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The Dysfunctional Justice Department

Reuters is reporting on the extreme politicization of the Justice Department under discredited Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

Not since the Watergate scandal more than 30 years ago has the U.S. Justice Department been as politicized as under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, current and former officials said.

They said the department's integrity has been damaged, employee morale has been hurt and Gonzales' relations with the Democratic-controlled Congress have deteriorated beyond repair in a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers, including some Republicans.

Career civil servants in the Justice Department don't have kind words for the Attorney General:

Daniel Metcalfe, who resigned in January after serving as head of the department's Office of Information and Privacy since 1981, said Gonzales, the nation's highest-ranking Hispanic official, has become an embarrassment.

"Gonzales has shattered the Justice Department's tradition of independence and has politicized its operations more than any other attorney general since the Watergate era," said Metcalfe, who began working at the agency in 1971.

John Koppel, a civil appellate attorney at the department since 1981, said last month in The Denver Post that the agency and the government have been thoroughly politicized. He called it "a national disgrace of a magnitude unseen since the days of Watergate."

Koppel wrote, "It is especially unheard of for U.S. attorneys to be targeted and removed on the basis of pressure and complaints from political figures dissatisfied with their handling of politically sensitive investigations and their unwillingness to 'play ball'."

Crooks and Liars has a post about how FBI Director Robert Mueller's notes have exposed yet another bald-faced lie that the Attorney General has committed.

The President is singularly unconcerned about the deterioration of morale at the Justice Department and the dismantling of its long heritage of independence. By refusing to address the stark issues of integrity and competence that are painfully obvious every time Gonzales provides more tortuous, confusing and deceptive testimony before Congress he is only maximizing the political damage to himself and the Republican Party.

Post-election polls indicated that the issue of corruption was critical in the Democrat's landslide victory last November. Alberto Gonzales has succeeded in keeping this issue alive and well for the Democrats going into next year. Republicans are ill-advised to continue portraying this as a partisan witch hunt. This is about integrity and competence. Partisans who continue to insist that Gonzales has the necessary honesty and integrity to be Attorney General must be ready to publicly indict an entire list of public officials who have contradicted him starting with FBI Director Robert Mueller.

I have no doubt the President will continue to hang onto Gonzales. He seems incapable of making difficult decisions even when they are clearly in his and his party's best interest. Maybe he's waiting for the day after the 2008 elections to dispatch Gonzales as he did Rumsfeld in 2006?

Sign the petition to impeach Alberto Gonzales.

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Rating: 3.7/5 (9 votes cast)

Comments (3)

Steve Crickmore:

Gonzales has probably been one of Bush's main flatterers along with the other White House luminaries: Miers, Rove and Cheney with their cloying praise about Bush. I mean really other than read a few dramtic speeches about 'freedom being on the march' what has Bush done to earn such unstinting praise for his public service, for example, these words from Gonzales :Did you have other role models?

Alberto Gonzales:

You know, I'm often asked that question. The three biggest influences of my life, in terms of maturing me as a person, were my mom, my dad and our President, who's given me some wonderful opportunities. I've learned a lot from him in the various roles that I've seen him in, as a father, and as a governor, and as a president.

This is the way you climb the greasy pole with Bush who has little respect for the constitution or the division of powers.
Gonzales has done Bush's bidding perfectly. Why would Bush fire him.

Steve Crickmore:

Another one bites the dust- resigns 'Schlozman Leaves Justice Department' It is musical chairs at the Justice Department these days..


What do you think is going on with Schlozman, Steve? He's not exactly in the same mold as Comey and McNulty.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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