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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Voter intimidation gets thumbs up…

…from President Obama’s Justice Department, as long as the intimidator intimidates those the President prefers not vote.

On November 4, 2008 two members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) stationed themselves outside a polling place at 1221 Fairmount St, Philadelphia, PA. (See video) On January 7, 2009 (eleven days before the inauguration of President Obama), the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against these two men, NBPP, and Malik Zulu Shabazz (acting chairman of NBPP) for violating Section 11(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by engaging in and attempting coercion, threats, and intimidation of voters and those aiding voters at the polling place.

The complaint alleges Samir Shabazz “brandished a deadly weapon…pointed the weapon at individuals, menacingly tapped it [on] his other hand, or menacingly tapped it elsewhere.” He and Jackson were also accused of hurling racial threats and racial insults at both black and white voters while the polls were open as well as making “menacing and intimidating gestures, statements, and movements directed at individuals who were present to aid voters.” Malik Zulu Shabazz and NBPP “managed, directed and endorsed the behavior, actions and statements” of their co-defendants, according to the complaint. In addition Malik Zulu Shabazz was accused of making statements “adopting and endorsing the deployment, behavior, and statements” of Samir Shabazz and Jackson following the election.

After the defendants failed to appear in court or present a defense, the court ordered the DOJ to prepare a motion for default judgment against them. On May 1, 2009, DOJ sought an extension to comply with the order. DOJ stated the extension was necessary to “craft an appropriate and equitable remedy” because it had not “had the benefit of discovery” in the case and did not anticipate “that the Defendants would make no showing whatsoever.” The court granted DOJ’s motion on May 4.  The defendants unwillingness to appear or defend themselves had cost them the case.  All that remained was for the DOJ to file the necessary motion and the court to grant it.

Instead, on May 15, DOJ filed a proposed default judgment order against Samir Shabazz and dropped its case against the other three defendants.  The court then handed down its judgment against Shabazz that prohibits him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any or to intimidate, threaten or coerce voters or those assisting voters.1  No fines, no admission of guilt, really not even a punitive act of any kind!

Some may be thinking there was no proof, no witnesses willing to testify to the acts described in the complaint.  Even if that were so, DOJ had the case in hand after the defendants’ refusal to appear to defend themselves.  But there was at least one witness.  And a very credible (even to ultra left-wingers) witness at that.   Bartle Bull, an attorney who cut his professional teeth on the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, was also working as a poll watcher on election day.  

Michelle Malkin has posted Mr. Bull’s sworn affidavit on the case here.   In it, Mr. Bull unequivocally states that he observed the two men intimidate and attempt to intimidate voters and poll workers.  The following quotes are directly from his sworn statement.

“In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation,  and in my efforts in the 1960’s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi through participation with civil rights leaders and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location.  Their clear purpose was to intimidate voters with whom they did not agree.”

“…I heard the shorter man make a statement directed towards white poll observers that ‘You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.'”

“I considered their presence to be a racially motivated effort to intimidate poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree.”

If these were the statements of a Republican, liberals would certainly level charges of dishonesty. But this comes from one of their own–a civil rights attorney who worked on the campaigns of such left-wing icons as Robert F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Democrats can’t write this off as a product of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

So, how did the Obama DOJ deal with such a damning condemnation by one of their own?

They buried it.

That’s correct. Mr. Bull’s affidavit was dated April 7, 2009–almost three months after the President’s inauguration. But the court never saw it. The affidavit was never filed!

According to this Washington Times exclusive, a DOJ spokesman in the supposedly “most transparent administration in history” refused to reveal the source of the pressure that forced career DOJ lawyers to drop the case they’d pursued since January. The Times’ sources for the article insisted on anonymity “because of fear of retribution.”

It appears Obama’s DOJ is not only protecting thugs who intimidate the President’s political enemies, but also creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation within the Department. The same career attorneys whose advice Eric Holder promised he would listen to in his confirmation hearings now fear reprisals if they publicly disagree with their boss.

Obama’s promised change has arrived.  After this, we can count on a lot more left-wing security (that’s how Shabazz and Jackson described their role in Philadelphia–security) at polling places on election day.   This outrage is an open invitation for the NBPP and any other radical left-wing group to place intimidators at the doors to harass voters and poll-watchers.

During the campaign Obama mentioned his desire for a civilian security force.  Perhaps the NBPP will be his recruiting ground.

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May 31, 2009 - Posted by | Obama | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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