Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

Liar, Liar
Permission given to republish this cartoon with attribution to Bob King,

It's not just that the administration is lying to us, it's that they cannot even be bothered to exceed the minimum standards for the barest shred of "plausible deniability." In the case of the firings of US Attorneys, it was clear enough from who was fired that the motivations were almost certainly political. The appearance of email records proves that there exists both an intent to politicize every U.S. Attorney's office and a contempt for Congress and Constitution that takes my breath away. I'm not sure which is more stunning - the intent or the ineptitude.

This story in the Washington Post is one of many to be found that are feasting upon this well simmered pot of lame duck soup. (note - I included the wrong link, and now I can't find the correct story. I'm looking...) I can find the contents in search at WaP0, but the link leads to a different article.

Just trust me until I can find the proper link or re-write this thing.
The inconsistencies between Justice's positions and the documents are numerous. On Feb. 23, for example, a Justice legislative affairs aide wrote to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) that the department "was not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin." But internal Justice e-mails show that "getting him appointed is important" to Rove and was closely monitored by political aides in the White House.

Last week, senior Justice official William E. Moschella told a House Judiciary subcommittee that the White House was not consulted on the firings until the end of the process.

But the documents released this week show that the plan began more than two years ago at the White House counsel's office, which initially suggested firing all 93 U.S. attorneys. Gonzales rejected that idea, and Sampson wrote back in January 2006 that Justice and the White House should "work together to seek the replacement of a limited number of U.S. Attorneys."
Clearly these are people who think that the way you deal with embarrassing emails is to print them out and shred them.

Many Democrats have focused on the Feb. 6 testimony by McNulty, who appeared before the Senate judiciary panel for several hours to mount a strong defense of the legality and propriety of the prosecutor firings.

McNulty told the committee that there was no plan to use Gonzales's appointment powers to evade Senate oversight, that accusations of "politicizing" the hiring and firing process were "completely contrary to my daily experience," and that the dismissals of everyone but the Arkansas prosecutor were purely "performance-related."

Each of those contentions is called into question by the 143 pages of internal e-mails and other documents turned over to the House and the Senate on Tuesday. Most had been sent or received by Sampson.

Political considerations, for example, figured prominently in who was chosen to be fired. Sampson ranked all 93 U.S. attorneys in part on whether they "exhibited loyalty" to Bush and Gonzales or "chafed against Administration initiatives etc."
Captain's Quarters speaks of the matter, and the wish of Harriet Myers to can all 93.

The dismissals took place after President Bush told Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales in October that he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud investigations, according to a White House spokeswoman.

The firing of eight was, apparently, the most the White House thought they could get away with at one go, perhaps due to that pesky oath of office thing, and perhaps there were a couple-three real incompetents thrown in to make things smell better.

But the evidence that Myers (and hence, the President) wanted to dismiss them all is a pretty clear indication that he wanted to replace all of them with handpicked loyalists. That's a frighteningly despotic idea.

The White House clearly doesn't have much truck with folks of either party who are more loyal to the Constitution than the Administration.

As for "vote fraud," well - I'm torn. I know that there is fine long tradition of Democratic vote fraud and I'm all for a fair and impartial approach to investigating and prosecuting offenders who interfered with the vote for partisan reasons.

I also think that it's quite possible that "vote fraud" is code for votes going to candidates who are not Republican. I also think it's quite possible that some in the Administration are dim enough to think that vote fraud IS the only logical explanation. No, I'm certain that's true of some - certainly secretaries, gophers and the like. The question is, how many in positions of authority are that stupid? Well, "Brownie" sure was. Chertoff - honestly, I think he's even stupider. And almost everyone sent to Iraq in a civilian, administrative capacity was chosen for blind loyalty.

Gonzalez seems to me even more delusional than Ashcroft. He's clearly a man to who the ends justify the means, without the interest in considering what the stated ends imply.

But when people such as the corporate officers of Diebold, who clearly and deliberately engineered insecure voting machines, or Katherine Harris and her voter roll purges are clearly shielded from the proper consequences of their actions, I (and no doubt many others) would see prosecuting Democratic vote fraud as a legal means to a political end - and that end would be eliminating effective operatives on the other side and not at all about preserving the integrity of the voting process.

It's politics as they have made usual, and to the extent that there is any degree of widespread Democratic vote fraud, it's due in part to Bushite meddling in the process. And to the extent that it's difficult to prosecute, it's likely due in part to Democrats attracting the smarter and sneakier sorts. who, when they commit illegal acts, do not send emails outlining the nature and intent of those acts to anyone!

Now, back in the day, Clinton would have said to Carville something to the effect of, "Jim, looks like there might be a problem comin' up in Iowa. Can you handle it for me?" And Jim would say "consider it handled."

If you are going to do something shady, something you ought to know won't hold up in the light of day, you better make sure you go about it in such a way that it never does come to light - and by that, I do not mean a situation where fairly much everyone KNOWS what's going on, whether or not any prosecution occurs. I mean nobody knows, nobody suspects and there is no evidence to trip over.

We must impeach the President and all his idiots, while we can. Otherwise they will end up doing something so insanely stupid that the Republic - and not just the Republican party - will be at risk.

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