fired U.S. Attorneys were aggressively investigating public corruption cases and they were fired ostensibly for job performance, which in this White House means you're guilty of doing your job. I don't suppose any of these U.S. Attorneys will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom award.
The question some of us want to know is where are these public corruption cases today? As Washington debates whether Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General, survives by the weekend, some of us want to know whether we can bring back to life these public corruption investigations in these five jurisdictions."

Now that's great Snark!