Sunday, March 11, 2007

The politics beyond the purge

Belying the early denials of White House involvement in the purging of the US Attorneys, new reports indicate that Rove had a direct hand in at least two of the firings. Indeed, a review of the terminated attorneys' case load spells out rather clearly how the purged fell into disfavor. One can draw a straight line through pursuing Republican corruption and failing to investigate Democrats on command to the terminations.

Further, a review of the overall record on federal prosecutions during the Bush administration reveals investigations and indictments against 10 independents, 67 Republicans, and 298 Democrats and oddly many of alleged charges against Democrats surfaced shortly before elections and then abruptly disappeared afterward. Case on point being the brouhaha created around Menendez in NJ, which resulted in no charges and hasn't been mentioned again since he was elected.

The obvious conclusion to be drawn on this is not pretty.
Hofstra Professor Freedman said he's troubled by the thought that Bush appointees might have been pushed beyond their ethical boundaries, despite their ties to the administration.

"These were people who were acceptable to this administration for really important positions. You would expect that, up to a point, they would go along," he said.

Freedman said the controversy raises questions about the independence of every U.S. attorney.

"They certainly have gotten the message, haven't they," he said.
I suspect they have and that should trouble every one of us. The White House supporters will rightly point out that the attorneys are at-will employees subject to the whim of the president, but it's one thing for the administration to expect their prosecutors to conform to general policy priorities and quite another to use them in order to pursue phantom charges in vendettas against their political opponents. The latter amounts to nothing less than political terrorism and threatens the integrity of our entire judicial system.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home