It Was Bad Then, but It’s All Good Now!

Over at Talking Points Memo, a few bloggers have found out that there’s an 18-day gap in the 3000 pages of documents that the Justice Department dumped surrounding the US Attorney firing scandal. And then Bush said he’s going to fight any attempts to have his people testify under oath, and asserts this right through executive privilege. Certainly sounds like this administration is hiding a few things, huh?

I wouldn’t worry though. Bush will cave on this because White House Press Secretary seems to know what’s going on and has written an op-ed piece about it. Here are his exact words from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (the headline of the article is “Executive Privilege is a Dodge”):

Evidently, Mr. Bush wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that Team Bush values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public’s faith in Mr. Bush will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold — the rule of law.

OK, so I changed “Clinton” to “Bush,” but those are Tony Snow’s own words almost nine years ago to the day. All credit to a most excellent piece from Glenn Greenwald in yesterday’s I believe the emphasis on the quote above is Greenwald’s. Gotta love the brash arrogance and hypocrisy.

Stacking the Deck

Man, oh man… The GOP just can’t stand a fair fight, can it. Even when it comes to the matter of law, it needs to make sure the judges are “on the right side” so to speak. The emails tell the tale of the latest White House (and/or GOP) scandal, the decision to fire a slew of U.S. Attorneys solely on the basis of their political leanings. Check out the PDF document at that link. The boldness of this plan would’ve astonished me a few years ago. Now, with scandal upon scandal under its collective belt, the Bush Administration isn’t surprising anyone.

It was courteous though, that the Department of Justice noted it wouldn’t be talking to the press about the firings, but that the justices were free to announce their resignations themselves. Gotta keep this quiet, right?

Yes, Big Brother Is Watching

Make no mistake about it, the government is spying on ordinary citizens using the Patriot Act as cover. When the Act was re-enacted last year, Bush waited until all the reporters were gone, then added one of his legendary signing statements, noting that he “did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law’s requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ”impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive’s constitutional duties.” Scary stuff.