When justice serves an ideology instead of a nation
By Frank Salvato
web posted July 19, 2010
As I was reading about the proceedings in the trial of impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, it struck me as odd that the prosecution was relying so much on the profanity-laced wiretap audio and not going, instead, straight to the source of incriminating information in the many witnesses they could call. Why aren't they calling Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Tony Rezko, their staff, relations, acquaintances and business partners to testify instead of relying on sensationalism? The answer could be that they don't want a conviction and/or a thorough investigation.
The notion that the US Justice Department might opt not to prosecute crimes committed by powerful elected officials isn't new. Favoritism, in one form or another – and at varying intensities – has existed throughout the history of the United States. The foible of misplaced political loyalty facilitates this weakness in human nature. Just ask anyone who went to prison for actions or inactions taken during Watergate.
But in recent years, and especially during recent Democrat (read: Progressive) administrations, the idea of installing political operatives to mid-to-upper level management positions with just enough authority to drag down – or stop completely – investigations and prosecutions into nefarious actions by powerful politicians in more of a reality than you would expect.
As I wrote in a 2007 article titled, The 'Clinton Wall' at the Justice Department, there were a number of investigations that were thwarted, dismissed, diminished or abandoned by mid- and upper-level management in the US Justice Department placed in their positions by then-President Bill Clinton:
"From the aggressive prosecution of 'Scooter' Libby for having a bad memory to the powder-puff prosecution of Sandy Berger for stealing and then destroying unique documents related to terrorism and 9/11 from the National Archive, it seems that the catalyst for a thorough investigation – at least where politicians are concerned – is directly influenced by which political party the alleged offender belongs to..."
Additionally, there were investigations that were politically neutered by politicos in conjunction with the US Justice Department.
In January of 2006, Independent Counsel David Barrett released what is commonly referred to as The Barrett Report, an investigation into the facts surrounding the allegation that former Clinton Administration Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros failed to pay income taxes on "hush money" payments he made to a mistress. The allegations, if proven to be true and successfully prosecuted, would have found Cisneros convicted of 18 felony counts charging conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud and perjury.
Barrett is quoted as saying,
"Enough high-ranking officials with enough power were able to blunt any effort to bring about a full and independent examination of Cisneros' possible tax offenses in the face of what seemed to many to be obvious grounds for such an inquiry."
Then there was the exposure of the most egregious case of campaign finance fraud in US history. As exposed in The New Media Journal original series, The Fraudulent Senator, USJD prosecutors – specifically Janet Reno appointee Noel Hillman, played a significant role in diverting attention from the largest case of campaign finance fraud in American history.
The result of Mr. Peter F. Paul's FEC complaint that the Hillary Clinton Senate 2000 Campaign under-reported by over $700,000 his in-kind contribution of a $1.2 million Hollywood gala event and fundraiser was an amateurish prosecution of the wrong man.
The USJD's Office of Public Integrity indicted the campaign's national finance director, David Rosen, on three counts of election fraud. The problem with this indictment is that Rosen wasn't legally required to file any reports and did not sign the reports that were filed. The resulting trial ended with Rosen's acquittal. The jury found that Rosen wasn't responsible for the filing, spotlighting a glaring oversight by USJD prosecutors. Or was it?
In October of 2003, former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, in preparation for his 9/11 Commission testimony, removed and then destroyed unique and classified documents pertaining to the Clinton Administration's knowledge of terrorist threats to the United States.
Berger described his removal of the unique documents initially as "an honest mistake." But as details emerged courtesy of a report titled, Sandy Berger's Theft of Classified Documents: Unanswered Questions compiled by the US House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, it became clear that Berger's efforts were well thought out and tantamount to an attempt at obstructing the 9/11 Commission's investigation.
As a result of the USJD's apathetic investigation and prosecution of Sandy Berger's theft and destruction of unique and classified documents from the National Archives, and as the result of a plea bargain authorized by the USJD, Berger agreed to a $10,000 fine, a revocation of his security clearance for three years and a lie detector test, which to this day has not been administered. This sentence was augmented by US Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson who increased the fine to $50,000 and added two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
These specific instances of apathy and/or willful abdication of duty where members of the Justice Department are concerned are relevant as we look at the actions of Eric Holder's Justice Department.
Paramount among the travesties of justice perpetrated by the Holder Justice Department is the degradation of verdict and refusal to fully prosecute those involved with the most egregious instance of voter intimidation since the days of the Ku Klux Klan; the New Black Panther case, examined in a previous article, Holder's Justice Department Has a Racism Issue.
Then there is the embarrassing display of political opportunism that is the US Justice Department's lawsuit against the State of Arizona, opposing a State law that mirrors – almost exactly – the federal law regarding illegal immigration. To suggest, even for a fleeting moment, that this lawsuit has anything to do with executing "justice" instead of serving to promote a political advantage for the Democrat Party in the form of increased numbers of potential illegal voters (facilitated by the disgraceful motor-voter law), would be comical if it weren't so damaging to the country.
In addition to the Arizona lawsuit, The Washington Times is reporting that Eric Holder's US Justice Department will "...not go after so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement, on the grounds that they are not as bad as a state that 'actively interferes.'"
Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Holder, said:
"There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law...That's what Arizona did in this case."
In response to this jaw-dropping statement, the author of the 1996 federal law requiring state and local authorities to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration laws, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), said:
"For the Justice Department to suggest that they won't take action against those who passively violate the law who fail to comply with the law is absurd...Will they ignore individuals who fail to pay taxes? Will they ignore banking laws that require disclosure of transactions over $10,000? Of course not...The White House is just plain wrong on the premise since the Arizona law mirrors federal law -- it does not 'interfere' with it."
And now the passive, if not quizzical, prosecution of impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a product of the Chicago Democrat political machine, for blatantly attempting to gain profit for selling a United States Senate seat in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States; a prosecution led by US prosecutors from....Eric Holder's Department of Justice.
The authority that is supposed to hold everyone accountable to the laws of the land – politicians and citizens alike – is the United States Justice Department. Under the direction of the United States Attorney General, the USJD is supposed to "ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans." This empowers the USJD with the awesome responsibility of holding our elected officials accountable for any misdeeds that violate the laws of our country and to do so without bias, prejudice or favoritism, politically, personally or otherwise.
But the Office of the US Attorney General is a cabinet level department, an appointed position, thus it is a political office, albeit a professional political office. Further, the administrators of this department are chosen and appointed by the president. Mid-level positions through the clerical ranks are administered by the Office of the US Attorney General making them more prone to political favoritism the further up the professional food chain you go.
The implications of a political and partisan United States Justice Department are disturbing and lay the groundwork for the demise of our Constitutional government, a government of laws, such as it is. That American justice would be administered politically on such a transparently partisan scale lends itself to an image of a nation where political corruption is accepted and political persecution is tolerated, which side benefiting from both being decided by the spoils of a successful political campaign and the patronage that includes.
The continuation of politicizing the US Justice Department by Eric Holder and the Obama Administration – regardless of the questionable actions of past administrations – presents as one more glaring example of political opportunism leading to despotism in government.
When a US Justice Department and US Attorney's General actively refuse to enforce the laws on the United States – The New Black Panther voter intimidation case, the Arizona lawsuit, the refusal to confront the illegality of sanctuary cities, border security cases, the apathetic prosecution of impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the PMA-Murtha corruption scandal, union corruption, terror financing, etc. – despotism has arrived on the shores of the United States of America.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at email@example.com.