Did the FBI think she made the right call? Did the U.S. Attorney's Office think so?
Did Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico agree?
Did former Attorney General now-Governor Tom Corbett think she made the right call? What about former Attorney General Bill Ryan?
Did Former Attorney General Linda Kelly's Chief of Staff agree?
And for heaven's sake, what does Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams have to say about all this?
Instead of trying to uncover the facts about exactly where this sting went wrong - so perhaps we all could judge for ourselves - journalists covering the story remain mired in the political judgement of some very conflicted sources.
Kane succinctly has listed the reasons she chose not to pursue the sting:
- The extraordinary Cooperation Agreement, signed before she took office, dismissing more than 2,000 fraud charges against the Confidential Informant. "It effectively undermined the CI's credibility and that of the OAG for having agreed to it."
- Lack of corroborating evidence or witnesses to verify the identities of those on the recordings. A prosecutor can't simply waltz into a courtroom, play a recording and allow a jury to decide what it means. The recordings can't be admitted unless someone can verify under oath the identities of the people on the recordings.
- Failure to establish "quid pro quo." One of the more monumentally dim-witted aspects of the sting was the suggestion that black Democrats from Philadelphia were induced through bribes to vote against a Voter ID bill that Democrats had been fighting tooth-and-nail to defeat.
- Lack of reasonable suspicion to support targeting the legislators.
- Possible racial targeting: The OAG Agent who managed the CI "indicated that he was instructed by his supervising OAG Attorney to focus only on members of the General Assembly's Black Caucus and that when he had information of potentially illegal acts by white members of the General Assembly he was specifically told not to pursue it ...Statements about limiting the focus of the investigation to only members of the General Assembly's Black Caucus were also made by the CI to federal law enforcement officials."
The recordings made during the investigation show that all the targets were people of color, except for one white legislator against whom Corbett had a specific grudge.
"Sources" told the Inquirer financial pitches were made to both Republicans and Democrats. Since there are no black Republican elected officials of note in Philadelphia, that means pitches were made to white Republicans. But there are no white Republicans on the recordings. Why?
The investigator told Fox 29 "No one would, again, ever suggest asking, ordering me to target members of my own race or any race. It just would not happen."
He didn't deny that he was told to target specific officials. Was he told to target certain individuals by name? How did they select the targets? Again, can he explain why are all the targets on the recordings are people of color?
Williams, for his part, is trying to deny the fact and explain it at the same time. He says the reason all the targets are people of color is because those are the people in Ali's "immediate realm." Which is it? Were whites targeted, or were only people of color targeted because they were in Ali's "realm?" (And, honestly, is Philadelphia really that segregated?)
The facts at hand show that Kane was right to drop the sting. The only way to justify continued questioning of her judgement is to show that these aren't the facts. Seth Williams' convoluted "it-isn't-true-but-here's-why-it-is-true" ramblings do not disprove the facts. The investigator denying that he's a racist does not disprove the facts. Corbett and Ryan insisting that they didn't "decide" not to pursue the case (they just ... didn't pursue it) does not disprove the facts.
In fact, Corbett and Ryan declining to say whether they thought Kane made the right decision is evidence that she did, as Corbett never would pass on a chance to attack Kane.