Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Blagojevich Verdict & On Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s Competence & Character

The jury in the federal corruption trial in Chicago of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, Democrat, just returned only one verdict on 24 felony counts – guilty of lying to the FBI (link). A hung jury on all other counts, and another failure from prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. After hearing all Fitzgerald’s team had to offer, a seemingly strong case based on what the public has heard and on commentary from legal pundits, the jury couldn’t agree that any underlying crime had been committed. All Fitzgerald was able to secure was a conviction on one count of lying to the FBI during its investigation.

Perhaps we can add incompetent to what we already know about Fitzgerald – that he’s immoral and a disgrace to law enforcement and the legal profession. To begin with, he's already been in hot water for egregious and unethical public comments about this case pre-trial (see link below).

But more importantly, there's his behavior in the now notorious Plame case. Not long ago, he was appointed special prosecutor by the bumbling George W. Bush to investigate the alleged outing by someone in his Administration of the alleged covert CIA employee Valerie Plame, who, along with her now-disgraced husband, was very liberal and very anti-Bush. Very soon in his work, Fitzgerald ascertained that the leak was not illegal and that it was by Bush Administration officials Colin Powell and his lackey Richard Armitage, made presumably out of pique against Bush, with whom they had fallen out. Knowing there was no crime as well as the identities of the real leakers, Fitzgerald nevertheless kept that silent from the world and proceeded to pursue, ostensibly about the leak, Bush Administration officials Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, whom he knew were innocent of wrongdoing. Why? Well, Rove and Vice President Cheney, Libby’s boss, were targets of ultraliberal Bush haters and Fitzgerald was ready to oblige with some politically-inspired mischief. In a perjury trap set-up, he was able to gin up enough discrepancy between recollections under oath to secure an indictment only against Scooter Libby and to bamboozle a jury into finding him guilty of perjury, under extremely questionable facts, but could not convince the jury of any underlying crime. Only later have we learned of Fitzgerald’s dishonesty and of Powell’s and Armitage’s perfidy. Investor’s Business Daily called Fitzgerald’s behavior “From top to bottom, … one of the most disgraceful abuses of prosecutorial power in this country’s history.” That's Fitzgerald's legacy.

Related Posts at Critical Thoughts:
As Prosecutor Fitzgerald Pursues Blagojevich, Who Watches Fitzgerald?

Blagojevich Files Motion To Remove Fitzgerald, Citing Inappropriate Comments; Fitz Is a "Repeat Offender"

John M Greco

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jack Wallace, Actor

This evening I saw a commercial on TV, for Direct TV I think, which had as a background prop an elderly silent man in a wheelchair that I believe is the actor Jack Wallace, who started out in Chicago. Very glad to see him still acting. I first and last saw him live in Chicago around 1971 at the old 11th Street Theater, just off Michigan Avenue, playing the role of McMurphy in Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’m pretty sure W.H. Macy was also in that cast [corrected by a comment below]. I went with and at the instigation of my friend John Killacky, who later moved off to New York City and places beyond in the arts and arts management.

Wallace was terrific. I thought I would see much more of him, but that was not to be. I remember he had a small role, along with some other Chicago actors, in the Steven Segal Film Above the Law, which was set in and shot in Chicago. The Internet Movie Database shows that Wallace has been in many TV shows and movies (link), and I’m glad for him for that; it has just one photo of him, though -- as part of a cast group picture from the movie Boogie Nights. A great performance in Cuckoo’s Nest I still remember, these many years later.

(The nearby image I pulled off a Google search.)
Richard Balsamo