Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Clinton's Media Allies Used Blatant Double Standard to Force Trump to Jettison Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort is one of those types referred to variously as a "lobbyist" or a "political strategist" or a "consultant." Whatever you call them, this class of creatures are parasitic leeches embedded in the corrupt U.S. political system of corporate oligarchic rule, a system manifested domestically in repression and exploitation, and abroad in imperialism, war, and various crimes against humanity, and recognizes no rights anywhere, just excessive privileges for those in the elite in-crowd. They basically function as fixers, shills, and influence-peddlers for clients, whether corporate or governmental, seeking advantages within the U.S. power structure. Sometimes they give political advice to foreign rulers about handling their affairs in their home country. This is what Manafort apparently did for the former president of Ukraine.

Manafort was attacked by much of the U.S. establishment media for selling his services in years past to the U.S.-ousted former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yauokovych, whom he helped elect. The fact that Yanukovych was the legal and democratically-elected president was irrelevant. The crime is he was "Russian-backed." (Not quite. The Russians had to pressure him to opt out of a trade pact with the EU that deliberately excluded Russia. And they didn't intervene to save him from having to flee for his life from the violent fascist rabble that the U.S. egged on to overthrow him, similarly to what they did in Iran in 1953.) [1]

Those of Manafort's ilk typically sell their services to various foreign governments, including despotic and tyrannical ones. No one raises an eyebrow over American shills promoting Saudi Arabia here, one of the most repressive and medieval regimes on earth. And Manafort couldn't gaze into the future to see that the U.S. would decide to overthrow his client and retroactively label that client an official Bad Guy. (We don't know if the U.S. was even then covertly moving against Yanukovych. Maybe someday WikiLeaks can tell us. The U.S. government certainly will never voluntarily tell. That's called "transparency" in the Orwellian language of U.S. political elites.)

But the successful assault on Manafort was more than just a case of singling out someone who is typically treated with discretion and respect by the establishment propaganda system. In fact it's the height of chutzpah. Because this was done on behalf of Hillary Clinton, and it just so happens that another member of Manafort's class of hustler, Lanny Davis, is a moral leper, propagandist for tyrants, P.R. man for the Honduran coup supported by Clinton and Obama, and a close associate of the Clintons, former special counsel to the last president Clinton. So where do the media allies of Clinton and those merely desperate to Stop Trump At All Costs get off with such a blatant double standard?

Davis charged a cool $100,000 a month to defend Ivory Coast dictator Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to leave office at the end of his term and murdered people to cling to power. (Unlike Yanukovych who offered to step down early to try and mollify the fascist mob that was setting cars, buildings, and policemen on fire in the streets. (Go watch the youtube videos- they literally lit policemen ablaze.) He also sold his services to the dictator of Equatorial Guinea. And there was his assiduous shilling for the Honduran coup. For pay, of course .[2]

One useful conclusion we can draw about Trump from his willingness to throw Manafort overboard is this: contrary to the image he tries to project as a fearless tough guy who never backs down, we see that he is indeed susceptible to pressure, and willing to reverse course. More evidence of that are his verbal about-faces and two-steps when he gets a certain amount of heat for his statements. I predict that if he becomes president, the very powerful "national security" state- that is, the military-secret police combine- will be able to twist him like to pretzel to serve their goals.

After all, Trump has no real interest in foreign policy, no principles, and no goals except his own increased self-aggrandizement. So no impediments will be placed in the way of the Pentagon or the massive, multi-tentacled secret police apparatus (euphemistically called "the intelligence community").

But then, there are barely any limits placed on them now. And with all the rich blackmail material the secret police must have on Hillary, there won't be limits under a restoration of the Clinton reign either.

  Paul Manafort gets tripped up.

 Lanny Davis. "Money is my God. You got a problem with that?"

1] Not that Manafort has democratic scruples. He also worked for U.S.-backed Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and CIA-supported Angolan terrorist leader Jonas Savimbi. But maybe his worst crime was working for Reagan. For background on Manafort from an establishment media viewpoint, see. "Paul Manafort has guided dictators and strongmen, but can he manage Donald Trump?," Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2016. Notice how precipitately was Manafort's fall, coming soon after this piece.

For Manafort defrauding a Russian businessman out of $19 million, plus more on Trump and links to articles, see Swindler Trump's Presidential Campaign Run By a Swindler- U.S. Media Acts As Accomplices
July 27, 2016.

2] You can watch Davis speciously justifying his propaganda work for Honduran anti-democrats on Democracy Now! For the charge sheet against Davis see" Loathsome Lanny Davis Has More Blood On His Hands," December 28, 2010.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Last Time the FARC Disarmed, Thousands of its Members Were Slaughtered. Is That About To Happen Again?

Sometimes history doesn't repeat as farce, but as yet another tragedy. Of course, one person's tragedy can be another's cause for celebration. (The Nazis and the Jews- and hopefully now most of the rest of humanity- had very different feelings about the Holocaust, for example.)

You wouldn't know it from establishment media "reporting," but the just-announced ceasefire between the Colombian rulers ("government") and the rebel force FARC, under which FARC will disarm and become a political party and presumably participate in elections, is the second time we've been here.

The same agreement was made back in 1984, the so-called La Uribe Agreement, FARC disarmed and came out into the open. The following year, FARC got together with various leftist and communist groups to create a  new political party, the Union Patriótica (Patriotic Union, UP). The UP sought terribly evil political reforms, such as a revised constitution, democratic local elections, political decentralization, and most unforgivably, an end to the hegemony over Colombian politics by the Liberal and Conservative parties. They called for desperately needed health and education spending, favored nationalization of foreign businesses, Colombian banks, and transportation, and public access to the oligarchy's media. They even had the effrontery to pursue land redistribution! (Hundreds of thousands of rural families were rendered landless by people like Alvaro Uribe, father of the fascist death squads and the previous president of Colombia before the current one.)

Needless to say, all this was unacceptable, so the rulers unleashed their death squads, which dutifully murdered not just one, but two UP presidential candidates, numerous UP public office-holders and officials, and as many as 6,000 people all told between 1986 and 1990. In 1989 a single landholder had over 400 UP members murdered. (Notice that rich Colombians all have an individual license to kill.) And in 1990, every single presidential candidate from all the center-left parties were assassinated. Apparently merely stealing an election is too humdrum for the Colombian "elite." (Most of the UP ranks were not from FARC, but from socialist and labor groups.)

Will this time be any different? Given the bloodthirsty history of the Colombian ruling class and its military and auxiliary fascist death squads (euphemistically referred to in Western media as "right-wing paramilitaries," when they're mentioned at all), there is reason for grave concern. This new Colombian ceasefire may well  be a prelude to yet another ruling class extermination campaign against its class enemies.

You would think this very germane antecedent would bear at least a mention, but no. This part of history conflicts with the propaganda narrative of Western media, so it is simply ignored completely, as if it never happened. [1]

Instead, we are now being fed false and grossly misleading propaganda like this from the U.S. Government's NPR, and the British Government's BBC (every half hour around the clock from the BBC): "historic ceasefire," as if it's a first; the ceasefire is "to put an end to five decades of war..." (if you don't count the years 1984-1990- although I guess in a sense most of those years was a war, if a one-sided one, like the "war on drugs," or the Nazi "war against the Jews) "...and turn them [FARC] into a legal political movement;" FARC will become a party and "will try to gain political power in Colombia through democratic means," as if they never tried that before. As if the problem is violent leftists who don't believe in democracy, not a ruling class that doesn't allow the vast majority of people to participate except to rubber-stamp two ruling class parties!

And the same aforementioned propaganda outfits keep telling us that 220,000 or 260,000 people were "killed in the conflict." That neatly sidesteps the fact that the vast majority of those killed were unarmed civilians slaughtered by the government's military and the rulers' death squads. It also avoids mentioning the mass grave found outside at least one army base, of local civilians murdered for bounties. The government had the brilliant idea of paying bonuses for dead "guerrillas." So grab a poor peasant and murder him- easy money!

The BBC put on an American polemicist and unreconstructed imperialist named Steven Pinker, a hustler originally from Canada who now bills himself as a "cognitive scientist" and wrangled a perch for himself in the psychology department of Harvard University, a school that is sort of a Ground Zero for U.S. imperialist ideology. Pinker instructed that the Colombian civil war (bourgeois media never call it a civil war) "is the last remnant of the Cold War," which can only mean that FARC was a cat's paw of the Soviet Union, part of the "International Communist Conspiracy," the alibi U.S. imperialists long used to justify their coups, invasions, and imposition of fascistic military dictatorships and various repressive regimes designed to quash democracy and social progress in its sphere of influence- a sphere which they believe ultimately should rightly include the entire planet, the dream of every imperialist who ever lived.

Ask yourself this: in the quarter century since the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991, has U.S. behavior changed one bit? To the contrary, NATO, which was created, it was claimed, to defend against a Soviet invasion of western Europe, has since been expanded right up to Russia's borders, and assigned new missions helping fight the U.S.'s wars in far-flung lands. The U.S. is still aiding and abetting coups against democratically-elected governments, as in Honduras, Egypt, Venezuela, and Brazil. It is committed to a relentless expansion of its power. Through the NSA, it attempts to spy on all communications everywhere. It has put in train a trillion dollar buildup of nuclear weapons.

And what about the period before the Soviet Union came into existence in 1917? Over a century earlier, the U.S. invaded British Canada to try and annex those lands for itself. In 1846 it attacked Mexico, ultimately forcing Mexico to cede over half (55%) of its entire national territory to the U.S. (including Texas), with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1998 it started a war with the decrepit Spanish empire to seize Spain's colonies, even the Philippines, on theother side of the globe. (The Filipinos had the crazy notion that they were entitled to self-determination and independence, so the U.S. had to beat that notion out of them with the usual methods of torture and mass killing.) The U.S. invaded various Caribbean and Central American nations numerous times in the first decades of the twentieth century. And so on.

Cold War my eye.

Steven Pinker. Even a clown can spout imperialist propaganda.

Let's briefly review how FARC came into existence in the first place. It's not some inexplicable derangement of innately evil people.

In 1948, the ruling classes inaugurated a decade of mass murder with the assassination of popular politician  Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Over the next ten years, a period called La Violencia, (The Violence,), over 300,000 people were murdered, overwhelmingly peasants and poor laborers. Then in 1958, the bourgeois elites of the "Liberal" and "Conservative" Parties, in cahoots with the ever-reactionary Catholic Church and big businessmen, set up a two-party dictatorship they christened the National Front. The two parties would take turns ruling, irrespective of actual election results. "Radical" were frozen out of political life. This oligarchic arrangement, a political monopoly of the upper classes enforced by state repression and violence, lasted until 1990.

In 1959, the U.S. sent a crew of its state terrorists ("counterinsurgency experts") down to Colombia to assess the situation and craft a state terror campaign to crush any reaction to the slaughter of the preceding decade.. The U.S. Army "Special Forces" (aka Green Berets) recommended that  "in order to shield the interests of both Colombian and US authorities against 'interventionist' charges any special aid given for internal security was to be sterile and covert in nature," which beneath the jargon is quite sinister. Then in 1962 another "Special Warfare" [i.e. state terrorism] team from Fort Bragg  paid a return visit, led by the Special Warfare Center commander himself, one General William P. Yarborough. He recommended to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (notice the high level this conspiracy is operating on) the formation of a "paramilitary" force to carry out sabotage and terrorism against "communists." This plan was duly implemented. The criminal conspiracy was dubbed Plan Lazo.

Under this plot, the U.S. goaded the Colombian government to attack villages that tried to arm themselves for self-defense. In one such operation, 16,000 Colombian troops, backed by U.S. might, attacked the village of Marquetalia, a community of 1,000 souls, 48 of whom were armed. These armed men managed to escape, and led by Manuel Marulanda Vélez, one of their number, founded FARC, which grew from that beginning.

If Colombia had ever been a democracy, if the rulers of Colombia weren't murderous thugs, if they didn't systematically assassinate popular leaders and slaughter hundreds of thousands of people, would the FARC even exist in the first place? No.

The propaganda systems of "Western" nations like to paint FARC as evil and the source of all violence in Colombia. This is a grotesque distortion of the actual history of Colombia, which makes clear that FARC was formed in response to the hyper-violence of the "upper" classes in Colombia against the "lower" classes. Members of the victim classes in fact were forced to take up arms.

Western propagandists also enjoy portraying FARC as a gang of degenerate kidnappers and drug lords. What's rarely mentioned is that they aren't the only ones using drugs as a source of funds. The corrupt Colombian government has plenty of officials involved in protecting the drug trade. The "paramilitaries" partake of cocaine money. And the CIA has profited from drug trafficking almost from its inception. So the high moral dudgeon of Western media rings a tad hollow to an objective person's ear.

The FARC was basically forced into accepting the current dangerous deal, even though it may well be walking into the same deadly trap as it was lured into in 1984, again, thanks to the U.S. Because of massive U.S. military and "intelligence" aid to the Colombian regime, FARC has been crippled and diminished. Under two Democratic Party presidents, Bill "Golden Tongue" Clinton and Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama, sinister U.S. operatives from the CIA and military, and large amounts of weapons, were sent in to fight on the side of the regime against the rebellious sectors of its populace. Under Obama, FARC leaders were located and then assassinated. FARC was strategically trapped in a downward spiral of the U.S.' design. So now tell me again, all you "progressive" fellow-travelers, why we should vote for the Democrats!

So under Obama, U.S. "policy" in Latin America has consisted of: a coup attempt in Venezuela, then the probable murder of Hugo Chavez by the CIA; a coup in Honduras; imprisoning women and children fleeing U.S.-created violent hellholes in Central America; approval of a coup by corrupt legislators in Brazil; and a vicious "counterinsurgency" campaign in Colombia that has killed thousands. Oh, but he reestablished relations with Cuba, the better to subvert the established order there. (Cuba does need changes, by the way. Say, that "naval base" in Guantanamo Bay, you ever gonna get the hell out of there, U.S.?)

None dare call them imperialists!

The very respectable Alvaro Uribe, Godfather of Death Squads, President of Colombia 2002-2010

1]  I've only ever come across one mention of the 1985-90 extermination campaign in the establishment's media that I can remember. It was buried about two-thirds of the way down in a lengthy New York Times article, consisting of a short paragraph or two, very matter-of-fact, and then the article returned to FARC-demonization, as all NY Times articles dealing with FARC do. So is it not correct to call the NY Times imperialist propaganda? That's not a polemical statement, it's a factual one.

"History of FARC," Wikipedia, August 29, 2016.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Trump Hires Christie Hatchetman/Fall Guy For His Presidential Campaign

Former henchman to New Jersey Republican Governor and corrupt bully Chris Christie, Bill Stepien, who became one of Christie's fall guys when it was revealed that the Christie regime vindictively caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee, NJ, has been hired by demagogic narcissist Donald Trump to a top position in Trump's campaign for president.

Stepien is to be the Trump campaign's national field director.

Stepien was one of the Christie soldiers who ordered traffic lanes leading from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge to New York City blocked for several days, causing traffic blockages and a possible death due to a delayed ambulance response to an emergency. This was done because the Democratic mayor of the town declined to endorse Republican Christie for reelection as Governor. (Talk about a totalitarian mindset! Even the rival party has to endorse the Emperor of New Jersey.) Christie scapegoated his underlings to save his own political hide when the conspiracy was revealed. A criminal trial is pending, but Stepien has not been indicted, oddly. Nor are the two defendants, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, being threatened with long prison sentences in order to move up the chain to Christie, a common practice in the U.S. when dealing with the non-elite. [1]

Stepien is the latest in a series of recent unsavory hires by Trump to his campaign, including the editor/executive chairman of the racist, dementedly reactionary, and libelous website Breitbart.com, Stephen Bannon, as chief executive of the campaign. [2]

And the New York Times reported that sex fiend and arch reactionary propaganda czar Roger Ailes would help Trump prepare for debating Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee for president. Ailes is a master of demagogically attacking opponents "weak points." He and Trump should make a good fit. (The Trump campaign denied the Times' report, but he and his campaign have a history of issuing false denials.) Rupert Murdoch just paid his former Fox "News" boss Ailes $40 million to go away after Ailes' despicable history as a grotesque sexual extortionist finally exploded into public view after decades hidden under the rug. (You can do an Internet search if you want the details.)

 One important note about Breitbart.com: the U.S. broadcast media especially has hidden the nature of this "news" site, by never accurately describing its content and employing deceptive euphemisms like "conservative" or the anodyne, meaningless "alt-right." The purpose is to make it seem legitimate and respectable. This is vile. As most Americans are too lazy to make an effort to get information from written sources and instead merely absorb what they see and hear from broadcast media, this practice of camouflaging the actual nature of various dementedly reactionary and even fascist organizations and individuals is particularly malign. Whereas they take the reverse attitude toward "leftists" who actually challenge the power system politically or ideologically, smearing them as "radical," "extremist," "pro-communist" or sympathetic to/supportive of "terrorism."

The Utterly Loathsome Stephen K. Bannon

 Hard core GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) Apparatchik Bill Stepien

Sex fiend Roger Ailes in photomontage with serial rapist and cloyingly unfunny ex-comedian Bill Cosby. 

1]  See "Key Player in Bridgegate Scandal Hired by Donald Trump Campaign," WNYC radio (New York City), August 26, 2016.

2]  "Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart Chief Stephen Bannon," Slate, August 17, 2016. A former Breitbart editor-at-large describes Bannon as a bully and a totalitarian type. For more detail on the tawdry behavior of Bannon and staff defections his abusive ways have caused, see "The G.O.P.’s Civil War Comes to Breitbart: A staff rebellion at Breitbart suggests all is not well in Trumpworld," Vanity Fair, .March 14, 2016. Bannon infamously abandoned one of his own female reporters who was assaulted by Trump minion Cory Lewandowski (subsequently hired by the execrable, ethics-free CNN as a "commentator" and "analyst" of the presidential race!).


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Taboo Ironies In Clinton's VP Choice

Hillary Clinton bestowed the Democratic Party's vice presidential nomination on Tim Kaine, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia. This political product launch had three themes, which campaign operatives put on their communications transmission belt to "the" media in the form of talking points. These were duly pointed out to the public by said media. The themes were Kaine's alleged devotion to what in the U.S. are called "civil rights," meaning equal "rights" for citizens designated as "black;" his "missionary" work in Honduras in 1980 (less than a year), and the fact that he speaks fluent Spanish. (All Hispanics must now vote for him, I suppose.)

I say "black" because I don't like classifying people by color. People aren't jellybeans or M & M's.

I say "the" media, because it is not the one-and-only media, nor is it this objective thing, like the earth or sun, that just exists and has immutable properties. It is a particular media. In the U.S. that media called "the" media are the megaphones and mouthpieces of a corporate oligarchy that indoctrinates the populace with the values and ideology of corporate capitalism (misleadingly called "free enterprise"). It is completely a bourgeois class interest (although it masquerades in some instances as working class or "middle" class, the better to gain the trust of and to dupe "target audiences," a very telling term in itself).

Now, as to Kaine being presented as some great civil rights activist years ago. Of course he never was. But that is a good distraction from Hillary's anti-civil rights activities at the same time. She was a Goldwater Girl in college, head of the campus GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) students' group at Wesleyan University. Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate in 1964, was an ardent foe of civil rights, opposed legislation to allow blacks to vote in the South, and so on.

Then there's that "missionary work" by Kaine in Honduras. Honduras. The country where a U.S.-backed coup destroyed democracy and has instituted a regime of chaotic death-squads, murdering hundreds of activists. Clinton boasted in her most recent book, a sort of autohagiography, about how she protected and legitimized the coup, running interference against objections by other nations.

The third Honduran grassroots environmental activist opposing a hydroelectric project murdered in the last few months, Lesbia Janeth Urquia, was savagely hacked to death with a machete at the beginning of August. She was a 49-year old mother of three.

Another mother, Berta Cáceres, the first of those victims, avowed that Clinton and the U.S. bore responsibility for the existence of the current Honduran state terrorist regime, The regime has cynically tried to pin the murders on family members and fellow activists.

The three activists, extremely brave, poor people, were all members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, indicating a systematic, murderous targeting of the group.

This is the regime, and policy of gangster-style repression, that Obama-Clinton-Democratic Party imposes on Honduras.

"Lesser evil" my ass.

Kaine, apparently a very clever politician, uses the scant nine months he spent in Honduras 36 years
ago as a three-way political bank shot. In the words of The Nation magazine, "Kaine, who has been talking about his time in Honduras at least since the early 2000s, when he was mayor of Richmond, uses his nine-month stay as a kind of platitudinous catch-all, to prove he is a true Christian to Virginia conservatives, to court the Latino vote, and, now, to convince rank-and-file Democrats he’s a progressive." [1]

Religious "missionaries" have for centuries been the pilot fish and advance guard of European and U.S. Imperialists. Starting with the Spanish empire, and right through to the current use of religious front men and women by the CIA, the missionary is the recon scout of imperialism.

As it turns out, the Selfless Missionary Timothy Michael Kaine, a Good Catholic, isn't as pure as the driven snow. When he was Governor of the state of Virginia, he took a number of bribes (called "gifts" in U.S. political parlance) from corporations in return for his official acts on their behalf. But in yet another example of the extremely arbitrary and capricious nature of U.S. "justice," he hasn't been prosecuted, while other politicians have been prosecuted and even convicted in much more attenuated cases of alleged bribery (U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who is being prosecuted for vacationing with a longtime friend he helped out, and whose case is currently in process; and former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, whose convictions were just overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the actions McDonnell took in return for gifts were not official acts and thus did not come under bribery laws- why his wife got convicted in the first place is a mystery- as an accessory?) or outright frame-ups, like the case of former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, outrageously railroaded by the local GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) power establishment and sentenced to a draconian seven years in prison, for appointing a contributor to a ballot initiative to an unpaid post on some planning board. (So why isn't every U.S. president guilty of bribery for appointing their campaign contributors to plum ambassadorships, which are paid, prestigious jobs and should go to experience State Department veterans? [2]

And Kaine speaks Spanish. He speaks Spanish. He proved it in his convention speech. Kaine speaks Spanish.

He speaks Spanish.

The Kaines were happy in Honduras. Too bad Hondurans can't be.

Berta Cáceres

Lesbia Janeth Urquia

Just two more victims (of millions) of U.S. "policies."

1]  "Eat, Pray, Starve: What Tim Kaine Didn’t Learn During His Time in Honduras," The Nation, July 27, 2016. A must-read article summarizing the situation Kaine was immersed in in Honduras, with an overview of the Reagan-Bush atrocities in the region. Although keep in mind that their predecessor Carter initiated the "policy" of multi-state terrorism, and their successor Clinton transferred it to Colombia.

The Nation is the left boundary of Establishment media. It's the border between being part of the system and resistance/opposition to the power structure. The Nation is reformist, but not too reformist. Its idea of reform is jawboning the Democratic Party to do things that Party has proven it will never do. And every four years, the magazine puts on its cowboy hats and rounds up progressives to herd them into the Democratic Party corral. Their assaults on Ralph Nader for daring to run for president (and "stealing" Democratic votes) was relentless, nasty, and revealing of the bankruptcy of their politics. Anyone who really wants pro-human change has to realize that the two-party corporate capitalist imperialist dictatorship is the enemy, Instead The Nation and its ilk aids and abets the Democratic Party's politics of extortion, forcing people to vote for the allegedly "lesser evil." 

Which has brought us to our current state of greater repression and greater grotesque concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority (euphemised as "inequality,") with institutionalized global assassinations and a Perfect Surveillance State brought to you by Barack Obama, Democrat.

Expect more of the same poison under a second Clinton reign.

2]  "As Pick for No. 2, Tim Kaine Sees Gifts Come Under Scrutiny," New York Times, July 24, 2016.

On Don Siegelman, a concise summary of the outrageous facts of the case is at "Why Obama Should Pardon Don Siegelman," New Yorker, January 14, 2015, by former Federal prosecutor and Edward Snowden hater Jeffrey Toobin. (Even reactionary establishment barnacle George Will thinks Siegelman got a raw deal.)

In another example of what a coward Barack Obama is, that even after over 100 former state attorneys general [!] sent a letter to Obama seeking a pardon for Siegelman, Obama ignored them. 
["Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman seeks pardon from President Obama," Alabama Media Group website of Alabama newspapers, April 13, 2016.]

In fact, after the Washington Post quoted Siegelman in an article on the Supreme Court exoneration of Bob McDonnell, Obama's Bureau of Prisons transferred Siegelman to solitary confinement in a Louisiana Federal prison, obviously to silence him and as punishment. It's the second time Siegelman has been thrown into the hole after giving a media interview. ["Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman sent to solitary confinement," Washington Post, April 29, 2016.]

To be "fair" and "balanced," I'll mention that the Bureau of Prisons denied that they threw Siegelman into solitary as a punishment. (I hear solitary is actually great fun.) The 70-year-old Siegelman, a Kung Fu Master and trained ninja, has escaped from some of the world's most escape-proof prisons, and thus is a high-security-risk prisoner.... Um, well, that's partly true. He is 70.

This is a Democratic president doing this to a framed-up Democrat. What kind of amoral creeps are Democrats that they accept this kind of party "leadership"? 

The big puzzle is why even the Democrats in the power structure are insistent on heaping injustice upon Siegelman. The Federal appeals court has upheld his conviction, and the Supreme Court refused to even allow him a hearing, completely blowing off a brief signed by 116 former attorneys general in support of Siegelman's exoneration.. ["More than 100 former attorneys general ask US Supreme Court to review Siegelman sentence," Alabama Media Group website of Alabama newspapers, October 22, 2015.

(One of Obama's Supreme Court appointees, Elena Kagan, was Obama's solicitor general, in which role she participated in the persecution of Siegelman. ["Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman seeks pardon from President Obama," Alabama Media Group, op cit.])

The Obama regime has been playing a shell game with Siegelman, moving him from prison to prison in states far away from his family and friends,such as Oklahoma, to try and isolate him, break his spirit, and punish his supporters by stealing their time and money when they attempt to visit him in prison. Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his streak of cruelty, as in the murder of 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, his teenage cousin, and five other civilians while they were dining, blown up by an Obama drone; arranging the breaking of Medea Benjamin's arm by Egyptian secret police goons to punish her for heckling him during one of his unctuous, oleaginous, sanctimonious, speeches; and the persecution of whistleblowers, activists and dissidents under his rule. A coward and a bully- not an attractive combination. One thing you can say about the likes of Putin and Erdogan: they're bullies but no cowards. Somehow that makes them less contemptible than Obama.

The treatment of Siegelman reminds one that the U.S. power establishment is a deadly nest of vipers, a collection of scorpions that are even dangerous to one another, not just to all the rest of us on this planet. There is no guarantee of personal security as a member of a criminal gang.

Of course, Siegelman got off easy compared to two of the Kennedys.

The perfect VP pick: Doglike Kaine trots closely behind his political master.