Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nixonian Dirty Tricks, 'Bama Style

The successful GOP plot to have former Democratic governor of Alabama Don Siegelman imprisoned on spurious charges has plenty of twists and turns, but Raw Story's latest piece on the matter (via DDay) adds some troubling details about a series of break-ins and other crimes committed against targets of the (corrupt) U.S. Attorneys in Alabama:

In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.

These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.

In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.

Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.

In neighboring Mississippi, a case brought against a trial lawyer and three judges raises even more disturbing questions. Of the four individuals in the same case, three of the US Attorney’s targets were the victims of crimes during their indictment or trial. This case, like that of Governor Siegelman, has been widely criticized as a politically motivated prosecution by a Bush US Attorney.

It's hard not to think of Watergate. Meanwhile, DDay provides this passage from Thom Hartmann's interview with Siegelman on Air America:

[Thom Hartmann]: And, in fact, if I understand this correctly, you were being prosecuted by a woman whose husband was the campaign manager for the Republican who ran against you for governor and in the middle of the night in one county because of a voting machine malfunction after the election had apparently already been called in your favor, suddenly in the middle of the night when there were nobody expect Republicans standing around, they discovered a couple thousand more votes and said 'Oh, yeah, no no, Don Siegelman actually lost'. Do I have that right?

[cross talk]

[Don Siegelman]: You have it right. They electronically shifted votes from my column to my Republican's column.

Of course, it's easier to pull off this sort of thing when a major state newspaper is effectively in league with the culprits. I'd like to see more digging into this story, because it certainly seems the corruption runs quite deep, and it sure would be nice to uncover all the dirty tricks of the Alabama GOP — and Karl Rove. (I'll add that while Scott Horton at No Comment hasn't posted on Siegelman recently, but he's been one of the best resources for delving into this story, and is sure to cover new developments in the future.)

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)