| Alaska's "Uncle Ted" Stevens, formerly known as Senator Uncle Ted, got a lovely parting gift, thanks to the Justice Department. They bungled the prosecution of his case so badly that Obama's new Attorney General Eric Holder had to ask that the charges against Stevens be dismissed in the interests of justice.

The Department of Justice was created to look after the interests of the United States under the law and "to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans" (US DOJ), but during the Bush era it got sidetracked to other matters.

John Ashcroft and The Spirit of Justice. John Ashcroft, Bush's first attorney general, was at times more concerned with prudery than justice. He famously ordered the statue of the Spirit of Liberty covered by curtains so he wouldn't have to look at her bare breast.
The department was also the home of John Yoo who helped torture the law to make it legal for Bush to torture his enemy combatants.
Under Alberto Gonzales, the department became just another political arm of the White House, seeking ways to punish those who fell out of grace with the White House for not being political enough (several of the US Attorneys General) or being too friendly with Democrats (eg former Alabama governor Don Seligman). Gonzales also raised evasiveness to a high art form when testifying before Congress and developed a highly selective memory.
Nick Anderson

I would have loved dearly seeing Uncle Ted, one of the meanest men on Capitol Hill, being walked into prison, but Holder did the right thing. To be a nation of laws means that you follow the laws always and apply them evenly. Disappointing as it is to see someone walk on "a technicality" (although failing to disclose exculpatory evidence is hardly a technicality), it is that same scrupulous adherence to the requirements of law that protects me and you from being treated unjustly.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



Recent Articles