Under the George W. Bush administration, hundreds of Democrats were politically prosecuted by the Department of Justice (DoJ). Careers, reputations and finances were ruined in the process, families devastated. Many of the targeted politicians ended up in prison. Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is one of the most visible targets of the partisan DoJ. A hugely popular Democrat in a Republican state, Siegelman was the only person in Alabama history to be elected to the four top state posts. Political prosecutions were designed to achieve permanent Republican domination by undermining Democratic infrastructure across the country, particularly in swing states.
Gov. Siegelman was convicted on corruption charges, and taken
straight from sentencing to prison in handcuffs and shackles, treatment
reserved for dangerous and violent criminals. His harsh sentence left dozens of
former states attorneys of both parties calling on the DoJ to reexamine his
case. Gov. Siegelman is currently
out on appeal. Welcome to OEN,
Governor. Please tell our readers how what happened to you has any bearing on
their lives and on the state of our democracy.
What has happened to me is un-American. If the power of our government can be abused and used as a political weapon against me, a former Governor, the same thing can happen to you or anyone. Sadly, our American democracy has been threatened, our constitutional rights and individual liberties eroded.
We have sat back and allowed our Department of Justice to be used as a political tool by Karl Rove; we have watched as we were led into war under false pretenses, as torture was utilized as a means of interrogation; we have allowed illegal wiretaps and seen elections in this country stolen.
We cannot allow these threats to the core values of our democracy to be swept under the White House rug. I firmly believe that holding those public officials accountable who abused their power is critical to the stability and restoration of democracy, our constitution and our freedom.