(Allegedly) Corrupt Contractors Are People, Too

February 15, 2007 10:50 a.m.

For those haven’t read it, don’t go a minute more without reading Brent Wilkes’ fiery declaration of innocence released yesterday (here it is in full (pdf)).

Reminiscent in tone of Mel Gibson’s rallying speech in Braveheart, Wilkes’ statement railed against thuggish prosecutors (outgoing U.S. Attorney Carol Lam chief among them) and slippery newsmen out to smear his reputation and make his children cry:

My family–immeasurably and irreversibly wounded by an 18 month Lam-led vendetta– has been the source of my strength , but nothing in life prepares you for the helpless feeling of trying to comfort a child who cries in anger or fear resulting from a false ‘news’ story or a cruel comment from a classmate….

The indictments themselves reflect the tawdry nature of the so-called ‘investigation,’ partly phony tabloid journalism, partly the handiwork of prosecutors more interested in forcing me to plead guilty to something I did not do than in learning the truth.

Apparently consciously, Wilkes’ statement echoes Duke Cunningham’s earlier letter from prison (in full here) to the reporters at The San Diego Union-Tribune who landed him there, which came to them in an envelope addressed to “Copley News tabloid” with the word “tabloid” underlined (Copley is the SDUT’s parent company).

As Cunningham did, Wilkes promises his ultimate vindication. The difference between the two, of course, is that Cunningham pled guilty, and Wilkes’ apparently wants everything — the pay-offs, the prostitutes, etc. — aired before a jury.

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