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Wednesday, November 14, 2007


When we progressives in Real-World-Land hear about something awful happening in DC-Land, like Judge Michael Mukasey's nomination and confirmation as Attorney General, we are perfectly within our rights to let our representatives know our feelings about that something. I did, and I don't regret it.

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.


Southern Beale said...

You just may be on to something. I know the whole Mukasey nomination put Schumer in an awkward position, since he had recommended him to begin with. That doesn't excuse DiFi, however.

I am very disappointed that impeachment remains "off the table." Honest to God I thought Nancy Pelosi was just saying that so it wouldn't be an election issue. I felt sure, when proof of the crimes came out with all of these hearings, that impeachment would be a factor. The fact that it's not is very disheartening.

I want some freaking accountability, and I don't think I'm the only one.

{ grumble }

madamab said...

oh honey, you are not the only one. that's exactly why I thought Pelosi was saying it.

As I wrote when I first started my blog, I think that one of the reasons the Fascists impeached Bill Clinton was to turn the public off the procedure entirely. Case in point - although a majority of people in a new poll think Bush has committed crimes that rise to the level of impeachable offenses, only 34% are sold on proceeding with impeachment.

I can't pretend to know what Pelosi is thinking - or fearing - but I still have hope that we The People can get through to the Judiciary Committee and the Speaker. Also, Randi Rhodes knows John Conyers and is fiercely lobbying for impeachment to proceed.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!