Saturday, February 1, 2014

Vote 'NO' on Debo Adegbile

I recently sent a letter, key parts included below, to Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley, the Chairman and ranking member of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary. My purpose was to share with the committee my opposition to Mr. Debo Adegbile, President Obama’s nominee to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice. ~SME

As the widow of Captain Phillip Esposito, USA, who was murdered in Iraq in 2005 and whose killer was subsequently acquitted by court-martial held before XVIII Airborne Corps in 2008, I wish to voice my opposition to Mr. Debo Adegbile, the President’s nominee to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice.
In reviewing the letters sent to you in support of Mr. Adegbile, a reoccurring theme is evident: Mr. Adegbile’s actions in defense of death-row appellant Mumia Abu-Jamal are ostensibly above reproach on the grounds that every criminal defendant is entitled to the assistance of legal counsel.
This claim misses a corollary truth: while every criminal defendant has a right to a zealous defender, they do not enjoy a right to an over-zealous defender. Moreover, a lawyer’s actions in support of a client, both in and out of court, while technically permissible, may nevertheless reveal substantial defects in character, temperament, and philosophy that make that lawyer unsuited to positions of great national trust and power. I need not engage in an extended soliloquy to successfully argue that the 1982 trial of Abu-Jamal and his subsequent appeals were caustic affairs, or that Abu-Jamal and his defenders, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Mr. Adegbile among them, resorted to some of the most vicious tactics in memory, to include a multi-year propaganda campaign against the Philadelphia Police Department, Abu-Jamal’s victim, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, and Officer Faulkner’s widow, Mrs. Maureen Faulkner.
It is this propaganda campaign, stunningly world-wide in scope, which troubles me most, particularly for its flippant regard for the truth, divisive racial smears, and unjust impact upon Officer Faulkner’s widow. To turn around and claim that those linked to it are nevertheless qualified to hold positions of great trust—and in Mr. Adegbile’s case, great trust related to enforcing laws related to the mission of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice—is jarring in its arrogance and cruelty. 
At root, the Civil Rights Division requires greater leadership and more nuanced discretion than Mr. Adegbile seemingly possesses. I ask that your committee reject his nomination accordingly.
Mrs. Siobhan Esposito


D. Milianta said...

Siobhan, you are incredible woman, I admire your mission for truth and justice. May God have mercy on those involved in your late husbands murder as well as those who currently have a place in our government and in high profile positions, who use the justice system for their own ambitious gain and motives. If there is a petition to sign, in agreement to your vote for a "no", please forward it.

Black Knight 6 said...

Dear Siobhan, I am not qualified to say that I share in your grief and the feeling of loss you must still have for Phil. I do want to tell you that I am reminded of Phil every day by pictures I keep of him at my desk at work. I think of the injustice of his murder at the hands of that scumbag, but I also think about the leader he was, the things he taught me, his commander and superior officer, about leading soldiers. I have read your blog, and I cannot fathom how much pain it must bring you to see people claiming to have served with Phillip defaming his character. This is the courage you show by remaining public about your grief and your anger, you leave yourself open to these lesser beings' slights. But I assure you, I knew Phil as a soldier, and these people, if they knew him at all, knew him only as a guy who took over a dysfunctional unit on the eve of taking that unit to a dangerous war zone, the first National Guard divisional headquarters to deploy in many years. The unit was undoubtedly broken, and had within its ranks many "soldiers" and "noncommissioned officers" of extremely questionable value - that was and sadly still is one of the legacies of the National Guard. There are many good people, but any guardsman knows his unit is filled with mediocre personnel sucking off the government and doing as little work as possible for the money they are paid. And what those people hate the most in the world is a competent boss trying to do things the right way. Did Phil incur resentment for attempting to instill the standards he knew and understood? Undoubtedly. But anyone who would have a problem with his leadership feared being exposed as incompetent or corrupt, or in Martinez's case - both.
Martinez was one of these people of no value, as his record demonstrated before the unit deployed. His pattern of fraud, waste, abuse, theft, and dishonesty should have been plain for all to see, and it is no surprise that a petty villain would eventually commit the most heinous of crimes: murder of innocents.
I retire from the Army this week, after 24 years of service, most of which I will remember fondly. On that day, I will also mark Phillip's passing in a small memorial.
I will always love him and honor his memory, and I think of you and your daughter often. Michele and I wish you peace, and success in your tireless effort to see some justice done in the travesty that is Phil and Lou's murder case.
In fondness and deepest respect,
John Schurtz

Charlie G said...

I think you are an inspirational person. You give me hope that this country still has a bright future. Well spoken in every way. Your eloquence is nail on the head! May God bless you and keep you safe and strong.

Anonymous said...

Military combat has always presented opportunities for the 'resolution' of personal grudges through the use of 'friendly fire.' No one, I think, has any idea of the frequency of such crimes. Senior officers and non-coms are unwilling to speak for fear of bringing dishonor upon the service or upon themselves.
You could do a very great service to our nation if you would broaden your efforts to bring attention to such matters.
I hope that your courage and eloquence will bear the success which it deserves.
A sympathetic heartc