The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nothing you haven't seen before

Will I ever get well? Probably within the next few days, yeah. In the meantime, I'll continue to bring you some of the important news mere hours after pretty much everyone else in the blogosphere!

The US Attorney scandal continues apace, following the course of every other scandal of the last six years. So far:

1. Gonzales said A) he knew nothing of the whole "fired attorney" thing, and that B) it's just the sort of thing that wouldn't have happened if he'd known.
2. A) Lie and B) lie. Having been personally implicated, and confronted with evidence that it was a coordinated effort between the DOJ and White House...
3. Gonzales claims that it had absolutely nothing to do with partisan ideology.
4. That'd be another lie. See this article: In rating the prosecutors, Mr. Sampson factored in whether they “exhibited loyalty to the president and attorney general,” according to documents released by the Justice Department.

And today....

5. Fearless Leader decides takes the bull by the horns the only way he knows how. With more lies at a press conference.

Bush: "I do have confidence in Attorney General Al Gonzales. I talked to him this morning, and we talked about his need to go up to Capitol Hill and make it very clear to members in both political parties why the Justice Department made the decisions it made, making very clear about the facts. And he's right, mistakes were made. And I'm, frankly, not happy about it, because there is a lot of confusion over what really has been a customary practice by the presidents. U.S. attorneys and others serve at the pleasure of the president. Past administrations have removed U.S. attorneys; they're right to do so."

Fact: There's nothing "customary" about firing a slate of U.S. attorneys during the middle of a president's time in office. While Bill Clinton asked for the resignations of all sitting U.S. attorneys when he first took office, it's not at all typical for presidents to remove U.S. attorneys in the middle of their presidencies. As former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson acknowledged in a January 2006 memo to Harriet Miers, the last two-term presidents -- Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton -- "did not seek to remove and replace U.S. attorneys they had appointed whose four-year terms had expired, but instead permitted such U.S. attorneys to serve indefinitely under the [U.S. Code's] holdover provision.". . .

Bush: "The Justice Department recommended a list of U.S. attorneys. I believe the reasons why were entirely appropriate. And yet this issue was mishandled to the point now where you're asking me questions about it in Mexico, which is fine. If I were you, I'd ask the same question. This is an issue that -- let me just say, Al was right, mistakes were made, and he's going to go up to Capitol Hill to correct them."

Fact: Yes, the Justice Department "recommended a list of U.S. attorneys" to be fired, but only after Miers suggested firing all 93 of them. Further, it is now clear that White House officials -- including Karl Rove and the president himself -- had extensive contacts with the Justice Department about prosecutors on the list as the process moved forward.