Peace Hugs

Kate Anne, communikating on multi-levels -- personal and political, as well as for peace, justice and nonviolence

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Investigate Political Firing of U.S. Attorneys

Adam Cohen has featured a news story in his NY Times editorial which we cannot afford to bury, that U.S. attorneys are being fired by the Bush administration to allow cronies to be appointed as replacements by the Bushites, thanks to a little known provision in the Patriot Act. Liberal radio is talking about it, Senator Chuck Schumer is on it, but we have to spread the news and demand action. Otherwise the Bushites will purge those who would prosecute them for all of their criminal activitities. Read the story by clicking the title link above, but here is the beginning:

Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics
by Adam Cohen

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 hard to call what’s happening anything other than a political purge. And it’s another shameful example of how in the Bush administration, everything — from rebuilding a hurricane-ravaged city to allocating homeland security dollars to invading Iraq — is sacrificed to partisan politics and winning elections.

U.S. attorneys have enormous power. Their decision to investigate or indict can bankrupt a business or destroy a life. They must be, and long have been, insulated from political pressures. Although appointed by the president, once in office they are almost never asked to leave until a new president is elected. The Congressional Research Service has confirmed how unprecedented these firings are. It found that of 486 U.S. attorneys confirmed since 1981, perhaps no more than three were forced out in similar ways — three in 25 years, compared with seven in recent months. MORE

On a personal note: My move looms but politics and political action must be allowed a little time.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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