Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Goodling Version Of Justice

A couple of things trouble me about the recent testimony of Monica Goodling before House investigators. The first was her reference to the allegations of Tim Griffin, protege of Karl Rove installed as the US Attorney for Arkansas without congressional approval, being involved in "caging" during the 2004 Presidential elections.
On Feb. 15, Griffin suddenly announced that he had “made the decision not to let my name go forward to the Senate” for approval. Instead, he will serve indefinitely as an “interim” prosecutor. By avoiding Senate approval, Griffin will also avoid having to answer questions under oath about his role in a plan to suppress Florida votesprimarily those of African-American servicemembers — in the 2004 election.
Caging is a direct-mail term that describes the practice of requiring a response from the receiver. Those who do not respond are eliminated from future mailing list.

In 1981, Republican operatives engaged in this practice by targeting areas populated heavily with minorities. Those who fail to respond to certified mail are then challenged at the polls for proof of residency, having the option to return home to get a utility bill and come back to the polls and rejoin the process at the end of the line at the polls.

Or, they may be offered a provisional ballot that may not be counted unless the vote is close.

In Ohio, some 100,000 provisional ballots from 2004 remain uncounted today.

Since 1986, the Republican party has been under a restraining order from engaging in the practice of "caging" as the result is voter suppression and election fraud.

This law has been ignored, and one of its alleged practitioners is now the US Attorney in Senator Clinton's old backyard, one can only surmise, to root through her panty drawer for any buttscoot stank Mr. Griffin can dredge up.

The second disturbing revelation by Ms. Goodling was the discussion of testimony between her and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Goodling said for the first time Wednesday that Gonzales did review the story of the firings with her at an impromptu meeting she requested in his office a few days before she took a leave of absence.

"I was somewhat paralyzed. I was distraught, and I felt like I wanted to make a transfer," Goodling recalled during a packed hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

Gonzales, she said, indicated he would think about Goodling's request.

"He then proceeded to say, 'Let me tell you what I can remember,' and he laid out for me his general recollection ... of some of the process" of the firings, Goodling added. When Gonzales finished, "he asked me if I had any reaction to his iteration."

Goodling said the conversation made her uncomfortable because she was aware that she, Gonzales and others would be called by Congress to testify.

"Was the attorney general trying to shape your recollection?" asked Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.

Goodling paused.

"I just did not know if it was a conversation we should be having and so I just didn't say anything," she replied. She added that she thought Gonzales was trying to be kind.

Democrats pounced.

"It certainly has the flavor of trying to get their stories straight," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the committee.


Alberto Gonzales peppered his own testimony before congress numerous times with "I can't recall," insisting that he was unable to discuss any facet of the matter of the forced resignations of the 8 US Attorneys with anyone in his department because he did not want to interfere with the investigations.

The Justice Department has not refuted Goodlings claim, but characterizes the meeting as an attempt to "help Goodling."

Numerous times during Gonzales' testimony he complained his inability to answer certain questions was due to his inability to talk with people within his DoJ. Clearly Mr. Gonzales is aware, by his own numerous admissions, that his discussions with Goodling about the matter were illegal.

An internal investigation is also ongoing, which further points out Gonzales' own admission that discussing testimony is a very serious matter.

The President has termed the investigation into his Justice Department and Alberto Gonzales as "political theater", and complaining that is "drawn out".

Constant stonewalling by the DoJ and White House has prevented congress from adequately discharging their oversight responsibilities, however, it is remaining less clear whether President Bush's obstinate support of Alberto Gonzales will be enough to protect to the Attorney General, much less hide the stain that blankets our entire Justice system.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

The proposed recent "Do not mail" is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing - and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today's [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.

Ramsey A Fahel