“All Roads Lead to Rove.” – Siegelman

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

All roads lead to Rove.  That was the message scrawled as an afterthought in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope I received in yesterday’s mail.  It contained a letter from an old and dear friend of mine.  His name is Don Siegelman.  He is the former governor of Alabama and he is being held as a political prisoner of the Bush administration in a Federal prison in Louisiana.

Don-Siegelman-back-in-the-day

They don’t allow Don the luxury of stationary so he must write his letters on whatever he can find.  He wrote me on a xeroxed article he wanted me to see.

Don's-letter

FREE-don-siegelman_2

Here’s an excerpt from the article in Don’s letter in a more readable form.

The House Judiciary Committee voted in July to hold Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers in contempt. The House’s Democratic leadership has been trying to figure out the pros and cons ever since. The public needs to hear the testimony of these officials (along with Karl Rove, who is also refusing to appear), and the full House should vote as quickly as possible to hold them in contempt.

The House should also approve a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to go to court to enforce the contempt citations if the current attorney general, Michael Mukasey, as expected, refuses to do so.  (emphasis Don’s)

The stakes are high. There are people in jail today, including a former governor of Alabama, who have raised credible charges that they were put there for political reasons. Congress’s constitutionally guaranteed powers are also at risk. If Congress fails to enforce its own subpoenas, it would effectively be ceding its subpoena power. It would also be giving its tacit consent to the dangerous idea of an imperial president – above the law and beyond the reach of checks and balances.

The founders did not want that when they wrote the Constitution, and the voters who elected this Congress do not want it today.

New York Times

Time-to-Vote-Contempt

I met Don in Montgomery, the capitol of Alabama in 1978 shortly after getting out of prison.  I was a prison reform and anti-death penalty activist.  Don was a young mover and shaker in the Alabama Democratic Party sympathetic to my cause, and we were both martial artists.  Another activist and mutual friend introduced us and we became instant friends.  He was running for Secretary of State at the time and I ended up working on his campaign (in a minor role).  He was successful in becoming Secretary of State, going on from there to have a truly brilliant political career.  

Don Siegelman is the only person in the history of Alabama to be elected to serve in all four of the top statewide offices: Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. He served in Alabama politics for 26 years. Until he won his last election, sweeping into the governorship with 57% of the vote, including over 90% of the African-American electorate, Don had never been accused of corrupt or criminal acts.

A Brilliant Political Career

Don-Siegelman-HE-Day_500px

Don has always been committed to the general welfare of the people of Alabama and people in general.  I was for a time the director of the Alabama Prison Project and an ardent anti-death penalty advocate.  I devoted a lot of my time to making speeches around Montgomery about my issues, and there were many who could not be bothered to listen – but Don did.  He not only listened, he heard, understood and actively supported me at a time when there was absolutely nothing in it for him.  He is a remarkable guy.  He’s never had a job outside of politics, he’s never been involved in business and he has never enriched himself in any way.  Throughout his career he has been an honest public servant.  A lot of people lay claim to that title but Don’s actually done it.

Don is as solid a progressive as I have ever known.  For all the same reasons that I love him, the Republicans hate him – and they have gone after him with a vengeance.  

I moved from Montgomery while Don was Secretary of State, and eventually moved out of state.  I lost touch with Don and our Montgomery friends, but I followed his career and continued to support him at a distance.  

When I first heard of Don being prosecuted for corruption my heart sank.  I didn’t know what to think.  It had been years since we’d spoken and the press made it sound awful for Don (what else?).  Of course I had no idea what was really going on.  Now that I do I am horrified…and furious.

Don is a formidable force in Alabama politics.  His friends are loyal and his supporters enthusiastic.  They re-elected him Governor in the midst of a bogus corruption trial engineered by the Bush Justice Department at the behest of Karl Rove who takes orders from you-know-who.  Don campaigned for re-election throughout the early phases of the trial.  On election night he was declared the winner, but Karl Rove’s minions stole the election overnight by manipulating the ballots in Baldwin County.  It was classic Rovian/Republican election theft.  They did it with computers and electronic voting machines.  Don went to bed the re-elected Governor of Alabama, and woke up an unemployed defendant.

In case you missed the 60 Minutes piece about Don’s political persecution and wrongful imprisonment for being a progressive Democrat, here it is:


Here’s an excellent Dan Abrams piece about the Bush administration’s abuse of the Justice Department and how it was used to prosecute Don for political purposes.




A profoundly important interview with Don, Part 1:




A profoundly important interview with Don, Part 2:


Something that has not been reported is that they have been physically beating Don.  I don’t know the extent of his injuries or exactly how many times it has happened – but it has been multiple times.  

There are no words for the fury I feel.  This is an outrage.  And it is the most un-American thing I have ever heard.  I cry bitter tears of frustration and rage.

Please everyone.  We have to help Don, and we have to crush these thugs and put them out of the business of perverting our democracy.  We must investigate and prosecute the responsible parties, not for political reasons, but to actually serve the interest of justice.  The cause of justice calls upon us to hold these criminals accountable.  We must bring them to justice and stop such travesties from ever again happening in our United States of America.

Please hear Don’s plea, and write Congress to encourage them to take the next important steps to the truth:

E-mail Congress

Ask for a full investigation by a Special Prosecutor.

Hon. John Conyers,

Chairman,

House Judiciary Comm.

John.Conyers@mail.house.gov

Senator Patrick Leahy,

Chairman,

Senate Judiciary Comm.

senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Justice William O. Douglas

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Elie Wiesel

As I said, Don has always been a man of modest means.  He also needs our help to pay legal expenses.  Please help if you can.  

Mail-Contributions

About Don

Donate to Don’s Legal Defense at the following site:

Free Don Siegelman

mckay_small

If We Must Die

If we must die–let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die–oh, let us nobly die,

So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, Kinsmen!  We must meet the common foe;

Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Claude McKay

Thank you.

OPOL

64 comments

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    • OPOL on March 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm
      Author

    Please help if you can.

  1. Photobucket

    • pfiore8 on March 15, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I think Rusty8 said it all… and I can’t wait to march with you.

  2. Thanks for getting the word out. Siegelman was the leading fighter for justice and was hugely successful in a deep red state. The Republicans hated him for it and so they took him out.

    Don Siegelman.org has great ways to take action:

    http://donsiegelman.org/pages/

    Here they are if you are too lazy to go to the site.

         .   E-mail Congress and ask for an immediate and full

         investigation by a Special Prosecutor. We cannot let the U.S

         Department of Justice be used for political purposes.

         Hon. John Conyers, Chairman, House Judiciary Comm.  

         John.Conyers@mail.house.gov

         Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary

         Comm.   leahy@leahy.senate.gov

         2.   Don faces mammoth legal fees.  If you could help with any

         amount — $25 to $100 — this will help immensely.

             Please make your check out to:  

                      Don Siegelman Legal Defense Fund

                      P. O. Box 430116

                      Birmingham, Alabama  35243

         1.   E-mail 60 Minutes congratulate them, and ask them to run a

         follow-up show. There is much more to tell …and they already

         have the material on video.  60m@cbsnews.com

         Or you may call or write them as well:

         ADDRESS:

         60 Minutes

         524 West 57th St.

         New York, NY 10019

         PHONE: (212) 975-3247

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Here are 5 other things that you can do! Choose

    one or all these actions to help!

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    1. Contact Congress Today!

    Contact your Member of Congress and ask them to move forward on

    the Don Siegelman Investigation. It’s easy. Click here to find out how!

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    2. Write a letter to each member of the Judiciary

    Committee Today!

    Thank them for their work so far and encourage them to press on!

    Click on the link to the Judiciary Committee membership list.

         On Oct. 23, 2007 a hearing was held to review the Siegelman case and

         other cases of selective Prosecution. Please take time to write a letter and

         fax the Congressmen on the Judiciary Committee again to thank them;ask

         them to keep the pressure on until a resolution is found.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    3. Thank these former Attorneys General by email

    Forty-four former state Attorneys General from 40 of the 50 states,

    both Democrats and Republicans, submitted a petition urging the

    United States Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding

    the investigation, prosecution, sentencing and detention of Don

    Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama. It’s simple! Click here to

    find out how.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    4. Contact Don Siegelman in Prison:

         Don Siegelman

         #24775-0001

         Satellite Prison Camp

         Post Office Box 5010

         Oakdale, LA  71463-5019

         Click here to find out more ways to help Don!

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    5. And Last but not least,

    Contribute to the Legal Defense Fund!

         Send Contributions to

         Siegelman Legal Defense Fund

         P. O. Box 430116

         Birmingham, Alabama  35243

    When your contribution is received you will receive a thank-you note.

    If you do not receive a timely thank-you note please call 205 216-3211.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Let’s get to the bottom of this. To action! I added the Action tag BTW so it shows up on the side of the page.  

  3. … is holding political prisoners, United States citizens, an elected representative, purely due to abuse of power.

    We are holding political prisoners.

    Blows the mind.

    As Karl is enjoying his cushy job at Newsweek.

    It’s bizarro world.

    • Mu on March 15, 2008 at 3:57 am

    . . . Sec of State.

    I’ll certainly drop him a line this week.  

    Interesting side note – this past fall (late summer?) I was in my regular little coffee shop in B’ham when I look up and there’s Nick B. standing in line.  I’d read in the paper a day or two earlier that he was on his way to start serving his sentence.  We kind of did a double-take at each other, then I got up and said, “Hey, Nick.”  He was getting a couple of cups of coffee “for the road”:  he was on his way, with his brother who was dropping him off, to the “correctional facility”.  

    I was not happy with what Nick did to Don (he was Don’s “driver” as far back in ’86, ’85 even?), but I still save most of my ill feelings for Paul Hamrick, whom Don should’ve NEVER let be part of his “team”, let alone COS, and, certainly, Mark Fuller.

    Thanks for this update, OPOL.

  4. What else is there to say?

    I don’t know.  These things leave me speechless.  Few things merit a yes or no response, but sometimes it is really pretty clear that you have to stand without equivocating.

    Our justice system is falling apart.  Anyone who cares about it should take up this cause along with a whole host of others.  If we do not, it will all be gone and done for every single one of us.

    I wish every American lived outside of this country for at least a year.  That way we might end up with a plurality of people who really understand how lucky we are (were) and maybe more people would fight to protect our collective rights.

  5. It is written all over his face and in his demeanor.  These “evil-doers” should not be allowed to get away with this.

    I’ll do everything I can to help.

  6. Thanks very much for the links.  I would only add that other Pennsylvanians should probably email Arlen Specter, too.  He’s sneaky and I don’t trust him, but he has clout and sometimes seems appalled at how Bushco is trammeling the Constitution.

    http://specter.senate.gov/publ

  7. and no immediate investigation is taking place is near proof that the Justice department, and hence, the FBI are fully compromised by partisan operatives.

    60 Minutes actually softened up the story, but it certainly raised enough doubts that a review should be immediate. If this was not a frame up, then they would be falling all over themselves to show that.

    People should swing.

  8. I can tell you, as a former community organizer in Alabama and a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi during most of the 70’s, that the case against Don Siegelman is a complete travesty of justice.  His still being in prison, while his appeal has not been heard on a case in which the reasons for reversal are writ large, is a living testament to the way justice has been perverted in our nation.

    This prosecution has Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over it.  And if you look at the players on the court and for prosecution and notice how they got their jobs, you see clearly the devastating impact republican nominees have had on the DoJ and on the federal courts.  Would that a purge were possible.

    I’m getting out my check book again.  I met Don Siegelman briefly a million years ago in Huntsville.  I am amazed to see him today wearing BoP greens and dumping the bucket.  I cannot tell you how thoroughly this enrages me.  There but for the grace of god go all of us.

  9. what a sickening joke. How can anyone think that this can all be swept under the rug, treated like it’s not what it is, and we just elect more Democrats and it will all be corrected. I will send money but I’m done writhing congress critters all I get in return is a rely asking for money so they can use it to keep their criminal gang war alive. Leahy especially irks me. Defense funds and lawyers outside the  seem a better use of money then pouring money into the coffers of the lawyers with guns, both sides, who run us all.

    Why are these criminals still on my TV in my paper, in the government and not behind the bars that now hold political prisoners which means anybody who gets in the way of these thugs. Why are the Democrats leaving this in place? It’s rotten to the core. See how they run!

    Thanks OPAL and all who go to March. I will be with you in spirit. Wish the states ‘that don’t count’ would start marching on a big level. Who cares if it doesn’t make the big news it’s seen locally and reality isn’t the TV. The fear diminishes when people see this.      

    • Viet71 on March 15, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    charges and the evidence against Siegelman?

    Second question:  Did the prosecution present any false evidence or suppress any exonerating evidence?

    Third question, did the trial judge rule fairly on prosecution and defense motions?

    Don’t know much of anything about the nuts and bolts of the trial.

  10. Last time I went for jury duty I put “alternate worldview” on the jury questionaire.  It limits you “service” to a single day.

    So, can we call this our first political prisoner?  I tend to doubt it.

  11. Crooks and Liars

    Way to go, OPOL!

    • creeper on March 16, 2008 at 2:39 am

    is as heinous a crime as any this administration has committed.  That Congress can seemingly ignore it passes belief.  

    Thank you, OPOL, for an outstanding diary.  My contribution to the Siegelman defense fund goes now.

  12. sent some money his way.  Try it.. it’s easy and painless.

    Send a little, send a lot.. whatever you can.

    I put a note in “Thanks to OPOL and his friends at Docudharma”

  13. at orange.

    Nothing really sticks there unless it’s the primaries, but maybe a stream of diaries will garner the attention this story deserves.  Please consider this an invitation to keep this issue alive.

    • creeper on March 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    My Republican hubby, who knew nothing of Don Siegelman, wandered in just as it started and listened to it. He was horrified.  

    S’funny…he’s just now beginning to understand the depth of the disaster that is George W. Bush whereas I’m long past the point where anything these people do shocks me.  Hubby’s got a long row to hoe before he gets up to speed on all the scandals.  But he’s trying.  I feel sorry for him.  He actually voted for Bush the second time…bought the “can’t change presidents in the middle of a war” crap hook, line and sinker.

    P.S.  Made my donation to the “Free Don Siegelman Fund”.  Wish it could’ve been more.  Is there an “odd cents” number we add to denote contributions that came from this site?

    • creeper on March 16, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Something that has not been reported is that they have been physically beating Don.  I don’t know the extent of his injuries or exactly how many times it has happened – but it has been multiple times.  

    Link, please!

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