Thursday, June 7, 2007

We aren't letting go because we think Justice should be just and voters should be franchised

I realize that the right wing wishes we would just shut up about the Department of Justice scandals – "move along" they say, "there is nothing to see here – Hey! Look over there! A puppy!"

But the fact is, there seems to be a whole hell of a lot of there there. My background is clinical – and I can tell you that the deadliest cancers are often myriad little tumors, and that same pathology seems to be at work here. There is simply an overwhelming incidence of abject politicization of the very area of government that can least withstand that egregious offense.

Legal voters were disenfranchised. Black military personnel were targeted for disenfranchisement via a caging scheme. This much has been admitted to. How the defenders can continue to defend this Constitutional offense is beyond me. The actions of the Gonzales DoJ is an affront to decency.

The civil rights division was gutted under Schlozman before he came to Kansas City, where he pursued charges contrary to department policy with the intent to sway elections. In the second case, it might have worked. My candidate won the Mayors race, but I will always wonder – did that thin soup of a charge affected the outcome of the primary?

And now McClatchy tells us that it looks like the Federalist Society might have had a hand in selecting the attorneys who were fired and the candidates to replaced them.

WASHINGTON - A leader of an influential conservative legal group recommended a replacement candidate for the U.S. attorney in San Diego just days after the sitting prosecutor's name was secretly placed on a Justice Department firing list, according to a document released Wednesday.

The recommendation by the executive vice president of the Federalist Society, Leonard Leo, came before anyone outside of a tight group in the White House and Justice Department knew about a nascent strategy that ultimately led to the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

It could not be determined whether a short e-mail, sent on March 7, 2005, making the recommendation meant that Leo knew of the plan to fire Carol Lam or whether his message was unsolicited and coincidental.

The subject line of Leo's e-mail to Mary Beth Buchanan, then-director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, says, "USA San Diego," indicating the top prosecutor job for the Southern District of California. Lam was on the job at the time and had no plans to step down. (emphasis added)

The text of the note reads, "You guys need a good candidate?" Leo goes on to say he would "strongly recommend" the Air Force's general counsel, Mary Walker.

Walker led a Pentagon working group in 2003, which critics said helped provide the administration with a rationale to circumvent the international Geneva Conventions banning torture in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. (emphasis added)

Leo, the Justice Department and Walker could not be reached for comment late Wednesday. Lam declined comment.

The Justice Department turned over the e-mail to Congress as part of a probe into last year's firings of U.S. attorneys.

While the Justice Department has given no direct reason for Lam's firing, officials criticized her handling of immigration and gun cases. Nonetheless, Lam drew positive job evaluations and has testified that she was given no notice of any concerns.

Democrats have questioned whether her firing was connected to her office's high-profile corruption prosecutions implicating Republicans.

Lam's name first appeared on what is believed to have been the Justice Department's earliest target list of prosecutors in late February 2005.

I am sorry, but this is just too much. Now it appears that the Federalist Society had a say in replacing the supremely competent and accomplished Carol Lam (of course, Carol Lam was also the one who shot down Duke Cunningham) and hand-picking a Dominatrix with a J.D. to replace her before she could take down any more corrupt republicans.


[Crossposted from WTWC]

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