Saturday, March 31, 2007

Obama statement fuels debate

Last week, we broke the news that presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) had lent his voice to the call made by Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) for a federal inquiry into the Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong’s hijacking of the Hoax.

In response to a letter from an industrious Blog Hooligan, Senator Barack Obama, a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, has indicated that he supports the call for a US Department of Justice inquiry into allegations of civil rights violations committed by Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong in his persecution of the three innocent victims of his hijacked Hoax.

Senator Obama:

"Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective on the Duke Rape Case and ongoing investigations of District Attorney Michael Nifong's handling of the case."

"Congressman Walter Jones has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to initiate a federal inquiry into Mr. Nifong's prosecution of three Duke University student athletes accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a party earlier this year. Specifically, Rep. Jones asked the Attorney General to review new evidence that Mr. Nifong withehld exculpatory DNA results from the defendants in order to determine if his conduct has illegally denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law. This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely."

Obama Supports Call For Inquiry

Immediately, the story was picked up ABC News.

Another voice has joined the call for a federal investigation into the handling of the Duke Lacrosse case — this one with the punch of presidential politics.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in a written response to a constituent, said that an "independent inquiry is needed" into the conduct of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Nifong prosecuted and led the investigation into the alleged sexual assault of an exotic dancer at a lacrosse team party in March 2006.Obama cited the fact that Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., has already asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for a federal investigation into Nifong's conduct.

ABC News has learned that similar requests have been made by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla.

According to Obama's letter, Jones asked Gonzales to "review new evidence that Mr. Nifong withheld exculpatory DNA results from the defendants in order to determine if his conduct has illegally denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law."Obama said of the call for a federal investigation that he "will be following its progress closely."
ABC News

News of Obama’s support for Walter Jones quickly moved across the country and throughout the blogosphere as the Associated Press and several bloggers picked up the story.

March 26, 2007 -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has reportedly
called for a federal investigation of the prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse rape case.

"Independent inquiry is needed" into whether Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong withheld DNA evidence that might have cleared the players, Obama wrote in a letter obtained by ABC News. AP

Barack Obama has said that an "independent inquiry" into the conduct of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is "needed." Nifong is the prosecutor whose mishandling of the case against the three Duke lacrosse players may have been criminal.Obama reportedly made that statement in response to a letter from a constituent. Obama noted that Rep. Walter Jones has already requested such an inquiry and that he "will be following its progress closely." Power Line

In an item first reported at Liestoppers, ABC News Law & Justice Unit has confirmed that Illinois senator Barack Obama has joined the chorus of lawmakers demanding a Justice Department inquiry into Mike Nifong’s misconduct. The story subsequently has been picked up by the AP and by Drudge, and represents the most media attention to the issue since North Carolina congressman Walter Jones became the first Member of Congress to issue such a plea in December.

The Democratic presidential candidate is the first member of the Senate to publicly endorse such a call. As a former adjunct at the University of Chicago Law School, he has impeccable legal credentials. And as a man with a strong following in the African-American community, he has impeccable political credentials to issue such a plea.The Law & Justice Unit also reports that at least two more members of the House, Representatives Trent Franks (R-Arizona) and Tom Feeney (R-Florida) have also called on the Justice department to do something. They join Long Island Democrat Carolyn McCarthy and New York Republican Peter King. Durham congressman David (“States’ Rights Democrat”) Price is the only member of the House to explicitly oppose a DOJ inquiry. Durham in Wonderland

Not surprisingly, many of Obama’s detractors took advantage of his statement made in a private letter by questioning or impugning his motives as political pandering. Obama critics quickly misrepresented the nature of his statement by twisting it from a response to a concerned constituent into a public grandstanding effort.
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FOX News abandoned it’s continued call for justice in favor of taking shots at Obama.

Barack Obama announced that he plans to investigate Mike Nifong's prosecution of the Duke students which is something Gibson should be applauding since he's been after Nifong all along. However Obama got no points from Gibson who speculated that it was "political posturing". Each segment got one of Gibson's full screen graphics that spoon feed the main idea so viewers don't need to worry about what to think. This one showed Obama next to the scales of justice with the question, " Is Barack Obama serious or is it political posturing?"News Hounds

Several misguided conservative bloggers also took similar tracts by misconstruing, to their advantage, Obama‘s private assurance as a public stand.

Bad Move for Obama

Apparently Sen. Barack Obama has jumped into the fray of politicians and media hacks to call for an investigation of North Carolina DA Mike Nifong because of allegations that he improperly handled the prosecution of Duke Lacrosse players accused of raping a woman. To be honest, I haven't really followed the case, as I don't watch Nancy Grace or any of those other tabloid shows masquerading as "news" programs. But why is a Senator from Illinois involving himself in this matter?

The judicial system shouldn't be used for political gamesmanship. Just as it is wrong for Lincoln Davis to involve himself in the case of Ramos and Compean based on the accounts of some rednecks he meets at events in his district; so is it wrong for Barack Obama to get his name in the papers by jumping onto the indignation express. Let the North Carolina Bar do their examination before jumping into the fray due to a few media reports about what Nifong may or may not have done. Sean Braisted

Presidential candidate and Senator, Barack Obama (D-IL), has the Liberal notion that the Federal government should place itself into a state judiciary problem.In a written response to a constituent, Obama said that an “independent inquiry is needed” into the conduct of Durham [North Carolina] District Attorney Mike Nifong.Nifong prosecuted and led the investigation into the alleged sexual assault of an exotic dancer at a Duke University lacrosse team party in March 2006.Obama cited the fact that Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., has already asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for a federal investigation into Nifong’s conduct.

I would suggest all Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress deal with important issues in the realm of their responsibility and worry about their state and Federal matters.

I would also agree with Nifong’s defense attorney, David Freedman, in this case when he states:

“The state bar is conducting a very thorough investigation into all aspects of Mr. Nifong’s handling of the case. It’s appropriate for this to be dealt with by a North Carolina agency, not by someone from another state. I do not see the need for any other agency becoming involved at this point.”

Mr. Obama has little experience in the Beltway and was a state legislator in Illinois. What makes him think he should have any involvement in North Carolina issues?This is a telling tale concerning Obama’s views about the rights of individual states and the Liberal view of big Federal government.

Other than fishing for votes, Mr. Obama should spend some time reading the U.S. Constitution. Liberally Conservative

Thankfully, not all conservatives abandoned the call for justice in favor of political expediency. Conservative columnist and attorney Michael Gaynor demonstrated his honor by applauding Obama’s call despite his political differences.

Fervently anti-Communist Winston Churchill found some good words for Stalin after he joined the war against Hitler, so I'll give leftist Senator Barack Obama (D.- Ill.) full credit for combining a sensible position on the Duke case and smart politics)

Credit should be given when credit is due.

Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), where were you?

The so-called Duke case is a Democrat scandal, but it's not Democrat presidential aspirant Obama's scandal.

Recently, Senator Obama quietly, but clearly, supported the calls for a federal investigation of possible violation of the constitutional rights of the Duke Three (Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnety and David Evans).

Not quite a Sister Souljah moment, but a step in that direction.

Michael Gaynor

As expected, the Black Press answered the question of whether Obama was “black enough” with a resounding “NO” by taking the opportunity to undercut Obama’s presidential bid despite his recent endorsement from Jesse Jackson. Pinch hitting for regular contributor and Tawana Brawley enabler Alton Maddox, Cash Michaels declared in The Amsterdam News:

“Obama blasted for backing fed Duke case
.
“Is presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama’s backing for a federal “independent inquiry” into the Duke alleged sexual assault case a genuine concern that the civil rights of the defendants may have been violated or just simple political pandering to secure more broad-based support for his campaign?
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“At least one legal expert has chastised the Black Illinois Democrat, saying, “Having a federal civil rights investigation [in this case] is such a joke.”Another legal scholar added that Obama’s statement “doesn’t mean much” if he’s “stating a position without a valid examination.” Amsterdam News
Maddox found an alternative venue to spew his venom. Declaring Obama a “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”, Maddox turned to the Black Star News to publish his op-ed criticizing the first viable African American candidate for president.

Senator Barack Obama has joined right-wing forces in Congress in demanding a federal probe of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong for allegedly withholding DNA evidence from the defense in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Since Obama is in the business of demanding federal probes in racially-motivated cases, he should investigate New York for defaming Tawana Brawley and railroading me. I can show him reams of evidence proving my innocence and the involvement of Steven Pagones, a former assistant district attorney, in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley.

This was followed by cover-ups by former State Attorney General Robert Abrams and Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Abrams rigged the grand jury process and Spitzer suppressed exculpatory evidence, the same charge filed against Nifong. With respect to Abrams, state-sponsored defamation, without due process, is a constitutional violation. This was retaliation for my fingering Pagones.

Obama is demanding that Nifong be prosecuted for civil rights violations. Thus, he would face imprisonment. It is curious that this is only happening to a white prosecutor who filed criminal charges against privileged, white males for raping a Black woman. This entire situation is unprecedented.I am simply requesting that Obama's letter be circulated to the Black media and the public. He has circulated it widely in the white media. This is evidence of double talk. Black Star News

Foremost Nifong apologist, The Herald Sun, did not miss the opportunity to serve the interests of its master.

Nifong's lawyer, David Freedman of Winston-Salem, said Monday he thought the State Bar probe of Nifong was sufficient. He indicated that, in his opinion, a federal inquiry would be going too far. "The State Bar is doing a very thorough investigation into the matter," said Freedman. "That's all that needs to be done."

Meanwhile, local university educators said not too much should be made of Obama's involvement.

"I have no idea what to think of it," said John Transue, a Duke political science professor.

...

Ferrel Guillory, director of UNC's Program on Southern Politics, predicted Obama's position wouldn't cause much of a ripple. "I can't pretend to know anything special about the Duke lacrosse case except what I've read in the newspapers," he said.

"Clearly, it's gotten national attention, but it doesn't rank up there with the real presidential issues. Unless there is a story behind the story that we don't know about, I doubt Obama's statements will have a big effect on the case or on national
politics."

Nifong has denied any wrongdoing.

http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-833278.cfm

While it should be expected that every breath a presidential candidate takes will be put under a political microscope, the criticism of Obama’s statement reveals as much about his detractors as his statement reveals about him and his candidacy. For extremists in the Black Press, it’s clear that Obama is not “black enough” and that the perpetuation of the Hoax holds more value than the promotion of the first viable African American candidate for president. For some ultra-conservatives, taking shots at a Democrat candidate outweighs calling for justice. For the Snooze Room, any opportunity to carry water for Nifong shall not pass unnoted. For Barack Obama, however, it appears that standing up for justice is worth exposing himself to the venom spewed by his critics.

Correction: In fairness it should be noted that the Black Star News appears to have removed the Maddox article referenced above. Curiously, the Maddox op-ed has now been replaced with a reprint of the ABC News article that first commented on the news reported here. A Google cached version of the Maddox article, "Obama; Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" can be viewed by clicking here.

9 comments:

bill anderson said...

This is a most interesting post. I especially find it interesting that a UNC professor who supposedly is an "expert" in southern politics depends only upon mainstream newspapers for his source of news in the Duke case.

Alton Maddox is a joke. Pagones sued Maddox and won a large judgment against him and Al Sharpton. It is too bad that a liar like him has credibility with anyone, but that is the state of things these days.

The Hurled-Scum once again demonstrates why it is a pathetic newspaper. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

When you consider that the power structure in NC is Democrat, it is passing strange that our two "Republican" United States Senators haven't spoken out. It is crystal clear (pun intended) that the GOP stands to gain if they can pin this tail on that Donkey, but utter silence from the Reps. Why? It just doesn't pass the smell test to me; I suggest that Dole and Burr have an ulterior agenda that doesn't include justice for the Duke3. I have sent many emails to each of them and have yet to receive a reply. Any thoughts out there?

Anonymous said...

For those detractors of Obama, who say he should stay out of the State of NC issues need, to answer the question as to why the State of NC has not done anything.

I am certainly heartened by the fact that we do have a Federal Dept of Justice that will step in when the corrupt state authorities have turned their backs.

This is no longer simply an NC issue. It is a federal civil rights issue, which calls for federal intervention.

Anonymous said...

Obama has as much right to comment on the case as anyone else.. This late in the hoax, I would have thought his only remark would be say to say "I support the Constituation." He is no hero in this deal. DOJ and Gonzales are not interested in white boys or girls - including the one who states she was raped a month ago.

Anonymous said...

If you think Alberto Gonzales has the cojones to take on the Durham Mafia, you're kidding yourself. If the Duke3 were black and Crystal Mangum were white, there'd be G-men crawling out of the woodwork in Durham. Forget any Federal intervention, pal.

Anonymous said...

To 9:10...
Actually, Gonzales is in the process of having his conjones removed by Dems and the press....he is now a non-entity.
So at this point he has no conjones to take on anyone/anything!

kbp said...

Thanks Liestoppers!

Job well done letting all know how the reports on Obama's actions developed.

I admire his courage to make respond on the matter. He earned my respect.

Don Bistrow said...

You guys broke the story on Obama my arse.

Obama is a nothing candidate and your drinking his kool-aid.

Good Luck in Jonestown.

Anonymous said...

Bristow, here's your arse:

"Obama's comments were first posted on "Liestoppers," an online blog and forum on the Duke Lacrosse case." - ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/LegalCenter/story?id=2980582&page=2