Lurita Doan

Our founding fathers endorsed a fundamental belief in the importance of the presumption of innocence, but recently, the far left seems to be challenging that basic principle.

Tom DeLay was vindicated when the Justice Department dropped all charges. But, that wasn't good enough for left-wing extremist groups such as CREW that have continued their campaign to besmirch the reputation of the former House Speaker.

Tom DeLay made an interesting point in discussing the left-wing extremists in congress and elsewhere when he said: “The new politics — it’s no longer good enough to beat you on policy, they have to completely drown you and put you in prison and destroy your family and your reputation and finances, then dance on your grave.”

Does he have a point? You bet he does.

Supposedly objective, left wing extremists, in congress and elsewhere seem to show little trust in our system of justice, and instead, seem to believe that they are the arbiters of right and wrong. They seem to want to usurp the role of the Justice Department and the precepts of the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments and seem to want to dictate the outcomes of their allegations, abjuring the precept of "innocent until proven guilty."

CREW has declared that Mr. Delay is “one of the most corrupt” members of Congress. But, the Justice Department looked at the evidence and decided that the evidence does not support those charges.

"Innocent until proven guilty" isn't directly stated in the U.S. Constitution, but it is understood to be a fundamental principle of U.S. juris prudence. When biased groups, such as CREW, try to pass themselves off as objective third parties and try to ram through their flawed sense of moral right or wrong, they undermine citizens' confidence in our system of justice.

Of course, there is a certain irony in CREW's pretense of objectivity and their, supposedly, objective declaration of Mr. Delay’s guilt since their efforts are made, at least partly, possible with generous funding from George Soros, who may be politically motivated to press such an attack.

This intolerance seems merely the latest manifestation of the age of oversight and investigations where powerful politicians, looking for an edge in forcing legislation or winning an election, find willing allies in the press, special interest groups and federal investigator corps anxious to escalate any “allegation” into a page one scandal.

For example, Speaker Pelosi's reaction when Americans objected to the building of a mosque at Ground Zero was to call for an investigation into the funding of the protesters. Too often, Americans are seeing congress abusing their positions of power, using investigations to settle policy disputes, preferring to attack using the levers within their control rather than debate the merits of an issue.

Many of the government's investigatory organizations have departed from their statutory requirement of performing unbiased and critical reviews and instead, have morphed into political hit squads that enjoy special protection and privileges from certain elected members of Congress. And, they focus almost exclusively on providing powerful congressional committee chairs with isolated, and often anecdotal, information that is then used to score political points.

Investigators, legislators and special interest groups seem to have decided that making charges stand up in court is irrelevant. Their goal seems to be trial by press, generating the most salacious headlines possible to sway public opinion against individuals with whom they have honest policy disputes.

Then, powerful members of congress such as Speaker Pelosi or Henry Waxman will immediately launch allegations of corruption and cover-ups. Government insiders have learned that it is career suicide to suggest that an investigation got it wrong. But, few will say so, for fear of retaliation.

These left-wing extremists aren't necessarily concerned that the allegations may not result in criminal findings. The bet is that no one will remember the exact origin of the allegations,that no one will remember the government ramped up an investigation and hounded an innocent person as part of a calculated and determined political hit job.

Oversight is essential, but oversight, to be effective, must be independent, unbiased and balanced. The Department of Justice counts on the findings of these supposedly independent investigatory bodies when making its case. When the investigation is flawed and politically motivated, there is a good chance that the findings won't be strong enough for the Justice Department to make a case against the individual, but the enormous cost to the individual being attacked is more than just money. There's still one potato that hasn't cooled and that's the answer to the question: where does one go to get one's reputation back?


Lurita Doan

Lurita Alexis Doan is an African American conservative commentator who writes about issues affecting the federal government.