Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stonewall Jackass Rides Again

(Custom-made pic courtesy of the ever-incredible Alicia.)

To paraphrase John Lennon, Leahy is what gets in the way when you’re making other plans.

Try this on for size: George Bush threatening the Democrats if they insist on making Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and others testify before Congress under oath. Bush called it “a partisan fishing expedition.”

Now, that one statement alone has more ironies sticking out of it than a $50 Swiss Army knife has gadgets.

Let’s just ignore for the time being all the unflattering connotations associated with Bush and angling so I can address the more serious partisan angling and backlashing that started Gonzogate to begin with:

At the start of Bush’s second term, with the midterm elections less than two years away and getting dimmer by the second, the story goes that then WH counsel Harriet Miers wanted to fire all 93 US attorneys but the DOJ resisted. Finally, the WH, largely through Rove, decided to shitcan eight attorneys who either prosecuted Republicans (Carol Lam, whose job was largely done for her when Duke Cunningham pled guilty to bribery charges) or weren’t putting Democrats behind bars fast enough (or, say, just to pull a date out of a hat, by November 7, 2006).

Now General Stonewall Jackass is telling both Judiciary committees that they must agree to subvert the rules of their committees by not making Rove and Co. testify under oath or conduct the hearings openly and for their coffee klatch to not be recorded for posterity. Oh, and be grateful we’re giving you 100 pages of redacted documents. Take it or leave it and lick me, peasants.

Justifiably, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy is giving the White House back the “Fuck you” he got from Dick Halliburton almost three years ago, even though John Conyers, his counterpart in the lower chamber, is still struggling to get out from under Nancy Pelosi’s ass. The lower chamber’s already voted to allow the subpoenas and the Senate is sure to follow.

Yet, as the nervous wingnuts on the seedy side of the tracks keep screaming at us, US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, four year terms are common and the President can fire them at will whenever he wants (all of which, of course, is absolutely true.). Nothing illegal was done.

Right. Go on home, nothing to see here, folks.

So why the insistence on giving Rove, Miers, et al what amounts to pre-emptive immunity from perjury charges, forcing Chairmen Conyers and Leahy to subpoena them? What does Bush think the Judiciary Committees are, the 9/11 Commission?

And where was this fetish for secrecy and protecting federal employees when his own inner circle was busy scuttling around outing Valerie Plame to Bob Novak?

And if there was no partisan fishing expedition going on while they were whittling the shit list down from 93 to 8, how come one of the vacated positions went to a former aide to Karl Rove, whom we know orchestrated this purge from the shadows of the west wing (see Oath, Don’t You Dare Put Him Under)?

And since the GOP-led Senate late last year snuck in language allowing Bush to bypass Senate approval in making these “interim” appointments, how many Republicans saw this night of long knives coming? What did Arlen Specter and his henchmen know and how long ago did they know it?

And speaking of Specter and his wall of noise, I trust that none of my readers are fooled by his posturing as the Great Mediator by advancing a compromise in which WH aides still wouldn’t have to be placed under oath. This is an instance in which compromise is not an option because any conciliation would be a subversion of parliamentary procedure.

Even after all the evils perpetuated on this country by Nixon and Reagan, even they waived executive privilege. Bush clearly has no intention of doing any such thing. He’s archly and defiantly standing with swords crossed in front of his chest, guarding that closet door that surely contains more skeletons than Arlington National Cemetery.

It boggles the mind what he’s hiding, at what was redacted from those hundred pages of documents. And the longer Bush stands in front of that door, the livelier will get Congressional and public interest.

And as much as I’m gratified by it, I’m still at a loss to explain why the MSM chose to give this story legs (US attorneys getting fired for purposes of political partisanship and who’d ever guess the 100% Republican executive branch would ever be guilty of that?) while shrugging its shoulders at other stories and scandals. Stories such as Bush funding Sunni insurgent groups to the detriment of our Shi’ite allies in Iraq, money that could’ve possibly been stolen and illegally diverted from Iraq’s reconstruction funds, funds that came from their oil revenue.

And even as far as the press has taken this, it still irks me that they’re treating Bush’s position as if it’s a bland “constitutional challenge”, as if his stubborn refusal to come clean with the facts is on an equally high moral ground as Congress’s stance.

The US attorney scandal is serious and ought to be investigated, sure. But the MSM and Congress needs to make as much noise and expend as much energies getting to the bottom of why and how we’re subverting an already illegitimate mission in Iraq, at how the administration is laying the foundation of an equally illegitimate one in Iran and the severe abuses of our Constitution and our civil liberties.

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