Thursday, March 29, 2007

SAMPSON SLAYS THE DAGON-WORSHIPPING PHILISTINES: FORMER AIDE CONFIMS PREEMPTIVE RELEASE THAT GONZALES AND MIERS APPROVED THE US ATTORNEY FIRINGS

"I don't think the attorney general's statement that he was not involved in any discussions about US attorney removals is accurate." --D. Kyle Sampson today, to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AFP, 03.29.2007)


Washington D.C.--What a day it was (or wasn't if you're in the GOP)! As predicted, Arlen Specter came-out-swinging at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former-chief of staff, one D. Kyle Sampson. It has nothing-to-do with the fact that this is all surrounding his party, and the time he chaired the Judiciary Committee. Not at all. The irony is that Sampson commented he didn't think the firings were aimed-at ending corruption investigations that "hurt the administration." Afterwards, the goats will be slain.

Well sure, it wasn't so much that it hurt the administration as it really hurt the GOP and those corrupt politicians within the party-structure. That would include the Bush administration, but really doesn't, says the GOP and their allies in the mainstream press. Marx Brothers logic ensues. Gonzales hasn't gotten this kind of treatment from GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee before, as I previously-stated in this piece, but as Iraq worsens (and with it, their chances of re-election in 2008) they're going to grill him. Odd that that's what it takes: just some raw, ugly, empty political reality, re-election. Not something silly like the Constitution, not due-process and the upholding of the law, or even basic oversight. Not even some obscure appeal to patriotism. This also makes many of them criminally-minded in Congress.

And again, that's why it was New Mexico's Republican Sen. Domenici and Rep. Heather A. Wilson who pressured US Attorney David Iglesias to step-it-up on an investigation of a Democratic state politician--the White House was acting-on their 19th Century spoils policy of cronyism by complying to aid in the effort. As for the firing of Caroline Lam, the US Attorney who sank California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, sending him to prison, it was a case of simple payback to fire her. She did her job too-well, and the White House through Rove, Miers, and Gonzales, facilitated the firings. It will be interesting to see who else initiated the reasoning behind these firings, and attempted to intrude on the investigative process. They should be investigated for this kind of unethical-behavior if there is smoke.

The Justice Department admitted Wednesday that it gave senators inaccurate information about the firings and presidential political adviser Karl Rove's role in trying to secure a U.S. attorney's post in Arkansas for one of his former aides, Tim Griffin. Justice officials acknowledged that a Feb. 23 letter to four Democratic senators erred in asserting that the department was not aware of any role Rove played in the decision to appoint Griffin to replace U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in Little Rock, Ark. Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling said that certain statements in last month's letter to Democratic lawmakers appeared to be "contradicted by department documents included in our production." That admission, only hours before Sampson's testimony, took some of the sting out of Democrats' key pieces of evidence that the administration had misled Congress. Still, Sampson provided plenty of fodder. (AP, 03.29.2007)

I don't detect any "sting" being taken-out, as most of this is news to everyone today. It begs the question too-loudly. Another assertion that seems unfounded is that none of the firings were motivated by a desire to protect the White House--a bald-lie. There was discussion about whether to terminate Fitzgerald's job, but it was wisely dropped. However, Sampson and everyone else has been wrong here too.

With the evidence we now already have--totalling some 3,283 pages--it's become obvious that the White House cannot be trusted on their word with anything and warrant thorough investigations.This would apply to all-levels of their authority, including foreign policy. We already know about the domestic-side, just ask people in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans and all the FEMA-camps. We also know that our rights have been rolled-back under the Patriot Acts. To their credit, the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress have been chipping-away at these provisions. Expect more. Reuters had this to report:

"Others in (the Justice) Department knew what I knew about the origins and timing of this enterprise," said Sampson, who Gonzales has largely blamed for the furor over the firings.But Sampson conceded he failed to help organize a more effective department response to questions from Congress earlier this year. The dismissals have triggered a firestorm, fanned by charges that the firings may have been politically motivated, as well as calls for Gonzales to step down.The administration contends the firings were justified and based largely on performance or policy difference. But recently disclosed documents also show loyalty to the administration was a factor. (Reuters, 03.29.2007)

It's interesting that Gonzales and Specter are saying the same-thing: the scandal is Sampson's fault. Why exactly is that? He didn't initiate the process, and as he stated today in hearings under oath, he didn't have the authority to do the signing-off on the actions regarding the US Attorney "hit-list." More documents and emails will be forthcoming, and they will continue to illustrate vibrantly that the Bush administration and her allies in Congress are hopelessly corrupt, and prosecutable.

Arlen Specter will continue to feign "disappointment," while everyone knows that he helped create the whole mess. That's why he's still forced to defend the Bush administration--his past-complicity with them. The most-efficient criminal enterprises suck people into their web by making them fellow travellers and co-conspirators. They make them facilitators, defenders, and advocates because they have them blackmailed with something.

Lawmakers want to shed light on why the eight US attorneys -- powerful local and regional prosecutors appointed by the president -- were fired, even as several of them were in the middle of sensitive corruption investigations."The purpose of today's hearing is not to find a smoking gun. The purpose is to build a factual base and to continue to figure out what went on," said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer. Eyebrows were raised over Gonzales's role in the affair this week when another top aide, Monica Goodling, said she would refuse to testify fearing prosecution. (AFP, 03.29.2007)

The question with Arlen Specter, John McCain, Boehner, and all the others is this: what exactly is it that they have on them? US Attorneys are a nexus to all of this, because they are the ones who can investigate and uproot corruption by office-holders, including the Executive and all inclusive within that branch. They are part of that branch, but this scandal underscores why they must be politically insulated--to keep the law supreme above all. Yesterday, in Chicago, Gonzales "ducked out" of a press conference after three-questions regarding the US Attorney firings were fielded. The affair was supposed to last 15-minutes, and one of the questions regarded the fact that US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald had been on the list of candidates to fire. (Chicago Sun-Times, 03.28.2007) The thaw is here.

AP Today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070329/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/fired_prosecutors

Reuters Today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070329/pl_nm/usa_prosecutors_dc_4;_ylt=Ai7o8PtX6JSUOzNqq2fNxn6WwvIE

AFP Today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070329/pl_afp/usjusticepolitics_070329183114;_ylt=AplDrOu6F7JzeZ.H0EuXROeWwvIE

The Chicago Sun-Times Yesterday: http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/316023,CST-NWS-attygen28.article