Don’t Swallow Rubashkin Prosecutor’s Sanitized Version of Events


rubashkin1By Aaron Goldsmith

I am a former city council member from Postville. I have lived and operated my company here for more than 12 years. The May 2008 raid on Agriprocessors by Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be a day never forgotten by those who live here. The trauma and excessive manner ultimately made the benefit of the raid questionable. University of Northern Iowa professors Mark Grey and Michelle Devlin and I were so deeply moved that we choose to co-author “Postville U.S.A.: Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America.” We tried to eliminate the spin that has clouded a truthful view of Postville and its significant events.

Reviewing the documents that authorized the raid, you can see specific references anticipating gun running and meth labs. So it is no surprise the enforcement was a show of brute force. The black military helicopter was not the type you see used by civilians, and it repeatedly and continually buzzed over our houses in a menacing fashion. Further, the federal government itself questioned the value of the Postville approach and has ceased these aggressive raids.

After I read Stephanie Rose’s June 23 guest essay, “Setting the Record Straight on the Postville Prosecution,” I was surprised to see how she tried to sanitize the raid. It’s as if the 600 officers were all walking around with “smiley face jerseys,” distributing cookies and Kool-Aid. I give her an “A” for creative writing.

My essay does not reflect my feelings about immigration policy. These comments are to advise those who did not personally experience this raid, and to underscore that this was a showcase for “Government Gone Wild.”

Shortly after the raid, CNN quoted me as follows, “They (the feds) took a problem that needed a 22-caliber bullet and they dropped a nuclear bomb on us.”

The prosecutors have done it again by successfully sentencing a 51-year-old man to 27 years in jail for a bizarre prosecution of bank fraud. The first raid devastated northeast Iowa, and this second action devastated our perception of equal justice for all. Rose’s press release continues to frame Sholom Rubashkin in the worst light so that these highly questionable prosecutorial tactics seem reasonable.

The prosecutor’s office felt compelled to write this piece because it must be feeling the heat. If justice was truly served then Rose and her colleagues would not need this “dog and pony” show.

Aaron Goldsmithis a former Postville City Council member.

{Des Moines Register}

{ Newscenter}


  1. Author writes:”… this second action devastated our perception of equal justice for all.”

    My response: Good morning! Isn’t it time you woke up?! You have no one but yourself to blame for what has been done to Rabushkin!

    American Jewry has closed their eyes to the equal justice issue in America for 25 years, when they turned their backs on Jonathan Pollard and allowed him to rot in prison, without ever making a serious protest. What did you think you were inviting? That Pollard should die in prison G-d forbid, and then everything in America would be hunky-dory again!?

    In this case it is American Jewry who shut their mouths for Pollard that created the atmosphere in America which allowed Rabushkin’s case to happen. The blood is on your own hands, Jewish America!

  2. mR. gOLDSMITH I heard your testamony during the sentencing hearing and can only imagine how deeply shaken you as any American can be when seeing the heavy hand the government can use against a citizen.

    the Aemrican Justice is adversarial each side putting foward their side of the story with the Judge or in the criminal arena the Jury being the triers of fact. The Prosecutor does their job and the defense holds the prosecutors’ feet to the fire.
    PROBLEM prosecutors generally have way more resources than the Defendants, plus sitting at the defendant’s table carries a perception albeit subtle of guilt

    The government won so why the extensive opinion from Jude Reade and a defese US Attorney Rose? It is not just a PR issue it is they know they made a mistake and they are scared how this matter can come back to damage their careers and legacy.

  3. In response to #1, to even begin to equate the Pollard case to the Rubashkin fiasco is ludicrous…
    pollard sold out the country (usa) for monetary gain,pure and simple. he was detrimental to the interests of the country that was, and has been, a medinas ha’chesed. he not only did NOT benefit Israel, he placed the relationship with the USA into material danger.
    yes, pollard has become a baal tshuva (so we hear) but to date he has not taken the quintessential step in doing tshuvah, and that is viduy ha’chet–he has refused to admit his wrongdoing; he has refused to accept any responsibility for his actions; he denies that it was MONEY that motivated him, and NOT love of israel.
    rubashkin tried to juggle to many financial balls at one time, had no experience in juggling, and, sadly, got in over his head… he did NOT sell out his country, he did NOT jeapordize anyone but himself, and without trying to whitewash his actions, it is evident that comparing the public reaction to his case in comparison to pollard is shtusim…