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Old 04-19-2007, 04:03 PM   #46
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Midterm U.S. Attorney Firings Rare

ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 19, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The controversy over the Bush administration's firings of eight U.S. attorneys in late 2006 and early 2007 has raised questions about how past Presidents have dealt with replacements of federal prosecutors during their tenures.

Bush's team has defended the dismissals in part by noting that both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton replaced all 93 U.S. attorneys -- who are Presidential appointees -- at the start of their administrations, as is standard practice. However, midterm firings of multiple U.S. attorneys are unusual, as one of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former top aides told White House and Justice Department officials in a private memo as he planned the ousters. Before the Bush administration, the Congressional Research Service found just 5 instances over 25 years in which U.S. attorneys were fired or resigned in the middle of a presidential term and before their 4-year tenures were up following reports of questionable conduct.

A Reagan-era prosecutor was fired and later convicted in federal court in connection with charges that he leaked confidential information. A Clinton appointee resigned over allegations he bit a topless dancer on the arm during a visit to an adult club following a loss in a big drug case. Another Clinton-appointed U.S. attorney resigned after being videotaped assaulting a TV reporter who was questioning him about recent decisions by his office.

There have been no allegations of such misconduct by any of the eight prosecutors forced out by Bush. Democrats charge that they were fired for political reasons. There is evidence that Bush's team was considering disloyalty to the president as a criterion for replacements. As he planned the ousters, Gonzales' aide noted that the vast majority of federal prosectors were ''loyal Bushies.''
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Old 04-21-2007, 11:10 AM   #47
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you know, it's really very simple.

it doesn't matter if you're competent; if Dubya likes you, then that's all that matters.

[q]Gonzo's show a train wreck, but W likes him

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BY JAMES GORDON MEEKand THOMAS M. DeFRANK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Saturday, April 21st 2007, 4:00 AM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Print Email Suggest a Story
WASHINGTON - Alberto Gonzales' bumbling congressional testimony provoked quiet moans from the White House, but President Bush yesterday remained committed to his beleaguered attorney general.

"They were unhappy with his performance and embarrassed by it," said a Republican source with West Wing ties, "but for the moment, they're hanging in there, and he might survive."

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), third-ranking House Republican, told CNN it was time for Gonzales to quit, a view also held by many Republican senators.

But deputy press secretary Dana Perino said Bush called Gonzales after returning from a trip to Ohio on Thursday in a fresh show of support for his longtime Texas friend.

"The attorney general continues to have the President's full confidence," Perino said. "He has done a fantastic job at the Department of Justice. He is our No. 1 crimefighter."

For a witness who claimed to have prepared intensively for Thursday's Senate hearing over fired U.S. attorneys, Gonzales had usually loyal Republicans sputtering over his evasiveness, memory loss and generally lame showing.

"It was awful," one top GOP source complained. "About the worst I've ever seen."

A colleague who often confers with the White House added, "He was inept, pathetic."

Justice Department officials taking the glass-half-full view wouldn't call their boss' showing a total fiasco, but "nobody's running around saying, 'We're safe,' either," an insider said.

Some Gonzales aides were relieved there was no smoking gun or gotcha moment, but "obviously it didn't go well," the source said, specifically citing the AG's damaging admission that he consulted with Bush political architect Karl Rove.

Despite Bush's embrace, Gonzales' future appears to hinge on whether key GOP senators who believe he has shredded his credibility go beyond the public spanking they gave him Thursday and demand his resignation.

A leading critic, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), noted that while Gonzales' ability to run the Justice Department has been "severely undercut," he won't demand his scalp because "that is a decision for the President."

[/q]


loyalty is the most desireable quality.

heckuva job, Gonzo.
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Old 04-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #48
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Well that makes sense.

If he was competent, he wouldn't fit in with this administration.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:35 PM   #49
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The Daily Show rocks

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/0...call-gonzales/
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:16 PM   #50
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McCain: Gonzales should resign

GREENVILLE, S.C. Republican presidential contender John McCain says Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should leave because of the growing furor over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
McCain said this morning in Greenville that the most loyal thing Gonzales could do for Bush would be to step down.

The Arizona Republican told C-N-N in a report aired last night that he was disappointed with Gonzales and the attorney general should step down.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:05 AM   #51
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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (AP) -- A small group of student protesters, including one wearing a black hood and an orange jumpsuit, heckled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as he posed with old classmates Saturday during their 25-year Harvard Law School reunion.

"When the photographer was getting everybody set up and having people say 'cheese,' the protesters yelled: 'say torture, instead,' 'resign' and 'I don't recall,"' said Nate Ela, a protester and third-year student.

Law school spokesman Mike Armini said the impromptu protest was so small that some of those attending the photo shoot did not notice it.

Ela said the protesters followed Gonzales into the law school's library, chanting "shame" and "resign," before the attorney general's security detail took him to his motorcade.

Gonzales was at the university to deliver a lunchtime speech, a visit that was unannounced to students. But word spread quickly after his motorcade and security detail were spotted.

"The departure was clearly undignified," said Thomas Becker, a second-year law student who wore the black hood and orange jumpsuit during the protest. "He looked really annoyed."

A Department of Justice spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:19 PM   #52
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[q]Bush Intervened in Dispute Over N.S.A. Eavesdropping

By DAVID JOHNSTON
WASHINGTON, May 15 — President Bush intervened in March 2004 to avert a crisis over the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program after Attorney General John Ashcroft, Director Robert S. Mueller III of the F.B.I. and other senior Justice Department aides all threatened to resign, a former deputy attorney general testified Tuesday.

Mr. Bush quelled the revolt over the program’s legality by allowing it to continue without Justice Department approval, also directing department officials to take the necessary steps to bring it into compliance with the law, according to Congressional testimony by the former deputy attorney general, James B. Comey.

Although a conflict over the program had been disclosed in The New York Times, Mr. Comey provided a fuller account of the 48-hour drama, including, for the first time, Mr. Bush’s role, the threatened resignations and a race as Mr. Comey hurried to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital sickbed to intercept White House officials, who were pushing for approval of the N.S.A. program.

Describing the events as “the most difficult of my professional career,” Mr. Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of its inquiry into the dismissal of federal prosecutors and the role of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. Several lawmakers wanted to examine Mr. Gonzales’s actions in the N.S.A. matter, when he was White House counsel, and cited them to buttress their case that he should resign.

Mr. Comey, the former No. 2 official in the Justice Department, said the crisis began when he refused to sign a presidential order reauthorizing the program, which allowed monitoring of international telephone calls and e-mail of people inside the United States who were suspected of having terrorist ties. He said he made his decision after the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, based on an extensive review, concluded that the program did not comply with the law. At the time, Mr. Comey was acting attorney general because Mr. Ashcroft had been hospitalized for emergency gall bladder surgery.

Mr. Comey would not describe the rationale for his refusal to approve the eavesdropping program, citing its classified nature. The N.S.A. program, which began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks and did not require court approval to listen in on the communications of Americans and others, provoked an outcry in Congress when it was disclosed in December 2005.

Mr. Comey said that on the evening of March 10, 2004, Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., then Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, tried to bypass him by secretly visiting Mr. Ashcroft. Mr. Ashcroft was extremely ill and disoriented, Mr. Comey said, and his wife had forbidden any visitors.

Mr. Comey said that when a top aide to Mr. Ashcroft alerted him about the pending visit, he ordered his driver to rush him to George Washington University Hospital with emergency lights flashing and a siren blaring, to intercept the pair. They were seeking his signature because authority for the program was to expire the next day.


Mr. Comey said he phoned Mr. Mueller, who agreed to meet him at the hospital. Once there, Mr. Comey said he “literally ran up the stairs.” At his request, Mr. Mueller ordered the F.B.I. agents on Mr. Ashcroft’s security detail not to evict Mr. Comey from the room if Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card objected to his presence.

Mr. Comey said he arrived first in the darkened room, in time to brief Mr. Ashcroft, who he said seemed barely conscious. Before Mr. Ashcroft became ill, Mr. Comey said the two men had talked and agreed that the program should not be renewed.

When the White House officials appeared minutes later, Mr. Gonzales began to explain to Mr. Ashcroft why they were there. Mr. Comey said Mr. Ashcroft rose weakly from his hospital bed, but in strong and unequivocal terms, refused to approve the eavesdropping program.

“I was angry,” Mr. Comey told the committee. “ I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me. I thought he had conducted himself in a way that demonstrated a strength I had never seen before, but still I thought it was improper.”

Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card quickly departed, but Mr. Comey said he soon got an angry phone call from Mr. Card, demanding that he come to the White House. Mr. Comey said he replied: “After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States.”

Mr. Comey said he reached Theodore B. Olson, the solicitor general, at a dinner party. At the White House session, which included Mr. Olson, Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Comey and Mr. Card, the four officials discussed the impasse. Mr. Comey knew that other top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, wanted to continue the program.

Mr. Card expressed concern about mass resignations at the Justice Department, Mr. Comey said. He told the Senate panel that he prepared a letter of resignation and that David Ayres, Mr. Ashcroft’s chief of staff, asked him to delay delivering it so that Mr. Ashcroft could join him. Mr. Comey said Mr. Mueller was also prepared to quit.

The next morning, March 11, Mr. Comey went to the White House for a terrorism briefing. Afterward, he said Mr. Bush took him aside for a private 15-minute meeting in the president’s study, which Mr. Comey described as a “full exchange.”

At Mr. Comey’s urging, Mr. Bush also met with Mr. Mueller, who emerged to inform Mr. Comey that the president had authorized the changes in the program sought by the Justice Department.

“We had the president’s direction to do what we believed, what the Justice Department believed, was necessary to put this on a footing where we could certify to its legality,” Mr. Comey said. “And so we set out to do that and we did that.”

Mr. Comey said he signed the reauthorization in “two or three weeks.” It was unclear from his testimony what authority existed for the program while the changes were being made. Mr. Comey said he shelved his resignation plans that day when terrorists set off bombs on commuter trains in Madrid.

Mr. Comey left the Justice Department in August 2006, saying publicly that he had never intended to serve through the end of Mr. Bush’s second term. Privately, he has told friends that he grew weary of what he felt was increasing White House influence on the agency.[/q]




i mean, honestly, do these men have absolutely no shame? not even a little bit?

this is nearly unbelievable, it's so TV movie, i could only believe that the Bushies were capable of such a thing. only the Bushies, who have no respect for the rule of law and who see no reason for any sort of Congressional oversight or consultation.

and this was JOHN FUCKING ASHCROFT. do AG's come any more conservative? i suppose Gonzales, but that might give him too much credit for having a thought in his brain that hasn't come directly from Dear Leader Bush himself.

they do what they want. a dictatorship would be so much easier, especially when JOHN FUCKING ASHCROFT isn't conservative enough for you.

amazing.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:54 AM   #53
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I spent much of the afternoon extremely pissed off after reading about this, Irvine. This is the kind of villainy that should ruin political careers, and yet they carry on.

Comey's testimony is absolutely damning and should be front page news/headlines in every major news outlet, but it's not. The absolutely contempt this administration has for due process, the rule of law, and, in general, the very foundations upon which our country was built, is simply astonishing.

How fucking crooked do you have to be illegally authorize the continuation of a program that your own lawyers said (in so many words) is illegal??

from the Washington Post article on the same subject:
Quote:
That Mr. Gonzales is now in charge of the department he tried to steamroll may be most disturbing of all.
Indeed.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:32 AM   #54
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It's time for this guy to go. He can't run the Justice Department with Republicans on his case to quit.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:48 AM   #55
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Originally posted by Diemen
I spent much of the afternoon extremely pissed off after reading about this, Irvine. This is the kind of villainy that should ruin political careers, and yet they carry on.

Comey's testimony is absolutely damning and should be front page news/headlines in every major news outlet, but it's not. The absolutely contempt this administration has for due process, the rule of law, and, in general, the very foundations upon which our country was built, is simply astonishing.

How fucking crooked do you have to be illegally authorize the continuation of a program that your own lawyers said (in so many words) is illegal??

from the Washington Post article on the same subject:


Indeed.


waht i'm wondering is how these people still have jobs. seriously. there's no process to remove them? only the president can do that, right? are his approval ratings so low, he's in a second term, that whatever political damage a drooling toady like Gonzales might bring to the administration all comes out in the wash?

i did see Schumer, in the studio, on CNN this morning whilst flailing on the treadmill (the beach beckons, only a month away), recounting the gory details, and it was on Anderson Cooper last night ... but it continues to boggle the mind.

we're going to spend the next 20 years trying to undo the damage that's been done over the past 7.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:37 AM   #56
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An author on Spiegel Online speculated that Gonzales might know some uncomfortable things since he was responsible to create the legal basis for Bush's invasion into Iraq, secrep prisons, Guantanamo and so on. So maybe he has something in the backhand which keeps him from being fired.

On the other hand, thinking of how long it took to get rid of Rumsfeld, and now experienced with Wolfowitz, it seems that Bush just doesn't sack his people, doesn't matter what they did or how corrupt they are.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:08 AM   #57
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega
On the other hand, thinking of how long it took to get rid of Rumsfeld, and now experienced with Wolfowitz, it seems that Bush just doesn't sack his people, doesn't matter what they did or how corrupt they are.


that's really true. loyalty is more important than ability.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #58
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Well, someone should tell him that this is not a question of loyalty.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:25 AM   #59
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Well, someone should tell him that this is not a question of loyalty.


for Bush, everything is a question of loyalty.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:32 AM   #60
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So depressing. Not much longer with these people. Too bad the damage has been done.

What bugs me is the thought that nothing will really change much with new leadership. Maybe they won't be as corrupt when it comes to our civil rights, but they'll be corrupt in other areas.

I will agree that anything is better than dubya...except for maybe J. Bush.
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