Thursday, November 01, 2007

In Time, The Feds Will Come To Durham

The last two days I’ve posted here and here on Raleigh N&O stories concerning a letter attorney Jim Cooney, representing Reade Seligmann and his family,addressed to Craig S. Morford, acting U.S. deputy attorney general in Washington; Christopher J. Christie, U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, and Anna Mills Waggoner, U.S. attorney for the middle district of North Carolina.

The N&O reported it obtained the letter through a freedom of information request and that Cooney could not comment on his letter. (see here)

The letter disclosed North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has asked the federal Justice Department to assist in an investigation into “the events of this prosecution” during what’s known as the Duke Hoax.

The letter also disclosed the unexplained, last-minute cancellation of a meeting set for Raleigh which was to include representatives of the state’s AG’s office and JOD officials, including some who’d come to Raleigh from Reade Seligmann’s home state of New Jersey.

The letter doesn’t identify who was responsible for the cancellation. But since only higher ups in the DOJ could have directed the New Jersey-based JOD officials not to attend the meeting; and since the letter is addressed to Morford, who’s currently acting Attorney General because that office is currently vacant, it’s obvious where Cooney thinks responsibility lies.

It certainly sounds like someone with a lot of clout didn’t want that meeting to happen.

If you don’t believe that's the case, just ask deputy secretary of the treasury and Duke BOT chair Bob Steel.

Does the meeting's cancellation mean the Feds aren’t coming to Durham?

Here’s what a commenter, Jack, says:

There will be no Federal investigation. We all toss around the ideas that politicians are corrupt, that they want to cover their back sides, etc.

I believe that the conduct of the public officials in the Lacrosse case is just the tip of the iceberg. An in-depth, legitimate, thorough and unbiased investigation could undermine the legitimacy of many governmental entities, not to mention Duke University.
There’s a lot of truth in what Jack says. And he may turn out to be right about the Feds not coming in.

But I think eventually they will.

Yes, this Justice Department under President Bush has shown itself to have just what the DOJ under previous administrations for more than forty years have had: a two-race policy whereby DOG’s quick to get involved when there’s any suggestion blacks might have been victimized (look at how quickly DOJ got involved in Jena), but very slow to get involved where whites are concerned, even when they’ve clearly been victimized and the state’s attorney general is asking DOJ to get involved, as is the case now.

And we all know the very wealthy and powerful Duke University, which often speaks out on public matters and routinely lobbies the federal government, has said nothing to encourage the Feds to come to Durham and investigate possible crimes committed against its students.

Still, I think the Feds will come.

They’ll be forced to.

The injustices committed during the Duke Hoax are too massive and too terrible to be ignored.

We know only something of those injustices now.

We’ll learn much more about those injustices in the future.

A police-state frame-up attempt which was carried out over many months, involved dozens of co-conspirators and sought to put three innocent young men in prison for decades is a horrible thing to learn about. It makes decent people angry and concerned for their safety when in the hands of the law.

But we don’t know a quarter of all that was done to first trash the lacrosse players and generate public anger against them; and then to pick three of them for a frame-up that would send them to prison for most of the rest of their lives.

When the public learns more of what happened, especially the many lies we were told and the deliberate crimes that were committed, all that won’t mean much to the sort of people who go to pot banger rallies and circulate “Vigilante” posters.

But decent people are going to be angry and they’re going to demand something be done.

Public awareness followed by public pressure will, at some point, force the Feds to come to Durham, something they should have done long ago.


Anonymous said...


The FOI request was a crack, a very small one. But it will propogate as time goes on.

There is rising anger at the delay. No doubt about that. That anger is not going away. If anything it gets stronger each day. You can see it and feel it on the blogs.

The whole situation in Durham is surreal. No one can speak of the corruption. They dance around it as if it's invisible. Its like a horrible disfigurement that no one can address.

At some point the cries for justice will become cries for vengeance.


Anonymous said...

I think we'd better STEELE ourselves.

Anonymous said...

The DOJ is going to learn that it can run but it can't hide.

There is just too much in Durham to ignore.

Sooner or later it must answer the questions as to 'why' it has been so remiss.

And I even feel that a lawsuit against the DOJ for discrimination may be in order.

Anonymous said...

Obama called for the Fed's to investigate in March of this year and was campaigning at NCCU today. Any mention of his stance on the Duke Lacrosse hoax since Mayo Bell gave him an endorsement today? Bet not.

dsf said...

The DOJ is too busy chasing nooses right now.

Anonymous said...

Can the so-called Justice Department be sued for discrimination?

Anonymous said...

From your keyboard to God's ears, John!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Obama sure has a wierd assessment of NC politics, don't he? No offense to NCCU as an educational institution, but it is not exactly mainstream NC in politics.

And Bell? Man, I'd pay him NOT to endorse me if I were Obama.

Are we beginning to see some cracks in Obama's "justice for all" shield? Or do these guys still pledge allegiance to the USA?

Anonymous said...

I find Mayor Bell's quotes to be preposterous, and offensive. How all of these people can lie and deny facts of massive corruption, just boggles the mind! The crimes of guilt exceed the LAX case, and goes back much further into Durham's notorious past.

These people deny the truths, then when forced to comment, always use excuses. I am sick of excuses! The "BULL" in Durm has existed far too long, and is beyond just having Washington leaders peer in and have a "Look-See."

My family has waited almost 3 years needlessly for an investigation to be done into my brother's murder. Other families have suffered the same cruel fate at the hands of the courts, officials, and law enforcement. There are no reasons big enough to convince us "THEY" care, and are "moving forward?!"

I have personally sent hundreds of FOIA requests, spoken to every department and official in legislature but the president, and have still been ignored. They know all about me, and am quite sure I have been a burr in their saddles.

WHEN, the FEDS finally decide to move to action, I am nationally requesting my own personal meeting to take my testimony of the abuses and abject denial of due process of law, and the numerous personal and civil rights violations.

THIS is why I have had to come forward into the blogosphere to have a voice. I have not made my quest a secret, and am not alone.

Far more than Duke University has been touched, actual lives have been destroyed. The respect and dignity of an entire city and state has been greatly tarnished, and most of all our leaders in federal government have failed us all immensely.

The clock on the wall has silently ticked away long enough, and is anxiously awaiting for the alarm. So are we!
Rhonda Fleming
You Know Where
You Have My Number

Anonymous said...


I am with you 100% on this one.

Across the breath of this country, one can find decent citizens who are outraged at the abuse of power by the Durham authorities in the attempted framing of innocent men. They are demanding a response by our government.

In NYC, for the recent Halloween parade, there were many reports of people wearing "Nifong" masks.

The level of illegality that will be revealed in the civil litigation investigation of Durham will force the Feds to take action.

W. R. Chambers said...

In the context of civil matters, there are some instances where the law recognizes the right of "private attorneys general" to play a role similar to that of an attorney general. Does anyone know if the lawyers for the plaintiffs could act private attorneys general?

Anonymous said...

I would also like to address the DOJ who I know for a fact watches this site and DIW. What are you waiting for? I have proof you have been watching for months, and DEMAND that you come out of the closet and intervene on behalf of mine, and countless other families who have yet to have our cases and voices heard!

We have waited long enough, If there is any serious journalist out here who wishes to hear what I have to say, PLEASE contact me ASAP, as I am through waiting, and am more than happy to squeal like a pig about the complete corruption, and dis-concern for JUSTICE!
Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland Ohio