Saturday, June 30, 2007

American I.E.D.'s

Burn the wheel and roll it over the graves, exhaust the I.E.D.'s but wait is this american soil? How far into the future can this be? How far off? Would the N.R.A. arm themselves against their own? Would they seek the resources of Mexico in a state of crisis? What brought terror to our shores in 2001? As Noam Chomsky says, read the public record. The public record is scary enough, like any theory built on video evidence the rest isn't too difficult to amass. Sure you'll be called a bunch of scary names and maybe even drived off to an abandoned warehosue and shot full of something you couldn't even pronounce even if you were a registered Republican (but wait some of them don't believe the cover story) but it's ok, really it is, you're not alone.

But like I asked at the beginning how far off are I.E.D.'s from the american shores? When was the last time you read your Civil Rights history? Seriously, know your history. IT MIGHT DO YOU SOME GOOD.

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Obituaries In The Passing Lane

How long have I been dead? You could theorize that I was never born. I was born after the Tet offensive in Vietnam, during the protests against the war in Vietnam, in a time of assainations, and in during this time we were supplying weapons and training the very countries we would fight later in the so-called global war on terror. Has my generation had a chance to grow in a time of peace? If you think there has been any extended time of peace at all during the time of the late sixties till present day war in Iraq then you are sadly naive and it is that kind of naive voter who throws america into the line of fire.

Turn your back on Afghanistan and you process the executions of american soldiers in iraq at an alarming rate. To try and out last, to try and kill off an idea, an idea based on religion has never worked nor will it ever work. To surround yourself with the same kind of fervor you are fighting against sends the signal of immenient disaster.

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't You Ever Get Downtown

A sad day at the Gtes of Hell as Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger have died on the same day. The devil addresses the two men and tells them the sad news. He only has enough space that day for one more soul to torment. If they go up to heaven they will have to share a bed with Bill Clinton and have breakfest served to them in bed each morning for eternty by a scantily clad Gloria Steinman.

So it is left to Kissinger and Cheney to prove which of them is the worst person. They are allowed to use props and if they are drawn into a corner they can use the call a friend feature. In the end Cheney's pictures of Iraqi children being burned alive are no match for the twenty seven dump trucks of documents Kissinger has driven in and the witness testimonies. He even offers to call several now deceased dictators and one in particular, a small man named Uncle Ho standing next to the gate with his arms folded against his chest who works in the kitchen.

Cheney must return to earth for another life as Ann Coulter BDSM partner without the use of his arms and legs and a liberal streak a country mile wide.

- Chris Mansel

Monday, June 25, 2007

U.S. to Sign Investment Treaty (with Rwanda)

East African Business Week (Kampala) NEWS
25 June 2007
Posted to the web 25 June 2007

By Daniel Karibwije Kigali

The office of the U.S. trade representative and the U.S. department of state announced recently that the United States and Rwanda have begun formal negotiations toward a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).

A statement from from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Office based in Washington DC, said this will strengthen investor protection and encourage the continuation of market-oriented reforms in Rwanda.

The statement added that Rwanda will become more competitive in trade with the inflow of the much needed investment finance.

"Foreign direct investment can be a powerful tool to stimulate economic development, even in the least developed economies, where government is committed to protect and encourage such investment," said deputy U.S. Trade Representative Mr. Karan Bhatia.

"The Rwandan government has opened its economy, improved the business climate, and is capturing the attention of a growing number of U.S. companies. We believe that a U.S -Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty can help to enhance the confidence of current and prospective U.S. investors in Rwanda and, ultimately, help promote the new investment that is essential to Rwanda's future."

US-Rwanda trade was valued at US$21 million in 2006, up 22% over 2005.

U.S. imports from Rwanda were valued at $8.9 million in 2006, up 41% from 2005, and consisted mainly of coffee and tungsten ores.

Rwanda has shown a growing interest in using its eligibility under the African Growth and Opportunity Act to increase and diversify exports to the United States.

In the past few years, Rwandan firms, with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have undertaken partnerships with U.S. retailers Macy's and Starbucks for trade in fine basketwork and specialty coffee, respectively. U.S. exports to Rwanda totaled $12 million in 2006, up 11% from 2005.

The assistant secretary of state for economic, energy, and business affairs Mr. Daniel S. Sullivan said, "An investment treaty would complement the progress Rwanda has already made on economic reform. It would demonstrate Rwanda's commitment to an open investment policy and deepen our economic relationship. A high quality investment treaty would also set a very positive example for others in the region."

Mr. Bhatia and assistant secretary Sullivan were speaking at an event at USTR to mark the start of the BIT negotiations. Rwandan Ambassador Mr. James Kimonyo also spoke at the event. Representatives of USTR's Trade Advisory Committee on Africa and several leading U.S. companies that are involved in Rwanda, or considering work there, also attended the event.

The negotiations with Rwanda are the first bilateral investment treaty talks with a sub-Saharan African country in nearly a decade.

The prospective treaty would help to improve the environment for U.S. investment in Rwanda, thereby supporting the Central African country's efforts to attract the capital it needs to accelerate economic development and tackle poverty.

Bilateral investment treaties are one of many tools that the Administration is using to help reform-minded African countries. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, and U.S. trade capacity building assistance are also helping African countries to grow their economies through increased trade.

The BIT negotiations will continue over the coming weeks. USTR and the State Department co-lead U.S. bilateral investment treaty negotiations.

Bilateral investment treaties are legally binding treaties that provide significant legal protections for investors and investments in BIT partner countries.

The U.S. BIT program encourages the adoption of market-oriented domestic policies that treat private investment in an open, transparent, and non-discriminatory way.

These protections have special importance in developing countries, where BITs help to increase investor confidence and thereby facilitate foreign investment and enhance economic growth.

Copyright © 2007 East African Business Week. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gumen Occupy Nigerian Oil Installation

AFX News Limited 6/18/2007

Unidentified gunmen have occupied an oil pipeline switching center in Nigeria and are preventing local workers and security forces from leaving, company officials said Monday.

Some two dozen Nigerian workers and soldiers are being held after the attack Sunday on a flow station in southern Bayelsa state, Italian energy giant Eni Spa said in a statement. No injuries were reported, it said.

The company statement didn't say if crude output had been curtailed and a spokesman in Nigeria had no information on the attack. Government officials weren't immediately available for comment. Eni operates in Nigeria through its Agip subsidiary.

The grievances of the gunmen weren't known. Troops clashed last week with gunmen in the area, leaving several fighters dead.

Nearly two years of spiraling violence in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta have cut Nigeria's crude output by about one quarter, sending oil prices higher in overseas markets.

New President Umaru Yar'Adua has said the crisis is one of the most-pressing matters he faces and a top militant leader was released on bail last week, marking a breakthrough in the conflict pitting militants against security forces.

The militants are pressing for more government-controlled oil-industry funds for their region, which remains desperately poor despite its vast natural bounty.

But their stepped-up attacks have helped degrade overall security conditions in the vast region of creeks and swamps and criminal gangs who kidnap foreigners now operate with apparent impunity. Some 200 foreign workers in the region have been kidnapped since December 2005, including more than 100 this year alone.

In addition, tension over local grievances -- such as a community accusing an oil company of failing to make good on promises of financial help -- sometimes results in attacks or kidnappings.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer and one of the top overseas suppliers to the United States.

Copyright 2007 AFX News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On Account Of

Translate the Constitution into any language on earth and I am sure more than a few laws would have to be re-written. Imagine the section on liberty being translated into some of the little known langusages of the amazon and suddenly life inside our borders change dramatically. Imagine the right to free speech being changed into the right to listen. Imagine having to try and explain why you need amendments in the first place.

- Chris Mansel

Listening Posts

Iraq, the grim reminder of foreign policy based upon a racist ideal. When in history has hate ever ended without overwhelming bloodshed of innocent lives? The war in Iraq is based upon more than oil, more than greed, read through the rhethoric and you'll find a despair. There is no Lombardiesque speech underlying the message. When you see an interview with those in the Bush administration, the true believers that are still in the emploiy, you can sense that even in their cultish period of determination there is a craziness bleeding through, an ominous aftermath you can see in the eyes of the true believer. You can almost see how they will fall. You can almost hear the screams at the Fox Network, "W is Great, W is Great!" The voices echoing down into the street just before they dispense another report of misinformation.

- Chris Mansel

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"Kick out the jams Kissinger Baby!" - George W. Bush

President appears to be boarding Air Force One until you realize the blip reflecting against the metal building across the tarmac. Could it be a GOP reunion of the Capricorn One landing or Weapons of Mass Destruction anniversary of some sorts? No, its just another beer run to the Crawfrd, Texas ranch and isn't it time for it? I mean seriously citizens of the United STates the man lost his watch that was given to his grandfather by the great Karl Rove idol Nazi propaganda Minister Himmler. So cut the guy a little slack.

So he is flying coach to Crawford, Texas and tasting those wonderful nuts we all love on the great airline that is Southwest. He'll land in Houston and have to take a range rover from there but it'll be stocked with beer and the interior is done up in one of those pants suits Condi wears so just draw your own mental picture ok?

Enough said.

- Chris Mansel

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Private Airfield Request Denied Blackwater Pilot Wanted Moyock Field

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Blackwater USA pilot's plans to build a private airfield was grounded this week after his neighbors complained about the proposal.
During their meeting Tuesday, the Currituck Planning Board unanimously rejected Phill Bragg's proposed airstrip on Summit Farm Trails in Moyock. The airfield would have been within sight of property owned by Blackwater USA, Bragg's employer.
Bragg also is apparently involved with PigMasters, a North Carolina-based barbecue firm. On its Web site, Bragg's vintage biplane is jokingly referred to as PigMasters' "corporate jet."
Currituck Chief Planner David Webb had recommended approval of Bragg's request for a special use permit for a 1,400-foot-long grass airstrip with two hangars. But only on the condition that the airfield would not be used for commercial activities.
Bragg, who currently lives in Shawboro, said he intended to build a home on the lot and to live there.
"The lot is a 16-acre lot and it's on the end," he said. "There won't be any overflight of residences," he said, pointing out that his airplane would be flying over Blackwater's property.
"This is a very small grassroots-type operation with little or no impact. It's not a noisy endeavor," he said.
Bragg said his antique biplane is a hobby.
"It's like having a sailboat tied up on your dock if you live on the water," he said. "If you're a pilot, it's nice to walk out into your backyard and have a grass strip."
But half-a-dozen residents who showed up at the Planning Board meeting weren't satisfied with Bragg's assurances.
While conceding he wouldn't be conducting business, they pointed to his involvement with PigMasters, a company that organizes private functions. Residents said Bragg might use the airstrip to fly in guests for parties.
"My concern is that this gentleman is in a club, something like flying pigs," said Warren Wilgus, who lives on Oxford Road.
"They go out and they have barbecue roasts. This house here could be one of the main meeting places for them landing. There's no restrictions on the number of aircraft. They could be having a big old party."
Neighbors were also suspicious of why Bragg had applied for a permit for two hangars, if he only owns one aircraft.
Mike Colter of Summit Farms Trail, said he was concerned about fuel storage on the site.
"A special use permit for a privately owned airstrip will open (things) up for more general aviation owners," he said.
Colter also wasn't satisfied with Bragg's pledge to restrict his flight pattern.
"Years from now as the area gets developed he'll be flying over more people," he said.
Drew McIntyre, who is building a home nearby on Oxford Road, said his reason for coming to the subdivision was "for peace and quiet."
"An airplane is an airplane. I cannot imagine getting up in the morning and listening to an aircraft taking off and landing in this nice area," he said.
Sherry Motes, of Summit Farm Trails, questioned why Bragg couldn't instead fly from Currituck Regional Airport, about eight miles away in Maple.
After the hearing, Bragg said he was taken aback by the level of opposition. He said didn't want to do anything to offend his neighbors.
The Planning Board then voted to reject Bragg's request for a special use permit.
The board also agreed to revisit the county's limited rules on private airfields.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bush in Albania

President Bush received a huge welcome in Albania recently which puzzled me until I got a look at the national flag, it resembles the two headed beast that is Bush and Cheney. Ahh, now it all makes sense.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Country Scraps Death Penalty

The Monitor (Kampala) NEWS
10 June 2007

By Arthur AsiimweKigali

Rwanda's parliament voted late on Friday to abolish the death penalty, a move that should clear the way for suspects in the 1994 genocide to be extradited back to Rwanda.
Rwanda says many of the remaining suspects accused of involvement in the killings of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates are at large in Europe, North America and West Africa.
Many countries refuse to extradite criminal suspects to nations that practise capital punishment or torture. Forty-five legislators voted to scrap the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment, and five abstained.
The remaining 30 members of the assembly were absent. Survivors of the slaughter welcomed the decision, noting that the death penalty had existed in Rwandan law before the genocide. "It didn't deter people from picking up machetes to slaughter their fellows -- that's why we are not bothered by its removal," said Theodore Simburudali, president of the Ibuka genocide survivors' group.
The new legislation could also encourage the transfer of war crimes suspects being held at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in the Tanzanian town of Arusha.
Frustrated at the slowness of ICTR proceedings, Rwanda wants suspects transferred to face trial at home. The court, which has a huge backlog, is due to be closed in 2008.

Copyright © 2007 The Monitor. All rights reserved. Distributed by All
Africa Global Media (

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Graying The Grave

I've seen conviction end as much as ocupation but then I grew up reading the history I knew I would see repaeted by my own government. The decadence of human life is just another counter clockwise down the drain and this comes from someone who recently spent some time in New Orleans. As Joseph Conrad wrote, "This is the worst of trying to tell..."

It's like a peasant confronting someone with a guilter's tan, his account wouldn't be complete without the confrontation and assault of the senses. The satelite rolls off the levee and smashes into traffic, and while traffic refuses to move to allow the ambulance through, the victim swelters in the New Orleans heat amid the despair and suicides. Where are the buses now that the water has receded?

During the Vietnam War Buddhist monks immolated themselves in protest of the war, perhaps in this country such an action, perhaps less extreme should be approached during a sanitary broadcast of a morning show amid the unblinking, barking on cue crowd of onlookers holding signs representing the names of hometowns. Just how far is it from Bay New Orleans to the Tonkin Gulf anyway?

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bagosora Case - Lawyers Close Arguments

New Times (Kigali) NEWS
5 June 2007

By Felly Kimenyi Kigali

The high profile trial involving notorious former Director of Cabinet in the ministry of defence during the Genocide, Col. Theoneste Bagosora, was finally concluded after 408 trial days at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In his closing remarks, the ICTR chief prosecutor, Boubakar Jallow said that Bagosora, together with his three co-accused were entirely responsible for all the atrocities committed by the Ex-FAR during the genocide.
His co-accused are; Gen. (Rtd) Gratien Kabiligi, former Chief of Military Operations in the Rwandan Armed Forces; Lt. Col. (Rtd) Anatole Nsengiyumva, former Commander of the Gisenyi Military Operational Sector; and Maj. Aloys Ntabakuze, former Commander of the Para-commando Battalion.
During his May 28 closing argument, Jallow told the judges that the quartet held immense power and authority during the genocide and they later used their power and influence to plan, order, direct and incite the Genocide that claimed over one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
He said that the four former military leaders were responsible for ordering the killing of moderate leaders, including former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was killed a day after the plane carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana crashed.
Maj. Bernard Ntuyahaga is on trial in Belgian capital Brussels for leading the mob that killed Uwilingiyimana together with her security detail of 10 Belgian para-troopers.
The Military 1 trial as it is commonly known at the Tanzania-based tribunal has been going on for almost five years putting 72 people on the witness stand, among who was Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, who was commandant of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda, (UNAMIR).
The jury did not set the day when the verdict would be pronounced, but Dr Tim Gallimore, the ICTR prosecution spokesman, recently said that the verdict may be pronounced later this year because of the length the trial took during the proceedings.
Bagosora and his co-accused are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Second Additional Protocol (war crimes).
In his arguments, Jallow did not suggest a sentence for the accused but if found guilty, the counts to which they are accused carry life imprisonment which is the highest sentence the UN tribunal can give.
The tribunal was established by a UN security council and has so far rendered 32 judgments, five of which are acquittals.
Among the judgments rendered is one for former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda who pleaded guilty to spearheading Genocide and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Currently he is serving his sentence in a Malian prison.
The ICTR mandate is expected to expire in December 2008 and proceedings on first instance and appeals are scheduled to have been completed by 2010.
Rwanda is tipped as the potential candidate to receive cases that will not have been completed by this time.

Copyright © 2007 New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by All Africa Global Media (

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Right Wing Colonoscopy (The Polyps, The Scars, The Gas, Oh My)

While the right-wing immortalizes Fred Dalton Thompson and now pisses on the mere distant memory of McCain and the ol' straw boys round the bucket, they sight Thompson's height at 6'6 except for ol' puppy blood himself Robert Novak who in his column cited Thompson at 6'7. Now you can draw your own conclusion why Novak cared to give Thompson that extra inch, but pardon the pun, I'll take a stab at it.... Maybe Novak has a thing for sailors like Genet or Capote and after seeing Thompson in that movie as an Admiral (rear admiral?) he just got overwhelmed? Seriously, James carville's bald head wasn't enough for Novak, niether was Tucker Carlson's cute little bow tie so who knows maybe Novak has been waiting for just such an event since Fred Dalton Thompson kicked country rag-o-muffin Lorrie Morgan to the curb.

- Chris Mansel

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Chalk Marks In A Greasy Wind

Recently the President pounded his chest and demanded that he was the president! This must have been a rude awakening for Vice President Dick Cheney who immediately kicked off the maggot covered quilt from his legs and stomped across his personal office to the red line that connects him directly to the office of Karl Rove. They briefly exchanged words while the maggots made their way to an 8 by 10 glossy photo of Fred Dalton Thompson applying sun tan lotion to the bald head of the late Strom Thurmond.

- Chris Mansel

Is Killer Storm Taking Its Toll?

June 2, 4:22 pm by Mary Foster

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The bodies are no longer being dragged from houses and buildings toppled by Hurricane Katrina, but nearly two years later many in the medical community think the storm is still killing.
Storm survivors are dying from the effects of both psychological and physical stress, from the dust and mold still in dwellings to financial problems to fear of crime, health experts and officials say.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Katrina is still killing our residents," Orleans Parish coroner Dr. Frank Minyard said this week.
"People with pre-existing conditions that are made worse by the stress of living here after the storm. Old people who are just giving up. People who are killing themselves because they feel they can't go on," Minyard said.
Some say an in-depth federal analysis is needed, despite a new state report that found no significant increase in deaths in the New Orleans area from January 2006 through June 2006. The state Department of Health and Hospitals is still compiling figures for the last six months of 2006.
Dr. Raoult Ratard, the state epidemiologist, said "the only slight increase" in deaths was in the first three months of 2006 in Orleans Parish.
But New Orleans medical officials say that jump, from 11.3 per 1,000 deaths to 14.3 per 1,000, - a leap of more than 25 percent - was anything but slight. Moreover, the report doesn't take into account evacuees who died while away from the city and were returned for burial.
"Our death rate was already high, that's huge," said Dr. Kevin Stephens Sr., director of the New Orleans Health Department.
Some New Orleans doctors questioned the accuracy of the population figures used to determine the death rate, saying they might have been too high. DHH secretary Dr. Fred Cerise said he was comfortable with the population data, which he said came from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The city was abandoned after Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005, and many people did not begin returning until mid-2006.
The official death tolls in New Orleans stands at about 1,100. State health officials said deaths have not been listed as Katrina-related since the end of 2005, except for bodies found under storm wreckage. But Minyard said he believes the hurricane is still behind many deaths.
Dr. Ronald Kessler, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and head of a group that has monitored 3,000 exiled Katrina survivors, said reconstructing an individual's mental and physical state before death might help in determining exact causes of death.
"There are high rates of mental health problems among the survivors and previous research has found that mental disorders are predictors of earlier death rates," Kessler said. "So putting the two together in New Orleans is not surprising."
Local mental health professionals say they are encountering more people with psychological problems.
"We're seeing triple the number of people with mental health problems as we were before Katrina," said Leah Hedrick, social worker at Ochsner Hospital. "Depression, suicidal, anxiety, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and along with that comes a lot more physical problems."
Many storm-damaged hospitals are not operating fully, and that could help explain why other health facilities are seeing more patients.
Another possible sign that there are more deaths are paid death notices in The Times-Picayune. Before Katrina, the newspaper usually printed about a page daily. Now, three and four pages are not uncommon.
Stephens analyzed the death-notice pattern before and after the storm and said he believes it confirms more local people are dying.
His study will be published this month in the Journal of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, the American Medical Association's new publication on disaster management.
Many church congregations scattered after Katrina, and their bulletins that carried death notices may not be publishing.
But Stephens discounted that as a possible explanation for why the newspaper is receiving more death notices. Before Katrina, he said, it was routine to place death notices in both the newspaper and outlets such as church newsletters.
Minyard believes the medical community's different observations reach the same conclusion, and one day will be proven correct.
"Years from now when they talk about post-traumatic stress, New Orleans after Katrina will be the poster child," he said.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fred Dalton Thompson Vs. Al Gore

Coming to a soup kitchen television that just happens to be bolted to the wall...Fred Dalton Thompson Vs. Al Gore, the televised debate, winner take all. You heard it here first.

- Chris Mansel

Rove Linked to Prosecution of Ex-Alabama Governor

Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
By Adam Zagorin/Washington

In the rough and tumble of Alabama politics, the scramble for power is often a blood sport. At the moment, the state's former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman, stands convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Siegelman has long claimed that his prosecution was driven by politically motivated, Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys.
Now Karl Rove, the President's top political strategist, has been implicated in the controversy. A longtime Republican lawyer in Alabama swears she heard a top G.O.P. operative in the state say that Rove "had spoken with the Department of Justice" about "pursuing" Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama's U.S. attorneys.
The allegation was made by Dana Jill Simpson, a lifelong Republican and lawyer who practices in Alabama. She made the charges in a May 21 affidavit, obtained by TIME, in which she describes a conference call on November 18, 2002, which involved a group of senior aides to Bob Riley, who had just narrowly defeated Siegelman in a bitterly contested election for governor. Though Republican Riley, a former Congressman, initially found himself behind by several thousand votes, he had pulled ahead at the last minute when disputed ballots were tallied in his favor. After the abrupt vote turnaround, Siegelman sought a recount. The Simpson affidavit says the conference call focused on how the Riley campaign could get Siegelman to withdraw his challenge.
According to Simpson's statement, William Canary, a senior G.O.P. political operative and Riley adviser who was on the conference call, said "not to worry about Don Siegelman" because "'his girls' would take care of" the governor. Canary then made clear that "his girls" was a reference to his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
Canary reassured others on the conference call — who also included Riley's son, Rob, and Terry Butts, another Riley lawyer and former justice of the Alabama supreme court — that he had the help of a powerful pal in Washington. Canary said "not to worry — that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman," the Simpson affidavit says. Both U.S. attorney offices subsequently indicted Siegelman on a variety of charges, although Leura Canary recused herself from dealing with the case in May 2002. A federal judge dismissed the Northern District case before it could be tried, but Siegelman was convicted in the Middle District on bribery and conspiracy charges last June.
William Canary called the allegations "outrageous" and "the desperate act of a desperate politician." Terry Butts said, "I do not recall this telephone conversation — this whole story must have been created by a drunk fiction writer." A White House spokesman told TIME that since the case of former Governor Siegelman remained before the courts, it would have no comment.
Rob Riley said, "I do not recall making the statement attributed to me." He added: "Neither I nor anyone on our campaign staff have been a conspiracy to bring a criminal case against Don Siegelman." Lewis Frankling, who prosecuted Siegelman, said he did confer on several occasions with Justice Dept. officials in Washington, but that "nobody ordered me to bring this case, and we handled it just like any other."
Canary was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to serve in the White House as special assistant for intergovernmental affairs, and then named chief of staff of the Republican National Committee. Later in the 1990's he also worked closely with Karl Rove in a successful series of campaigns to get Republicans elected to Alabama's state courts.
In an interview with TIME, Simpson confirmed that the "Karl" cited in her sworn statement was Karl Rove. "There's absolutely no question it was Karl Rove, no doubt whatsoever," she said. She also said she has phone records to back up the date and duration of her phone calls.
Though Simpson's legal work primarily involved research for companies seeking federal government contracts, she says she also did "opposition research" on Siegelman as a volunteer in Riley's campaign in 2002. A lifelong G.O.P. supporter, she says she has long been friendly with Riley's son, Rob Riley, whom she met at the University of Alabama and worked with on various legal cases.
In her interview with TIME, Simpson said the participants in the conference call expressed growing concern that Gov. Siegelman would refuse to give up his challenge to the vote count. According to Simpson, Rob Riley said, "Siegelman's just like a cockroach, he'll never die, what are we going to do?" At that point Canary offered reassurance by citing Rove's news from Justice Department.
Simpson said she had long been troubled by the conference call conversation, and even consulted an official of the Alabama State Bar Association to determine whether she could disclose it publicly without violating her obligations as a volunteer working for the Riley campaign. She was told, she said, that she was free to speak of the matter.
Simpson said she grew more concerned about the matter after Siegelman's conviction last June. She says she told several friends about the conference call ; one of them, Mark Bollinger, a former aide to a Democratic attorney general in Alabama and in the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, has given his own affidavit, obtained by TIME, swearing that Simpson had told him of the conference call and Rove's alleged statements.
The federal investigation of Siegelman culminated in a criminal prosecution that became public not long after Siegelman announced that he would run again for governor of Alabama in 2006. Partly because of the investigation, Siegelman failed in his bid for the Democratic nomination.
Siegelman, together with former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, was convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges and faces sentencing June 26. Lawyers for Siegelman and Scrushy told TIME they were considering whether to use Simpson's affadavit in expected motions to dismiss charges against their clients, or in some other phase of what is likely to be a protracted appeals process.
Siegelman was convicted of appointing Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for a $500,000 contribution to a campaign for a state lottery to fund education. Defense lawyers have argued that Siegelman drew no personal financial benefit from Scrushy's donation to the lottery campaign, and they note that Scrushy had served on the hospital regulatory board under three previous governors, before Siegelman reappointed him. The reappointment, they have argued, offered little of value to Scrushy except more work.

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