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.- N.C.), 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.
Like another former president of the Harvard Law Review (Susan Estrich), it took plenty of time (but not as much as it took Ms. Estrich) for Senator Obama to publicly question the propriety of the prosecution in the Duke case.
But it appears that Senator Obama is the first presidential hopeful to do so (certainly the first with a noteworthy showing in the polls).
A federal investigation into the handling of the Duke case should have been commenced long ago.
That is something that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales really should know.
For refusing to do THAT, into retirement, that man should go.
A constituent wrote to Senator Obama about the Duke case and got back a response that an "independent inquiry is needed" into the conduct of Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong.
To his further credit, Senator Obama acknowledged that Representative Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) had called upon General Gonzales to investigate (alas, the General decided to wait).
Senator Obama essentially reiterated Representative Jones' request that General Gonzales "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." and revealed that he "will be following [the] progress [of the call for a federal investigation] closely."
General Gonzales has support, however, for example, from David Freedman, the attorney representing Mr. Nifong in the pending ethics proceeding against him.
Mr. Freedman: "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."
The federal investigation should have been commenced long ago!
The North Carolina Bar did not file a complaint against Mr. Nifong for violating the rules of professional conduct until December of 2006.
Senator Obama's comments were first posted on LieStoppers," by "sceptical," the constituent.
One more win for the bloggers!
"skeptical" described the Obama letter and its origin as follows:
"Weeks ago I wrote a letter to Sen. Barack Obama (among others) urging him to support efforts by Rep. Walter Jones to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether the constitutional rights of the defendants in the Duke case had been violated.
"Yesterday [March 23, 2007] I received a reply dated March 5 from Sen. 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 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. This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely.'
"The letter then goes on to apologize for the delay in his response, citing the fact that he receives up to 10,000 e-mails and letters per week.
"The letter is on U.S. Senate stationery with a mechanical signature. I am unsure why it was dated March 5 yet not received until March 23."
Better late than never!
Think about THAT, General Gonzales, Mr. President and other 2008 presidential hopefuls.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.