Sunday, March 25, 2007

Newsflash: BushCorp™ politicizes DoJ

But don't expect film at 11.

Though it strikes me as patently obvious that an administration that would let ideology guide us into the occupation of Iraq wouldn't hesitate to politicize the hypothetically apolitical Department of Justice, it appears the MSM is just catching on.

Triggered by the recent revelations of the politcal nature, perhaps criminally so, of the firings of the Gonzales 8, others are coming forward to a media that is shocked, shocked I tell you, that BushCorp™ has politicized the DoJ.

As the LA Times headline says:

Justice Department tugged to the right: Under Bush, the department has been tainted by politics, many say.

WASHINGTON — Not long after President Bush was first sworn in, White House political guru Karl Rove and his lieutenants met with officials of nearly every Cabinet agency to brief top officials on the latest polling data and issues that could influence voters and key constituencies.

But the departments of Justice, Defense and State were exempt. Given their missions — to administer federal laws, protect national security and conduct foreign policy — it was considered inappropriate to make such partisan presentations to them.

That sentiment didn't last long.

But while BushCorp™'s ever dwindling corp of defenders may claim that administrations always set political goals for their attorneys, that is a far cry from interfering in particular cases, which interference is unethical, and can be illegal.

Nonetheless, the critics tied their allegations to those described by two of the fired U.S. attorneys. David C. Iglesias of Albuquerque, N.M., and John McKay of Seattle have said they felt pressure from Republican officials to prosecute alleged voter fraud in their states.

Both said their offices reviewed the cases and concluded the evidence did not warrant prosecution.


Rich, a 37-year department veteran, said a partisan litmus test in hiring and decision-making has undermined a tradition of nonpartisan professionalism in the division.

"Unfortunately, since this administration took office, that professionalism and nonpartisan commitment to the historic mission of the division has been replaced by unprecedented political decision-making," he told the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties on Thursday.

[Recently retired head of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division, Joseph D.] Rich's views were backed by other department veterans who had left the department in recent years. Many, like Rich, have joined civil rights organizations, such as the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where Rich now works.

"The U.S. attorneys' firing confirmed my view that at the highest levels of DOJ it was decided that politics would play a role in how decisions were made," said Mark Posner, a former civil rights division attorney who contributed to a book-length report released by a civil rights group in Washington last week called "The Erosion of Rights: Declining Civil Rights Enforcement Under the Bush Administration."

The Civil Rights Division veterans focused their criticism on major voting case decisions over the last six years that they say have generally benefited the GOP.

The most recent case concerned a 2005 Georgia law that required voters to provide photo identification. Staff attorneys raised concerns about the law after the Georgia secretary of state supplied data showing that tens of thousands of voters might not have driver's licenses or other prescribed forms of identification. They said the plan could effectively disenfranchise large numbers of black voters.

The staff objections were ignored, department veterans said, and the Georgia ID rule was approved by the Justice Department 24 hours after the staff report was filed.

Again, none of this is shocking stuff, in the sense that such is obviously SOP for our Bushie government.

And I'm currently torn between which I find more shocking, that the MSM never seemed to notice, or that it's finally noticing now.

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