The Real Alaskan Witch Hunt: Sarah Palin Ducks The Truth

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While much of the mainstream media have focused on Palin’s failed leadership as mayor of Wasilla, her extremist views, and her dysfunctional family’s messy travails there, the real story today is taking place in Juneau, 600 miles away, where a bold and offensive game plan of obstructing justice is at play.

[Comment: Election 2008]



Let there be no mistake about it: there is—or, at least, was—a witch hunt going on in Alaska and, yes, it did, or does, involve Sarah Palin.

But this is a process not being directed at Sarah Palin by Democrats, the media or the Alaska state legislature. This is an actual exorcism from “witchcraft” that was conducted on Palin by a visiting pastor, Thomas Muthee, at her extremist church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, at which Palin has been a member for more than 20 years.

"In the name of Jesus,” Muthee extorts, “every form of witchcraft is what you rebuke. In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, father make away now."

You can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_hnc62nCAM




It’s not the first time Mutheee has prayed against witchcraft. He began his ministry with a witch-hunt against a Kenyan woman who he accused of causing car accidents through demonic spells. According to the Christian Science Monitor, which first reported the story in 1999, Muthee publicly declared the woman "a witch responsible for the town's ills, and ordered her to offer her up her soul for salvation or leave…” The woman fled.

In another by-now famous Youtube video of Palin, again at the Assembly of God Church, Palin reminded parishioners of Muthee’s appearance and “praying over me . . . He said 'Lord make a way and let her do this next step.' And that's exactly what happened.”

To watch these videos is to see how out of touch Sarah Palin is with not merely mainstream American politics and culture, but how far from the mainstream of modern-day Christianity she is. She is truly from the lunatic fringe.

But that is only part of the story. And, I would argue, not the most important one. While much of the mainstream media have focused on Palin’s failed leadership as mayor of Wasilla, her extremist views, and her dysfunctional family’s messy travails there, the real story today is taking place in Juneau, 600 miles away, where a bold and offensive game plan of obstructing justice is at play.

Palin, of course, is currently under investigation for the most sordid administrative behavior—her role in a scandal involving the firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan over his reluctance to fire an Alaska state trooper, Mike Wooten—Palin's former brother-in-law who has been involved in a bitter custody fight with her younger sister, Molly McCann.

There’s an audio tape that confirms interference in the matter by Palin’s staff. Moreover, Monegan has also released emails documenting Palin’s attempted interference.  As one Alaska blogger colorfully noted: “It’s all out there in black & white—drunk driving, foul language, illegal moose hunting, an extramarital affair, neighbors peeking in windows, private investigators, death threats, snow-machining on sick days, verbal abuse, and yes, dry tasering an 11-year old so he could see what it felt like.” It’s trailer-trash soap opera at its worse.

Palin initially welcomed the investigation, boldly declaring: "Hold me accountable."

But now, Palin, her husband and her inner political circle—aided and abetted by the McCain campaign—are claiming to be above the law of the land. They are thumbing their collective noses at the American judicial system, and by so doing, denouncing, by their very actions, the principles and foundations of American democracy.

An Alaskan state Senate committee subpoenaed Palin's husband, Todd Palin, along with several of her top aides and advisers earlier this month, but none of those served with demands for testimony appeared before the panel when it met last week. They have been leaned on—and leaned on heavily by the McCain campaign.

It is a chilling strategy.

Attorney Peter Maassen, representing Alaska’s Legislative Council, issued a statement which should cause all Americans grave concern. “The McCain campaign and its supporters, having apparently convinced themselves that the facts would cause serious damage to the Republican ticket if publicly known before the national election," Maasen noted. “They are now moving on many fronts — including this one — to slow and stop [this] fact-finding inquiry and to prevent [its] issuance of the report authorized by the Legislative Council.”

Make no mistake about it: this is a power grab, pure and simple. And it does not a pretty picture make. Palin has lied. She has abused her power.

This is no witch hunt—it’s an investigative process built on the fundamentals principles of checks and balances provided for in the U.S. Constitution. And the McCain campaign has done everything it can to derail a legitimate, bipartisan investigation into Palin’s abuse of power.

The McCain campaign does not want this story to get out before the election. Sarah Palin is not only hiding from the American media and the Alaskan inquiry, she is hiding from the American people. She fashioned a hollow makeover of her political career in the days following her nomination, but it does not change the facts of her public record. She was a fraud and she remains a fraud.

Katie Couric’s recent interview with Palin revealed someone simply too stupid (there is really no other word for it) to serve as president of the United States. Palin’s inability to complete even a simple thought about foreign policy was painful to watch. As one conservative Republican candidly acknowledged, “Palin makes George Bush look like Cicero.”

But as unschooled on the issues of American politics as Palin is, it’s her actions in Alaska—the abuse and misuse of power—that reveal most substantively why she should not be a heartbeat away from the American presidency.



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Black Star News columnist, Award-winning filmmaker and journalist Geoffrey Dunn, Ph. D., is the former recipient of both a John L. Senior Fellowship to the Cornell University Graduate School of Government and a National Newspaper Association Award for Investigative Journalism. His most recent film is Calypso Dreams.



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