Mark Moseley has written a pair of columns on this subject this month that are well worth your while.
I guess an interest in the overall benefit requires us to take Jim Letten's side in a cage match vs Fred Heebe. That doesn't mean we have to like cheering for Letten the way... say... Clancy Dubos so often does.
But one thing Mark's first column does illuminate is just how disturbingly interchangeable the two men are. Not to mention how tightly their professional, political, and personal associations are wound together.*
You may recall that Letten made an unusual move in 2007 in support of Vitter at the height (nadir?) of the D.C. Madam scandal. Vitter’s cell number was found on the Madam’s call logs, and there was rampant speculation that Vitter was also involved with local working girls. Letten said that Vitter’s name never came up in the federal investigation of the Canal St. brothel case, which seemed to contradict claims by “Canal St. Madam” Jeanette Maier.For the record, I'm guessing not that different.
Now, during the prosecutor’s darkest hour in office, Vitter isn’t bending over backwards to support Letten, a fellow De La Salle High alumnus. Where’s the loyalty? Hell, a decade ago Vitter was supporting Heebe over Letten for the open U.S. attorney post! Who knows how differently Vitter’s career—not to mention the River Birch scandal—might have turned out, had Heebe been installed in that ultra-powerful office?
Anyway, Moseley goes on to examine the online comments themselves and adds some speculation about which aliases Perricone was using and how many other insiders at Letten's office he may have been interacting with.
Also see the footnotes to those columns Moseley posted here under his own online alias.
And finally there's this thread where Dambala, Adrastos, Doug and others try and figure out what it all means.
As I say at the top of this post, I'm too busy to write much about this right now but, very quickly, my comments and questions are:
1) Is it really that plausible that Letten didn't know anything about any of these activities? I've read the line about Letten's "lack of online savvy" repeated so many times that I'm beginning to see it as a bullshitting tactic.
2) How far does Heebe's hand extend into Letten's office in the first place? I'm pretty much convinced that Heebe's defamation lawsuit happened in the first place because he was at least tipped off by someone on the inside. I can't help but wonder about what role Heebe's relationship with Perricone and Mann plays in all of this as well.
3) Same goes for the Danziger case. If we're going to speculate that Judge Englehardt is "on the take" we may as well extend that speculation to the US Attorney's office as well, right?
*Note that the Letten-Heebe-Vitter, etc. circle extends also to Clancy Dubos and, of course, Garland Robinette.