Gonzales' Legal Bills: A Debt for Taxpayers
WHO IS PAYING for former Attorney General Gonzales’ defense against the Prison Profiteering indictment brought against him by a grand jury in Willacy County, Texas last week? Maybe you are.
Taxpayer money is being used to pay for Gonzales’ defense against a lawsuit alleging that he discriminated against non-Republican applicants in selecting attorneys for federal service. According to the article, only Bush supporters were admitted.
See the excerpt below from an article published in The Raw Story. A pdf version of the congressmen’s letter objecting to taxpayers paying for Gonzales’ defense in the lawsuit is available at this link: (.pdf here)
People who wish to contact their congressional representatives about paying to defend Gonzales and others against lawsuits and criminal charges as they arise can use this link to do so online: http://www.house.gov/writerep
Lawmakers ask: Why are taxpayers footing Gonzales's legal bills?
Published: Monday November 24, 2008
Two members of Congress are demanding answers following revelations that taxpayers are paying up to $24,000 per month to foot former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's legal bills.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who chair the Judiciary committees in their respective chambers, wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Monday demanding to know the details of the arrangement.
At issue is a lawsuit filed against Gonzales alleging that he oversaw discrimination in two Justice Department programs aimed at recruiting law students into federal service. During his time in office, department officials systematically denied entry to liberal applicants and only admitted Republican supporters.
Administration of the Department of Justice Honor Program and Summer Law Intern Program were two of the many areas in which Gonzales is alleged to have politicized the Department. The politicization scandal, best known for the firing of nine US Attorneys who refused to pursue partisan charges, contributed to Gonzales's resignation in disgrace last year.
Several law students who were denied entry to the honors and intern programs are suing Gonzales, alleging they were unfairly disqualified. The Justice Department is paying Gonzales's bills.
(See the full article at the above link.)
Over the past decade, America has experienced tremendous growth in its inmate population, creating a prison system that costs taxpayers approximately $185 BILLION per year. Much of that money goes to private prisons. When Willacy County, Texas District Attorney succeeded last week in indicting Gonzales and Vice President Cheney for prison profiteering, Americans now understand that the reason 1 of every 134 Americans is behind bars has less to do with rising crime than it does with creating revenue for private prisons. Unfortunately, 1.25 million of the 2.3 million prisoners are mental patients - imprisoned rather than in hospitals or treated in their communities.
The USDOJ published these figures on the growing number of Americans living as prisoners or under the threat of prison, two-thirds of whom were imprisoned for non-violent offenses (making them the most desirable kind of inmates to use in prison labor programs manufacturing products for interstate trade).:
"In 2006, over 7.2 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend 2006 -- 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults." ~ U.S. Department of Justice
America's inmate population grows so fast that the 2006 figures above certainly do not represent the scope of today’s problem prison profiteering created, especially to the poor, the black and brown members of American society. In Georgia, citizens who cannot pay the full amount of their traffic tickets are put on probation, and if they violate by missing an interest payment, off to prison they go.
Most damning is the fact that more than half of those imprisoned today are mental patients. A good number of them were people who were turned out of mental institutions and left to fend for themselves living on the street. Others are citizens who would have been hospitalized 20 years ago, but with the laws against enforced treatment until there is a smoking gun or bloody knife to prove that a citizen needs treatment, these psychiatric patients eventually wind up boosting prison populations at a substantially higher cost to taxpayers, which benefits prison profiteers.
Most mental patients deprived of treatment eventually violate some city ordinance regarding sleeping in the park, disturbing the peace, or shooting 32 people like the Virginia Tech student, and many of them wind up in the hands of prison profiteers for the rest of their lives. Consider the examples in the links below:
Wrongful Death of Larry Neal - Mentally Ill Heart Patient Held 18 days Under Secret Arrest in Memphis/Shelby County Jail Until Dead, Because Police Were Sick of Him (USDOJ Investigation Withheld)
Private Prison Torture of Mentally Ill American - Nine Months Solitary Confinement in Filth and Naked
The More the Stronger! - Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill's Call to Action
There are many good reasons to insist that the mentally ill are treated with compassion - as patients, not prisoners. The following passages best illustrate my own reason to advocate for our dysfunctional citizens to cease being used as commodities to boost profits for private prison profiteers like Gonzales:
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. ~ Matthew 25:37-40
Slavery is still legal in America through its prison system, which enjoyed a tremendous boost while Gonzales was Attorney General. Americans should protect our most vulnerable citizens from prison profiteers like Gonzales. Prisons are for criminals, not disabled people who may not even have understood the charges against them and were unable to contribute to their own defense.
If Gonzales earned so much money from illegal activities through his prison profiteering while U.S. Attorney General (and continues to earn more through investments and interest), why must taxpayers pay for his defense against charges for his many crimes while in office? "If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you" does not seem to apply to Gonzales. He is quite able to afford his attorney's fees better than taxpayers, many of whom live under financial stress. Since he allegedly only let Republicans have the attorney positions in the USDOJ, this man should just pass his hat among Republican friends and supporters if he wants to keep his own money. Must we the people continue to pay forever for Gonzales' alleged illegal activites as new lawsuits and criminal charges emerge? The list may be never-ending.
How many times must taxpayers pay for President Bush's bad personnel choices, and for how many more of his appointees?
Website: http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com My page http://www.care2.com/c2c/people/profile.html?pid=513396753
My group: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI
My articles: http://my.nowpublic.com/search?fulltext=1&type=story&keys=mary+neal