Friday, March 16, 2007

Things that make you go hmmm

Washington is all abuzz about whether US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will have a job a few weeks from now (Google news search here). And while I suppose that office pools on his departure date are as rife as those for the NCAA playoffs, Gonzales' continued employment is a mere distraction from the real point of this situation.

The question is not whether Gonzales is an incompetent who lied to Congress and used his position as the nation's top law officer to further polish Bush's boots.

The question is whether the Whitehouse engaged in a concerted effort, a conspiracy if you will, to punish US Attorneys for not using their offices to further partisan Republican goals.

Pending congressional investigation (thanks be to the deity of your choice for a Democratic Congress) hard evidence is still lacking (though recently released emails from the DoJ are certainly suggestive) but a quick review of the circumstantial is suggestive.

We know that USA David Iglesias disappointed Republican Representative Heather Wilson and Senator Pete Dominici for his failure to file indictments against local New Mexico Democrats before the November, 2006 elections. Please note that indictments have yet to be filed, and may well never be, leading to the suspicion that Mr. Iglesias was only doing his job by not filing charges because there was no chargeable offense.

And failure to file charges just because no crime had been committed appear to account for U.S. Attorney David McKay's spot among the Gonzales 8. "There was no evidence, and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury."

Obviously in need of the axe.

San Diego USA Carol Lam was merely the prosecuter behind the conviction of corrupt Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. 'Nuff said.

Now we learn that fired USA H.E. "Bud" Cummins was involved in an investigation involving the Missouri GOP:

In January 2006, he had begun looking into allegations that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt had rewarded GOP supporters with lucrative contracts to run the state's driver's license offices. Cummins [USA-Arkansas - CK] handled the case because U.S. attorneys in Missouri had recused themselves over potential conflicts of interest.

But in June, Cummins said, he was told by the Justice Department that he would be fired at year's end to make room for Timothy Griffin — an operative tied to White House political guru Karl Rove.

GOP investigation? Them's hangin' words.

And as a further bonus Cummin's firing opened the door for the placement of Karl Rove protege Tim Griffinin the Arkansas Attorney General's office.

Let's see. Former Arkansas first lady Hillary Clinton is running for President. And the Bush Whitehouse is, according to those darn emails, was especially interested in placing a Rovian puppet in a position to launch any number of investigations in the Clinton's home state.

It's just another of those things that make you go hmmm.

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