Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When it comes to a big-time whitewash, even Tom Sawyer couldn't have done a better job than our one and only attorney general, Judge Malarkey


"Professionalism is alive and well at the Justice Department."
-- said today by U.S. Attorney General Judge Malarkey
to delegates at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association

"Although I don't foresee any prosecutions, we will of course cooperate with all legitimate inquiries into the extent and causes of, and the remedies for, any breakdowns in the lawful and effective functioning of the Department of Justice. This includes coordinating efforts to ensure that all present and former officials, not just of the DoJ but of the entire executive branch, with pertinent information are made available to testify."
-- not said today by U.S. Attorney General Judge Malarkey
to delegates at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association

by Ken

So, "professionalism is alive and well at the Justice Department"? What a relief! Oh, happy day! So it's all OK now, right?

Oh gawd, oh gawd, oh gawd. Of course it's not all OK. Not at all.

It's so entirely not-all-right that I should once again be jumping up and down and screaming at the outrage of it. My guess is that if you've found your way to DownWithTyranny, you've done your share of such jumping up and down and screaming at the outrage. So you know both how all that jumping and screaming feels and how exhausting it becomes when the outrages not only don't go away but keep piling up.

Earlier today Howie passed along this report by the AP's Mark Sherman on the attorney general's appearance this morning at the ABA annual meeting. It appears that our Judge Malarkey announced more or less officially that all the wrongdoing alleged or hinted at in those recent IG reports regarding illegal politicization in the hiring of career (as opposed to political) appointees is now formally whitewashed.

"There was a failure of supervision by senior officials in the department," said Judge Malarkey, according to the AP's Sherman. "And there was a failure on the part of some employees to cry foul when they were aware, or should have been aware, of problems."

This appears to be what Sherman was referring to when he wrote:
Mukasey used his sharpest words yet to criticize the senior leaders who took part in or failed to stop illegal hiring practices during the tenure of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales [right].

But, he told delegates to the American Bar Association annual meeting, "not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime. In this instance, the two joint reports found only violations of the civil service laws."

Whoa there! Easy now, dude, don't go ballistic on us!
Asked for comment, former Attorney General Idiot Al "The Torture Guy" Gonzales, on whose watch the worst of the Justice Department atrocities occurred, said, "Man, that Judge Malarkey knows how to bum a guy out. I feel bad, real bad."

OK, I made this up. I have no evidence whatsoever that Idiot Al feels bad at all, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he's annoyed and a trifle embarrassed by yet more discussion of the systematic law-breaking carried out by a host of department officials under his supervision. But it's hard to disagree with Howie's thumbnail characterization of Judge Malarkey's crackdown:

Fox guarding henhouse: "Hold still while I shout stern words at you without actually punishing you!"

Knowing that I'm on record as judging the political perversion of the Justice Department as, next to the catastrophe in the Middle East, the most damaging depredation of the Bush regime, Howie asked if I wanted to write about this. And I should certainly want to. And yet, and yet . . .

It's just so exhausting, and feels so futile, that . . . that . . . well, I don't even want to think about it. Which of course is exactly what Judge Malarkey is counting on to successfully sweep this whole ghastly democracy-demolishing mess under the spacious DoJ rug.

For the record, the judge's remarks appear not to extend to other aspects of the DoJ breakdown still under investigation. According to Sherman:
Other intrusions of Bush administration politics into department hirings and firings remain under investigation. Justice officials say the attorney general's remarks do not preclude criminal prosecutions if wrongdoing is found in the inquiries into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and the hiring practices in the department's civil rights division.

Of course there is still no indication that anyone in the Bush regime plans to do anything except obstruct those still-ongoing but faltering investigations into DoJ misconduct. I'm certainly not holding my breath that Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten and especially Karl Rove will be under oath spilling their guts anytime soon.

In the end it occurred to me that maybe I should just write the plain truth: that I'm exhausted, and rendered beyond combat by this latest evidence of how much good all the previous jumping up and down and screaming did -- including all the jumping up and down and screaming done by much more eloquent and persistent jumpers-and-screamers than yours truly.

The moral of the story appears to be:

If you happen to run a rampantly corrupt governement, or a rampantly corrupt agency of a rampantly corrupt government (in particular an agency responsible for the administration of justice), and in a moment of faint-heartedness you think you've accumulated more dirt than you can possibly sweep under the rug, don't forget that you can always buy more rugs.

And that demon discount shopper South Carolina Sen. Lindsey "The Rug Merchant" Graham [above] can probably get you a deal on them.

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At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outrage Fatigue. They are counting on it. It is part of their Shock and Awe style of government.

It really is amazing how audacious they are. Is the present form of government even worth salvaging?

I'm calling Do-Over!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Outrage Fatigue -- yes, exactly! Gasp, pant, wheeze. So tired, so tired.

And I couldn't agree more that "they are counting on it."

Thanks for the buck-up --


At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Chuck Schumer! You did such a great service to your country in selling us all out and pushing this slimeball through. He's a disgrace, and, so are you. Too bad your state doesn't have recall. I'd give you a new job cleaning the New York subways with your own toothbrush and never let you come up for air. And, no, I wouldn't let you wear your kneepads to do it.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Excellent point, Ida. Tonight on Countdown George Washington U's Jonathan Turley -- my personal law hero at the moment -- also pointed a finger at Senator Schumer and the great "favor" he turns out to have done us by allowing Judge Malarkey to duck all the questions he didn't feel like answering at his confirmation hearings.

Professor Turley also found it interesting that Judge Malarkey, who back then was hopelessly fuzzy about what constitutes torture, even though it's spelled out clearly in U.S. statute, now has no difficulty determining -- entirely in his own brain, based on nothing -- that nothing, absolutely nothing, done by any member of the Bush administration has been criminal.

In the end, the professor suggested, the judge's ultimate demonstration of the administration's inability to investigate itself makes the most forceful case to date for bringing back the independent counsel law.


At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should be the first act of congress when we win a veto proof majority. Bring back Independent Counsel.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

It just proves my theory of the "Tipping Point of Evil" -- that there is a point at which an American executive branch can be so heinous as to be able to get away with anything, because Americans refuse to believe their government capable of the kind of evil we usually associate with tinput dictators.


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