The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Monday, April 30, 2007

AG Signed Memo Allowing Kyle and Monica to Hire and Fire

Waas: AG Signed Memo Allowing Kyle and Monica to Hire and Fire [UPDATED] -- Leahy Responds
by MLDB
Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 02:35:01 PM PDT

Do not pass "Go", do not collect $200...go strictly to impeachment and throw his behind out to the curb.

Earlier today, TPMMuckraker picked apart this little diddy from DoJ lawyers:

"The Justice Department does not, nor has it ever, solicited any information from applicants . . . about their political affiliation or orientation."



Riffing off the well chosen word, "solicited" Paul Kiel write this:

Here's how the hiring process went last year, according to a group of anonymous Justice Department employees who've complained to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees: all candidates selected for an interview had to be cleared by the deputy attorney general's office. The employees were shocked when they sent up a list of 600 names and got back a list of 400. They demanded a meeting with the deputy attorney general's chief of staff, Michael Elston, who coolly informed them that "inappropriate information about them on the Internet" had disqualified a number of applicants. So after the meeting, the employees searched online and found out what had been so inappropriate. Most of the disqualified applicants were Democrats.

When that story broke last week, the Justice Department had the same non-denial denial: ""the department does not solicit any information about applicants' political affiliations or orientation."

But that wasn't the allegation. As the higher-ups at the department know full well, it would be totally inappropriate for the Justice Department to ask an applicant for his/her political affiliation. So they didn't. Instead, a small group of people in the deputy attorney general's office googled every applicant to find the information they'd been unable to solicit.


That is damning in and of itself. But this afternoon we get a slightly bigger piece of the puzzle put into place. We learn who that "small group of people" included courtesy of Murray Waas who reports AG AG "signed a highly confidential order in March 2006 delegating to two of his top aides...extraordinary authority over the hiring and firing of most non-civil-service employees of the Justice Department."

Those delegates? Kyle Sampson and Monica (drinks a takes the fifth) Goodling.

Nothing surprising about the ultimate motives here -- complete and total politicization of the DoJ...but here's the point: Impeach Gonzales...for this:

An original draft of Gonzales's delegation of authority to Sampson and Goodling was so broad that it did not even require the two aides to obtain the final approval of the attorney general before moving to dismiss other department officials, according to records obtained by National Journal.


Get that? All the dirty deeds were to be left to the under-Rove and Regent U homecoming queen. You see, it's not so much AG AG did not recall, but that he wanted to set up the system so that he could not recall hirings and firings.

But, alas, that was even too much for the legal eagles at DoJ:

The department's Office of Legal Counsel feared that such an unconditional delegation of authority was unconstitutional, the documents show. As a result, the original delegation was rewritten so that in its final form the order required "any proposed appointments or removals of personnel" be "presented to the Attorney General... for approval, and each appointment or removal shall be made in the name of the Attorney General."

The senior administration official who had firsthand knowledge of the plan said that Gonzales and other Justice officials had a "clear obligation" to disclose the plan's existence to the House and Senate Judiciary committees -- but the official said that, as far as he knew, they had not done so. When the committees began to inquire into the firings of the U.S. attorneys, the official said, Congress had a right to know that the firings were part of an ambitious effort to install administration loyalists throughout the department. The official spoke on the condition that neither his position nor agency be identified, because he feared retaliation from his superiors and the White House for disclosing aspects of the program.


So there you have it. Gonzales can't recall that he was required to sign off on everything and tell congress about it.

Read the whole damn thing, then call your Reps and Senators and tell them to throw the bum out.

Update [2007-4-30 21:2:7 by MLDB]: From the comments...I don't know if folks have been emailing or if Patrick Leahy is simply paying attention, but we have this from Leahy's office:

It is disturbing to learn that the Attorney General was granting extraordinary and sweeping authority to the same political operatives who were plotting with the White House to dilute our system of checks and balances in the confirmation of U.S. Attorneys.

This development is highly troubling in what it seems to reveal about White House politicization of key appointees in the Department of Justice. The mass firing of U.S. attorneys appeared to be part of a systematic scheme to inject political influence into the hiring and firing decisions of key justice employees. This secret order would seem to be evidence of an effort to hardwire control over law enforcement by White House political operatives.

This memorandum should have been turned over to Senate and House committees as part of requests made in ongoing investigations. I expect the Department of Justice to immediately provide Congress with full information about this troubling decision as well as any other related documents they have failed to turn over to date.


http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/30/17250/1144

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