By John David Van Hove (http://www.ICResource.com/)
July 16, 2002
Political Targeting :
Abuse of Executive Agency & Congressional Power News
Congressman James Traficant (D-OH) was convicted in U.S. District Court
on April 11, 2002 for ten counts of corruption, kickbacks, racketeering
and other felony offenses. He is facing 100 years in prison and $3,000,000
in fines. His sentencing hearing comes on July 30, 2002.
For most people this would sound like a death sentence, but not for
Mr. Traficant. He is not only appealing the conviction based on the jurors
not being from his district, but was on CSPAN to defend his imminent expulsion
from the U.S. Congress. What he brought to the cameras and into the public
arena was nothing less than remarkable.
Mr. Traficant is a feisty, working-class hero from his congressional
district in Ohio. He has fought for his people and been personally involved
in their struggles. Due to his out-spoken and critical attitude towards
government during his tenure in the U.S. Congress, he was politically targeted
by this and other Administrations.
Ever since Janet Reno was Attorney General, "Get Traficant" was the
battle cry. That's exactly what the government has been desperate to accomplish.
Their goal was to put him away in prison for the rest of his life and shut
him up forever. This may very well happen. But Traficant is a warrior and
won't be stopped so easily. At least, not yet.
On July 15th, 2002 he testified on his behalf before a U.S. Congressional
Committee on Ethics challenging not only the federal conviction, which
is on appeal, but also the lack of a fair trial and due process in the
American legal system. He also commented on the practice of political targeting.
He argued in his opening statement against the Committee Counsel, who
echoed the U.S. District Court conviction and one-sided testimony, that
each and every witness brought by the prosecution was either pressured
or forced to lie by the FBI/IRS investigators. Whereas each and every witness
Mr. Traficant subpoened to rebut the prosecution's witnesses and evidence
was refused by the judge. It was clearly not a fair trial nor an accurate
record of the truth.
There was not one fingerprint on any of the documents presented by the
FBI/IRS to verify the authenticity of the documents presented as evidence.
This indicates a dangerous trend in federal law enforcement to manufacture
or destroy evidence that suits the prosecution. This occurred during the
Oklahoma City Bombing and likely 9/11 as well. It certainly happened during
the Traficant investigation and trial.
Traficant holds the jury as sacred. But he doesn't blame them for convicting
him. Because the jury could only rule on what evidence and witnesses brought
before them. They only could rule on the 50 witnesses and evidence for
the prosecution. They couldn't rule on what they were not allowed to see.
And they were not allowed to see 1 witness or any evidence from the defense.
The judge wouldn't allow it. It was a one-sided prosecution and conviction
that violates every standard of justice known to civilized man.
When the government is afraid of the people, we have liberty. When the
people are afraid of their own government, we have tyranny. And today,
Americans are afraid of their own government. Americans should never be
afraid of their own government in a free republic.
If this is the standard of justice all Americans can expect from their
government, then we're all in big trouble. If a congressman cannot get
a fair trial, then who else in America can? It's a stake in the heart of
our judicial system. It's the death of our once great republic.
Traficant asserts that the responsibility for this injustice lies with
the U.S. Congress. Congress has given too much power to the Executive Branch
and has failed to control the agencies delegated with the authority to
execute the laws such as the FBI/IRS..
The practice of political targeting is a cancer upon the body politic
and will ultimately destroy all confidence in our institutions of government.
Political targeting deprives the system of any accountability to the law,
for those who stand up fear the repercussions of persecution.
After hearing Traficant's verbal rebuttal of the Committee Counsel and
the charges before him, point by point, you'd agree that the charges and
resulting conviction were trumped up and seriously prejudiced not only
in the federal trial but before the Ethics Committee. Traficant made no
admissions of guilt on any of the charges.
Traficant also asserted that he was convicted not by a jury but by a
judge on hearsay evidence. He admitted that the federal judges as well
as members of congress are afraid of the FBI/IRS for fear of being politically
targeted themselves. The issue of political targeting is destroying the
checks and balances keeping our system accountable to the law.
Perhaps, they are too busy protecting their pensions, salaries and reputation.
But what kind of system do we have if our leaders and those responsible
for the administration of justice are too afraid to stand up and be counted?
Tyranny, we have tyranny. The practice of political targeting must not
be allowed in a free republic. Pull back the reigns of power from the Executive
Put the FBI and IRS back in a tightly controlled box with Congressional
oversight and responsibility. And restore the independence of the Judicial
Tune in to CSPAN today for more on "Traficant Answers Ethics Charges"
for a real treat in live television.
Let's not mention the blatant hypocrisy of the Ethics Committee and
virtually every member of Congress being involved in some questionable
ethical behavior or other. Congress has no credibility with the public.
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