"Potemkin villages were, purportedly, fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787. Conventional wisdom has it that Potemkin, who led the Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress's eyes."America became, in effect, a Potemkin Village of Democracy in January, 2001 when George W. Bush, who had lost the federal Presidential election, was nonetheless appointed to his first term in the White House by five Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices. The scaffolding was up to erect a higher, sturdier facade when Bush was 're-elected' by the 'democratic' process of Diebold voting. This process would more accurately be called demockracy, and should have been called out by the mainstream media - but they were too busy maintaining their own Potemkin Village of Journalism.
Efforts by the administration to create a 'permanent Republican majority' (without regard to the will of the electorate) could just as well be described as a campaign to suspend democracy permanently. Nothing so despicably serves that end as the subversion of the Department of Justice to the aims of the Republican party, even when those aims are in direct conflict with the people of the United States of America. This is not just corruption, but wholesale corruption of the system in order to enable ordinary corruption. Corruption squared, if you will - or perhaps metacorruption.
No-one personifies this process so much as Attorney General Alberto 'Abu' Gonzales.
- Firing Carol Lam in the middle of an investigation into who else was involved with GOP congressman Randy 'Duke' Cunningham in influence peddling. Lam had just "notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe." Carol Lam herself has been pretty taciturn on the circumstances of her dismissal - not so Josh Marshall, with this excellent post.
- Firing David Iglesias for NOT harassing Democratic candidates before the November elections.
- Firing H. E. Cummings in order to replace him with Karl Rove aide and designated GOP hitman J. Timothy Griffin.
- And why was John McKay fired, again? "A Democratic candidate won Washington state's 2004 gubernatorial race by just a couple of hundred votes. McKay didn't call a grand jury to investigate questions of voter fraud, and he heard about it when he sought a promotion."
Gonzales lied to congress repeatedly about the reasoning and process behind these dismissals, lies that were immediately and irrefutably exposed. In fact he has been a baldfaced liar from his confirmation on, and was called on it by Russ Feingold over a year ago. This is the guy appointed to uphold the sanctity of the law? WTF!?! Impeaching and convicting him for serial perjury would be a slam dunk except for the unmitigated partisanship of GOP senators and congresscritters. In fact, Stephen Crockett of Consortium News just espoused a theme I have advanced a number of times in past comments - that the entire Republican party is a criminal conspiracy as defined by the RICO statutes. Don't get me started on the likes of Arlen Specter or the execrable Orrin Hatch.
While Gonzales is certainly the point man in this perversion of the justice system he is not the main actor. As in the Libby case, all the documents point to the Cheney-Rove connection being the key. And like Libby, Gonzo runs the ever-increasing risk of being thrown to the wolves as a sacrifice if either of these principal players is threatened. Once again Josh Marshall comes through with the key statement,
"This isn't a case where Alberto Gonzales has fallen short of the president's standards or bungled some process. This is the standard. The Attorney General has done and is doing precisely what is expected of him... the president is fine with all of this. Fine with the fact that the Attorney General has not only repeatedly lied to the public but has also been exposed as repeatedly lying to the public. He's fine with at least two US Attorneys being fired for not giving in to pressure to file bogus charges to help Republican candidates.Gonzo took this job with the expectation he would emerge as the Mayor of Bush's Potemkin village of shame. More and more he is looking like just another village idiot.
Of course he's fine with it. Because it comes from him. None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows."
One last thing, on the subject of the White House's declaration that they will 'stonewall' the Congressional subpoenas directed at insiders like KKKarl Rove and Harriet Miers. Pundits in the MSM will hammer on this as a 'constitutional crisis.' I don't buy that for an instant. A constitutional crisis would exist if Congress didn't confront the White House. Congressional oversight, examination of the administration's actions, and legal repercussions are what the Constitution expects and demands in these circumstances.
TAGS: Department of Justice, Potemkin Village, Alberto Gonzales