However, sometimes - all right, probably more than sometimes - we don't know the whole story behind why our representatives are doing those things they do. I do think that our government should be much more transparent and that these deals should be out in the open, but realistically, I don't when or if that's going to happen - it certainly won't while Bush and his thugs are in power. Given this story that broke yesterday, I think I may have an idea why my Senator, Chuck Schumer, recommended Judge Mukasey in the first place, and continued to support him in the face of mounting party and public disapproval.
The Justice Department has reopened a long-dormant inquiry into the government's warrantless wiretapping program, a major policy shift only days into the tenure of Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The investigation by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility was shut down last year, after the investigators were denied security clearances. Gonzales told Congress that President Bush, not he, denied the clearances.
"We recently received the necessary security clearances and are now able to proceed with our investigation," H. Marshall Jarrett, counsel for the OPR, wrote to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. A copy of the letter, dated Tuesday, was obtained by The Associated Press.
Hinchey and other Democrats have long sought an investigation into the spying program to see if it complies with the law. Efforts to investigate the program have been rebuffed by the Bush administration.
"I am happily surprised," Hinchey said. "It now seems because we have a new attorney general the situation has changed. Maybe this attorney general understands that his obligation is not to be the private counsel to the president but the chief law enforcement officer for the entire country."
The Democratically-controlled Senate and House have long been stymied by AG Gonzales' refusal to enforce their subpoenas and ensure compliance with their requests for documents vital to continuing investigations.
Without the backing of the supposedly apolitical Justice Department, the Senate and House have been all bark and no bite. In my opinion, since Gonzales' forced resignation, the Democrats have been waiting to proceed on how best to deal with the Bush Administration's lawless behavior until they could get an AG in office who would actually, you know, enforce the law.
Perhaps - just perhaps - AG Mukasey will do just that.