Posted by: Jim | March 14, 2007

Scandal du jour?

Today’s “alleged” scandal involves eight U.S. Attorneys fired “for poor performance.” (Gonzales actually says, “mistakes were made.” Does he know the history of that exact, passively constructed sentence?)

The “poor performance” cited by Gonzales has not been proven in the news accounts I’ve read. However, there is a memo that specifically “crosses out” the names of Attorneys who were “chafing against administrative initiatives.” That memo recommends firing them “when the pressure comes.” And the e-mails cited state that these attorneys are being “pushed out.” These sound like political reasons, and not performance issues. 

But here’s the rub: it’s not uncommon for U.S. Attorneys to be fired for political reasons. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Every administration has the luxury of swapping out those administration officials who hold appointed positions.  

Yes, this is a bit unusual because it’s 2nd-term firings, but Gonzales should have simply said, “they weren’t working with us.” But by citing “performance issues” he’s … well … lying. He’s turning this into a scandal when it doesn’t need to be one.

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