Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I don't like being right about this

As noted in my post below, I am doubtful that the press will do a very good job of reporting on the US attorney scandal. Unfortunately, the New York Times provides some evidence for my point. What is even worse is that they provide some political cover for the Bush administration, by making this about attorneys who weren't doing their job:

As the months passed and the list was refined, a broad range of parties provided comment, either by directly naming prosecutors or raising an issue that touched on them.

J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, then speaker of the House, for example, appeared in one exchange among Bush administration officials inquiring why the United States attorney’s office in Arizona was apparently not prosecuting marijuana possession cases involving less than 500 pounds.

Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, also asked a White House official to explain why prosecutors were pursuing charges against illegal immigrants only if they had been counted entering the country illegally eight or more times.

Nowhere in the article, do the reporters mention why this is such a problem. Namely, the Bush administration was using a little noticed clause in the PATRIOT Act which allowed for the replacement of vacant US Attorney posts.

This is the entire reason why so many folks are up in arms about this. They used this provision to play a political game, by doing this secretively they were able to circumvent Congressional approval. This is about the executive branch taking more and more power.

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