Friday, March 16, 2007

'Purgegate': What The Fuck Is Happening Now?

I'll give this to the Republicans... they make their scandals and crimes as complicated as possible, so they stay under the radar as long as possible. No simple blowjobs here.

So let's review, shall we?

U.S. Attorneys are appointed by the President, with Senate confirmation, with large turnover at the start of a new President's term. Except something unusual happened last Fall, when President Bush sacked a limited, specific group of U.S. Attorneys near the midterm elections and tried to replace them with political cronies without consulting Congress in any way. The latter was made possible by a provision of the Patriot Act (which wait, I'm sorry, I thought was supposed to be about terrorism?), snuck into that bill's renewal last year by Senator Specter's office. At first, the White House said it was due to poor performance issues (including that they failed to investigate 'voter fraud', a scandalous sideshow in its own right). But all the sacked Attorneys had exemplary records. Soon, information came forward that indicated that they had been purged because they were either going after Republicans too hard or going after Democrats too soft. Reports of intimidation by GOP members of the House and Senate soon followed. White House went into spin mode and blamed bad communication, as calls for Attorney General Gonzales to resign began. Then Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson resigned, amidst emails revealing that his office had been developing lists of who to purge with key players in the White House, including Karl Rove and Harriet Miers.

New emails further reveal how closely these parties worked together on this.

You know things're bad when even National Review writers won't rush to Alberto's rescue.

In retrospect, I'm willing to bet heavily that this is why Harriet Miers hastily resigned in January. She saw this about to leak out and she got the hell out of Dodge. As for Rove, who even knows why he still works for the White House. His underhanded election-winning services were discredited and unsuccessful last November. He is also the President's domestic policy advisor. But, umm, what domestic policy? Tax cuts? Don't need Rove to sell that. Methinks maybe ol' Leaky McGee also needs to go, at long last.

But he and Harriet might be okay... for now. From the AP-
The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday cleared the way for subpoenas compelling five Justice Department officials and six of the U.S. attorneys they fired to tell the story of the purge that has prompted demands for the ouster of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The voice vote to authorize the panel to issue subpoenas amounts to insurance against the possibility that Gonzales could retract his permission to let the aides testify voluntarily, or impose strict conditions.

The committee also postponed for a week a vote on whether to authorize subpoenas of top aides to President Bush who were involved in the eight firings, including political adviser Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and deputy White House Counsel William K. Kelley...

As for Alberto Gonzales, betting odds says his days are numbered, but we'll see.

What may ultimately due him is that he lied under oath (that's a crime, kiddies) about this matter in recent testimony to the Senate. If enough of the Senate rallies around impeaching him, the White House will definitely cut him loose. Of course, Gonzales has gotten away with lying to the Senate before. The AG perjured himself in 2005 during his confirmation hearing, when asked about warrantless wiretapping. Will he be so lucky again?

Speaking of the wiretapping scandal, Murray Waas asks some interesting questions. I won't wait for answers.

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