Monday, June 18, 2007

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth Now Asked of US Attorneys

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:02 PM Permalink

My father used to tell me to always tell the truth because honesty was always best and so that you never had to wonder what lie you may have told to whom, so you could never be tripped up and proven a liar. I confess that time has proven him correct.

My wife and I, from day one, pledged 100% honesty between us regardless of the consequences or that the other's feelings might be hurt. We will soon celebrate our 34th anniversary and I strongly suspect, no, definitely state that we have lived and loved so long together because of our pledge of honesty to one another.

My father has again been proven correct, and as I keep watching the US Attorney firing scandal I see the natural process of people catching somebody/s lie, then growing ever more willing to disbelieve them or their associates in the future, questioning their motivations based upon things about which they lied, and that the unintended consequences can be disastrous.

See this LA Times article where it is reported that challenges for the basis of prosecution and questioning the personal integrity of US Attorneys are becoming ever more common:
For months, the Justice Department and Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales have taken political heat for the purge of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

Now the fallout is starting to hit the department in federal courtrooms around the country.

Defense lawyers in a growing number of cases are raising questions about the motives of government lawyers who have brought charges against their clients. In court papers, they are citing the furor over the U.S. attorney dismissals as evidence that their cases may have been infected by politics.

Justice officials say those concerns are unfounded and constitute desperate measures by desperate defendants. But the affair has given defendants and their lawyers some new energy, which is complicating life for the prosecutors.


The controversy has drained morale from U.S. attorney offices around the country. And now, legal experts and former Justice Department officials say, it is casting a shadow over the integrity of the department and its corps of career prosecutors in court.

There has long been a presumption that, because they represented the Justice Department, prosecutors had no political agenda and their word could be trusted. But some legal experts say the controversy threatens to undermine their credibility.

"It provides defendants an opportunity to make an argument that would not have been made two years ago," said Daniel J. French, a former U.S. attorney in Albany, N.Y. "It has a tremendously corrosive effect."


B. Todd Jones, a former U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, said such arguments are now "given credence in the public eye because they are seeing that maybe there were political decisions made. Any defense lawyer worth their salt is going to say this is a political prosecution that shouldn't have been brought."
The Republican party, through its agents, has wrought horrible damage to the integrity of all US Attorneys, an act which alone begs the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales.

If Gonzales were in the military he could easily be charged with the offense of "conduct bringing disrepute upon the military" and "conduct unbecoming of an officer."

It's a shame that there are no comparable civilian charges that could be brought to force Gonzalez' resignation from the now tainted Department of Justice. His actions have literally resulted in the questioning of the personal integrity of US attorneys prosecuting political or political-in-nature cases, but now a doubt as to the government's integrity and motives will, and already has, been implanted into the minds of prospective jurors, who now realize that some cases have been brought for purely political reasons and not truly because a law was broken.

There is now a distinct possibility that genuinely guilty criminals may walk free because of all of this. Many fine attorneys will now have to defend their honor when it would never before been an issue.

And the man responsible has, "…the full confidence of the president."

And we wonder why the world questions the integrity and motives of America and Americans.

[R.I.P. Pops. Billy Arnett, 1932 - 1972.)

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