Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bush loyalists: Blame firings on Clinton
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If it achieves nothing else, the Bush administration’s solitary
contribution to the art of governance may be its creative use of what TV
comic Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness.” Mostly, Colbert remains in
character as a blowhard FOX News-style pundit. But he once gave a
serious interview.. “Truthiness,” Colbert said, “is tearing apart our
country.... It used to be everyone was entitled to their own opinion,
but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter
not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty. People love the
president because he’s certain of his choices as a leader; even if the
facts that back him up don’t seem to exist.... What is important? What
you want to be true or what is true?” The dude must be reading my
e-mail. Scarcely a day passes without “conservative” screeds accusing me
of irrational hatred for our peerless leader, most couched in sheer
truthiness: half-truths, pseudo-facts and downright buncombe. It’s the
sameness that’s striking. Most repeat the same bogus arguments in near
identical order.

Consider the Bush White House’s purge of U.S. attorneys. Without
exception, loyalists identify the real culprit: Bill Clinton. It’s an
alibi familiar to the parents of small children. Catch little Johnny in
the cookie jar? “What about Suzy?” he’ll whine.

“In March of 1993,” an editorialist rationalizes, “Bill Clinton’s newly
sworn in attorney general—Janet Reno—fired every single U.S. attorney in
the country, all 93 of them, in the opening salvo of the Clinton
years... the most comprehensive, unmistakable, unprecedented and
politically motivated dismissal of federal prosecutors in American

Except for all the others, that is. Fact is, incoming administrations
routinely replace all U.S. attorneys; Ronald Reagan, Clinton and the
current President Bush did so.

Even the first President Bush replaced Reagan’s prosecutors, although
they were both Republicans. Nominating U.S. attorneys is as much a
perquisite of winning the White House as naming the treasury secretary.

The GOP “Culture of Bamboozlement,” as my pal Bob Somerby of “The Daily
Howler” calls it, functions very efficiently. Whether a given bit of
truthiness originates with the Republican National Committee, FOX News,
The Washington Times or Rush Limbaugh matters little. They repeat it
until True Believers can recite it in their sleep.

So here are the differences. First, Clinton’s choices were nominated at
the beginning of his term, pending approval by each state’s senators and
confirmation by the full Senate. The Bush firings came six years after
his election. They followed a little-noticed clause in the revamped
Patriot Act allowing the president to circumvent Senate confirmation in
an “emergency.” (Funny, I don’t hear sirens.) That clause is being
repealed as I write.

Consulting the Senate tended to prevent overtly partisan actions like
replacing Little Rock U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins with one Timothy
Griffin, a Karl Rove apparatchik with scant qualifications. Arkansas’
relatively conservative Democratic senators, Mark Pryor and Blanche
Lincoln, have made it clear that they wouldn’t go along.

A Republican, Cummins has testified that he was warned not to complain,
lest the bamboozlement machine be turned against him.

Former Clinton Attorney General Reno also never testified falsely to
Congress, unlike Alberto Gonzales, who told the Senate, “I would never,
ever make a change in a United States attorney position for political
reasons or if it would, in any way, jeopardize an ongoing serious

Gonzales stands contradicted by his email exchanges with subordinates,
who’d given similarly disingenuous assurances. Lying to Congress can
sometimes be a crime. It’s always politically debilitating.

San Diego U. S. Attorney Carol Lam, who had convicted one Republican
congressman in a bribery scandal, subpoenaed another and indicted one
Dusty Foggo, the Bush-appointed third-in command at the CIA, was one of
those fired. E-mails passed between the Justice Department and the White
House about “the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam” —on the
same day she filed search warrants. Now we learn that Chicago U.S.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, recipient of Attorney General John
Ashcroft’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2002, got rated “not
distinguished” in 2005 when he had Scooter Libby and Karl Rove under
scrutiny in the Valerie Plame investigation. After Fitzgerald convicted
Libby, another example of GOP truthiness got exposed. How many times
have you heard somebody alibi that Plame was not a covert CIA agent, so
exposing her identity was no crime? Last week she testified to Congress
that she was a covert agent. Plame did, however, admit to being a


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