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Special Reports Last Updated: Mar 23rd, 2010 - 00:47:39

Boss Rahm decides who is a worthy Democrat
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Mar 23, 2010, 00:20

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(WMR) -- WMR has learned from sources close to ousted White House chief counsel Greg Craig that it was not President Obama�s top legal adviser who balked at ordering the Justice Department to review the politically-motivated criminal cases brought by the Bush administration against three top Democrats in the South, but it was White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who made the decision to nix any White House backing for new trials for the southern Democratic officials involved -- former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, former Georgia state Senate leader Charles Walker, and Mississippi attorney Paul Minor.

Walker and Minor are currently incarcerated in federal prisons while Siegelman was freed from prison pending an appeal of his conviction in a trial headed by a corrupt Bush-appointed federal judge and former Republican operative, Mark Fuller.

Craig announced his resignation as chief counsel last November. Although press reports indicated that Craig was forced out by Emanuel over Craig�s determination to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison and to release Bush administration Justice Department memos on harsh interrogation techniques, the new information suggests that Craig and Emanuel also differed over Bush-era Justice Department prosecutions of Siegelman, Walker, and Minor, with Craig favoring a Justice Department review of the cases and possible new trials.

The involvement of Emanuel in blocking Justice Department review of the cases against Siegelman, Walker, and Minor is the first evidence that ties Obama�s chief of staff to the continuation of the political prosecutions of a number of Democrats that was brought about largely by President Bush�s top political adviser Karl Rove.

This is not the first instance in which Emanuel and Rove find themselves on the same side. Obama�s Harvard Law School friend, Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) is running to be the first black governor of Alabama. Davis has not only received the support of Rove�s good friend, Alabama Republican and businessman Bill Canary, whose wife, Leura Canary, prosecuted Siegelman, but also signed up former Alabama Lieutenant Governor Jere Beasley, who served under Governor George Wallace, as his campaign manager.

Beasley, according to our Alabama sources, is tied to ExxonMobil and favors the interests of big oil, a bias that has also been adopted by Davis. Davis is a staunch member of the Emanuel supported centrist and pro-business Democratic Leadership Council and was the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to call on Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) to step aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee amid an ethics probe of his finances. WMR previously reported that Emanuel�s campaign against senior black leaders in the House was at the heart of the move to have Rangel turn his gavel over to Representative Sander Levin (D-MI), an Emanuel ally.

Davis is being challenged in the Democratic primary for governor by the popular Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks. WMR has learned the Sparks campaign has obtained quite a �dossier� on Davis, especially from opposition research conducted by former Representative Earl Hilliard, who was defeated by Davis in the 2002 primary after Davis�s campaign saw a heavy input of cash from out-of-state Jewish donors. Hilliard was a frequent critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians and both he and Representative Cynthia McKinney were targets of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2010

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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