13 March 2007

Fresh Air

I was listening to NPR this afternoon and heard something which literally sent a chill down my spine. Senator Pat Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was being interviewed about the Great Prosecutor Purge. He was asked about his reaction when he heard in the media that Attorney General Gonzales had provided false information to Congress about the firings of the 8 US Attorneys:

"I just blew my stack. It was outrageous, because we had given the administration, the Department of Justice, every chance to come forward and tell us everything that happened. They assured us that they had told us everything that happened, and yet they left out some very, very key points. I saw the attorney general this morning in a meeting at the Supreme Court, and I told him that I was very, very unhappy with this — actually quite angry about it. [...] He said that he would be happy to come up and brief us some more. I said, "No, I've had enough of these briefings where ostensibly we're told everything; it turns out we weren't. The next time you come up will be before the full committee; it will be an open session; and you will be under oath."" (Emphasis original)
I don't have an opinion about the case -- frankly, I don't know the law or the facts and for all I know this may in the end turn out to be just a crass and clumsy attempt at political patronage. I'm from Chicago, and patronage runs deep in my blood, so I won't get too high and mighty on the topic. But, if as appears to be the case, the US Attorneys were fired because they investigated Republicans or failed to investigate Democrats, well then, we've got a real scandal on our hands, don't we?

But what gave me the chill was not my simple partisan glee at anticipating Alberto "The Constitution does not contain an express grant of Habeas corpus" Gonzales' resignation (though I do relish the thought) but the simple thought that finally, after six years of complete neglect, Congress is finally exercising oversight again. No, we can't effect immediate policy changes or pull the troops out of Iraq on a moment's notice. But the grown-ups are back in charge on the Hill, and finally, someone with subpoena power, someone responsible, someone with an interest in being a check on this administration's abuse of power, is back at the reins and willing to actually fulfill the constitutional role of oversight again.

It's been far too long.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Shadowfax. Thank you for the information on how to change font size. I'll give it a try in a bit. Hope all is well with you.

    ~Sandy G.

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  2. Chuck Schumer has been saying that Sampsan, Gonzales's Chief of Staff, will not be the next Scooter Libby. Meaning, that his resignation does not mean Gonzales is off the hook and that the Democrats intend to hang the culture of corruption lable around the Republicans for the next couple of years and keep reminding people of the numerous illegalities perpetrated by this administration.

    I, like you, am not informed enough to make broad statements about every move the Democrats make, but am overjoyed that the unfettered destruction of America is over.

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  3. It's sad that the donks could never defeat Bush, so they comfort themselves by chipping away at his appointees.

    Sort of like kicking the dog after daddy spanks you.

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  5. Wow. Imagine that. Political appointees being fired for political reasons. Where were you all when Janet Reno summarily fired 93 US Attorneys back in '93?

    Stick to what you know Doc. Your political comments are about as useful as Hollywood starlets' proclamations on global warming.

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  6. The problem is not that they were fired for political reasons. All the attorneys left at the beginning of both the Clinton and Reagan administrations.

    The problem is that they were fired because they did not conduct CRIMINAL investigations against political enemies of the president.

    Stop being stupid about this. If the president has his people fire prosecutors who refuse to use criminal prosecutions to affect elections, it is bad. Very bad. And very different from the change of the guard that comes with new elections.

    It's fine to watch FoxNews, but you really, really have to look at something else. If you aren't upset about the charge here, you are not a patriot.

    Now, is he guilty? We don't know. But the charge is interfering with criminal prosecutions to manipulate elections. That's bad, mKay.

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  7. i find this very interesting. no doubt jimmii is right about the troubling nature of these charges, i just hope, as a conservative, that we can learn from the loyal opposition in regards to avoiding and interfering with criminal prosecution. it's hard to complete the "unfettered destruction of america" when people keep fettering you.

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  8. We mostly watch CNBC at our house, but I am grateful for Fox News and the conservative radio talk shows.

    The Vietnam war was going on when I was in High School, Kent state and all of the protesters. I remember seeing the liberal news and only the liberal news on the evening news every night or in Time magazine, etc.

    It was more important to show Jane Fonda over at the Hanoi Hilton (where John McCain was a POW) then it was to be supportive of our troops.

    I am grateful that we hear both sides of the Iraq war, etc. I am glad that conservative voices are heard.

    Even though I am a political junkie at heart,I admittedly have taken a sabbatical of sorts from politics for awhile so am not up on this latest news. No doubt when the 2008 presidential race kicks in, I will be totally addicted to all the talking heads.

    Sometimes great minds have to agree to disagree. I do believe that we need both wings to fly the eagle.

    Sorry if off topic a a bit, but don't think it is correct to assume that because someone has other than a liberal view point, that they therefore only get their information from conservative sources.

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  9. Sen Dianne Feinstein was pushing hard for (now fired) atty Carol Lam to be fired for not prosecuting illegal immigration enough. Now Lam's been fired, and Feinstein has a problem with that.

    What gives? Politics as usual. Dems get what they want and still blame Bush.

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  10. You think, like DiFi, that Carol Lam was fired for wanting to go after Cunningham, Foggo and Wilkes? Guess what?--Cunningham is in jail and Foggo and Wilkes have been indicted. This couldn't have been the reason to fire Lam.

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  11. Anon (Anons?)

    As I said, I do not presume to have an opinion. I have not read the transcripts of the testimony, nor the 3,000 page document dump. This may yet be a clumsy attempt at patronage.

    But there does *appear* to be a clear effort to manipulate the prosecution of political figures for partisan purposes; there does *appear* to be an attempt to subvert the independence of the judiciary, and there does *appear* to be a possible attempt to cover that up by providing false testimony to congress.

    I support a full investigation. I believe that all key players should testify, openly, and under oath. As long as the republicans are planning to tell the truth, why would they object to testifying under oath? If there's nothing to it, the dems will appear foolish and Rove/Gonzo will be vindicated. this insistence on private, non-sworn, unrecorded testimony only creates the appearance that Rove and Meiers wish to lie with impunity.

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  12. Maybe we can have Sandy Burger do the questioning, while William Jefferson takes notes.

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