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Biskupic the Politician Emerges

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Michael Leon
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via MAL Contends 

Reacting to the growing pressure on his office after McClatchy Newspapers reported that US Atty Steven Biskupic’s name appeared on a US Justice Department hit list of prosecutors; Biskupic’s office released an extraordinary statement on Saturday. 

The statement makes the following points, among others: 

- That the career prosecutor’s much-criticized Georgia Thompson prosecution (derided as politically motivated and harshly thrown out of appellate court) included consultations with two Democratic prosecutors (former US Atty and Wis Atty Gen Peg Lautenschlager, and Dane Co DA Brian Blanchard) 

- That Biskupic’s public corruption cases included Republican-affiliated defendants 

- And that “(u)ntil the recent controversy surrounding the firings of eight United State Attorneys around the country, it was never communicated to me that my job could be in jeopardy or that I was considered to be disloyal to President Bush's agenda.” 

The 216-word statement does nothing to quell the controversy and raises more questions about the nature of Biskupic’s office, which is sounding more and more like that of a desperate politician’s out to save his hide. 


The Peg-and-Brian-said-it-too rejoinder regarding the failed Thompson prosecution is a fallacious appeal-to-authority argument that does nothing to bolster Biskupic’s case that an appellate judge said is composed of evidence called “beyond thin.” 

And, anyway, the last time I checked Lautenschlager and Blanchard were not infallible prosecutors, but rather were/are both ambitious politicians and prosecutors for whom bipartisan alliances are useful. 

As for the Thompson case being thrown into the hands of Republican political operatives seeking to unseat Gov. Doyle (D-WI) in the 2006 election, we are to believe – apparently on faith – that Biskupic’s “decision to charge Thompson was based solely on the facts,” the “beyond thin” facts. 

Republican-money-donating-aligned individuals 

The number of Biskupic’s Republican public corruption cases increases substantially when—as opposed to the study by Shields and Cragan noting the US Attys’ investigations of “Republican officials”—Biskupic notes inclusively the “cases against individuals who donated money to Republican candidates or who were aligned with the Republican Party.” This reminds one of the diminishing “weapons of mass destruction-related program activities” charge made at the 2004 State of the Union Address. 

Disloyalty to Bush never communicated to Biskupic 

I ask: 

- What kind of administration would even consider axing this career prosecutor selected through a bipartisan commission, if he is the apolitical man he claims? 

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Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at maleon64@yahoo.com.
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