Monday, March 12

Schumer Calls on Rove to Testify in DOJ Purge

Following his call for Attorney General Gonzales to resign Senator Chuck Schumer has called for White House Advisor Karl Rove to testify and explain his involvement in the purging of 8 U.S. Attorneys from the Justice Dept.

"The more we learn, the more it seems that people at high levels in the White House have been involved in the U.S. Attorney purge," Schumer said. ... "There’s an emerging pattern that is extremely disturbing and everyday the sanctity of U.S. Attorneys as neutral enforcers of law without fear or favor is diminished," Schumer said. "We will get to bottom of this."

In response to Schumer's statements yesterday - Sen. Lindsey (the Torture Apologist) Graham aka "Huckleberry" claimed that the very fact that Schumer has called for Gonzales to resign means that he won't.

I think the fact that Senator Schumer asked for him to step down means he won’t," claiming that Schumer’s statement "does interject a little politics here."

Graham played down the administration’s purge of U.S. Attorneys, calling it perfectly within President Bush’s authority and merely "poorly handled" and "unseemly." He also repeated Karl Rove’s lie that President Clinton also purged attorneys. "Clinton let them all go when he took over,"

So did Bush, the difference is that he didn't force them out in the middle of his term for political reasons.

Echoing ole' Huckleberry the White House stated ...

"A White House spokesman said yesterday that President Bush dismissed the call for Mr. Gonzales’s resignation. ‘The president...has confidence in the attorney general,’ the spokesman, R. Alexander Conant, said.

Sure, the President has confidence in him to cover his ass like a pair of bike shorts - but should the American people?

And Schumer isn't the only one talking about Gonzales leaving a wee it sooner than '09.

"One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later," said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), in a "scathing criticism" of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s "handling of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys."

Although some Republicans have began talking about Bush's Impeachment with cameras and microphones nearby including Chuck Hagel, with Nancy Pelosi's current blocking of any such move in the House - that issue remains a Non-Starter.

At least for the moment.

Which is all the more reason why the first person who should be Imeached is Alberto Gonzales, and Rove just might be the pathway to get there. From Paul Krugram at the NYT Select

Sources told Newsweek that the list of prosecutors to be fired was drawn up by Mr. Gonzales’s chief of staff, "with input from the White House." And Allen Weh, the chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, told McClatchy News that he twice sought Karl Rove’s help — the first time via a liaison, the second time in person — in getting David Iglesias, the state’s U.S. attorney, fired for failing to indict Democrats. "He’s gone," he claims Mr. Rove said.

After that story hit the wires, Mr. Weh claimed that his conversation with Mr. Rove took place after the decision to fire Mr. Iglesias had already been taken. Even if that’s true, Mr. Rove should have told Mr. Weh that political interference in matters of justice is out of bounds; Mr. Weh’s account of what he said sounds instead like the swaggering of a two-bit thug.

So did the White House deny any of this? Nope.

"The White House acknowledged on Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove served as a conduit for complaints about federal prosecutors as House investigators declared their intention to question him about any role he may have played in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys."

Schumer and Specter aren't the only ones looking for answers - Reps John Conyers (D-MI) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) have some intent questions for Rove about the DOJ firings as well.

And should Gonzales himself be subpoena'd by either the House and Senate and decline to appear as Novakula has hinted.

"I think that the American people lose if I spend all my time worrying about congressional requests for information, if I spend all my time responding to subpoenas."

This would place him in jeopardy of being held in Contempt of Congress, where they'll have no choice but to Impeach Him - if so we'll be off to the races with hour after hour testimony of just how incompetant and mendacious Gonzales (and Bush) have been for the last six years smack dab on tee vee for Joe and Janine Six-pack to absorb into their Fux News adled brains.

I'm bringing popcorn.


Quick Truths

From Thinkprogress

The Pentagon has “begun plotting a fallback strategy for Iraq that includes a gradual withdrawal of forces and a renewed emphasis on training Iraqi fighters” in case the President’s escalation fails. The new strategy is more in line with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and is “based in part on the U.S. experience in El Salvador in the 1980s.”

Salon reports that the military “is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.”

Tourism to the United States has dropped by 17 percent since 2001. “Two-thirds of respondents worried they could be held back at airports because of a mistake in form filling or a misstatement to immigration officials. Half said officials were rude and that they feared them more than the threat of terrorism or crime.”

Some within the White House are calling on President Bush to uphold his pledge to “have the highest of high standards” when it comes to granting pardons. “What you saw was a vice president’s office that was out of control,” a former White House staffer tells Newsweek, arguing against pardoning Scooter Libby.

“A new federal rule intended to keep illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid has instead shut out tens of thousands of United States citizens who have had difficulty complying with requirements to show birth certificates and other documents proving their citizenship.”

Sunday, March 11

Impeach Gonzales Movement Creeps Forward one more Step

with the call from Senator Chuck Shumer for Alberto Gonzales to resign.

Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. Schumer said Gonzales has "been even more political than his predecessor, Attorney General Ashcroft," and that Gonzales "either doesn’t accept or doesn’t understand that he is no longer just the president’s lawyer, but has a higher obligation to the rule of law and the Constitution, even when the president should not want it to be so."

"For the sake of the nation," Schumer said, "Attorney General Gonzales should step down."

But we all know quite well, he's not going to do that right? For the sake of the nation, Alberto Gonzales must be removed!

Similarly, as noted by Kargo X the New York Times has also called for Gonzales to step down, citing the fact the he has continued in his capacity as Attorney General to act as the President's Personal Lawyer - rather than a servant of justice.

A few lowlights from Abu's illustrious carreer as AG.

– Gonzales "repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail."

– Gonzalez "was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way."

– Gonzales "was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it."

– Gonzales "helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture."

– Gonzales "has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers."

– Under Gonzales, the Justice Department "has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff."

– Under Gonzales, the Justice Department "has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters."

Let's also not forget some other Abu Gonzales gems.

He once stated that "Upholding the Constitution was a Grave Threat to the U.S." despite his own oath of Office requiring him to do exactly that, preserve and protect the Constitution.

He claimed his office wasn't aware that an innocent Canadian named Maher Arar had been mistakenly detained at JFK airport after being flagged on a terrorist watch list and deported to Syria where he was tortured

On his watch the FBI has conducted Warrantless Physical Searches of private homes - y'know like the Gestapo.

As White House Counsel, rather than explaining to his client, the President, how to avoid possible prosecution for War Crimes - he advised him on how to commit War Crimes and get away with it.

He has lied to Congress claiming that the Justice Dept, hadn't done a legal analysis of the warrantles domestic surveillance program when it had.

He's threatened to prosecute journalists for reporting the truth, when that truth happens to be embarrising to the Bush Administration (yet, no one seems interested in prosecuting Robert Novak!)

He's fired over a half dozen U.S. Attorney's - all at the same time - either because they wouldn't persue charges against Democrats or they did persue charges against Republicans.

And now we learn that on his watch the FBI has grossly abused the use of National Security Letters to pry and datamine their way into the lives of tens of thousands of private citizens - without any connection to any ongoing investigation what so ever. That information has subsquently been shared with other government agencies, private companies and even some foreign nations.

Asking this guy to step down is like asking Al Capone to turn himself in for the Valentine's Day Massacre. He's going to have to be taken down and it won't be pretty, but it has to be done. He has lied to Congress, permitted and endorsed thousands of Crimes against the American Public as well as War Crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

He's got to go, period. And the sooner the better.