Oh, my!

The Overblown Personnel Matter started in the White House. Top DoJ officials have already testified to the opposite before Congressional committees.

The Overblown Personnel Matter started in the White House. Drunk with victory after the 2004 elections, Harriet Miers proposed to fire all the U.S. Attorneys. Bush talked to Gonzales about why the U.S. Attorneys weren’t prosecuting “voter fraud” (i.e., voting by Democrats). And yes, the fact that the Patriot Act re-authorization allowed the White House to put its own stooges in as replacements, without having to consult with the Senators from the states in question, was crucial.

Lots of senior people, including the Attorney General, have already stated the opposite in Congressional testimony. The Post reports: “Administration officials say they are braced for a new round of criticism today from lawmakers who may feel misled by recent testimony from Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and William E. Moschella, principal associate deputy attorney general.” Ya think?

Schumer is already threatening to subpoena Rove. And they’ve dumped Kyle Sampson, former White House employee and then Gonzales’s chief of staff, hoping to pin the blame for the false testimony on him. I don’t think it will wash. The rapidly changing stories here remind me of Watergate (that was the Third-Rate Burglary, if you’ve forgotten).

Footnote How perfect is it that the firings were done on Pearl Harbor Day, and that the people being fired weren’t told in advance? Sometimes I think the Bushoids are completely humorless; other times I wonder if they have a sly sense of humor and are laughing at all the suckers.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com