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Andrew Kreig's blog
GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain serves as front man for the billionaire Koch brothers in a way rarely, if ever, seen in modern times for a prominent U.S. major party candidate.
That relationship should be a huge campaign story. It’s arguably far more important in its implications for voters than the sex allegations raised against Cain two weeks ago that I’ve been covering in Washington, or last week’s Rick Perry “Oops” gaffe in a debate.
That’s because the secretive brothers are using Cain to sell their overall agenda to transform the United States in ways that could mean poverty resulting in premature death for many by destruction of the safety net along with support for the war culture.
On Oct. 18 this week, the nation reached an important symbolic moment for the Clarence Thomas era on the Supreme Court. That was the date 20 years ago for his swearing-in ceremony at the White House. The associate justice took an oath from Associate Justice Byron White.
But the scene was hokum. The Bush White House designed it to quiet Thomas critics ASAP after the 52-48 Senate confirmation on Oct. 15 by pretending he was beginning his lifetime appointment. The quick ceremony also allowed his backers in town to celebrate in grand style. In sum, this was partly stage-crafted to fool the public about our most respected branch of government at one of its most solemn transitional landmarks.
President-Elect Obama’s advisers feared in 2008 that authorities would “revolt” and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama’s top transition advisers.
Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, right. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.
Other recent news includes claims by both major parties of irregularities in last week’s Wisconsin state senate recall elections. In a pattern familiar nationally, Democrats suspect vote hiding by a partisan GOP elections supervisor and Republicans allege illegal inducements by Democrats to encourage voting. Elsewhere, Fox News played up a report about how a county judge in Nevada called the community-organizing group ACORN “reprehensible” on Aug. 10 and ordered a $5,000 fine for the defunct group because it paid a bonus to workers who registered voters.
With any luck, this week's public protests will force our government to limit airport porno scans and genital-area pat-downs to those seriously suspected of being dangerous. Similarly, a Manhattan jury's acquittal Nov. 17 of a terrorism suspect from all but one of 285 federal charges shows progress in the "war on terror," not a setback.
The growing protests against porno-scans and the New York jury acquittal should mark a turning point against our government's phony crusade against "terror," which has gotten way out of proportion. Government policies must have a reasonable cost-benefit basis. And, above all, they must protect the public's historic rights of due process and against improper searches.
Here’s why the Justice Department’s halt to its probe of CIA obstruction of justice involving torture looks like another whitewash.
The DOJ compromised its probe from the beginning in 2008 by assigning it to Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham, whom courts have twice implicated in suppressing evidence. In one of those cases, a federal judge rebuked him also for what she described as "severe misconduct" during cross-examination.
As background on this week's case, the DOJ announced Nov. 9 that it would not file obstruction of justice charges against CIA personnel for destroying 92 videotapes showing CIA interrogation of terrorism suspects in 2005 using waterboarding.
"This decision is stunning: There is ample evidence of a cover-up regarding the destruction of the tapes,'' commented ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. "The Bush administration was instructed by a court of law not to destroy evidence of torture, but that's exactly what it did.''
By Andrew Kreig
Executive Director, Justice Integrity Project
Four days before Nora Dannehy was appointed to investigate the Bush administration’s U.S. attorney firing scandal, a team of lawyers she led was found to have illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case.
My group today exposed this previously unreported fact, and believes it calls her entire investigation into question. For the same reasons, it undermines also the similar DOJ investigation by her colleague John Durham of DOJ and CIA decision-making involving torture.
What follows is an abbreviated version of a report my group broke today on the Nieman Watchdog news site run by Harvard for journalists. A full-length version is there, with much more information on the site of the bipartisan group I lead to investigate prosecutorial and judicial misconduct: www.justice-integrity.org. Here's the story: