Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lying to the nation


Last night (Tuesday, March 20) George W. Bush spoke to the nation about the ever expanding U.S. Attorney scandal. At various times pleading, threatening, child-like in his anger and resentment, this is the man we've chosen to lead our once great country into the the pit of broken dreams, mean schemes, conniving dishonesty and senseless thuggery.

The key issue here is did the administration use the substantial power of the US Attorneys to stop investigations of Republicans and initiate improper and unwarranted investigations of Democrats, in other words, did the President's Office compromise the integrity of the justice department for political gain?



When asked specifically that question by a reporter,
"Are you still completely convinced the administration did not exert any political pressure in the firings of these attorneys?",
Bush replied:
"There is no indication that anybody did anything improper (long pause) and I’m sure Congress has that question … no indication, after White House reviews, that anybody did anything improper."

In other words, what we did isn't illegal, especially if you can't get the evidence.
Of course Bush insisted that to protect the integrity of the White House he'll never cooperate with Congressional investigators.

A another key and fallacious 'talking point' from this address:
"These attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, I named them all!"

While it's true, US Attorneys ostensibly serve at the pleasure of the president, they are assumed to be appointed for the duration of the presidential term and are rarely removed from office before the end of the presidential term unless there is clear evidence of malfeasance in the execution of their duties. As US Attorneys they must be beyond the reach of politics and unimpeachable in the execution of their duties. Our legal system depends on their integrity and detachment from political motivations. Never has there been a wholesale dismissal such as just occurred. As is coming out in the investigation, most of the dismissed US Attorneys were investigating powerful Republican party members and operatives when they were dismissed. According to some of the dismissed (Republican) US Attorneys, they were dismissed for refusing to use their office in unwarranted election-cycle witch-hunts against Democrats.

As an aside, Mr Bush is also notorious for giving his associates nicknames. For example, Karl Rove is called 'Turdblossom.' (Mr Bush also is known to be a big fan of fart jokes.) But most folks aren't aware that many years ago Mr Rove was assigned to politically nurture, guide and manage a resentful little George Bush by his father, George H. Bush, the long-time CIA operative, who became our 41st President. In that light the nickname 'Turdblossom' allows the petulant prince to have his handler and dismiss him, too!

Another of the interesting statements made by little Georgie Bush during the press conference:

"We will release all White House documents and emails involving direct communications with the justice department or any other outside person including members of Congress and their staff related to this issue."

This was a conditional release, predicated on Congress not issuing subpoenas for the President's Aides. This could be seen as an attempt to cooperate with Congressional representatives, or this could be seen as a threat to Congressional representatives who have had untoward contact with the administration regarding impending or on-going investigations.
If compromised Republican Congressional representatives in either the House or the Senate allow the Democrats force the White House to release these documents, the administration will take the compromised representative down as well.

An interesting aside to this is that despite the so-called 'unprecedented' release of more than 3,000 emails relating to this fiasco, there have been essentially no emails released covering the most critical period in the process.
Between November 15th and December 4th, 2006, the Department of Justice and the Administration would have been developing the lists of US Attorneys to be fired and the rationales for firing them, but there are no emails covering this time period.

Kinda like the critical 18 minute gap in President Nixon's recording system except that email's harder to erase.



Lastly, since this is only one of numerous scandals wracking this administration, let's look for a moment at the other, bigger fish yet to fry. The Federal Bureau of Investigation used National Security Agency 'Letters' to illegally spy on tens of thousands of Americans. Phone, email and financial records were collected illegally, allegedly for 'National Security' purposes.

Who could possibly believe that this Republican administration, which has politicized every aspect of covert and overt government, didn't use the FBI to examine the personal and private records of their political enemies?

So is this the beginning or the end of the Neo-Conservative (or is that neo-Nazi?) era?

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