Thought provoking. Controversial. Presidential Puppetry is sure to raise lots of eye-brows. One of those books that inspires readers to look deep beneath the surface.

John Perkins, New York Times best-selling author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" and other books

Exclusive: Imprisoned Former Alabama Gov. Siegelman Backs Jailed Blogger, Denounces Corruption

Roger ShulerEditor’s Note: Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (1999-2003), now imprisoned in Louisiana, sent the Justice Integrity Project the guest column below that opposes the jailing of Alabama reporter/blogger Roger Shuler on contempt of court charges arising out of a defamation suit in Shelby County. Since 2007, Shuler has been in the national forefront in documenting corruption in Alabama’s court system. He was arrested at his home Oct. 23, and his shown at right in his mug shot with his face puffy after what he described as a beating and MACE attack by deputy sheriffs during the arrest. Without a lawyer, he remains jailed without bond for failing to spike columns alleging that Robert Riley, the son of two-term GOP ex-governor Bob Riley, had an affair with a lobbyist. The younger Riley and the lobbyist denied Shuler allegations in libel suits in July that Shuler recently reported. The judge, specially brought out from retirement to handle this case, sealed the court record to prevent other reporting. Alabama’s major consortium of newspapers editorialized Nov. 8 — in We must dare to defend Roger Shuler’s rights, too — that the judge’s actions appeared to be illegal.

Beginning in 1999, Republicans sought to imprison Siegelman, the state’s leading Democrat. The Justice Integrity Project, Shuler, fellow Alabama journalist Glynn Wilson, and many other critics have described the prosecution as unwarranted. The corruption behind the Siegelman prosecution played a major role in this editor’s new book, Presidential Puppetry, which documents similar political intrigues nationally. The two photos below of Siegelman are from a 2008 CBS 60 Minutes broadcast that documented gross irregularities in his prosecution. Separately, Fox Business News host Neil Cavuto interviewed on Nov. 7 Siegelman’s new attorney, Gregory Craig, the first White House counsel in the Obama Administration. Craig described Siegelman’s final appeal in the courts. The former governor continues a 78-month sentence on corruption charges stemming from 1999 actions that 113 former state attorneys general have denied are a crime.

By Don Siegelman

Don SiegelmanRoger Shuler of Legal Schnauzer and Glynn Wilson of the Locust Fork News-Journal have been the two Alabama journalists who have stood up to Alabama’s internal political corruption.

Roger Shuler has written time and time again exposing Rob Riley, the former governor’s son’s insidious and sinister connections to money making schemes. Rob Riley, as Shuler told the story, was one of the powers behind the scenes working with Karl Rove and my prosecutor’s husband.

It was Rob Riley who confidentially confessed to a Republican insider, Dana Jill Simpson, to their manipulation of the Department of Justice to secure an indictment against me so his father could win his race against me for governor. “It was Rob Riley,” according to Ms. Simpson, “who arranged for Siegelman and Scrushy to get a ‘hanging judge.'”

It was Shuler who explained why it was so important to Rob Riley to damage my re-election chances, not only for his father to win but also so that Rob Riley could make millions off a conviction of my co-defendant, Richard Scrushy.

Shuler exposed the fact that Rob Riley had weaseled his way into a group of lawyers who were suing Richard Scrushy and his company, HealthSouth. If Scrushy could be convicted criminally it would make the civil case against Scrushy and HealthSouth much more vulnerable and make the civil case more profitable.

It was important to his father’s election that I be damaged by the prosecution and it was imperative that we be convicted so the Rileys could profit from Rob’s suit against Scrushy and HealthSouth.


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