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May 03, 2007

Comments

Michael Leon

Nice piece.

And I love Josh Marshall and Paul Kiel, and Marshall leaves the door open in his post RE Bisc.

But what all these people who like Biskupic (especially liberal prosecutors and friends in the press) miss is that the god-awful prosecutions of voter fraud, G. Thompson and one Vietnam-era vet DID happen to tragic consequences; but his friends believe it's more important that because Bisk is such a nice guy, they wouldn't have happened.

Josh Marshall, unlike his normal routine, is veering from the facts of the prosecutions, and doing the smooze method of jorunalism-i.e: relying on friends and colleagues who have nothing to gain by questioning these bs prosecutions, and accepting, in a qualified manner, their assurances.

See http://www.uppitywis.org/node for how much a nice guy the Bisc is.

And keep up the great work!
###

Phil  Ball

Everybody loves Steve Biskupic.
But the JournalSentinel loves him most.
They love him so much that they are blinded by the light, and feel nothing but forgiveness.
All of which prompted me to submit the following as a response to their valentine to Buskupic a week or so ago.

Your editorial, Mistakes Aren't Crimes, completely misreads the written opinion of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
You characterize it as saying '...fair-minded people can disagree on whether this case was worthy of prosecution.'
Then you put words in the Appeals Court's mouth; 'The higher court says you(Biskupic) made a mistake.'
And you conclude this line of reasoning with a powder-puff to Biskupic's chin: ' Live and learn.'
In fact, the Appeals Justices never wrote what you said they wrote. Quoting them:

The prosecution’s theory is that Thompson “intentionally misapplie[d]” more than $5,000 by diverting it from Omega World Travel to Adelman Travel. This assumes, however, that a mistake is the same thing as a misapplication, and the statute does not say this. (It isn’t even clear that Thompson made a mistake: She had
authority to order the best-and-final procedure, a statistical tie ensued, and the tiebreakers were carried out accurately.)
Approving a payment for goods or services not supplied would be a misapplication, but hiring the low bidder does not sound like “misapplication” of funds. The federal government saved money because of Thompson’s decisions.

end quote


You characterize the Appeals Court as saying the fault for ruining Georgia Thompson's life lies with the vagueness of the law. In fact, the Appeals Court brands the whole prosecutorial chain-of-command as misreading the facts, misapplying the law, ignoring standard rules of evidence and procedure, and employing preposterous lines of reasoning.
This harsh language is aimed directly at Biscupic, his task force on political corruption, and judge Rudolph Randa who presided over this legal train wreck.
Isn't this the same bunch that soiled Wisconsin's reputation with a bogus campaign against voter-fraud?
And you urge Biskupic to 'stay true' to this sorry record?
Just about the whole world now knows that the kind of abuse of power that you so blithely dismiss as 'a mistake' is in fact the policy and program of the Bush administration, top to bottom.
A free press is our last check on the abuse of power. In this instance, in Wisconsin, that check failed.

There remain numerous questions about Biskupic's behavior, some of which could be answered by taking a peek at the transcript of the grand jury proceedings that indicted Georgia Thompson. You would think that by now media outlets like the JournalSentinel would be shamed into making amends for their disgracful enabling of this whole mess by demanding of Judge Randa and Steve Biskupic that they release this document so that the public can see what evidence was presented to the grand jury.
And what about doing the same for the grand jury transcripts of the proceedings that led to the bogus voter fraud indictments?
And think about this for a second; this same grand jury is still alive, and the same investigation that led to the jailing of Georgia Thompson is ongoing.
Is it conceivable that new evidence gathered by this discredited investigation is being presented to this same discredited grand jury for new indictments?
As for Biskupic's motives, assume the obvious: after years in the USA's office, he knew what his handlers wanted. In fact he has already stated that other USA's fired for blatantly political reasons were his friends, and they talked shop often. Do you suppose they talked about the political environment surrounding all 93 USAs?
Or how about federal Judge Rudolph Randa seeking senior or reserve status which would free up a major political plumb for someone in Biskupic's position. Should we dare assume that Biskupic was aware of this lifetime sinecure? And that he knew that this appointment would be made by Rove/Bush? I'll go out on a limb and flatly state that Biskupic knew all this only if he could see lightening and hear thunder.
In other words, isn't it obvious that Biskupic was a normal human being in this environment, subject to all the frailities of ambition, bootlicking and political considerations signaled from above? That he chose his cases in no small part based on what he knew about the political environment in which he worked and where he hoped to advance? And that Georgia Thompson, in refusing to accept a plea bargain because she knew she was innocent, forced Biskupic to either drop his case and eat crow(and possibly his own advancement, possibly to Randa's soon-to-be vacant judgeship), or go ahead and prosecute a dubious charge against a thoroughly innocent woman?
These are obvious questions to any journalist.
So where are they, these journalists?
Where are the stories?
Why isn't the JournalSentinel phalanx of savage corporate attorneys all over Judge Randa and Biskupic, demanding the transcripts of all the proceedings of all the grand jury indictments in this mess?
Where is the AP?
How did this happen?

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