Friday, May 25, 2007

Psst...You - Hey You, US Attorney X - You're On My List....You're Fired!

Helen Thomas takes another Whitehouse spokesmodel (bring back Dana Perino, please) to task to see if she can finger the person who really was responsible for drawing up the list of US attorneys who would be fired for political reasons by AG Gonzales.

That Mr. Gonzales has poor recollection on the matter doesn't negate the very interesting question as to who drew up the list. Might it have been Uncle Karl himself?

Until they answer the question outright (and don't hold your breath waiting), I suppose we are free to speculate:
Q Since no Justice Department official has been forthcoming, who drew up the list of the attorneys -- the prosecutors to be fired?

MR. STANZEL: Well, I think, Helen, that's a subject that's been covered exhaustively on hearings on the Hill --

Q Okay. Tell me, I'm sorry, I have not read who --

MR. STANZEL: I will allow the Justice Department to help you out with that question because --

Q But I'm telling you they're not saying.

MR. STANZEL: They've testified hours and hours and hours about this very issue.

Q Did they say who drew up the list?

MR. STANZEL: Well, I think it's been testified to the fact that Kyle Sampson was working on the process, and I think they testified to that fact.

Q Did he think of the names, himself?

MR. STANZEL: I think he's spoken at length about the review process that was underway.

Q Don't stall, just tell me. Who drew up --

MR. STANZEL: I will refer you to the Department of Justice, Helen.

Q Well, that's another dodge.

Q They won't tell her.

MR. STANZEL: I got that. Thank you. Any other questions?
I think this is a legit question, particularly in light of the fact that the President suggests he has complete confidence in the AG to do his job. If that was the case, then why wasn't it left up to the AG to make this kind of move? Answer: Because it was a purely political maneuver, not related to job performance in all cases, and thus illegitimate firing of US Attorneys...and this from the W, Rove and Co who suggest we should shun all things political?

Really, the whole thing smacks of hypocrisy. You see, becuase the President's spokesmodel is suggesting that we use a standard for evaluating performance that was not used in the decision to fire the attorneys. Have a look:
Q Can the Attorney General survive a no confidence vote in the Senate that's got a lot of Republican support?

MR. STANZEL: Well, that's a hypothetical. They haven't scheduled a time for that vote. We understand that that idea is out there. The Attorney General, though, has the full confidence of the President. He's moving forward with the priorities of the Department of Justice, in terms of combating terrorism and fighting child exploitation and other matters that are at the top of the priority list for the Department of Justice.

So what matters is that he has the full confidence of the President, and he's going to continue to work in that role.

Q But does he have credibility on Capitol Hill with the American people?

MR. STANZEL: If you look at the results, Helen, of the Department of Justice, they have done an excellent job in terms of protecting this country and fighting crime. And we think that that's what people should look at when evaluating the performance of the Attorney General.
Well, then, why didn't the AG look at evaluating performance of those attorneys he fired instead of bowning to political pressure from his pals in the Whitehouse? The standard should be evenly applied, no?

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