Pro-Arcuri readers here have been justifying Michael Arcuri's apparent (still no confirming word from Arcuri either way) decision to take no stand in 2003, public or private, to help stop the Iraq War, by saying that Arcuri could not have taken any stand against the Iraq War because he was a District Attorney, and involvement in political issues is unethical for a DA.
Well, there are several weaknesses to that argument:
1. Michael Arcuri, using his position as District Attorney as a source of credibility, is taking public stands on many political issues right now, but remains DA. Why couldn't he do this in 2003?
2. Mike Arcuri could have taken private action against the Iraq War in 2003. Maybe he did - but his campaign won't say.
3. District Attorneys do often take political stands, and if they make a conflict of interest in a case by doing so, they simply have an Assistant DA take the case in their place.
Well, one of the readers here challenged me to name one District Attorney who took a stand for or against the war. I did that challenge one better, and named Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who is the equivalent of a District Attorney for all of New York State. Eliot Spitzer took a strong pro-war stand supporting the invasion of Iraq before the war began.
Well, now I've been given another challenge by another reader: Provide a link that shows Eliot Spitzer supported the Iraq War before it began. Once again, I'll do that challenge one better, and provide two links that show that Spitzer not only supported the Iraq War, but supported the rush to war, and continued to support the war after the invasion so much that he attacked other politicians who had opposed the war.
This first link is from the Village Voice, which describes the force with which Eliot Spitzer, through his position as Attorney General of New York State, declared support for the Iraq War. Here's the first paragraph from that article, written for late March and early April 2003:
"Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general whose everyday agenda is framed by gubernatorial ambition, went out of his way on the eve of the war to endorse it, joining the ranks of New York's Bush League Democrats. Four days before the first missiles were fired, Spitzer's top spokesman told the weasel-walloping Post that the AG 'supports the Bush administration on the use of military action to remove Saddam Hussein, and he would like to see it done as soon as possible.'
Spitzer's very public pro-war position was unchanged in June, 2003, when talked to the editors of the Press-Republican, up near Plattsburgh:
"State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, stops by Plattsburgh for a Press-Republican Editorial Board meeting, at which he opines that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, one of the early contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, is unelectable because of his outspoken stance as a dove during the Iraq war. The public will not cleave to any candidate against a war that had such popular support, Spitzer says."
If Eliot Spitzer used the power of his public office as Attorney General of All New York State to support the Iraq War, why couldn't the District Attorney of little Oneida County have taken a public stand for or against? The excuses don't wash.