Bush DOJ decided New Black Panthers no major case

UPDATE: Fox News guest Kirsten Powers made the mistake of thinking for herself. A must-see video:

Several of you have clamored for me to say something about the alleged voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, which involves a thuggish group who call themselves the “New Black Panthers.” (While I was no fan of the original Black Panthers, they don’t deserve to have their reputation further befouled by this group. The two groups are in no way related.)
I was loathe to comment since I know that no rational discussion will follow. How could it? It was clear from the beginning that this was not a case of voter intimidation against anyone who might vote for John McCain. As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT. As blogger Ben Smith noted way back then, “You don’t typically intimidate your own voters.”

But solid reporting from Media Matters and Adam Serwer of The American Prospect ought to put this nonsense to rest (it won’t, but it should). The charges against the New Black Panthers were downgraded by the Bush Department of Justice:

The decision not to file a criminal case occurred before Obama was even in office.

This means that the case was downgraded to a civil case 11 days before Obama was inaugurated, 26 days before Eric Holder became attorney general, and about nine months before Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of the Civil Rights Division.

From Media Matters:

# Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;
# The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
# The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;
# The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;
# No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;

So, no matter how many times J. Christian Adams declares that the Obama administration refuses to protect the rights of white people — and no matter how many times Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh repeat it — it’s not true.
(See my first post of the day about facts before you respond.)

335 comments Add your comment

TGT

July 12th, 2010
5:22 pm

BTW Ms. Tucker,

In case you haven’t heard, you were mentioned on Rush’s show today. Of course it was not in flattering terms, but any press is good press, right?

TGT

July 12th, 2010
5:23 pm

I really couldn’t care less, but in keeping with tradition: FIRST!

T-Town

July 12th, 2010
5:30 pm

Politics, man politics. Don’t ya jest love it?

joan

July 12th, 2010
5:48 pm

Enter your comments here

joan

July 12th, 2010
5:51 pm

So much for freedom of speech Tucker. You can spew all the venom you want, but God forbid anyone talks back.

David Granger

July 12th, 2010
5:51 pm

Cynthia, I have no doubt that you are correct that the voter intimidation occurred in a heavily Democratic precinct. But there is also no doubt that it DID occur. If you have any doubt, listen to Malik Shabazz himself admit it:

http://biggovernment.com/sright/2010/07/09/new-black-panther-party-president-admits-to-philadelphia-voter-intimidation-holders-justice-department-still-silent/

May I ask you a question, Cynthia? Just because this precinct is 70% Democratic, do you honestly feel that an action such as this against white voters (who may themselves have been on the way to vote Democratic) should therefore be IGNORED?

Bob

July 12th, 2010
5:56 pm

Is the statute of limitations up or can the mighty Kenyon file charges ?
Can you tell me that if a hooded klansman like Robert Byrd stood at a polling place with a billy club you would call it minor ?

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

David Granger, First off, the case hasn’t been ignored. Secondly, the Bush administration made the decision to downgrade it to a civil case and not pursue criminal charges. I hope you read the post.

Christopher

July 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

Ms. Tucker,

You may or may not be correct in your description of voter intimidation intentions (Think-If voters are intimidated, would they actually come forward in the presence of individuals of whom they are not necessarily confident will protect their civil rights?); however, it is quite interesting that you neglect to identify the entire scene. How can you omit the hate speech that should unquestionably be attached to your story? The apparently ignorant New Black Panther president angrily shouted the importance of killing “cracker” children and the women who bring them in to this world. Is this language intentionally intimidating? In order to report or explain a topic in mass media, one should sincerely provide all information to the reader in order for him or her to develop an informed opinion. Unfortunately, you did not provide an unbiased perspective of the scene and, as a result, will undoubtedly prevent many others from forming an educated unbiased one.

Paul Leinweber

July 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

You have to be kidding me… What a pathetic article….. Not to mention the Title being “Bush DOJ decided New Black Panthers no major case”….. This is a blatant LIE the OBAMA admin did… can you say racist!!!!! I have not read one but I bet million that this author wants to Tag Tea Party Patriots as racist with ZERO evidence and I also bet she would not bother to point out the Congressman from my state who claimed racial slurs were slung has recanted.

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

joan, what exactly are you talking about?

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

Bob, Did you read the post?

Kamchak

July 12th, 2010
5:58 pm

So much for freedom of speech Tucker. You can spew all the venom you want, but God forbid anyone talks back.

Poor wittle victim, joan.

joan

July 12th, 2010
6:01 pm

Kamchak, you have no idea what you are talking about, but go ahead and weigh in. You have never needed to know the substance of anything to take a firm, and liberal position on it.

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
6:01 pm

Paul Leinweber, You should read my first post of the day. It was about facts, those stubborn things.

Some People are stupid

July 12th, 2010
6:02 pm

Paul-
Exactly what she said in the earlier argument. People tend to ignore facts.

When did Obama’s DOJ dismiss the case? I swear you ideological people make me sick sometime

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
6:02 pm

Christopher, If voters were intimated, they are certainly free to come forward NOW.

joan

July 12th, 2010
6:02 pm

By the way, when I did explain to Tucker about my statement after she asked about it, that wasn’t posted either. So, either you are politically correct, or polite, or whatever the criteria is, then you are simply not posted. Hey, it is her site, and her prerogative, but she loses credibility with me for sure.

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
6:04 pm

Joan, Please take a Xanax or have a martini. Calm down. I haven’t taken down any of your posts today. You must be running afoul of the program that prevents links from posting. Take out the links and any foul language. Then try again.

Slim

July 12th, 2010
6:08 pm

The right has lost all rational thought, my guess is a Republican couldn’t light a fire if you spotted them a match and some lighter fluid, it would be comical if I didn’t have to share the air we breath with these cretins…..

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
6:09 pm

Please, Slim, don’t call those with whom you disagree “cretins.”

Christopher

July 12th, 2010
6:09 pm

Ms. Tucker,

Unfortunately, the New Black Panthers have intimidated prospective voters in general. Televised and web-promoted videos stating the desire of the self-identified “King” to murder white people and particularly white women to prevent them from having additional white children have contributed to the silence that currently exists.

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
6:11 pm

Christopher, I can find any number of videos of white supremacists wishing to murder black people. That doesn’t keep me from voting.

Kamchak

July 12th, 2010
6:11 pm

Kamchak, you have no idea what you are talking about, but go ahead and weigh in.

Lemme guess—your posts have disappeared.

You’re not the only one that has happened to. Right now, Jay’s, Cynthia and Kyle’s sites are acting up. Did it occur to you that what is happening could be weather related or something is wrong with the ajc’s server?

Not everything is about you.

uga_b

July 12th, 2010
6:21 pm

I think a lot of us have become use to black racism and are no longer really intimidated by it, more saddened.

It is true that voter intimidation cases almost never get brought.

Christopher

July 12th, 2010
6:22 pm

Ms. Tucker,

Unfortunately, not everyone is as strong-willed and minded as you or I. I am hopeful that these groups, white/black/hispanic, etc., are more closely watched by law enforcement and government officials in the future.

truthmattersfa

July 12th, 2010
6:36 pm

so just to be clear, Ms. Tucker, individuals are allowed to stand in front of a polling place showing a nightstick? Yes or No? You are okay with that and have no problem with it?

Second, why do you keep bringing this “the Bush administration made the decision to downgrade it to a civil case and not pursue criminal charges. I hope you read the post.” up in an effor to distract from the real issue? The 3 individuals were found guilty of civil violations and then the DOJ mysteriously dropped the case before the sentencing was complete.

“As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT.”

Again, this makes it allowable to stand in front of a polling place on election day brandishing a nightstick?

btw, your citation of Media Matters, is the final straw in the laughable “unbiased” and “truthful” charade you’ve put forth.

truthmattersfa

July 12th, 2010
6:37 pm

oh and when a bunch of KKK members stand in front of a polling place in the deep south this November, holding clubs, nightsticks, guns or other weapons, I expect to see an article from you on the blog pointing out their actions constitute “no major case”

Jimma

July 12th, 2010
6:44 pm

Ms Tucker, don’t call Media Matters and American Prospect solid reporting, because they’re anything but solid or responsible. Two left-wing hit squads, regardless of your so called facts. The Obama administration and Eric Holder in particular are not interested in justice in the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation case or enforcement of our immigration laws. Did you see personally witness any of J. Christian Adam’s testimony? You and the corrupt people you advocate for have no credibility, and the voters will make that clear in Nov.

Scout

July 12th, 2010
6:46 pm

…………….. and the chasm between two “America’s” just keeps getting wider. This does not bode well for out future.

truthmattersfa

July 12th, 2010
6:46 pm

btw, on a completely unrelated note (well somewhat related as it deals w/ ctucker’s repeated dishonesty and untruthfulness), anyone else notice the irony of the fact that in an article about “the tendency of human beings — especially those who are committed political partisans — to ignore actual facts and believe what they want to believe..” good old ctucker herself cited a newspaper column from the Wash Po which itself was untruthful and mangled several facts??

1) Beheadings have happened in Arizona
is.gd/dpBDn

“In January 2010, Congressman Rob Bishop visited our ranch here in Santa Cruz County , Arizona . During that visit, I related to him an incident that occurred on June 27, 2008, in one of our pastures west of the ranch house. “On that day, one of our ranch hands was working horseback and discovered a human head near a trail believed to be used by drug and alien smugglers.”Although the head was missing the lower jaw, it was immediately apparent that much of the mass and flesh of the head was still present. The cowboy searched the area in hopes of finding the remainder of the body to no avail.”The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office was notified and they took possession of the head on that same date. We suspect that the head may have been placed along side the trail as a warning to other drug and alien traffickers using the trail.”

2) Crime rate along the border has been increasing.
is.gd/dpBCF

The rural crime rate for 2006 has moved up by about 75 and the 2007 rate has moved up by about 100 while the big city rate is relentlessly dropping,

3) Phoenix WAS the 2nd most dangerous city for kidnappings in the world in 2009.

is.gd/dpBBJ

In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix , Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America , with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone.

ctucker, if you wanted to write something interesting about immigration you could profile Joslyn Johnson, now a widow due to an illegal immigrant. Don’t worry she’s black so that fits your narrative perfectly.

is.gd/dpBAE

Scout

July 12th, 2010
6:47 pm

Daddy, are those Black Panthers coming over for dinner again? They scare me.

hnf

July 12th, 2010
6:49 pm

to be fair, i think fox is carelessly allowing for the inference that the issue is whether or not criminal charges should have been sought (as opposed to merely civil relief). aag perez isn’t an appointee, i see no basis for doubting his testimony under oath.

but, while the testimony helps to exculpate obama/holder as to any charge that they intentionally saved these guys from criminal prosecution, it doesn’t necessarily have any relevance to claims the justice department (then under the obama admin.) declined to seek harsher civil relief (i.e., monetary damages).

i’m not saying they did or did not; just wanted to make it clear that “bush’s d.o.j. chose not to seek criminal prosecution” doesn’t have anything to do with a claim that “obama’s d.o.j. refused to seek proper relief under other available civil statutes on the basis of race”. finally, perez’ didn’t testify that the decision to forgo criminal charges was made at the same time or before the complaint for injunctive relief was filed. his statement that such a decision was, in fact, made at some time happened to immediately precede his statement that the complaint was filed on jan. 9.

there’s an inference to be drawn there, and while it’s probably correct, it’s not verifiable from that testimony or any other source i know of. he is a lawyer, likely capable of careful word selection.

hnf

July 12th, 2010
6:52 pm

my point being: injunctive relief is many times preliminary and rarely the exclusive form of relief sought.

Jase

July 12th, 2010
6:58 pm

As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT. As blogger Ben Smith noted way back then, “You don’t typically intimidate your own voters.”

How was it determined that Samir Shabazz and his trusty side-kick were supporting the Democratic Party?

Soames

July 12th, 2010
6:58 pm

This whole issue is a bunch of nonsense that only a few bad apples participated in…kinda like that tea party racism CT likes to refer to on a monthly basis. I did find the Rev. Jackson’s comments hysterical regarding LeBron James. The Reverend made a mockery out of himself and the civil rights movement. As usual, the Reverend is all about him….always has been.

It is definitely a Monday..LOL
.

thebob.bob

July 12th, 2010
7:05 pm

The extremists on the Right don’t care about facts. the eye-bulging, teeth-barred nutjobs lost their minds when Obama was nominated and their heads exploded with rage when he got elected. There is nothing you can say that will calm them down.

Elections have consequences. They lost and can’t handle it. Some even have gone so far as o demand “2nd Amendment” solutions or even the overthrow of the Government by force and violence.

Why do they hate America and Democracy???

jconservative

July 12th, 2010
7:06 pm

On civility, or the lack of it.

Joan, you are always trashing your fellow citizens but you do not address the issues. The topic today is why the Bush DOJ decided to drop criminal charges against someone calling himself a “New Black Panther”. And why some blame the Obama DOJ for something the Bush DOJ did. But that is not new, we have been doing that since Adams and Jefferson had at it.

Nothing in Cynthia’s column gives us a clue as to why criminal charges were dropped. My educated guess is that it was due to a lack of evidence for criminal charges. They went with civil charges because of
the lower threshold of evidence required. But that is only a guess.
And the issue is not worth my time to investigate.

You know it is possible to discuss an issue without calling anyone a name. It is possible to discuss an issue without trying to degrade your fellow citizen.

Cynthia Tucker and I rarely agree on anything. But we engage in a discussion of the issues by addressing the issues.

You know it is possible to disagree on the issues and still remain civil. Case in point: the most conservative and the most liberal justices on the Supreme Court are the two closest friends on the Supreme Court. They never agree on the issues but are never disagreeable. If you see one at a social event you see the other (both are huge opera fans). If you see one on a family vacation you see the other (famous picture of both riding elephants in India). Yet they work in an environment where you are forced to lock horns every week.

If they can do it why can’t you? You never addressed the issue today so we do not know your opinion on the charges being downgraded.

mattyohe

July 12th, 2010
7:33 pm

I can’t imagine anyone whose first post is “Enter your comments here” had anything important to say.

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
7:35 pm

jconservative, As usual, your civility is a breath of fresh air

uga_b

July 12th, 2010
7:35 pm

Hooray BLOG Intimidation! Woot woot!

ctucker

July 12th, 2010
7:37 pm

Jimma, A Bush Justice Dept appointee testified that he downgraded the charges. That’s where the reporting came from

Keep up the good fight!

July 12th, 2010
7:38 pm

Ahh the stupidity continues….’Daddy are the minutemen coming to dinner…they scare me worse than the Republican wingnuts.”

You give them facts and they respond with nonsense. Another ACORN repeat….but but but…it does not fit into the agenda that the everything about Obama is against old white men like Scout

Port O'John

July 12th, 2010
7:38 pm

Hey Joan — that “Enter Your Comments Here” post was the most intelligent thing you’ve put on this space in quite a while — but let me edit if for you:

“Enter Fox News Comments Here”.

That’s better.

Reality Check

July 12th, 2010
7:40 pm

Ms. Tucker, your credibiliy is on the line here. I would suggest you check yourself, and your sources for bias. You can’t defend the indefensible.

uga_b

July 12th, 2010
7:41 pm

Leftist Comments: You’re stupid and so is your face!
Rightist Comments: see above.

uga_b

July 12th, 2010
7:44 pm

And just because I am feeling froggy:
“So, no matter how many times J. Christian Adams declares that the Obama administration refuses to protect the rights of white people — and no matter how many times Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh repeat it — it’s not true.
(See my first post of the day about facts before you respond.)”

Cynthia (et. al)
Riddle me the tanning ban tax! Who does that target? Is that protecting white people’s right to remain pale?

Scout

July 12th, 2010
7:51 pm

Keep up the good fight! :

At least be original. That’s close to plagerism.

By the way, the Minutemen helped found this country …………. not the Black Panthers.

Some People are stupid

July 12th, 2010
7:51 pm

uga_b
-uhmm who wrote the legislation..oh yeah a bunch of white men. Ask them why they taxed tanning. LAst time I check the president doesn’t write laws

hnf

July 12th, 2010
7:52 pm

ms. Tucker,

are you referring to a perez as a bush appointee? i could be wrong, but I don’t think perez is an politically appointed aag. and, technically, he never testified to the specific date of the decision nor whom all was involved; only that an injunction was filed Jan 7.

the issue, whatever it’s merit, is whether the doj under holder declined further, more apt civil action. the testimony of one aag is far from positive even if 100% truthful. you should at least avoid playing so fast and lose, if not acknowledging that as a possibility, however unlikely to have merit.