Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The U.S.A. purge scandal is heating up

As usual, TPM is all over this story. They have "owned" it since the get-go and they even got a well-deserved tip-of-the-cap from a MSM-type. Amid growing calls for the Attorney-General's resignation, there was resignation of his # 2, Kyle Sampson. There was the Schumer - Feinstein press conference. There was the document dump, on a Monday, no less, with hints about the involvement of Rove and even GWB himself.

BushCo is being exposed for to see what it really is -- fundamentally corrupt. As Glenn Greenwald says:
Lying to Congress is what this administration generally -- and the DOJ specifically -- has done continuously. They lied to Congress about the FBI's use of NSLs in order to induce re-authorization of the Patriot Act, and -- now that those lies are exposed -- they are now forced to retract those statements and change their false testimony made under oath. Alberto Gonzales made repeated false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the state of the President's eavesdropping activities, some of which he had to retract and some of which he still has not. And, of course, the false statements made over the years to the Congress by the administration regarding Iraq are literally too numerous to chronicle. None of these acts occur in isolation. They are all part of the broader view of the Bush administration that the President's power cannot be constrained by the law or by the Congress. They believe they have the right to lie to Congress about their behavior, even though lying to Congress is, as Atrios noted today, a felony.
From Schumer - Feinstein press conference:
Schumer: Here are some of the falsehoods we've been told that are now unraveling.

First, we were told that the seven of the eight U.S. attorneys were fired for performance reasons.

It now turns out this was a falsehood, as the glowing performance evaluations attest.

Second, we were told by the attorney general that he would, quote, "never, ever make a change for political reasons."

It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as all the evidence makes clear that this purge was based purely on politics, to punish prosecutors who were perceived to be too light on Democrats or too tough on Republicans.

Third, we were told by the attorney general that this was just an overblown personnel matter.

It now turns out that far from being a low-level personnel matter, this was a longstanding plan to exact political vendettas or to make political pay-offs.

Fourth, we were told that the White House was not really involved in the plan to fire U.S. attorneys. This, too, turns out to be false.

Harriet Miers was one of the masterminds of this plan, as demonstrated by numerous e-mails made public today. She communicated extensively with Kyle Sampson about the firings of the U.S. attorneys. In fact, she originally wanted to fire and replace the top prosecutors in all 93 districts across the country.

Fifth, we were told that Karl Rove had no involvement in getting his protege appointed U.S. attorney in Arkansas.

In fact, here is a letter from the Department of Justice. Quote: "The department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin."

It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as demonstrated by Mr. Sampson's own e-mail. Quote: "Getting him, Griffin, appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, et cetera.

Sixth, we were told to change the Patriot Act was an innocent attempt to fix a legal loophole, not a cynical strategy to bypass the Senate's role in serving as a check and balance.

It was Senator Feinstein who discovered that issue. She'll talk more about it.

So there has been misleading statement after misleading statement -- deliberate misleading statements. And we haven't gotten to the bottom of this yet, but believe me, we will pursue it.


The WaPo has

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