April 3, 2004
GOP Hypocrite of the Week: James Thompson
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Listen to the GOPHOTW HERE.
During his reign as the longest serving governor in the history of Illinois, they called the tall former U.S. Prosecutor, "Big Jim."
But as a member of the 9/11 Commission, James Thompson, now head of a prominent Chicago law firm, has justly earned the honor of being named the BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
Thompson, along with other Republican 9/11 Commission panel members, was provided anti-Clarke information by FOX "White House Propaganda" news. In addition, we can only speculate on what unseemly message points the White House itself spoon fed to the GOP partisans on the commission.
When it came his turn to question Clarke, "Big Jim" Thompson went after Clarke's credibility like a rat on $25 brie. Thompson, however, was up against an honest man who knew that the truth can force an overzealous prosecutor into retreat. And, indeed, as Clarke received applause from the family members of those killed on 9/11, Thompson ended his ferocious attack-rat questioning by suddenly departing the hearing room in an embarrassing defeat.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) appropriately noted that Thompson was just doing the bidding of "his client at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."
But if you look at some of "Big Jim's" recent activities, as reported in the media, you might think he has some of his own credibility problems.
First of all, Thompson headed the auditing committee of the embattled Hollinger Corporation at a time that pro-Bush media baron Conrad Black and another company executive have been charged with taking shareholders to the cleaners. Thompson's committee had to approve the deals first, but "Big Jim" claims he wasn't aware of what was going on. Let's just say, at this point, there were a lot of serious alleged financial shenanigans that passed through Thompson's committee like feed through a pig.
But "Big Jim" is standing by his handiwork. He has his integrity to protect. After all, he doesn't want to embarrass himself in front of fellow Hollinger board members, such as Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle.
Oh by the way, did we mention that the Hollinger newspapers are notoriously Bush Cartel propaganda shills, including the London Sunday Telegraph and the Chicago Sun-Times?
No one is accusing Thompson of personally profiting from the Hollinger mess, just of closing his eyes to the worst kind of crony capitalism.
It's just like "Big Jim's" law firm that stands to profit from fundraising Thompson promises to do. You see, Thompson is committed to helping raise the money necessary to pay the attorney fees for defending another former Illinois Republican Governor, George Ryan, from felony charges. The criminal indictments against Ryan were brought by the current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District in Illinois (ironically, the position Thompson used to launch his career as Illinois Governor.)
But here's the hypocrisy rub so to speak. The firm defending George Ryan is, well, Thompson's law firm. Thompson told the Chicago Sun-Times that it "will take about $2 million to pay for the defense team led by Dan Webb, the top defense lawyer at Winston & Strawn." In short, as a supposed act of political charity, "Big Jim" will help raise a couple of million bucks to pay his own law firm fees necessary to defend a disgraced Illinois Republican Governor.
No wonder Thompson stalked out of the 9/11 Commission hearing. No matter how big you are, when you're just a run-of-the-mill GOP hypocrite hired gun, it must hurt to be slapped in the face with the honesty of Richard Clarke.
Until next week, just remember our motto at BuzzFlash.com: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original