Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It may be nothing or...

it may be blood in the water for Democrats and for the news media. The Washington Post reports on an unseemly coincidence between the decision to fire one of the U.S. attorneys and her announcement one day earlier to dig deeper into associates of Duke Cunningham:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a television appearance yesterday that Lam "sent a notice to the Justice Department saying that there would be two search warrants" in a criminal investigation of defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes and Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who had just quit as the CIA's top administrator amid questions about his ties to disgraced former GOP congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

The next day, May 11, D. Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, sent an e-mail message to William Kelley in the White House counsel's office saying that Lam should be removed as quickly as possible, according to documents turned over to Congress last week.

Like I said, it may be coincidence, but it looks horrible. Either way, I think Gonzales is gone. There are plenty of sycophants to take his place, if for no other reason than to pad a resume. This bit in the article is really a laugher considering just how much credibility the White House has:
"We have stated numerous times that no U.S. attorney was removed to retaliate against or inappropriately interfere with any public corruption investigation or prosecution," Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said in a statement. "This remains the case, and there is no evidence that indicates otherwise."
Yet. There was also no evidence of any reasons other than performance for firing the attorneys in the first place. Actually, I'm not terribly bothered by the firing of the attorneys or the mess the White House has made of it. What concerns me more is why they were fired. If it was because they were pursuing cases of corruption by Republicans that the White House didn't want pursued, then that would be wrong. There's plenty of evidence, though, that attorneys tended to pursue more cases against Democrats than Republicans. If it was because they weren't pursuing cases that the White House wants pursued such as drug use, pornography, and internet gambling (basically, victimless acts deemed criminal by a nanny state), then that is a troubling commentary on White House priorities (which, by the way, this does seem to be the case in the firing of the attorney from Arizona). And then, of course, comes the greater question tied to both scenarios: what did the remaining attorneys do that appeased their masters and should they still be in office?


Scott said...

I have to admit while this enrages me, I find myself laughing at the same time. The uber-self-righteous conservatives trying to decriminalize perjury in the media. That's conservative? To deny what has traditionally and historically been viewed as an extremely serious crime? That's why I find nothing conservative in the conservative movement.

It seems the JUSTICE department can't go more than half a work day without perjuring itself in front of the house or senate, and on good days both. They typically lie about matters of life and death, or billions of dollars, and shrug it off as a game. Bill lies to protect the reputation of a lady, or his reputation as a (pretty) lady's man, and that was such a threat to national security an impeachment inevitably followed.

B.D. said...

Well, there's nothing conservative about the Republican party. Since at least the 1970s, they've been about playing the same sort of government manipulations as the Democrats only they want to do it by their own twisted rules. They are the party of Orwell in that they adopt slogans and stances that have nothing to do with the reality of their vision.

I would argue that at this point the current perjuring by Justice department officials is pretty minor. Yes, there could be much more behind it, but that has yet to be proven. It could just as easily be pathetically poor politics. Even when Gonzales gets in front of Congress and argues the administration's case for aborting habeus corpus, he is sincere in his idiotic position.

Now, other members of this administration have perjured themselves and cost us lives and money. I don't know of a case where Justice has done that. Their strong state power mongers, but sincere ones. Your point about the patterns that this follows is well taken.