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As Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary today, veterans mobilized on behalf of jailed Air Force vet Keith Roberts, indicted and convicted by the controversial US Atty Stephen Biskupic.
In several e-mail trees, the veterans urged veterans and supporters to phone members of the Judiciary Committee questioning Gonzales on the recent firings of US Attys, and what US Attys who had kept their jobs may have done to remain in their positions.
Critics and watchdog groups accuse the Bush administration of the unprecedented politicalization of government, including the Department of Justice and the Veterans Administration (VA), and see the indictment and conviction of Roberts on charges of wire fraud as a consequence of this politicalization.
The vets hit Rep. Tammy Baldwin's (D-Wis) office especially hard, as they perceive her as the only Wisconsin member of the Judiciary Committee known as a champion of veterans’ issues.
The veterans’ e-mail reads in part:
“This is important. I need each of you to act today.... read this
“Urge Rep. Baldwin and your member of the Judiciary Committee to ask AG Gonzales about the Jailed Vet Keith Roberts.
“We want Keith Roberts Freed, and US Atty Stephen Biskupic Fired.
“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is returning to Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
“Many Uppity Wisconsin readers know that Airman Keith Roberts (1968-74) is battling political forces allied with VA Sec. Jim Nicholson whose department worked with US Atty Stephen Biskupic, WI, to imprison this Vietnam-ear vet for 48 months on a ludicrous charge of wire fraud, now under appeal.
“Please contact Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) (now a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary ) http://judiciary.house.gov/CommitteeMembership.aspx
and urge her to seek all documents in this affair and ask Gonzales about Airman Roberts’ indictments.
Rep. Baldwin can be reached at: (202) 225-2906.
Wisconsin Public Radio
In other developments, Wisconsin Public Radio ran a piece produced by Gil Halstad on the Roberts case.