Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Department of Political Justice

I watched almost all of the Monica Goodling testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today. With apologies to William Shakespeare I can sum up what I saw: "Congress's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

First off Monica Goodling came off very well. She is a polite, soft-spoken, albeit misguided political hack of a young woman who seems genuine in her remorse for as she put it "crossing the line" when she used political litmus tests for career DOJ job hiring, a big no-no under the law. She did have a few interesting comments such as saying Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty was not completely accurate (translation: he lied) during his congressional testimony and she said Attorney General Fredo Gonzales was also inaccurate in his statements about the firings of U.S. Attorneys. She said on her way out of Justice when she resigned Fredo Gonzales talked to her about what he thought had gone on there as far as his involvement in the firings. This was after it was known a congressional investigation was underway and this smacks more of trying to coach a witness to get their stories straight rather than an innocent "hey remember when..." conversation. It's more like "hey Monica, remember when all those U.S. Attorneys were fired and I had nothing to do with it but I knew it was all for performance rather than political reasons?" In any event, Goodling didn't bury anyone, although she said McNulty and Fredo were inaccurate in their swore testimony and that Kyle Sampson compiled the firing list. To this day there isn't a person or document from the DOJ that answers the question who made the list, when was it made, when names were placed on it and when names were taken off and for what reasons. But did Democrats ask simple and penetrating yes-no questions in their alloted five minutes each? Nope. It was a an embarrassment not only to the art of cross-examination but to basic english speakers everywhere.

John Conyers and Maxine Waters can barely speak. It's like they were drunk or something. I understand the Republicans praising Ms. Goodling (even though she admitted to breaking the law - ah the joys of use immunity) and wasting the time of the hearing - one congressman Chris Cannon used his five minutes to read into the record a newspaper article about John Murtha's earmark threat to another congressman and that relates to the DOJ investigation how? - but the Democrats are fucking useless. You don't have to be Clarence Darrow to get out a decent question. "So you don't know who drafted the list do you Ms. Goodling?" "And you don't know when David Iglesias the US Attorney in New Mexico was placed on the list do you?" "And you don't have any records of who made recommendations or on what grounds those recommendations were made do you?" "So you can't say with any certainty that some or all of the firings were done to obstruct ongoing investigations into republicans such as Congressman Duke Cunningham better known now as inmate #11789 can you?" The number of questions are endless but the Democrats once again sounded like dull knives. As sharp as marbles. I mean come on. You've got five minutes and you ask a four minute question that doesn't even make sense? In the words of Steve Martin, "Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!" It boggles the mind.

So even though Monica Goodling doesn't really understand, along with the apologist Republicans in Congress and the solid 28% loyal Bushies out in the country, how political considerations of career hirings and firings have deeply damaged the Department of Justice, she did well. She probably has a future talk show on FOX News in the works. No there was no bombshell or smoking gun but the fact that Deputy AG McNulty has already said Goodlings testimony today was wrong shows you the vipers are quickly turning on each other. The damage has been done and it will take a new Attorney General and a new staff at main Justice as well as 93 new US Attorneys to start to repair the damage. What Goodling and the rest don't understand or don't seem to care much about is that when you run the Justice Department like the personal chew toy of the White House you run it into the ground.

P.S. I have more respect now for former AG John Ashcroft and Deputy AG James Comey then I would ever have imagined. Watch this and this and tell me if you aren't embarrassed by the Godfather-like thugs running this government. Government by "sign this" in a hospital room. Boggles the mind even more than the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee.

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Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

When you gain more respect for Ashcroft, you know things have gotten really bad.

11:27 AM  
Blogger For Obama '08 said...

I know what you're saying about Ashcroft, Crankyboy, but ugh, I don't think I have any extra respect for him now.

What I'm really upset about is how the Democratic party establishment has abandoned Cindy Sheehan. She makes the Dems look almost as bad as the Repugs, and in a weird way almost (but not quite) legitimizes Repug claims that she was a tool for the Democratic party. Of course, that wasn't her intent, but she suure feels used!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Another data point for the argument that those in charge of this administration have NO idea what government is for... let alone how to run it.

Time and again; from Iraq to Katrina to DOJ - we see incompetence and outright contempt for the rule of law on display.

The whole lot needs to be put on the slow boat to nowhere.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gone fishin' again, huh?

2:01 PM  

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