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March 16, 2007

Gonzales Apologizes -- Just Not to McKay

From McClatchy:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales apologized to the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys in a conference call Friday as he tried to hold on to his job amid the scandal over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.

The save-the-sinking-ship strategy includes the current crop of U.S. attorneys, but not the eight whose unjustified cannings started this whole thing. John McKay was probably busy educating law students at Seattle University this afternoon, anyway.

Administration critics and allies alike were startled by the degree to which politics appeared to be driving the planned purge of the Republican appointees in the months before the 2006 congressional elections. In one e-mail, one official said the plan was to replace "underperforming" U.S. attorneys and retain the "vast majority" who were "loyal Bushies."

On Friday, Democrats seethed when the Bush administration missed a deadline to turn over new documents in a congressional investigation into whether the firings were part of a larger effort to politicize the department. More Republicans also publicly questioned Gonzales' independence from Bush and his management of his staff.

Across the country, morale within U.S. attorneys' offices deteriorated, leaving many feeling misled by the Bush administration.

"They feel a strong sense of betrayal*," said a former Bush administration Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his friends in the administration.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, 1994 edition, Dell Publishing:

*betrayal [n1] exhibition of disloyalty

deception, dishonesty, double-crossing, double-dealing, duplicity, falseness, giveway, Judas kiss, let-down, perfidy, sellout, treachery, treason, trickery, unfaithfulness

Sounds a lot like the characterizations the "loyal Bushies" have been trying to hang around the necks of the Democrats the last six years. You can bet the denizens of the White House are thinking it's not much fun when the shoe's on the other foot.

Posted by shoephone on March 16, 2007 at 10:12 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


Not much fun when the shoe[phone]'s up their butt, either.

"'They feel a strong sense of betrayal*,' said a former Bush administration Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his friends in the administration."

Most interesting, that sentence.

Say you're any serving USA except Patrick Fitgerald. By now your very unfiredness is suspicious, and Conyers and Leahy -- not to mention sundry bloggers and reporters -- are on high alert for "loyal Bushie" moves, historical or prospective. This anonymous FBAJDO's (an acronym becoming common in the news) grieving your situation to McClatchy raises your profile another notch. Worse, he's right: the snakes behind you are more poisonous than the ones ahead, and if you're "in the administration," you suddenly need more protective friends than you've got.

Oh yeah, your sense of betrayal is strong. Now watch your step or it'll get stronger. SSSSSSSSSSSSSS . . .

Posted by: lotus | Mar 17, 2007 2:50:51 AM

Lotus, I had the very same thought as you, but you said it better than I was planning to. So, "ditto."

Posted by: op99 | Mar 17, 2007 7:33:20 AM

Thanks, op. Whoops, it's already happening in Pittsburgh:


Posted by: lotus | Mar 17, 2007 9:21:47 AM

Wow, you're right, lotus. Given the number of Democratic politicians who hold high office in Western PA, it's conceivable that U.S. Atty Buchanan is just investigating the folks she thinks she has a good case against. They mention in that KDKA segment that part of the suspicion has to do with the USA firings, with there being a certain amount of guilt by association hanging over the people who weren't fired.

The USAs and we are both right to be angry about this.

Posted by: Cujo359 | Mar 17, 2007 12:15:28 PM

Lotus - The saddest aspect of this is that the Office of the U.S. Attorneys has been tarnished by the backroom shenanigans of Gonzales and Rove and Bush. They've tainted the entire system of justice in this country, and perverted the Constitution through that nifty little tidbit in Patriot Act II that subverts the Senate's advise and consent clause.

Madison and Jefferson are surely rolling in their graves.

Posted by: shoephone | Mar 17, 2007 12:17:27 PM

It breaks my heart that this administration has so degraded the standards for public service that soon there will be no nobility in it whatsoever, and no one will trust any aspect of the judicial system. If ever there was an example of the kinds of people who should never be allowed in government service, it is the "Bushies."

What I don't get is Sampson - the rogue chief of staff - resigns, and Gonzales apologizes for his actions, but in the next breath says he stands by the decisons to replace the USA's in question. Huh? I guess that explains why Alberto is allowing Sampson to stay on the payroll and is - or was - looking for somewhere else to make use of his judgment.

Meanwhile, Tim Griffin is still acting USA in Arkansas, and looks to be able to stay for the near term.

The only thing that helps is knowing that Waxman and Leahy are not letting go of this.

Posted by: Anne | Mar 17, 2007 2:16:57 PM

The United States is a proud nation built on Law. From the encouragement of torture to malfeasance in the administration of the office, A.G. Gonzales has been an embarrassment to our legal traditions. As this sad fiasco unwinds, it is clear that one termination was appropriate, but the firing of the eight was conducted at too low a level. When the indians are better than the chief, it is time to pick a new chief.
I am very hopeful that soon Justice will be served and competency will trump the continued protection of the incompetent.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Mar 19, 2007 7:59:42 PM

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