Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Cowardly Lion in Oz

Courage is acting in the face of fear. (If video doesn't show, click here.)

There is one big coward on that stage -- Karl Rove. There is one courageous person on that stage -- Janine Boneparth.

One has to be brave to confront a former Bush adviser and accuse him of treason. However, bravery doesn't guarantee the success of your game plan. I do believe this attempted citizen's arrest needed a lot more planning. For example, how do you hand the criminal over to the police, when the police are clearly not interested in jailing him?

But the many efforts to arrest Karl Rove at least keep his crimes in the spotlight and illuminate his mocking contempt for Congress as he refuses to testify despite being twice subpoenaed.

If our US Congress was courageous, it would exercise its "inherent contempt" authority which permits the person cited to be arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate. Congress has not used this authority since 1934.

But late last month, with little fanfare, the Department of Justice released a 356 page report which convincingly presents the scandalous details of the Bush administration's plans to remove US Attorneys in order to influence voter fraud and public corruption prosecutions.

However, the report concludes that the investigation has gaps due to Rove's obstructions:
We believe our investigation was able to uncover most of the facts relating to the reasons for the removal of most of the U.S. Attorneys. However, as described in this report, there are gaps in our investigation because of the refusal of certain key witnesses to be interviewed by us, including former White House officials Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and William Kelley, former Department of Justice White House Liaison Monica Goodling, Senator Pete Domenici, and his Chief of Staff. In addition, the White House would not provide us internal documents related to the removals of the U.S. Attorneys.

The most serious allegation that we were not able to fully investigate related to the removal of David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, and the allegation that he was removed to influence voter fraud and public corruption prosecutions. We recommend that a counsel specially appointed by the Attorney General assess the facts we have uncovered, work with us to conduct further investigation, and ultimately determine whether the evidence demonstrates that any criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of Iglesias or any other U.S. Attorney, or the testimony of any witness related to the U.S. Attorney removals.

The Department’s removal of the U.S. Attorneys and the controversy it created severely damaged the credibility of the Department and raised doubts about the integrity of Department prosecutive decisions. We believe that this investigation, and final resolution of the issues raised in this report, can help restore confidence in the Department by fully describing the serious failures in the process used to remove the U.S. Attorneys and by providing lessons for the Department in how to avoid such failures in the future.
As recommended by the report, the DoJ has appointed a special prosecutor, Nora Dannehy, to continue the inquiry and determine whether anyone should be prosecuted. Possible targets could include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove.

So the next time somebody tries to slap handcuffs on Rove's wrists, maybe -- just maybe -- it will be a sworn law enforcement official doing the deed.

After Janine Boneparth was led off stage, the Mortgage Bankers event continued. Rove complained about some nasty campaign jokes made by Senator John Kerry. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, sitting right next to Rove, responded, “I have to say I feel like Dorothy in the land of Oz hearing you lecture about negative campaigns by others.”

And Karl Rove should be feeling like the Cowardly Lion.

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