Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Contemptable White House

We're finding out that the Justice Department evidently works best at night.

We already know about the nighttime bedside visit to the very ill attorney general, now we hear of another after-dark arm twisting... "U.S. Attorney Became Target."

"John L. Brownlee, the U.S. attorney in Roanoke, testified that he was at home the evening of Oct. 24 when he received the call on his cellphone from Michael J. Elston, then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general and one of the Justice aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year." (WaPo)

This wasn't a social call. It was the night before the government secured a plea of "guilty" from Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin "that was the direct or partial cause of 146 deaths in 2000 and 2001 and possibly 318 others during that period."

Elston, at the behest of the drugmaker, urged Brownlee to "slow down."

To his credit, Brownlee didn't slow down.... and, eight days later Brownlee's name appeared on a list compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials suggested be fired.

You can be sure Attorney General Gonzales if asked about this episode will don his baby-seal-being-clubbed face and say he didn't know this was going on in his Justice Department.

But, as we are starting to find out, someone does know what is going on.

The prince of darkness, Vice President Cheney.

When Gonzo was queried by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about who sent him on the nighttime visit Ashcroft's bedside, he would only respond he was "acting on behalf of the president".... a catchall phrase meaning he wouldn't say.

But, according to The New York Times op ed piece of July 29, when Gonzales was still the White House counsel and the Justice Department refused to endorse a continuation of the wiretapping program because it was illegal, that..... "Unwilling to accept that conclusion, Vice President Dick Cheney sent Mr. Gonzales and another official to Mr. Ashcroft's hospital room to get him to approve the wiretapping."

There it is, flat out. Dirty Dick behind the devious trick.

When asked by Larry King two nights later about the NY Times editorial and his involvement in hospitalgate, Cheney replied.... "I don't recall....."

We need to have a Letterman list of ways the White House gets around accountability.... "executive privilege" would be high on the list, followed by "I don't recall."

While Gonzo has proven himself to be the White House political lackey, and The Decider a reckless punk using the country as his fiefdom.... the real black hand propelling events is Dirty Dick. Congress needs to impeach this lawless White House crew.... starting with the chief instigator and manipulator.... Cheney.

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