When the Senate voted last winter to block a Republican bill that would've forced doctors to protect the life of a baby born after a failed abortion U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire gave her full-throated support against the measure, saying the bill "is just another line of attack on women's health."
But when The Rochester Voice reached out to get her stance on the possibility of pardon for one of Rochester's native sons wrongly imprisoned in the so-called Nisur Square massacre during the Iraq war, the Granite State's senior senator couldn't even find her voice.
In fact, Shaheen, fellow U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and 1st District Congressman Chris Pappas all whiffed on a chance to respond to The Rochester Voice's query, ignoring the plight of a true hero who risked his life every day on the dangerous streets of Baghdad in 2007.
When The Rochester Voice produced a graphic to illustrate Wednesday's story, we superimposed headshots of the three Congressional representatives onto a file photo of Nisur Square the day of the incident.
And we found ourselves with a sardonic grimace on our face.
Why? Because the thought of placing these three politicians on the mean streets of Nisur Square at the height of the Iraq war in which thousands of soldiers lost their lives to car bombs, IEDs and booby traps - even in a photoshopped picture - seemed ludicrous.
These three can in no way parse the perils of Nisur Square that day, any more than a civilian jury in Washington in the fall of 2014 could return a guilty verdict against four Blackwater guards, including Evan Liberty, 36, who grew up in Rochester and graduated from Spaulding High.
The day he was found guilty and was staring at a 30-year sentence on a trumped-up weapons charge, Liberty said, "I don't want to spend any more time in jail. As God is my witness, I shot at two people that day, who were dressed in Iraq police uniforms and they were shooting at me."
One has to wonder how Shaheen, Hassan or Pappas would have reacted were they Blackwater guards that day in Nisur Square.
Moreover how could our government have allowed a civilian jury to sit in judgment of former American servicemen who worked as security guards in the most dangerous country on Earth in 2007.
If you're a millennial or older you remember the stories of soldiers being blown apart - their bodies torn by shrapnel - nearly every day in car bombs or IEDs.
And if you've ever seen the highly acclaimed films depicting Iraq at this time - The Hurt Locker and American Sniper - you can feel the fear and uncertainty in the streets of Baghdad, where sectarian and religious infighting among Iraqis combined with a ubiquitous hatred of Americans spawned a killing field that knew no Green Zones.
By the way, Liberty's 30-year-gun sentence was vacated as cruel and unusual punishment in 2017, but there still has been no resentencing some two years later, yet he remains locked up in a federal prison in Pennsylvania.
In 2010 former Vice President and presidential hopeful Joe Biden was front and center in Iraq expressing disappointment when a U.S. judge tossed out charges against the four, assuring various factions that prosecution of the case would continue in the U.S.
Both President Obama and former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton also pressed for charges to be reinstituted, which they ultimately were.
Anyone that says there is no political edge to this miscarriage of justice is very much naïve.
Actually it's not a miscarriage; a miscarriage is a failed pregnancy. This is more of an abortion of justice, as deliberate as forceps tearing apart a breathing, healthy baby. But it seems Shaheen and her confederates are comfortable with that, silent in its defense.