They buried it on the same night as the Oscars, but 60 Minutes will be airing the Don Siegelman story on Sunday. Siegelman, the Democratic former governor of Alabama, is sitting in a jail cell right now for trumped-up reasons, almost certainly orchestrated by Karl Rove and his charges. Jill Simpson, a former Republican campaign worker, has powerful evidence of this travesty of justice, and she'll go on the record in the story:
A former Republican campaign worker claims that President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, asked her to find evidence that the Democratic governor of Alabama at the time was cheating on his wife, according to an upcoming broadcast of "60 Minutes."
Jill Simpson, who has long alleged that Rove may have influenced the corruption prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman, makes the claim against Rove in a broadcast scheduled to be aired Sunday, according to a statement from CBS.
Simpson testified to congressional investigators last year that she overheard conversations among Republicans in 2002 indicating that Rove was involved in the Justice Department's prosecution of Siegelman. She has never before said that Rove pressed her for evidence of marital infidelity in spite of testifying to congressional lawyers last year, submitting a sworn affidavit and speaking extensively with reporters [...]
According to the CBS statement, Simpson says Rove approached her at a 2001 meeting, when Siegelman was still governor.
"Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?" reporter Scott Pelley asks.
"Yes," Simpson replies.
"In a compromising sexual position with one of his aides," Pelley says.
"Yes, if I could," she responds.
Simpson said she is speaking out because Siegelman's seven-year sentence on corruption charges bothers her, the release said. She said she found no evidence of an affair.
Karl Rove has dodged a lot of bullets in his day, but the entire operation is on the line with this Siegelman story. This involves the US Attorneys scandal, as the real meaning of that scandal was about directing federal prosecutors to bring charges against Democrats and politicize the Justice Department. It involves Rove's project to build a permanent Republican majority through implementing all of the federal agencies at his disposal. It involves the entire impetus of the Bush White House. Kagro X has a fantastic post detailing the implications here.
This really demonstrates the lengths to which Bush-Cheney's hyper-politicized Department of Justice can go. If they can railroad the actual governor of a state into prison and have pretty much nobody really sit up and take notice, what does that say about the extent of the damage to the country? Not just the DOJ (which is a goner), but about the supposed watchdogs of the media, who've been in large part either cowed into silence, or distracted by an endless stream of shiny objects?
Seriously, this means they can do this to anybody.
But worse than that, it means that anybody who finds themselves under scrutiny by the federal government now has license to charge that they're being politically targeted. Because if this can happen as Horton describes it happening, all bets are off. It has all the ingredients of the complete and total undoing of all federal law enforcement capability for the foreseeable future [...]
That's the true measure of the damage the Bush-Cheney "administration" has caused. It's no longer just your basic looting of the Treasury. Dollar-based corruption we at least understand. But corruption of the actual mechanisms of the government itself? Corruption not meant to enrich, but to corrode public trust in the only system we have for actually holding corrupt officials to account?
We're now looking at federal law enforcement so grossly politicized that even a landslide victory for the opposition party might not be able to root the corruption out.
I'll be TiVoing on Sunday night. You should too. 52 former state Attorneys General have signed letters in support of re-opening the Siegelman case and investigating the politicization. You should do what you can to help them.
... I should add that this is something that Digby talks about a lot: the right appropriating the critiques of the left. You can bet that if a President Obama or President Clinton tries to get rid of some corrupt Republicans buried deep inside the federal agencies, the bloody shirt of "politicization" will be waved. They poisoned the well of impeachment to innoculate themselves of that potential action, they're sure to use "voter fraud" claims to try and illegitimize elections, and then this. It's something I hope we're thinking about.