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Delivering the keynote speech at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner of the Alabama Democratic Party in Birmingham last night, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark tore into the Bush Justice Department’s prosecution of former Governor Don E. Siegelman. As reported in the Locust Fork Journal, Clark called former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman “a great American” and an “honest man” who was “unjustly confined” by a rogue Justice Department “politicized” by a corrupt Republican administration.
Clark’s remarks drew a standing ovation from a partisan crowd. He called President Bush the “worst president ever,” but reserved his sharpest comments for the Justice Department, which he described as an instrument of partisan persecution.
“We’re seeing a 20 year campaign to polarize and partisanize this country and take away the basic fundamentals that we fought so hard to put in place,” he noted. “It’s the use of executive power to put in wiretaps and other spying on the American people to take away our fundamental liberties… It’s the wholesale politicization of the Department of Justice,” he said. “It’s a stench of corruption that has run from the White House, through Jack Abramoff.”
Typically, the Birmingham News reports on the speech, but fails to report its essence.
Sources in the Justice Department have again confirmed to me that Siegelman prosecutor Louis V. Franklin was instructed to refrain from comment about the case to broadcast media. “Many of Franklin’s media comments were extremely unfortunate and violated Department guidelines,” said the source, who also indicated that the Department was troubled by Franklin’s disclosure of the opinions of individual prosecutors and his inaccurate characterization of the role played by main Justice in the process. The source noted that the Department had been approached and asked for an interview on the Siegelman case by a major network news organization, which led to the review of Franklin’s comments. “We were very disturbed by what we found,” the source said. Apparently, the Department concluded that silence in the face of media inquiries was the best policy.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”