Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Come on little miss and do the twist


Doug Kmiec does his best Mary Lou Retton impression in the LATimes, trying to twist his brain into position around the whole Abu Gonzales 'human resources' thingy:
There is no basis to remove the attorney general so long as no evidence has been brought forth—and none has— that any U.S. attorney was asked to resign for partisan or corrupt purpose.

Okeydokey.
Alberto Gonzales is the second of eight children of migrant farm workers, Pablo and Maria Gonzales. A former justice of the Texas Supreme Court and Texas secretary of state, Gonzales has a calm and deliberative manner that listens more than it imposes. I know the man to be a person of integrity.

Sure. And that nice young Dahmer boy seemed a pretty swell fellow. Oh, wait . . ., he's Latino, thus a victim.
Because of this over-delegation, in my judgment, Gonzales under-appreciated the problematic nature of removing selected U.S. attorneys and was overly trusting of the removal recommendations made to him. Gonzales has conceded in public testimony that this over-delegation was a mistake.

Really? Sounds like a manager who's not on top of his gig.
But these are management mistakes that do not overshadow the conscientious manner in which the general work of the Department of Justice has been performed, or by which it should be measured.

Really? He was doing a bad job, but in a conscientious manner? That's a good thing?
In this, I am not overlooking the recent testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Comey, too, is a man of great ability who served the Department of Justice well. Apparently—and this is hardly unusual in the law—there was disagreement between then-White House Counsel Gonzales and Mr. Comey over the legality of a program of great salience to meeting the ongoing terrorist threat. Apparently, Mr. Comey had refused (the program is classified so we cannot know for sure and Mr. Comey was careful not to be too explicit) to recertify the terrorist surveillance program.

Ya think? Comey, a serious conservative, had issues with a super secret spying program?
To some legal scholars, this program is a vindication of the President's constitutional authority to undertake military intelligence in a time of war as every other wartime president has done; to other scholars, the program disregards statutory limitations that were created to prevent spying on U.S. citizens engaged in protected speech activity during the Nixon administration.

Well that's it. To John Yoo, Gonzales, and other administration apologists, the ((secret)) program was super cool. To actual, you know, Constitutional experts, the program would be Nixonian in its depth of lawlessness.

But that's not important right now. What is important is what Kmiec's co-debater says:
There is abundant evidence that Iglesias was removed at the prodding of important Republicans in New Mexico who had unsuccessfully pressured him to indict a political corruption case against a Democratic state senator (among others) in advance of the November election.

. . .This is the worst crisis for the Department of Justice in at least a generation, and it is highly unlikely to abate as long as Attorney General Gonzales remains in office. This institutional damage is not uppermost in the calculations of the White House, and perhaps that is to be expected—but how, if at all, do you think it should figure in to the calculations of whether Gonzales should resign? Or is the attorney general's duty in your view confined to considering the political interests of the president at whose pleasure he serves?

Indeed.