Monday, February 26, 2007

Political purges: Bush and the AGs

A Democratic senator with a subarachnoid hemorrhage is still alive. His survival means a Bush neo-Stalinist (without the bloodshed)Nixonian purge may be thwarted:
Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics - New York Times

Carol Lam, the former United States attorney for San Diego, is smart and tireless and was very good at her job. Her investigation of Representative Randy Cunningham resulted in a guilty plea for taking more than $2 million in bribes from defense contractors and a sentence of more than eight years. Two weeks ago, she indicted Kyle Dustin Foggo, the former No. 3 official in the C.I.A. The defense-contracting scandal she pursued so vigorously could yet drag in other politicians.

In many Justice Departments, her record would have won her awards, and perhaps a promotion to a top post in Washington. In the Bush Justice Department, it got her fired.

Ms. Lam is one of at least seven United States attorneys fired recently under questionable circumstances. The Justice Department is claiming that Ms. Lam and other well-regarded prosecutors like John McKay of Seattle, David Iglesias of New Mexico, Daniel Bogden of Nevada and Paul Charlton of Arizona — who all received strong job evaluations — performed inadequately.

... It is not just the large numbers. The firing of H. E. Cummins III is raising as many questions as Ms. Lam’s. Mr. Cummins, one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas, is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. But he was forced out to make room for J. Timothy Griffin, a former Karl Rove deputy with thin legal experience who did opposition research for the Republican National Committee.

...Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, held a tough hearing. And he is now talking about calling on the fired U.S. attorneys to testify and subpoenaing their performance evaluations — both good ideas.
Ahh. The last sentence tells the story. We teeter on the razor edge of history, governed by one of the most malign collection of incompetents ever to afflict the Republic. It is the razor thin Democrat majority in the Senate that keeps us afloat. Leiberman could tip us into the abyss any day he chooses...

BTW, this story was broken in the blogs weeks ago...

Update: I realized neo-Stalinist was jumping the shark, but I'll stand by neo-Nixonian.

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