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Susan Gaertner: Justice? or Political Expediency?

Category: RNC
Posted: 04/09/09 21:01

By Dave Mindeman

?Under the circumstances, the terrorism charge just complicates the case." --Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, press release, April 9th, 2009.

A few months ago, I had a sit down interview with Susan Gaertner regarding the RNC issues. In that interview she kept pointing out that she was "compelled" to make the "terrorism" charges in this case because the law required it.

Yet, today she wants those charges summarily dismissed because they are a "complication". I have a feeling that we are being politically "handled" by the Ramsey County Attorney. I also have the notion that the RNC-8 trial is sinking into the realm of simple political expediency rather than seeking justice.

These young people are facing serious charges. They have a trial that, depending on the outcome, will change their lives. Yet, why does it feel like they are being used as political pawns?

The entire law enforcement reaction during the Republican National Convention was an overreach, a blustery power display, an authoritarian facade. It was a blatant put down of legal dissent and I have the feeling most of those in authority know it.

Yet, to justify these actions, legal sanctions had to be applied. The costs and methods have to be reasoned and this public "show trial" seems to be the answer.

This has been a messy public display from the get go. An out of control police commissioner....a massive security expense.... and pre-emptive tactics meant to target "illegal" activity. But what illegal activity was that, really? A broken window? A conspiracy to network dissenters?

For Susan Gaertner, this is getting to be an embarrassment. Maybe it is not one of her own making, but she has become an all too willing partner in it.

As Ramsey County Attorney, she should have chosen more wisely. Maybe there was pressure from higher ups or within the police department to ramp up these charges. Maybe. But, despite her previous pleas to the contrary, it was her discretion....her decision.

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner may be able to weather the storm...but Governor Candidate Susan Gaertner may have a more difficult time.
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