?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-03-20 15:04
Subject: Uh huh, say it again, ma'am
Security: Public
Tags:politics
"I'm sorry, frankly, that this bubbled to the surface the way it has."

-- George W. Bush, as quoted on AmericaBlog about the US Attorney firing scandal

The thing is, these guys know they're in the right. Under your Republican party, the Rule of Law has become completely subordinated to an ends-justifies-the-means view of politics. They don't need to explain themselves to Congress or anyone else. Just ask them.

If you're a conservative, take a moment and reflect as honestly as you can on the reaction the national media, the commentariat and the electorate would have had to Clinton and Reno in this position. The serial embarassments and petty prevarications of the Bush White House are a walk with my pet goat compared to the hell our national political and media establishment put the last Democratic president through, repeatedly, on far more trivial grounds.

Too bad the president has to trouble his beautiful mind with such sordid details as honesty and accountability.
Post A Comment | 14 Comments | | Flag | Link






User: ellameena
Date: 2007-03-20 22:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"the Rule of Law has become completely subordinated"

I haven't really been following this US attorney thing. It's my understanding that the attorneys have been let go. Is this against the law?

Catherine
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-20 22:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not in the slighest. USAs serve at the pleasure of the president. It's routine for incoming administrations to replace most or all of them, in fact.

What is against the law is the politicization of that process. Most or all of the fired USAs were in the process of investigating political corruption, largely by Republican figures. (San Diego and elsewhere) In several cases, explicitly for failing to accelerate investigations of Democrats in time for the pre-election news cycle last fall. (New Mexico) In one case, the USA in Arkansas was fired and replaced with a protege of Karl Rove's, strangely timed given that one of the Democratic front runners spent most of her career in Arkansas. Even more to the point, the DOJ characterized the firings as performance related, when in fact some of the fired attorneys were among the highest rated USAs in the system. Gonzales explicitly lied to the Senate under oath about this (the particular point of law which has come to the forefront btw), while DOJ has repeatedly changed their story and redacted documents in a fairly transparent attempt at a coverup.

Also, they used provisions of the USA Patriot Act to accomplish this, explicitly by-passing the Senate confirmation process for political reasons that had nothing to do with the anti-terrorism purpose of that act (this is documented in the DOJ memos already released). While not against the law, it's a clear and cynical abuse of legal power, exploiting an anti-terrorism provision to game the 2008 elections.

The real damage here isn't Bush adminstration incompetence or wrong doing, which from my point of view is about on a par with the sun rising in the east. The real damage is that virtually any public corruption investigation recently concluded, now under way, or on the near term horizon, has been completely compromised by the explicit politicization of the USAs. Any defense lawyer worth a damn can introduce reasonable doubt to a jury by citing already released DOJ documents in this matter.

If you're interested in this, talkingpointsmemo.com has been doing a stellar job of following, and explaining, this business from the beginning. Unfortunately, it's primarily an inside-the-Beltway scandal. The legal issues are too complex for a 30 second lede in a newscast, and the outrage is coming primarily from people who pay attention to the institutional powers of the government. The Senate is pissed, including the Senate GOP as evidenced by a 97-3 vote against the White House on repealing the section of PATRIOT which was used to manage the firings.

It just doesn't play much in Peoria, except to political junkies like me.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-20 22:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And apparently I'm addicted to the word "explicit" today. Go figure...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ellameena
Date: 2007-03-20 22:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a perfectly cromulent word.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-20 22:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Snerk.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ellameena
Date: 2007-03-20 22:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for this. I'm serious. I've had my head down in one thing or another. (I don't know if you ever vist my LJ, but we pulled our son out of public school and put him in a long-hair, granola-crunching, peace-love-dove charter school last week (which is good but made for an exciting week), plus I wrote 6000 words of technical science stuff over the weekend, plus lots of social/family obligations, PLUS my mother's cancer is coming back. So I am hearing the words "US attorneys" on the radio sometimes, and thinking, "Why isn't this making any sense to me." It's good to know that I'm not the only one confused.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-20 22:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, it's pretty arcane, but also pretty basic. At the heart of this USA scandal is the same separation-of-powers issue which has been bubbling at or near the surface through Bush's entire tenure. If you really want some fun with neoconservative political theory, read up on the concept of the "unitary executive" sometime. Scary stuff if you happen to believe in a Constitutional democracy with inherent checks and balances, as I do.

Unfortunately, many voters' understanding of separation-of-powers is probably tied to their memory of the Schoolhouse Rock song "How a Bill Becomes a Law."

As to your son, I haven't been reading much of anyone's lj lately, unfortunately. I hope the charter school thing works well for you and him.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-03-21 01:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, I heard something recently that indicates that firing a USA is pretty rare even for incoming administrations. Which makes this even more outrageous.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: aries_jordan
Date: 2007-03-21 01:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Attorney
Now if only they'd repeal the rest of the "Patriot" Act.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: joycemocha
Date: 2007-03-21 01:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Someday I'll have to tell y'all stories about working for DOJ on the WPPSS litigation.

As a paralegal contract employee for a litigation support company, which happened to be none other than the infamous CACI.

(If you aren't sure what CACI is, look up Abu Gharab.)

Ply me with enough liquids at the next con, and I might just chat about it.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake: graffiti-shirley_you_jest
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-21 02:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:graffiti-shirley_you_jest
Promises, promises...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: joycemocha
Date: 2007-03-21 02:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you're buying...and have an hour or so...

I can tell CACI unionizing stories too.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: joycemocha
Date: 2007-03-21 01:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah. Well.

These folks would embarrass Richard Nixon.

Hell, Hunter S. Thompson even said, before he left us, that ol' Dubya made the Trickster look good.

HST was right. Tricky Dick looks *honest* next to the SOB-in-chief.
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances