What’s the liberal spin on the New Black Panthers Voter Intimidation Case?

I”ve been trying to figure that out most of the day, since I noted that former Dept. of Justice employee J. Christian Adams would be testifying before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights today.  That is, I noted it on Fox News’ website.  I regularly check CNN, then Fox (hate their site, plus I want to get as much as I can), during the workday.  CNN had no mention of the case, and a check in their archives indicated that it had not been mentioned at all this year. 

Is what Adams had to say important?  What do you think? 

J. Christian Adams, testifying Tuesday before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that “over and over and over again,” the department showed “hostility” toward those cases. He described the Black Panther case as one example of that — he defended the legitimacy of the suit and said his “blood boiled” when he heard a Justice official claim the case wasn’t solid. 

“It is false,” Adams said of the claim. 

“We abetted wrongdoing and abandoned law-abiding citizens,” he later testified. 

The department abandoned the New Black Panther case last year. It stemmed from an incident on Election Day in 2008 in Philadelphia, where members of the party were videotaped in front of a polling place, dressed in military-style uniforms and allegedly hurling racial slurs while one brandished a night stick. 

The Bush Justice Department brought the first case against three members of the group, accusing them in a civil complaint of violating the Voter Rights Act. The Obama administration initially pursued the case, winning a default judgment in federal court in April 2009 when the Black Panther members did not appear in court. But then the administration moved to dismiss the charges the following month after getting one of the New Black Panther members to agree to not carry a “deadly weapon” near a polling place until 2012. 

In a statement Tuesday, a Justice spokesman said the civil rights division determined “the facts and the law did not support pursuing claims” against the two other defendants and denied Adams’ allegations. 

“The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved. We are committed to comprehensive and vigorous enforcement of both the civil and criminal provisions of the federal laws that prohibit voter intimidation,” the spokesman said. 

The Civil Rights Commission, which subpoenaed Adams, has been probing the incident since last year. Adams said he ignored department directives not to testify and eventually quit after he heard Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testify that there were concerns the Black Panther case was not supported by the facts.  

Adams has described the case as open-and-shut and said Tuesday that it was a “very low moment” to hear Perez make that claim. 

But he described the department’s hostility toward that and other cases involving black defendants as “pervasive.” Adams cited hostility in the department toward a 2007 voting rights case against a black official in Mississippi who was accused of trying to intimidate voters. Adams said that when the Black Panther case came up, he heard officials in the department say it was “no big deal” and “media-generated” and point to “Fox News ” as the source.  

But as the investigation unfolded, he said he discovered “indications” that the Black Panther Party was doing the “same thing” to supporters of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary season in early 2008. He urged the commission to pursue testimony from other Justice officials to corroborate his story. 

It’s unclear how far the commission will get. The commissioners want to hear from Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Justice Department’s voting section, but the commission claims the Justice Department is blocking Coates from testifying about why the case was dropped. 

The Bush Justice Department brought the first case against three members of the group, accusing them in a civil complaint of violating the Voter Rights Act. The Obama administration initially pursued the case, winning a default judgment in federal court in April 2009 when the Black Panther members did not appear in court. But then the administration moved to dismiss the charges the following month after getting one of the New Black Panther members to agree to not carry a “deadly weapon” near a polling place until 2012. 

In a statement Tuesday, a Justice spokesman said the civil rights division determined “the facts and the law did not support pursuing claims” against the two other defendants and denied Adams’ allegations. 

“The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved. We are committed to comprehensive and vigorous enforcement of both the civil and criminal provisions of the federal laws that prohibit voter intimidation,” the spokesman said. 

The Civil Rights Commission, which subpoenaed Adams, has been probing the incident since last year. Adams said he ignored department directives not to testify and eventually quit after he heard Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testify that there were concerns the Black Panther case was not supported by the facts. 

 

Adams has described the case as open-and-shut and said Tuesday that it was a “very low moment” to hear Perez make that claim. 

But he described the department’s hostility toward that and other cases involving black defendants as “pervasive.” Adams cited hostility in the department toward a 2007 voting rights case against a black official in Mississippi who was accused of trying to intimidate voters. Adams said that when the Black Panther case came up, he heard officials in the department say it was “no big deal” and “media-generated” and point to “Fox News ” as the source. 

 

But as the investigation unfolded, he said he discovered “indications” that the Black Panther Party was doing the “same thing” to supporters of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary season in early 2008. He urged the commission to pursue testimony from other Justice officials to corroborate his story. 

It’s unclear how far the commission will get. The commissioners want to hear from Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Justice Department’s voting section, but the commission claims the Justice Department is blocking Coates from testifying about why the case was dropped.

I’ve got a few problems with this: First, I make a it a rule to be extremely sceptical when people speak out against former employers.  They almost always have a bias and unresolved issues against the employer.  That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, necessarily; they’re likely to be the only ones who can show problems where they exist, but it means that I’m looking for other support.  Second, I don’t trust Fox News.  Or rather, I’m not any more willing to put my full trust in Fox News any more than I would any other news network.  “Trust, but verify” as Reagan would say.  I know what some people think when they hear “Fox News,” so I want to be sure that I’ve gotten independent support.  I’ve never had a problem before.  Third, I simply don’t think I believe that the Justice Department in my own country could be so blatantly, unabashedly, corrupt and racist.  I realize that Holder hasn’t exactly been politically correct about race in the past, but I still can’t believe that things are this bad.  The voter intimidation case was air tight; the man was video-taped brandishing a weapon.  Why does the Justice Department think that this is OK? 

And yet, I have not heard any explanation from the DOJ.  Adams’ accusations, if there is even a chance they are true, are surely more important than whatever the hell Lindsay Lohan is doing these days (which got three stories today, as well as a breaking news alert) or a basketball player’s Twitter account.  I’d say it’s a lot more important than the World Cup, which has been front paged most of the day.  And yet, nothing, no explanation, no cover up, no counter-story.  I could not find anything about this story on any other non-conservative media sites as well.  I’m willing to consider an explanation, if only one is offered. 

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Tweeting the TN 3rd District Congressional Primary Debate

Debate yesterday; I tweeted it.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  (Apologies for the terrible spelling- I’ve got to work on that if I want to keep this Twitter-thing going).