Iglesias told me he was continually being pushed to bring “voter fraud” cases beginning in 2004. Unfortunately, Iglesias went along with the game, at least at the opening kick-off, holding a press conference just weeks before the Bush-Kerry race, announcing he was setting up a task force with the FBI to hunt down evil voters.
But there were none. “It was the old throwing pasta at the wall trick. Something’s got to stick. And it didn’t,” he said.
So Iglesias got the axe. “I didn’t help them out on their bogus voter fraud prosecutions.”
Notably, Iglesias has been signaling these cases were phony-baloney for two years. I got that word from his office in 2005 while reporting for BBC Television on what passes for elections in the USA. But the New Mexico and US press continued to hawk the Republican line that masses of illegal voters, especially illegal immigrants, were jamming the polling stations.
One thing the American media still has failed to do is to explain why the GOP wanted to bring these cases. In New Mexico, in Arizona, in Georgia and a dozen other states, Republicans were pushing laws requiring voters to have special ID. In 2004, at least a quarter million citizens lost their vote because they didn’t bring in the right ID. And which quarter million? Overwhelming, it was Black, Brown and “Blue” Americans.
Yet, despite this tidal wave of a quarter million “fraudulent” voters, not one was charged with a crime. Hmmm. Maybe they were innocent. If there’s no crime, there’s no need for a law to stop the crime. But Republicans don’t want to stop voter fraud — they want to stop voters.
Iglesias wouldn’t help them do it. He did the PR stunt — but he wouldn’t handcuff the innocent. Was he fired for that? His termination was ordered by Tim Griffin, Karl Rove’s right-hand hitman. Were Griffin and Rove punishing Iglesias for not bringing the fake cases?
Iglesias said, “If his intent was, look what happened with Iglesias, if that was his intent, he’s in big trouble. That is obstruction of justice, one classic example.”
Figuring out Rove’s intent requires crawling inside his head. That’s scary and difficult — unless you have his office’s “missing” emails. I have 500 of them. How I got them is another story. The key thing, as I was discussing with my fellow alum of the AG’s office, is to explain to a jury the perps’ mindset. And these emails show the mad fixation of Griffin and the Rove crew with eliminating voters of the wrong hue.
Most notable were the “caging” lists naming thousands of voters who lost their vote to GOP challenges, a large proportion of them soldiers sent overseas. Voting rights attorney and law professor Robert F., Kennedy Jr. reviewed the evidence we obtained and concluded, “They ought to be in jail for doing this” — Griffin and his boss Rove both — for violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
But who would bust them, Bobby? Alberto Gonzales?
Is Captain Iglesias just another serviceman “caged”?
And where is Griffin today? After Rove had the US Attorney for Arkansas fired, he replaced him with … Griffin. The perpetrator became the prosecutor.
And that’s the real crime: removing those who won’t conspire with the GOP bigs to push the voter ID con — and planting their Griffins, expert in election manipulation — in place for the 2008 race.
This week, I contacted the office of Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy about the Griffin appointment. They seemed oddly indifferent. Leahy’s aide said, “Well, Griffin’s just an interim appointee.”
True, Griffin has promised to leave — right after the 2008 election.
Prosecutor-gate is not about Gonzales’ incompetence. It’s not about appointing “loyal Bushies.” It’s not even about firing A Few Good Men.