Wednesday, April 01, 2009

And then there is Sarah Palin

The Gist:

The people she so righteously decries for making 'blatant attempts. . .to destroy Stevens' were from the Bush Justice Department. Those who made sure his rights were "well-guarded" and dismissed the charges were from the Obama Justice Department.

The Whole Post:

(Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8 am Thai time) I knew something was up when I started seeing hits for Mary Beth Kepner again. Then someone left a comment on my Does Race Matter? post saying that the charges against Ted Stevens had been dropped. Although it was April 1, that isn't the kind of thing you make an April Fool's joke about. But I couldn't find much detail on the story before I went to bed and decided to try to digest this before posting anything. I have had attorneys tell me that the prosecution team had been totally out of line and the case should be dismissed, so I wasn't completely surprised. But still it was a stunner.

Now, though, as I look through the comments by various players and observers posted in the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) this morning, I'm disturbed (my regular readers know I tend to understate things) by the comments of our Governor. All the other comments in the story address the legal and personal aspects a in a more-or-less objective and muted tone.

At the most neutral tone we have the attorney general's words:

“In connection with the post-trial litigation in United States v. Theodore F. Stevens, the Department of Justice has conducted a review of the case, including an examination of the extent of the disclosures provided to the defendant. After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial.

Ted Stevens' comments are also focused on the facts with little emotional elaboration and give credit where credit is due.

I am grateful that the new team of responsible prosecutors at the Department of Justice has acknowledged that I did not receive a fair trial and has dismissed all the charges against me. I am also grateful that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made rulings that facilitated the exposure of the government’s misconduct during the last two years. I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come.

The defense attorney's statement discusses the points of the dismissal, then gives effusive credit before slipping into a bit of editorial language.
Attorney General Eric Holder, too, should be commended. He is a pillar of integrity in the legal community, and his actions today prove it. Moreover, he has demonstrated the kind of leadership that we defense lawyers seek and that the Department of Justice desperately needs. Ineffective leadership permits this type of prosecutorial misconduct to flourish.

This case is a sad story and a warning to everyone. Any citizen can be convicted if prosecutors are hell-bent on ignoring the Constitution and willing to present false
And then there is Sarah Palin. She adopts the language, tone, and emptiness of a talk show host. Does she realize what she's saying?
Senator Stevens deserves to be very happy today. What a horrible thing he has endured. The blatant attempts by adversaries to destroy one’s reputation, career and finances are an abuse of our well-guarded process and violate our God-given rights afforded in the Constitution. It is a frightening thing to contemplate what we may be witnessing here – the undermining of the political process through unscrupulous ploys and professional misconduct. Senator Stevens and I had lunch together recently at my home and he reiterated the faith he held for vindication; he never gave up hope. It is unfortunate that, as a result of the questionable proceedings which led to Senator Stevens’ conviction days before the election, Alaskans lost an esteemed statesman on Capitol Hill. His presence is missed.

I'm sure there are people for whom the governor's statement hits just the right tone. But unlike Stevens and the Defense Attorney, she leaves out any credit for justice being done. But does she even realize who those adversaries were?

The people she so righteously decries for making 'blatant attempts. . .to destroy Stevens' were from the Bush Justice Department. Those who made sure his rights were "well-guarded" and dismissed the charges were from the Obama Justice Department.

Can you imagine any of George Bush's attorneys general taking similar action for a prominent Democrat? Or a McCain/Palin attorney general? If the Obama administration had the same sort of mind set that Palin displays here, this decision never would have been made.

All that said, given how the professionalism of the prosecution changed so radically when they moved to DC, I still have to wonder whether someone in that Bush Justice Department did things intentionally to get this trial thrown out.

[Update: See Cliff Groh's interpretation on all this. He was at the trial of Stevens.]


  1. Her speech is slightly weird. It may be my opinion because I study British English and I try to stick to it unlikely some of my classmates. We have an American native teacher so that's why but I stick to the original English.

    I have to say my style is weird as well.

  2. it seems fitting that they released the news about dropping the charges against Ted Stevens on April 1st

  3. One has to ask why former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman hasn't been cleared yet.

  4. ALL the DOJ attorneys, from Brenda Morris( D. C) on down were career DOJ attorneys, not political appointees, but Welch, may have been moved into his political positon by Bush political sorts, and can we only wonder if that was Karl Rove, given past Bushy White House history.
    News stories coming out since April Fools day, April 1st, indicate some big turf war internal in the DOJ between Alaska DOJ attorneys and D C DOJ----poitical-- attorneys.
    If all is so bloody clear of notes(kept in the dark) showing Stevens was a victim of DOJ gone wild, why has Holder not shown the notes to CBS, and its prime time crew. That in and of itself shows something is not all it is made out to be---on April fools day.


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