The Latest Duck & Dodge Tactics of The Bush White House Over the Firing Scandal

The Latest Duck & Dodge Tactics of The Bush White House Over the Firing Scandal

The furor over the political hatchet job done to the fired U.S. Attorneys will not be swept under the rug like the previous Republican Congress was always able to get away with. Now that some balance of Bush_rove power has been restored the facts are going to be exposed. I’ve reported my views about this before. (3/17/07) but the facts keep creeping closer and closer to George Bush and Karl Rove.

The Bush Administration supporters have made two excuses for their actions that simply don’t fly. One excuse is that the role of U.S. Attorney is merely a political appointment subject to termination so what’s the big deal? The other excuse is that President Clinton and other newly elected presidents have terminated the U.S. Attorneys and appointed new ones when they took over so this isn’t anything new. Neither of these excuses wash for three reasons.

The first is the nature of the position of U.S. Attorney. This is not some political job which any clerk can handle and which is subject to the political whim of the President or United States Attorney General. The position of United States Attorney has enormous power to decide whether to instigate charges or not. It is not unlike the position of a judge who is charged with carrying out the oath of office fairly and objectively. Politics should have no role in the decisions of a judge or the U.S. Attorney. The position is not one which the law approves the U.S. Attorney favoring one political party over another in making decisions about such things as to when to file or not file charges of criminal conduct. Instead the position is one where the U.S. Attorney is charged with acting objectively and fairly in exercising the power given to prosecute or not prosecute people. It is not just another political plum nor a job where the appointee is a political hack who is expected to be biased for one political party over another. Yet that is what the Bush Administration demanded. They selectively fired U.S. Attorneys who refused to file election fraud charges in close races where the Republican lost. They were fired in spite of the fact the U.S. Attorneys determined there was no enough evidence to file such a lawsuit and refused to file frivolous politically motivated lawsuits. The Bush administration, who loudly complains about too many frivolous lawsuits, didn’t hesitate to punish them by firing them and appointing someone who would fall into line. They also fired U.S. Attorneys who were pursuing criminal prosecutions and investigations against friends of the White House in order to stop the investigations and prosecutions. In short, the Bush Administration treated the position as nothing more then a political  plum whose appointees were expected to follow the party line irrespective of the oath of office they took. That’s a clear example of the exercise of abuse and corruption of political power.

Then there is the issue of the Bush Administration using a loop hole in the law to carry out the firings and new appointments. They used the provision in law for an interim appointment which did not require Senate approval to fire and then appoint new U.S. Attorneys claiming they did not have to have Senate approval. This was a clear manipulation of the law used to avoid Senate oversight of the action and was devious as well as unethical.

Lastly, there is a vast difference between a newly elected President removing the appointees of the previous administration to appoint their own replacements and what the Bush administration did. The Bush administration selectively fired U.S. Attorneys were not willing to ignore their sworn duty of oath and take purely political actions. Actions which were contrary to the law and their oath of office. It isn’t a matter of the Bush administration wanting to replace appointees of a previous president. It is the Bush administration improperly and illegally attempting to pressure U.S. Attorneys into taking political action which violated the role of their office and when the U.S. Attorneys refused, fired them to appoint someone who would. That’s the corruption of political power.

The proof of the wrongness of what the Bush Administration did, is the fact they lied to Congress and then tried to cover it up. When their lies were exposed by email documentation they changed their stories again because it became clear Karl Rove and George Bush were directly involved. Then when the Senate demanded the testimony of Rove, the U.S. Attorney General and key players, Mr. Bush ran for cover again by insisting they be "privately interviewed, not under oath and with no record kept of what was said! How brazen is that? But this tactic had worked with the Republican dominated power in the past too many time. However, this time the Bush White House is going to get away with it. Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee hit the nail on the head when he said:

"Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That’s the formula for true accountability"

So when the Senate refused this silly attempt at a white wash the lies, Mr. Bush said he would "aggressively fight in court any attempt to subpoena White House aides." Why? What has he got to hide? Wasn’t it the Republicans who insisted that Constitutional rights should be ignored because if someone hasn’t got anything to hide why should they insist on their rights? The arrogance of this administration in thumbing their nose at the law, at ethical conduct and at their duty to the American people never ceases to amaze me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *