Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A REAL INVESTIGATION OF ROVE? OR A WELL-PLANNED WHITEWASH?

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One of the primary reasons-- after Bush's imperious, despotic attitude and petulance-- for the Regime holding onto the corpse of Alberto Gonzales and calling it the Attorney General, is because they fear that he's just the appetizer and that the main course is Karl Rove. Since Karl Rove is generally considered the brains behind the whole crime mob that has infested the Executive Branch, this isn't an unreasonable theory.

This morning's L.A. Times has a story by Tom Hamburger about a low-key office launching a high-profile inquiry into the arch-villain of American politics.
Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.

But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

First, the inquiry comes from inside the administration, not from Democrats in Congress. Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being pressed on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified investigation covering many facets of the political operation in which Rove played a leading part.

Hamburger writes that the decision to investigate Rove "is the latest evidence that Rove's once-vaunted operations inside the government, which helped the GOP hold the White House and Congress for six years, now threaten to mire the administration in investigations. The question of improper political influence over government decision-making is at the heart of the controversy over the firing of U.S. attorneys and the ongoing congressional investigation of the special e-mail system installed in the White House and other government offices by the Republican National Committee. All administrations are political, but this White House has systematically brought electoral concerns to Cabinet agencies in a way unseen previously."

The Office of Special Counsel has never bitten off a mouthful like this before. It stems from Rove's obvious violations of the Hatch Act and  from his interference into the office of David Iglesias on behalf of crooked Republican rubber stamps Pete "Sneaky Pete" Domenici and Heather Wilson.

Hamburger writes that the L.A. Times has learned that there were other presentation, to other government agencies like the one illegally given at GSA-- and that some were given by Rove himself. "During such presentations, employees said they got a not-so-subtle message about helping endangered Republicans."
Some officials have said they understood that they were expected to seek opportunities to help Republicans in these races, through federal grants, policy decisions or in other ways.

A former Interior Department official, Wayne R. Smith, who sat through briefings from Rove and his then-deputy Ken Mehlman, said that during President Bush's first term, he and other appointees were frequently briefed on political priorities.

"We were constantly being reminded about how our decisions could affect electoral results," Smith said.

Or is this merely a ploy to preempt Waxman? As my friend Buzz pointed out, "How can someone appointed by Bush be independent?"


UPDATE: PERPARE FOR THE WHITEWASH

So my instincts were correct; the head of the Office of the Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, is a corrupt toady, a complete lackey of the Bush Regime and under investigation himself! This is strictly a whitewash and an attempt to derail a serious investigation of Rove. The L.A. Times story cited above "failed to inform its readers that Bloch had been accused of retaliating against employees who disagreed with his policies, and intimidating them before they were questioned about a whistle-blower investigation inside the Office of the Special Counsel. The whistle-blower probe was launched by the White House's Office of Personnel Management inspector general nearly two years ago, according to a February 16, 2007 story in the Washington Post." In fact Discourse.net asks a crucial question about the investigation:
I wonder if the purpose of this move isn’t to insulate Rove and others. Now, they have an excuse not to answer any questions. If Congress calls, they all take the 5th — “Would love to talk but I’m being investigated by the OSC.” Ditto for the White House press office — “we never comment on pending investigations” (afterwards they say, “we already dealt with that,” but I’m getting ahead of myself).
Is it too paranoid to expect a memo saying that they failed to prove anything beyond reasonable doubt — in Dec 2008? Or maybe just before the Nov 2008 election? After all, the OSC has a record of just closing cases without review in order to be able to report a lower number of backlogged cases.
So far, everything about this administration has been worse than anyone might reasonably have expected. Why should this be any different?
I can see Rove chuckling now, ‘Please OSC, don’t throw me in that briar patch!’

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