Or, Why the Disinformation from the Justice Dept and White House on Their Plans to Fire Local Attorney Generals
Apparently, the Bush crowd prevaricates out of mere force of habit. Its members, especially its leaders, can’t seem to bring themselves to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even when it is entirely pointless to mislead.
In the most recent instance, Bush was free to fire any (or even all) the attorneys that work for the Justice Department. It may have been highly unusual to do so, extremely wasteful, basically slimy and partisan motivated. But, it was legal. Such attorneys serve at the whim of Presidents, wilful or not, and can be canned, no matter how good they are. The reason behind such a firing is legally irrelevant (unless it is motivated by one of a very small list of expressly banned reasons such as firing them because of their sex or religion).
Thanks to an odious clause the Republicans snuck in the so-called “Patriot Act,” Bush no longer even has to let the replacement appointees be reviewed by Congress. Consequently, he can initially put in top notch lawyers for “show” purposes and then quietly replace them later with the party hacks and zealots of which he is so fond. Or, he could put in hacks and zealots from the start. Either way, it’s perfectly legal. Stupidly legal, but legal.
Moreover, tradition has long held that when new Presidents arrive, they get to have their own party members heading the various offices. Granted, Bush was trying something new with the late term “blanket” replacements and granted there have also been matching traditions that you try to get the best lawyers available for the job and that you should try to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Those all go to help insure perceived fairness of the Department. Nevertheless, since it was only a “tradition,” Bush was free to stomp all over it and thumb his nose at the entire country and legal profession. It was legal to do so.
Why then did Bush and his boys apparently elect to lie about it? They got caught wilfully misrepresenting the reasons behind the firings. They also got caught misrepresenting the extent of the White House’s involvement. They ended up essentially lying to Congress, to the Press and to the People. They seem to be still playing “spin” or possibly outright lying further about the coverup.
Why when all they had to do was announce their usual “UP YOURS!” and proceed to do what they wanted? Unlike the searches without warrants, the violations of habeas corpus, the torturings and the other actual criminal acts for which they will hopefully have to pay in court, it was legal to do what they wanted in this instance. Yet, for some reason, they deliberately strategized in secret to mislead and deceive despite the fact that it would cost them little or no harm to be honest for once.
There is a lesson here for the rest of us. When anyone is found to be lying about even such little things, it strongly suggests they are probably lying on all the big things too, (not to mention operating our government at a level of incompetence that is truly mind boggling). Therefore, the next time a Republican tells you the sun will appear in the East in the morning, perhaps you should check an astronomical table before you rely on it and, while you’re at it, check your wallet too.