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Rose Marie Woods Redux: An Eighteen Day Gap

not just corrupt, incredibly incompetent

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

I want to roll a bit in the muck of the latest Bush scandal, the attempted utilization of the federal prosecutor system to protect corrupt Republicans and nail straying Democrats regardless of proportionate crime. It seems, as it develops, that the GOP was really interested in making lots of arrests and getting lots of convictions for things like illegal immigration so that they could pad their crime statistics with success for coming elections. And, since deporting the guilty doesn’t prevent them coming back, it doesn’t really hurt the large companies who employ them, generally run by those who support the GOP. So, it was a real win-win if the prosecutors could be steered in that direction, or towards election fraud in black districts, because they could arrest a lot of people and pretend to be tough on crime while avoiding the actual criminals themselves, who are often the Republican base.

Except, there were these annoyingly ethical Republican federal prosecutors, liberal and conservative, who thought that a waste of public money, trust, and benefit, and insisted on prosecuting corrupt officials, not surprisingly mostly Republican because of election victories since the 1990’s. And they did. And when the prosecutors’ terms were up, many of them were not reappointed, and despite great job performance ratings, were told they hadn’t met the high standards of service Bush demanded. Some of their replacements were barely qualified to be note takers, but they were loyal Bushies, this being the actual words of their superiors. That was the one needed qualification. For federal prosecutors. This isn't a huge compass heading from the military swearing oaths to a man, not a constitution.

Since the GOP had slipped a line item into the Patriot Act allowing new prosecutors to be named without normal Senate approval, Rove had obviously looked ahead in his preparations. If anyone objected, the administration could say that if Congress and the people they represent become involved, the terrorists win. After all, that had worked before.

Somehow, this went over like a pregnant pole-vaulter with the new Democratic Congress and remaining GOP members, and this week the Senate reversed that and retook their constitutional power, and the Michael Browns slated to become prosecutors will have to face a truly angry Senate, which also wants to get testimony about what seems to have been a plan to subvert Congress.

The Bushies are in damage control, which is compassionate and effusive by their standards. They gave Congress the finger and said there would be no testimony whatsoever – and because the media misuses words, it’s important to recall that it’s only testimony if its under oath – and they’d fight to prevent Bush associates from having to tell the truth or face punishment when queried by the people’s representatives. Rather, they could visit in private with Rove and Harriet Miers, and Bush told Congress and us to be happy with all of the 3000 emails and other detritus of communication he dumped upon the media Monday.

Although the email document dump was intended to overwhelm the reporters, once on the WEB the world was on it. A blogger at Talking Points Memo and another at the Politico have vectored right in on another scandal, this one quite serious. From Politico:

“In DOJ documents that were publicly posted by the House Judiciary Committee, there is a gap from mid-November to early December in e-mails and other memos, which was a critical period as the White House and Justice Department reviewed, then approved, which U.S. attorneys would be fired while also developing a political and communications strategy for countering any fallout from the firings.”

The last email of November 15 ends with "Who will determine if this requires the President's attention?" The plan attached to the email says to begin making calls on November 15 with a note to notify Karl Rove.

The next email, eighteen days later, from William Kelley, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel, apparently reflects the necessary calls had been made, for he says: "We're a go for the US atty plan. WH leg, political, and communications have signed off and acknowledged that we will have to be committed to following through once the pressure comes." And the pressure has come.

This morning, on the heels of the 18 Day Gap, the House approved subpoenas less than 24 hours after Bush described the move for his aides’ testimony as "a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants…..It will be regrettable if they choose to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials….” This, from a Republican. This from Bush, who recently admitted he’d lied when he told us Rumsfeld would stay.

Bush justly fears his people under oath in public. They might tell the truth.