Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Political Rant: Justice Department Finally Takes Action Against Gonzales and Gang

Hello Bloggers - For years I've been writing my senators and congressman for hearings, to subpoena witnesses, to enforce subpoenas, and to indict criminals at the Justice Department involving the firing of prosecutors, the politics of new hires, and the unbelievable Don Siegelman scandal (http://www.donsiegelman.com/).

It was obscured by the bailout crisis yesterday, but Attorney General Mukasey - a man I consider to be about as useful as the Pope's sex drive, probably less - finally appointed a longtime public corruption prosecutor to explore the basis for firing of the U.S. attorney in New Mexico two years ago. It's not everything, it's not even for all the fired prosecutors, but it's a start. Most incredible, it's a start under Mukasey and Bush. I'm still in shock to be honest. Most of us were convinced the criminals were waiting it out before their full pardons.

Congress has been upping its hand slowly, but many feel too slowly. I have always felt so slowly to the point of being co-conspirators -- they have been almost negligent! It would appear that Mukasey decided to act before Congress. He appointed Nora R. Dannehy, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut, whose work led to the conviction of the state's former governor John G. Rowland (R) four years ago. She is responsible for delivering a preliminary report to Mukasey within two months. The best news is that lawyers involved in the case said her work will probably extend into the next administration - so it finally begins, I'm so happy.

Mukasey supposedly reacted to a report issued yesterday by department investigators that found "political motives" for the firing of three U.S. attorneys. He was probably thinking of his legacy when he decided to act. The report actually charges that senior officials "abdicated their duty to safeguard the independence of the process." Wow! Although prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the president, the report said that former attorney general Gonzalez - the real culprit - "bears primary responsibility" for the debacle because he allowed youthful subordinates to carry out the purge amid his "remarkable disengagement."

We all guessed it, but now we KNOW IT! Doesn't it sound like a common thread throughout the Bush Administration - "let the kids handle it?" Incredibly, the report said Gonzales was never notified about the dismissal of another top prosecutor, something the report calls a "stunning example of managerial default."

I know it's not everything we wanted, but like I said it is a start. Whether Obama or McCain (God forbid) wins the election the next administration will have to deal with it. I personally think Mukasey did it to cover his own ass in history. I don't think he wants to go into the history books having done absolutely nothing (though he is close, making him one of the worst AGs in history), so this is his something. No matter what, it's still real, and the person he appointed actually put a governor away.

I'm hoping things will finally begin to happen. I've been begging my elected representatives for indictments and perp walks for almost two years, and despite having the great Henry Waxman (D) as my rep, I've been disappointed. Let's hope this is the beginning of something BIG!

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

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