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Political corruption in the Justice Department?

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irishrosem

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Political corruption in the Justice Department?

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A friend pointed this out to me other day over lunch; I figured it might interest some people here.In the Reauthorization of The Patriot Act last year, a provision was added to the act under "Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions." In Section 502 of these "miscellaneous provisions" the Attorney General was given standing to appoint U.S. Attorneys to fill vacancies indefinitely, thereby avoiding Senate confirmation of these appointments. (Previously these appointments were for a mere 120 days. If the President had not presented a nominee to the Senate for the vacancy, the interim appointment would then fall to the district court.) This added "miscellaneous" provision was largely ignored, if ever even noted, last year. According to reports in December 2006, the Department of Justice contacted between 7-10 U.S. Attorneys asking for their resignations for a date specific in January. Due to 11 previously unfilled U.S. Attorney vacancies that could put the number at 18-21 positions (over 20% of total positions) to be filled by indefinite appointments by the Attorney General, without ever submitting to Senate confirmation. On February 15th Senator Feinstein (CA) addressed this issue on the Senate floor.The question you're asking yourself might be, "who cares?" Well consider that one of those U.S. Attorneys assigned to resign was Carol Lam of San Diego. Lam was responsible for a host of impressive prosecutorial efforts outlined in Feinstein's February 15th Senate speech linked above. These culminated in a corruption probe that landed Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) in federal prison. Or consider the forced resignation of H.E. "Bud" Cummins, U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas who was replaced by ex-Karl Rove-aide and Bush political strategist, Tim Griffin. Essentially what could, and is starting to, happen is the Department of Justice can fire U.S. attorneys who prosecute corrupt politicians and corporations, and indefinitely appoint White House cronies to fill those positions, at least until the end of the Bush reign. According to today's schedule, both the House and the Senate are to hold hearings on this matter "to examine if the Department of Justice is politicizing the hiring and firing of United States attorneys." I know I shouldn't be shocked at this point in the current administration, but aren't you a little stunned?
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Re: Political corruption in the Justice Department?

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Ah, happy times in the soon to be Fourth Reich...I always thought homeland was too close to Vaterland...Regards,M. Graham Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books.For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring,but to him they are but toys of the moment,to be overturned with the flick of a finger. -- Gordon R.Dickson
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George Ricker

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Re: Political corruption in the Justice Department?

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I lost the capacity to be stunned by the antics of this administration long ago. George "Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."Godless in America by George A. Ricker
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Political corruption in the Justice Department?

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I'm still naive enough to be shocked now and again. In all honesty I'm so wanting a decent Democrat to run in 2008, but I'm not feeling very optimistic at this point. Keep in mind that I'm a registered Republican who has never voted out of party.
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would a freethinker vote for the same mistake twice?
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Chris OConnor

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Yes, as long as the freethinker didn't think a mistake was being made.
irishrosem

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According to AP reports, after the Congressional hearings last week, "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged that mistakes were made and accepted responsibility Tuesday for the way eight federal prosecutors were fired." He, however, is standing by the decision to fire the eight attorneys; he just regrets that his office withheld information at the hearings before Congress.Quote:Justice Department officials, led by Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, told lawmakers under oath that the decision to fire eight U.S. attorneys in December was made solely by the Justice Department and said the decision was based on performance, not politics. E-mails released Tuesday, however, revealed that the firings were considered and discussed for two years by Justice Department and White House officials.Seriously, do these people think they can do whatever they want? Where is the respect for their position, for their government, for their constitution? Bunch of flag waving hypocrites!
irishrosem

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Chris: Keep in mind that I'm a registered Republican who has never voted out of party. Wait, does this mean you voted for Bush the second time, in 2004? Say it ain't so, Chris, say it ain't so...
irishrosem

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Now the Washington Post is reporting that Gonzales has changed from "I will not resign" to it's up to the President. Does anyone else get the feeling he's essentially saying: "look buddy your people got me into this mess; you're going have to fire me--I'm not quitting."?I have to say, I am really disappointed and angry. After last week and now this, even the Attorney General's office--the very office charged with prosecuting corruption--seems to be largely corrupt.
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George Ricker

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The saddest part of all of this is that more people are not outraged by it. There may have been a worse president than George W. Bush, though I'm hard-pressed to think of one at the moment, but I doubt there ever has been an administration as corrupt as this one. It reeks from top to bottom.George "Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."Godless in America by George A. Ricker
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