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‘Loyalty’ to Bush and Gonzales Was Factor in Prosecutors’ Firings, E-Mail Shows

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Tough week for Alberto Gonzales :shake: Not only had the FBI been caught abusing wiretapping and national security letters -- there has been this affair brewing over the firing on federal prosecutors through Gonzales' Justice Department, and it seems to now gather steam.

    Republican politicians had pressed prosecutors about details of investigations into Democrat polticos, and were turned down. They then complained to the Whitehouse, and Rove relayed the complaints to the Justice Department. Some of the fired federal prosecutors that have been fired had been working on corruption investigations into Republican politicians, namely Carole Lam who had been working on the high profile investigation against Republican congressman Randy 'Duke' Cunningham. Then emerged contradictions between the reasons given and previous assessments of the prosecutors. Now, we have internal e-mails from Harriet Miers to Gonzales' deputy that ranked prosecutors according to their loyalty to Bush. One prosecutor was fired to make space for one of Karl Rove's aidees.

    Gonzales' said 'mistakes' have been made. Damn' right! These morons should have deleted that e-mail.

    Gonzales also said he 'takes personal responsibility', but rules out stepping down. What a courage. I wish getting out of drunk driving would be as simple :spin: "Yes officer, I am drunk. I take responsibility for it. Now let me drive home!" "Right Sir, but no more running over old ladies today, ok?" "I promise!" :roll: Smooth and easy.

    It's the old Bush pattern of rewarding friends and punishing enemies, divide and rule. Government - a great self service station.

    And it hasn't even been the first time. In 2002 a Guam prosecutor, in an independent investigation, wanted to investigate the now renowned Jack Abramoff for lobbying irregularities. The prosecutor was replaced by a GOP-Guam approved successor, the probe halted.
    Who knows, maybe this years sees the end of Gonzales' term at the Justice Department :banana:

    [ March 14, 2007, 16:27: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    :lol: Now that is a classic quote! Love it!
     
  3. khazadman Gems: 6/31
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    Oooooo! Eight fired? Amateurs! When the Clintons came in, they fired all of them except one. The President can fire these people for any reason. And the only mistake made is to try to explain anything to those idiots running congress.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Not that Bush didn't want to replace all 93...

    And yea, the less explaining, the better! Just like WMD... Sorry, couldn't resist. :p
     
  5. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Khazadman,
    You miss the point. I'll explain:

    1. Whenever Clinton did fire federal prosecutors, his candiates went through the Senate confirmation process.

    2. In firing the prosecutors and replacing them without Senate approval, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used a provision the administration had slipped into the 2006 expansion of the Patriot Act. The idea was to allow the swift interim replacement of a United States attorney who was, for instance, killed by terrorism. Sounds sensible.

    3. Gonzales' replaced them without going to Senate for approval. Why the rush? Did I somehow overlook the enemy at the gates? None of the federal prosecutors was actually killed by terrorists. So, absent the extraordinary circumstances mentioned above, there was no need to push them through and bypass Senate. That means the provision was used in a way it was not intended to be used.

    4. That Gonzales simply appointed them, and considering that his criteria were rotten as that e-mail underlines -- all that tells me the chosen approach aimed on avoiding the closer scrutiny of Senate hearings. That is why Republican senators, too, are angry about friend Gonzales.
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    EDIT: Never mind. The point was made better by the posts above mine.
     
  7. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    So let's just lie to them instead! Why should the "Justice" Department be bothered by anything as trivial as the truth anyway?
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Rather: Why bother with constitutional or legal processes?
     
  9. Wordplay Gems: 29/31
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    That's a small issue. If they can "interrogate" the prisoners of Guantanamo for "confessions", as per the recent news, firing a few resisting bureocrats is probably nothing anymore.
     
  10. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    The hardcore folks belittle either this or torture. As for the severity, you are right with that the human rights abuses are more severe in principle.

    Still, the impact here is directly at home and touches the system of checks and ballances that is slowly being restored. It is happening in bright daylight, and not in some secret back hole overseas. That makes for a difference in perception, which is important.

    Interestingly, the National Association of Evangelicals, representing roughly 45,000 churches across the U.S., endorsed on Tuesday a declaration against torture, in a striking break from the Bush Administration's policy. They are usually considered some of Bush's staunchest conservative supporters, so this is significant.

    Considering US power, and the convient US veto at the UN, the only thing that can force Bush to change policy is domestic pressure. That is the practical side. That is why domestic perception counts a lot.
     
  11. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Unfortunately the precedent for this was already set...Janet Reno fired 92 of 93 when President Clinton came into office.

    What is shocking today will be commonplace tomorrow. Something I wish our politicians would think about before they do things that are unprecedented.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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  13. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Further update:
    Oh the coincidence. Sounds like a 'damage control' and stalling effort to prevent or at least delay more fallout on the GOP after the devastating series of corruption and financing scandals (Abramoff, Cunningham, Tom De Lay). Expect more like that coming out in the next weeks.

    [ March 19, 2007, 10:49: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  14. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    "Unfortunately the precedent for this was already set...Janet Reno fired 92 of 93 when President Clinton came into office.

    What is shocking today will be commonplace tomorrow. Something I wish our politicians would think about before they do things that are unprecedented."

    Darkwolf, unfortunately it doesn't begin with Clinton... I believe Bush made a similar more when he took office. It is somewhat of a custom, I guess.

    Putting your own political nominees when you enter office I may not like, but could understand. It's a bit unprofessional, but at least (in theory) it allows you to bring a team which you're accustomed to work with. It is definitely a practice easy to abuse. But when you fire the same nominees with which you've been for 6 years, that means that something's going on. All of these people are Bush appointees from 2001 on, 6 are Republicans. If their job performance has generally been considered good (except for Ryan, about whom there are some negative comments), there are no scandals they have been implicated in since the last reviews, and yet they are fired for poor performance, that's more than a bit weird.

    Here's a short list: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2007/03/06/GR2007030600062.html
     
  15. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Because of the Team Bush's remarkable incompetence, something that was quite commonplace has become politically and legally suspect. First, Gonzales lied in his testimony before Congress. And second, it appears that there may have been attempts at tampering with a few ongoing investigations. That would be illegal.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I have to agree with Shaman here - the timing of this is what is suspect. It is true that it is commonplace for a new president to come in and clean house with the 93 members. But presumably, all 93 current members were initially appointed by Bush. So he's firing the people he appointed. Give this process another week and I bet we'll know a lot more. It doesn't exactly look like this all happened on the up and up right now.
     
  17. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Er, that's rather beside the point. Cleaning out the prosecutors when a new admin comes in is SOP. Firing them--any of them--mid term is not.
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    It's more than just the timing. It's the method, too. They replaced them through an emergency appointment basically, when they could and should well have gone through senate, with hearings and all that.

    That suggests they didn't want to discuss the reasons of the firings publicly. The question in senate would have predictably been: 'Fine, you want to replace them, but why, and why now?'
     
  19. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    My memory may be faulty, but I do not remember a President before Clinton trying to wipe out almost all of them before they had finished serving their term. :confused:

    Please correct me if I am wrong here, but Federal Prosecutors are appointed for 4 year terms, and I don't believe that most new Administrations before Clinton went after them in a wholesale manner...instead they usually chose to wait for thier term to expire or for them to quit on their own, and then the appointed whoever they wanted (and could get confirmed).

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think these firings pass the smell test...something definitely stinks, but again this isn't anything new. I believe that Janet Reno was accused of trying to protect Dan Rostenkowski when she was asking for resignations from Federal Prosecutors that were Bush 41 appointees. Again, there is nothing new here...just politics as usual, which is pathetic IMO (for both sides of the isle).

    I hope the investigations are completed (not politically hijacked) and that if there is any wrong doing I hope the responsible party gets hung...but I see this turning into a political proxy fight intended to impact the '08 elections rather than an attempt to find justice. :shake:
     
  20. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Some Dems will certainly find the temptation to do so irresistible.

    However, who would truly complain about a return of actual accountability, a thing neither Bush nor America has seen since 2001.
     
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