Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yes, The Bush Justice Department Was Corrupt & Venal, But That Doesn't Make Ted Stevens Any Less Guilty


This morning's NY Times featured an important analysis of what really went down in the Ted Stevens corruption case-- or, to be more precise-- the Bush Justice Department corruption case as pertains to Ted Stevens. All last week you saw the dead-ass mass media proclaiming Ted Steven's innocence. You even saw Neanderthals in Alaska and at the RNC demanding the Democrat who beat him, Mark Begich, resign. Don Young, likely to be indicted himself soon, actually suggested that Stevens run against Sarah Palin for governor. Stevens has actually opened a Senate re-election committee for 2014. And as the Times piece blares, it was Stevens' lawyers who "promulgated the story of an innocent man victimized by unscrupulous prosecutors... The dismissal of the charges, a victory for Mr. Stevens and his lawyers, raises the question of what it means to say that someone is innocent. Mr. Stevens is certainly innocent in the civics-book sense that everyone is innocent in the eyes of the law until and unless proved guilty. But lawyers point out that such a definition is part of the legal construct in which the burden of proving guilt falls on the government." His attorney insisted that “His name is cleared. He is innocent of the charges as if they had never been brought.”
The disclosures that prosecutors had withheld information from the defense did little to erase much of the evidence that Mr. Stevens, who had been a powerful and admired political figure in Alaska, regularly and willingly accepted valuable gifts from friends and favor-seekers that he did not report.

The reasons for the dismissal of the case do not, for example, have any bearing on undisputed testimony that a Stevens friend, Bob Persons, bought an expensive massage chair for the senator and had it delivered to his Washington home. When Mr. Stevens told Mr. Persons he could not accept the chair as a gift because of ethics restrictions, they both then agreed to deem the chair a loan.

...Prof. Joshua Dressler of the Ohio State University law school said, however, that the failure to be convicted in a criminal trial does not, by itself, confer innocence on someone.

“The decision by the judge to dismiss the case is certainly not a statement that the defendant is innocent,” Professor Dressler said, “but that the prosecutors didn’t play by the rules, and for that reason alone we have to use this strong remedy” to deter other prosecutors from similar misbehavior.

In fact, two jurors have said that the dismissal of the case because of the prosecutors’ actions did not make Mr. Stevens innocent in their view.

Indeed, Stevens' entire shameful career as a key player in pay for play and the Culture of Corruption leaves him-- despite the misconduct of the Bush Regime DoJ-- one of the most heinous political criminals in Alaska's history. Since 1989 Stevens has gobbled up nearly $13 million in campaign contributions, much of it from lobbyists (his second biggest source of legalized bribes), PACs, and businessmen hoping to enrich themselves at the public trough. Stevens, especially as head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was very obliging to the special interests that gave generously and frequently towards his political career. He benefited more from the War Industry than any other Republican in the Senate (about $27 more than similarly corrupt Alabama Senator Richard Shelby) and even more than McCain-- as a presidential candidate!
Colleen Walsh, one of the jurors who convicted Mr. Stevens, said on her personal blog of the trial’s collapse, “The only thing this proves is that the prosecution messed everything up.”

Ms. Walsh, a church secretary, wrote on the blog as if speaking to Mr. Stevens, saying: “You may be innocent on corruption charges which were never brought up. But you are still guilty of not disclosing some of your major gifts to the public.”

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At 6:55 PM, Blogger Jack Jodell said...

All this right-wing talk about how Stevens was wrongly convicted and trying to portray him as an innocent victim is a big load of crap. And Sarah Palin's calls for a new senatorial election, or that Steven's senate opponent should step down, are even more ridiculous! No one gave Al Gore a second chance when the 2000 election actually WAS stolen from him! Stevens, in this country, do the crime, you do the time. No sympathy or do-overs!

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

I am so sick of these goddamned news readers claiming that Stevens was vindicated.

No, the old bastard is just as crooked as he can be. It's just that the scumbags at the Bush Justice Department were MORE crooked.

The news media couldn't be any more misinformed if they worked directly for Bush.


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