Does it smell bad? It smells very bad to me. What smells bad? The administration of our country is what smells bad.
I just read the August 1, 2007 Washington Post Article
by Amy Goldstein and Carrie Johnson. The article, "U.S. Attorney Became Target After Rebuffing Justice Dept" talks about how an Assistant U.S. Attorney, John L. Brownlee, while prosecuting the OxyContin case was called by Michael J. Elston, the chief of staff to the Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty (read Alberto Gonzales underling) the night before the plea deal and was instructed to "slow down" the prosecution. Mr. Brownlee, boldly, did not listen to those instructions and went forward with the prosecution.
Interesting. A few weeks ago, I blogged on Presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani
, being the dealmaker for Purdue Pharma, the multi-billion dollar company who manufactured Oxy. Recently company executives were sentenced for defrauding the government but avoided the real punishment of significant jail time. We all know that rich people get to avoid criminal prosecution whenever possible. I am sure having a presidential hopeful as your lawyer and a president as you buddy didn't hurt.
According to the article, someone had enough influence and power to actually get to an Assistant U.S. Attorney's superior office, have them call the poor US Attorney the night before he concludes the biggest case of his life and try and stall or kill the prosecution. I know that is no longer shocking. But it should be!
We applaud the work of the bold and good Mr. Brownlee, but what was his reward? Somehow his name was on a November 1 list of Assistant US Attorneys who were recommended for dismissal. That seems logical. Let's dismiss the guy who just prosecuted a huge pharma company and worked his tail off and helped recover $635 million for the government. Why would Mr. Gonzales want to dismiss Mr. Brownlee? Maybe because he was pushing to prosecute the President of United State's buddies? I criticized the deal as too lenient. I think the public needed to see real justice and retribution by having the evildoing executives go to jail. I am betting the Administration felt it came far too fast and was far too costly.
I guess, as a lawyer, I am imprinted with the feeling that our justice system (one of the best and most fair systems in the world) is the third leg of American Government. The American way of life depends on the judicial system running as an independent entity free of political manipulation. Certainly there have always been attempts to manipulate the Judiciary. But this administration has made a full out frontal attack on the entire Judicial System. They attack the civil system by trying to stop civil lawsuits. They propagandize the American public that they need to stop the "greedy trial lawyers" at the small guys expense. Big corporations, big drug companies and big insurance companies can continue to hurt the little guy and this Administration could not be happier. Now they are fully attacking the criminal justice system. They are directly and intentionally interfering with criminal prosecutions. I do not trust any of their motives. Purdue Pharma plead guilty to hurting and killing and defrauding the public and the government. They got away with a $635 million dollar slap on the wrist. I know that sounds like a lot of money, but when your liberty is at steak, it is just money. I promise they will make more. It should be criminal for the Administration to interfere and attempt to stop even that from happening. It makes me imagine how much money and fraud is not being prosecuted in the multi-BILLION dollar contracts to the Iraq multi-national companies.
This is just another bad smell reeking from the bowels of an administration mired in the muck of just being bad to the core. Bad at administrating. Bad at being transparent with the public. Bad at caring for the country. Bad at making international policy. Bad at dealing with prisoners of war. Bad for the environment. Just bad for America. It is just so very bad.
Sick and signing off.