Thursday, April 12, 2007

LEAHY CALLS BUSH ADMINISTRATION LIARS IN CASE OF MISSING E-MAILS SURROUNDING US ATTORNEY SCANDAL

"E-mails don't get lost. These are just e-mails they don't want to bring forward." --Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today

Washington D.C.--It appears once again that the Bush administration's knowledge of the internet is either lagging, or they're just lying again (or both). You cannot "erase" e-mails readily, and if they went out into the internet, there will be a trail and copies on federal and RNC servers. Well, unless they got an IT guy to come and erase them--a risky gambit, requiring cells and individuals who are already fellow travellers in-crime. It's likely they still exist in-the-possession of the GOP. Incidentally, it's illegal under federal Hatch law that requires preservation of such records.

"They say they have not been preserved. I don't believe that!" Leahy shouted from the Senate floor. "You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers," said Leahy, D-Vt. "Those e-mails are there, they just don't want to produce them. We'll subpoena them if necessary." White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said there is no effort to keep the e-mails under wraps, and that the counsel's office is doing everything it can to find any that were lost. "The purpose of our review is to make every reasonable effort to recover potentially lost e-mails, and that is why we've been in contact with forensic experts," he said. Leahy scoffed. "I've got a teenage kid in my neighborhood that can go get 'em for them," he told reporters later.
(AP, 04.12.2007)

This is true--any kids out there want to help the White House and the GOP/RNC find them? C'mon, we'll give you a cookie. A date with a girl? OK, we'll have a girl smile at you at an prearranged-location. You want a job in Justice? Yes, we're not safe while the Bush administration's in office. Homeland Security? How about FEMA, I'm sure a teenager could do a better job than all those Bush cronies...

The White House's spokesperson, Scott Stanzel has also admitted that the RNC "sponsored" 22 e-mail accounts for Bush aides. This is a violation of the Hatch Act. It's just one-of-many admissions of criminality by the Bush White House, but the context has changed with no GOP majority in either house of Congress. To their credit, Democrats are illustrating their commitment to oversight and accountability by putting the pressure on:

Leahy has not issued any subpoenas, but permission by his committee Thursday would give him authority to compel testimony from all eight of the fired U.S. attorneys and several White House and Justice Department officials named in e-mails made public as having had roles in the firings. The White House has refused to make officials such as political adviser Karl Rove, available under oath. (AP, 04.12.2007)

It's just a matter of time before Karl Rove and all the others are grabbed by the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, aided by Federal Marshals if necessary. This threat was levelled at the Nixon White House during the Watergate hearings, and there was immediate compliance. One can expect a similar scenario if the brinkmanship over the firing of the eight US Attorneys is dragged-out further by the Bush administration and her allies in Congress.

Of course, the similarities to Watergate are numerous, and Leahy referred-to the lost 18-minutes of Nixon's Oval Office tapes, or "the dog ate my homework" defense/excuse. It won't wash, and Leahy noted that:

The votes authorize subpoenas to be issued if the administration records are not turned over and if Moschella and Jennings decline to appear before the panel. Subpoenas would compel the White House to comply or face legal sanction. "This is a political confrontation we [the GOP] don't need," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the committee, said afterward. Graham also noted "the key person," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has voluntarily agreed to appear before the panel next week amid bipartisan calls for his resignation as the chief U.S. law enforcement officer. (Reuters, 04.12.2007)

Yes, we're a nation of laws, or we're not. Insofar as the Executive branch is concerned, they can only be reigned-in by law. The alternative is short-lived monarchial dictatorship (followed by a bloody civil war), with no law at all. Silence, blackmail, and subterfuge have aided in all of this. The silence ended a long-time-ago.
Violation of the Hatch Act can cause the perp to be run out of office by Merit Systems Protection Board.


AP Today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_go_co/fired_prosecutors

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/fired_prosecutors;_ylt=AoFqdPDpgVJs3hbsT9DIbSqMwfIE

Reuters Today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070412/pl_nm/usa_prosecutors_emails_dc_4;_ylt=Aoea3kZjAlC2aq.zpNc3U1eWwvIE

The Hatch Act: http://www.osc.gov/ha_fed.htm