Bush and Gonzales’ First Final Insult: Ted Stevens is Beyond Your Law

Sure, you thought the world had changed. You thought the governmental scum were getting beached, the political punks pushed out of town. A new Sheriff was in town, and he won’t even let Human Rights Watch employees who once lobbied the State Department to ‘please stop torturing’ access to the government. Silly Jedi: legal kinks are for Teds.

Or, with respect to the Bush/Gonzales Department of Justice: gross malfeasance and incompetence are grounds for dismissal of every guilty conviction found against an endlessly, brazenly corrupt Beltway Son-Of-A-Bitch. And, oh, how this imbecility really burns: after Jack Abramoff, no one illegally strutted his oily, twitching, power-oozing carcass around like this guy.

Hey, and for reference, here is our 40-year veteran of Capitol Hill and angry lying and bald-faced scumbagg’ry, former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens:

i oppose you

..or, in an alternate congressional portrait:

i chigger you

..and has there ever been an easier stooge to whack in a case of corruption? Over 4 decades, the guy tallied a bill of crimes that made ‘Duke’ Cunningham look chintzy. The 7 felony indictments the former administration managed to get, far less than a representative sample of the Senator’s behavior over his career, are described here:

“..engaging in a nearly eight-year scheme to conceal his receipt of more than $250,000 in things of value from VECO Corporation, formerly a multi-national oil services company based in Alaska, and Bill J. Allen, the Chief Executive Officer of VECO at the time. According to the indictment, Stevens concealed these things of value from his publicly filed United States Senate financial disclosure forms. The things of value that Stevens allegedly received included: substantial home improvements to property Stevens owns in Girdwood, Alaska; automobile exchanges in which Stevens received new vehicles worth far more than the used vehicles Stevens provided in exchange; and household goods. The indictment also alleges that Sen. Stevens, during the same time that he was concealing his continuing receipt of these things of value from VECO and Allen, received solicitations for official actions from Allen and other VECO employees, and that Sen. Stevens used his position and office on behalf of VECO during that same time period.”

It was a piece of cake: everybody in D.C. knew, and everybody in Alaska knew because none of the conspirators denied Stevens’ bragging of their extra-legal status, that VECO and the Senator were fuck-buddies. Even when the dead-serious legal inquiries began, even with authorities already having them nailed dead and recording them exactly as the Senator assumed they were, this is as cryptic or worried as the old man would get:

“You gotta get, get a mental attitude that these guys can’t really hurt us, y’know, they’re not gonna shoot us, it’s not Iraq. What the hell, the worse that can happen to us is we run a bunch of legal fees, and might lose, and we might have to pay a fine–might have to serve a little time in jail–I hope to Christ it never gets to that…”

Good lord, he’s not just a poster-boy for the Bush Administration gone wrong–he’s an iconic symbol of political arrogance and government corruption for all of American history. This is the guy who championed the $398 million ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and, having been humiliated for it, waged a war against his ‘enemies’. The same guy who, after he was convicted, being a lawyer, no less, claimed definitively that he had not yet been convicted. The guy who, though nailed and disgraced, still ran for Senate, making him the first contender felon to perhaps win a Senatorial race.

How could this happen? TPMMuckraker watched and blogged it all. It was an historically botched and corrupted prosecution.

Among the accusations were that the government intentionally “schemed to relocate a witness” and that an employee working on the investigation accepted artwork and employment for a relative from a cooperating source, according to a legal ruling issued late last night by the federal judge who presided over Stevens’s trial.

Among the [FBI] agent’s more eye-popping charges — which you can read here — is that an unnamed government employee “accepted multiple things of value from sources,” including “drawing/artwork, house-hunting assistance and employment for ___.”

The Government recently discovered that a witness interview of Bill Allen took place on April 15, 2008… The note was introduced at trial as Government Exhibit 495 and was referred to as the “Torricelli note.” The notes of the April 15 interview indicate that Bill Allen said, among other things, in substance and in part, that he (Bill Allen) did not recall talking to Bob Persons regarding giving a bill to the defendant. This statement by Allen during the April 15 interview was inconsistent with Allen’s recollection at trial, where he described a conversation with Persons about the Torricelli note.

The witnesses were bad, were poorly vetted and organized, investigators acted wholly improperly but were never rebuked or struck, and contradictory testimony was foisted upon the court. Amateur hour, all around.

And for that familiar Bush-league impotence, what do we get? We get criminals resting comfortably at home instead of in prison. This latent twist of fate isn’t trivial: beyond the familiar political scum who always assume they’re safe, now re-assured, the nagging and ubiquitous high pundits of politics will rest, too, when their idols return to being safe. Heck, where’s the real romance in politics if they’re mechanically subject to the law, like you or me?