Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dem Bones

God, it seems like a year ago—but was only eleven months—when I blogged with a bit of dark glee that the Bush Administration scandal parade had finally managed to work a little sex in with their patronage jobs and no-bid contracts. I thought that when the San Diego Union Tribune and other sources started reporting on a DHS paid limo service ferrying hookers to a long-standing card game at the Watergate regularly attended by top lobbyists, government officials like Porter Goss and Dusty Foggo, and elected representatives such as “Duke” Cunningham—well, I thought that all the corruption and influence peddling that had been the stock and trade of Republican Dominated DC since the start of the right-wing reign would finally be deemed spicy and salacious enough to attract the attention of the “respectable” establishment media.

Well, Cunningham was already well on his way to jail, and Goss and Foggo both resigned soon after, but the distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press just didn’t seem interested in pursuing the whole mess further. They took Goss at his word (he wanted to, yup, “spend more time with his family”), and wrote off Foggo’s status as too inside the beltway (or something) to be of mass interest, and quickly went back to averting their eyes and bowing with deference.

So, after nearly a year, I guess we should all be thankful for former US attorney Carol Lam and the corrupt ideologues of the Bush Administration who were stupid enough to fire her.

USA Lam had successfully prosecuted Cunningham, and was aggressively investigating Foggo when Attorney General Gonzales’s chief of staff (Kyle Sampson) and White House counsel (Harriet Miers) had a powwow about what to do:

In an e-mail dated May 11, 2006, Sampson urged the White House counsel's office to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam," who then the U.S. attorney for southern California. Earlier that morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam's corruption investigation of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., had expanded to include another California Republican, Rep Jerry Lewis.

TPM actually has a long list of uncomfortable revelations and unpleasant events that happened in the weeks before that 5/11 e-mail.

Throughout the summer, Sampson, Miers, Rove, and, as is now becoming increasingly clear, President Bush came to an understanding on a plan to remove troublesome US attorneys and replace then with cooperative, politicized cronies. By November the plan was in place, and on December 7, Carol Lam and seven other USAs were unceremoniously fired.

Stupidly fired, as I said above, and I say that because, can you imagine what would have happened in years past if another White House had fired an investigator that was getting too close? Actually, you don’t have to imagine that hard. It didn’t involve a US attorney (but, instead, a special prosecutor), but perhaps you can recall a little something called the Saturday Night Massacre.

Clearly, we don’t have the same level of interest among the dead tree set that we did back in those heady days of the Nixon cover-up, but, as everyone from Josh Marshall to, believe it or not, Arlen Specter has now come to realize, Lam’s dismissal is really the jewel in the crown of Purge-gate (not sure I’m loving that one, but it seems to be what we’re calling it). Any hearings and reportage regarding the firings, the AG’s office, and the White House that does not ask questions about all the nastiness that Lam was investigating are really missing one of the biggest—maybe the biggest—part of this story. We can only hope that elected representatives and reporters alike take the bone so stupidly tossed their way by this arrogant AG and start to dig where Lam was digging.

Who knows what other bones may have been buried—some might even be sexier (in a media way, of course) than Anna Nicole’s.


Blogger guy2k said...

Of course, you all realize that the title refers to "Dem dry bones," as in "the toe bone's connected to the foot bone," and not Democratic bones. . .

Just thought I should clear that up.

6:25 AM  

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