March 21, 2007
Two newspaper articles today summarize why the U.S Attorneys firing scandal is so important. First, from the incomparable McClatchy Newspapers:
Internal Justice Department e-mails written before the firings of eight U.S. attorneys and during the turmoil that followed continue to raise questions about the real reasons for their ousters.
The Justice Department initially said that the firings were for "performance-related" problems. Officials have since backed away from that characterization, and e-mails and documents released in connection with a congressional inquiry into the firings point to differing and sometimes conflicting causes for the terminations.
Pretty succinct. The evidence has already clearly proved that highly respected U.S. Attorneys were fired for solely political purposes. The Bush Administration, in a manner that would have made the Soviets proud, has politicized our system of justice. When caught, they tried to justify these political purges by dishonestly blaming the Attorneys for performance problems we now know were completely concocted. The Los Angeles Times has the kicker:
Senior Justice Department officials began drafting memos this month listing specific reasons why they had fired eight U.S. attorneys, intending to cite performance problems such as insubordination, leadership failures and other missteps if needed to convince angry congressional Democrats that the terminations were justified.
The memos, organized as charts with entries for each of the federal prosecutors and labeled "for internal DOJ use only," offer new details about disputes over policy, priorities and management styles between the department and several of its U.S. attorneys.
The prosecutors' shortcomings also were listed in a talking-points memo, indicating the willingness of the Justice Department to make public what are normally confidential personnel matters in order to counter its critics.
The McClatchy article makes clear that the evidence shows the firings were first planned in the spring of 2005, and were given higher priority on election day, last November; but the Times article says the supposed specific reasons for the firings were only concocted this month- a blatantly political attempt to obfuscate the blatantly political nature of the firings! If these firings had been for valid reasons, there would have been plenty of memos outlining those reasons, dating from the months when the firings were being considered. That the Justice Department scrambled to put some together just this month says everything.
Meanwhile, Melinda Henneberger, of the Huffington Post reports that:
Four prominent conservative thinkers are set to launch a campaign "to restore checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Executive Branch," arguing that, "since 9/11, the President has acquired too much power."
Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, who led the effort to impeach President Clinton, is one of the organizers of the effort, called the American Freedom Agenda. Others are David Keene of the American Conservative Union, writer and conservative direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie, and constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who served in the Reagan administration as associate deputy attorney general....
"We are conservative scholars, activists and writers. We do not favor a crippled executive or enfeebled government. In a time of danger, checks and balances make for stronger government because the people will more readily accept a muscular authority if barriers against abuses are strong. If at some future time Congress, in turn, aggrandizes power and invades the executive or judicial domains, we will be equally alert to sound the alarm. But today, the clear and present danger to conservative philosophy is the White House."
Bush has lost true conservatives. He'll still have sycophantic hypocrites like Faux News and comedian Rush Limbaugh, but that shouldn't be enough to save him. The time has come!