In response to the letter by Susan Leeper, “Corruption exposed,” Friday, July 16: A few glaring omissions must be filled before we begin accusing “the lazy, liberal, national media” of not reporting or the attorney general for not prosecuting the New Black Panther Party for alleged crimes committed in Philadelphia in November of 2008. Once the holes are filled, the reader may want to take the road to a different perspective.
It cannot be denied that some amateur with a cell phone camera picked up a person, calling himself King Samir Shabazz, holding what appears to be a nightstick and saying some racist things about white voters. He is flanked by two others who appear to agree with him. Before we harken back to the 1960s version of the Black Panther Party, we should be aware that a Justice Department investigation of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia concluded that this entire movement consisted of the three men in the picture.
Former DOJ attorney, J. Christian Adams, who is said to have given numerous interviews on the case, was in the Justice Department during the Bush administration. What Adams and the radio talk show hosts, as well as the only cable television outlet to report the “scandal”, Fox News, omit from their rhetoric is the date on which the case against Shabazz was dropped. According to federal court records, the DOJ reported that it did not have a sufficient case and all charges should be dropped on Jan. 7, 2009.
Once these omissions are inserted, new questions should be asked, first and foremost, which DOJ are we talking about? President Obama was sworn in on Jan. 20. Eric Holder was not confirmed as attorney general until the end of February. The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department did not have a confirmed leader until June due to Republican obstruction in the Senate. That is the problem with both the premise of Leeper’s letter and the continued insistence by the Right that the current administration will not prosecute this case. The case was dismissed by the Bush administration!
But why won’t Eric Holder reopen the case? First, he may have more on his plate than to go after three misguided souls in Philadelphia. Second, he is an attorney and might know something about the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that pesky prohibition against double jeopardy. Third, he and the entire Obama administration are by now used to the daily baiting they get on dozens of issues from talk radio loonies, Fox News propaganda, and local editorial writers who depend upon no other sources for their information.
Ron Weitbrecht, Gilbert
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