Monday, March 12, 2007

If you haven't been paying attention

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:20 AM Permalink

The whole thing going on with the prosecutor purge, Josh Marshall has being doing a bang-up job on it over at It was one of the few stories that I followed while I was sick. Basically, it seems that some US attorneys, appointed by the Bushies, were dismissed and replaced with more, well, compliant types of people. Why were they replaced? Well, the justice department is saying it was due to dereliction of duty, though they had not received any notice that they were not doing their jobs well and in fact, most of them had glowing reports done about them. What's coming out though, is that these 'fired' US attorneys, when pressured to pursue a case here and there, usually against democrats, either refused or ignored the pressure. It seems that [gasp] the Justice Department was using the US attorneys for political reasons and [super gasp] Karl Rove might have had a hand in a lot of it, not only Gonzales. Now, everybody is suddenly noticing what we out here have known all along: Gonzales is not, and has never been, up to the job. There have been calls for his resignation from the dems. Even the New York Times has woken up to the fact that Gonzales shouldn't be AG.

First, what's not discussed, and what Krugman pointed out early on is sure, it's bad that these 8 or so US attorneys were dismissed for political reasons, but how many other US attorneys DID play ball? How many DID pursue the political action requested by the Justice Department?

Second, and it has to be said, people's knickers are in a twist over this? Sure, it's bad. It's an egregious abuse of political power. However, doesn't anybody remember his hand in the whole torture memo thing? His job is to be the people's lawyer and he helped write laws that allowed torture on people? (American people if you take every literal meaning of "terrorist" the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act has to offer.) I mean THAT doesn't get him impeached, but using US attorneys as political tools might?

People. We EXPECT politicians to use whatever tool they have to bully their political opponents. Not that they shouldn't be punished for doing it when they get caught, but that's sort of like punishing a kid for sneaking a candy. You know he's going to do it. If you catch him you punish him. But you don't expect a kid to go out, kidnap the neighbor's kid and torture him. That's REALLY wrong and THAT should be punished.

Honestly, getting Gonzeles on the whole US attorney thing is like getting Al Capone on tax evasion. While it does do the job of getting rid of him, it's just not as satisfying as getting him for what he actually did.

Update: From Josh Marshall:
We now know that Gonzales, McNulty and Moschella each lied to Congress. We know that the purge was a plan that began at the White House -- and it was overseen by two of President Bush's closest lieutenants in Washington -- Miers and Gonzales. Sampson is the second resignation. There will certainly be more.


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