News Release

· Fitzgerald · Alito

BRENDAN SMITH
JEREMY BRECHER
Smith and Brecher co-wrote a recent oped in the Baltimore Sun, “Prosecutor Should Dig Deeper,” in which they commented: “As a prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald rightly brought charges where the law was clearest and the evidence most compelling. But the alleged crimes he is investigating are in essence the apparent cover-up operation for another possible set of crimes against national and international law. Why would I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby commit perjury and lie to FBI agents, as he is accused of doing?” Smith, a legal scholar, and Brecher, a historian, are editors of the new book In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond.
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ROBERT PARRY
Editor of ConsortiumNews.com, Parry has written the recent piece “Letting the White House Walk?” Parry broke much of the Iran-Contra scandal and wrote two books about it. He said today: “Contrary to what many are claiming now, Reagan did not come clean on Iran-Contra. Rather, people like Colin Powell were brought in who helped the White House retreat to a new line of defense in the cover-up. [Independent Counsel Lawrence] Walsh was forced to narrow his investigation. Then, his cases were undercut by conservative judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals. And, after Walsh finally broke through the cover-up in 1991-1992, President George H.W. Bush pardoned a half dozen Iran-Contra defendants, effectively ending the investigation. Some of the Iran-Contra veterans, such as Elliott Abrams, have since gotten key jobs in George W. Bush’s administration. (Abrams now is Deputy National Security Adviser for the Mideast.)”
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ELIZABETH DE LA VEGA
Elizabeth de la Vega wrote “The White House Criminal Conspiracy,” the cover story in the current issue of The Nation. She has recently retired after serving more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor in Minneapolis and San Jose.
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MARJORIE COHN
Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president-elect of the National Lawyers Guild. She has written a piece titled “Bush Taps ‘Scalia-lite’ to Replace O’Connor.” She said today: “Bush’s right-wing base is thrilled to have a nominee in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Samuel Alito engages in ‘judicial restraint’ — the right-wing’s stated litmus test — only when the conservative ends justify the means. Alito showed little restraint when he voted to restrict Congressional authority to pass legislation to protect the rights of women, minorities, workers, and consumers.”
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FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of law at the University of Illinois. The Washington Post noted today that “Alito has been a member of the Federalist Society.” Boyle commented: “The Federalist Society and its members such as Judge Alito stand for the general proposition that the United States Supreme Court should return to what they believe to be the ‘good old days’ of the Herbert Hoover administration and its Supreme Court.”
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Background: People for the American Way
“In one case that came before Alito, an African American had been convicted of felony murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury from which black jurors had been impermissibly struck. Alito cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in a 2-1 ruling rejecting the defendant’s claims. The full Third Circuit reversed Alito’s ruling, and the majority specifically criticized him for having compared statistical evidence about the prosecution’s exclusion of blacks from juries in capital cases to an explanation of why a disproportionate number of recent U.S. presidents have been left-handed. According to the majority, ‘[t]o suggest any comparability to the striking of jurors based on their race is to minimize the history of discrimination against prospective black jurors and black defendants.'”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167