Wednesday, June 27, 2007

SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIR SEN. PATRICK LEAHY SUBPOENAS WHITE HOUSE AND CHENEY

Washington D.C.--This is what we all voted for on November 6th, 2006. Not just to end this worthless war, designed to make oil companies, contractors, and all the other sundry war profiteers wealthier, but to end the wrong direction this nation has been headed towards for the last 27 years. Since the Reagan administration, we've seen unprecedented scandals, the rollback of our rights, the exportation of our jobs to countries under tyranny, plummeting wages, scant health coverage, shadow government activities (under Reagan & both Bush administrations, with some smoke during Clinton as well) and illegal wars that are destroying the lives of Americans and foreign nationals (people).

Voter apathy and cynicism in the wake of Watergate (along with rigging the polls & caging-lists after being caught in 1981 and 1986) allowed the GOP to sneak into office. How else were they going to get in, or ever have any majorities? Black Americans aren't so stupid with their interests, so their votes had to be disqualified and/or challenged.

Was it better before Reagan? Well, yes and no. We had a choice during the 1970s to go in the right direction in a number of problem areas, and that was thwarted, primarily by the GOP, but also with the complicity of certain Democratic Representatives and Senators over the years. Lobbyists also did their part, since they outnumber our representatives on Capitol Hill. As this subpoena today illustrates, neither the recommendations nor the legislation proposed and passed by the Church, Rockefeller, and Pike committees did much to curb the Executive branch's abuse of the intelligence community before, during, and after the Nixon years, including the FBI. If the Bush administration will be remembered for anything, it's the politicization of the federal bureaucracy, a cardinal sin in any self-respecting democracy (ahem).
In many respects, they have realized Nixon's own aspirations for Executive power:

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program, said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity because the subpoenas had not been made public. Leahy's committee authorized the subpoenas previously as part of its sweeping investigation into how much influence the White House exerts over the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The probe, in its sixth month, began with an investigation into whether administration officials ordered the firings of eight federal prosecutors, for political reasons. (AP, 06.27.2007)

Yes, but what of people who were hired for political reasons? As predicted, the US Attorney scandal has opened up a can of worms, a Pandora's box that cannot be closed. Consider that in this context, civil attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley has forwarded his own missive to Sen. Leahy in the Senate and Rep. John Conyers in the House, both in their respective seats as Judiciary chairs.

Was there any squabbling over the case of Deborah Jeane Palfrey? Does it originate from post-9/11 excesses? What caused the creation of the federal grand jury...really? It's possible only Congress will be able to answer most of the questions, but the occasional tidbit leaks out from other contexts. It's likely that "Hookergate" begins with a group of inexperienced new appointees in the Department of Justice, the IRS, and the Postal Inspector's office, possibly a bad-penny case that nobody wanted. But then there's the phone list that District Court Judge and assistant U.S. Attorney Cowden want suppressed. There are some commonalities that could be connected to the U.S. Attorney scandal that appear to be the inversion--individuals hired because of their affiliations with the GOP, and maybe even an evangelical one like Monica Goodling. What's clear is that Randall L. Tobias is no longer working for the Bush administration, another Bush appointee sunk. Then there's Paul Wolfowitz...

While this site hasn't yet been able to confirm the ages of the investigators in Palfrey's case yet, it's telling that many of them could be in their late-twenties or early-thirties--when most people in the bureaucracy are still working at reaching such lofty positions. Appointees of the Bush administration are everywhere these days in the federal government, reaching into the several-hundreds, peppering our bureaucracies, courts, and even in law enforcement positions. This subpoena is just a beginning, and perhaps we can get a real "discovery" process going in the warrantless surveillance, U.S. Attorney, and "Hookergate" scandals very soon. They may very well be one unified, overarching scandal. Still think the Iranian hostage crisis amounted to much? I'm sure you do.

AP today on the belated subpoenas:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070627/ap_on_go_pr_wh/eavesdropping_subpoenas