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WH nominates "movement conservatives" to top positions at DOJ. Mukasey is irrelevant.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:55 PM
Original message
WH nominates "movement conservatives" to top positions at DOJ. Mukasey is irrelevant.
Scott Horton at Harper's Magazine sounds the alarm that the new Attorney General Michael Mukasey will be unable "to rein in the process of partisan exploitation of the administration of justice that his predecessors unleashed."

Horton begins by describing the renewed probe into the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPA) regarding the advice given on warrantless wiretapping with regard to the FISA statute. The White House had previously shut down this investigation.

Word of this renewed investigation so excited the Democrats as Mukasey's confirmation slipped through. Horton wryly notes that the decision by the White House to resume the probe was entered before Mukasey was confirmed.

Further, the scope of the OPR's activities are very narrow, focusing on 'professional ethics', which are weasel words in this administration. So, there will be nothing more than continued obfuscation by the White House with this 'renewed probe.'

Then, Horton notes, a much larger and more sinister threat looms beneath the pomp and circumstance of Mukasey's confirmation:

Bush, the Movement Conservatives and Justice: The Pact

But a far more serious concern from Mukaseys first week goes to nominations to fill the numerous senior vacancies in the Department of Justice. A well-placed source informed me at the time of Mukaseys hearing that the President Bush, who is deeply committed to keeping the base happy, had struck a compact of sorts with disgruntled movement conservatives who wanted to see Ted Olson become attorney general. (1) They would get a private meeting with Mukasey (that occurred, and has been reported on in some more depth in a recent column by Sid Blumenthal.) (2) Bush would personally address the Federalist Societys annual meeting (that also occurred). And (3) the major open vacancies at the top of Justice would be filled with movement conservatives, limiting the risk that Mukasey would be able to set much of a new course.

The White Houses announcement on Thursday of five new appointments to the Justice Department appears to me to be the fulfillment of the third pledge. I havent had much time to study the individuals in question, but at first blush, most appear to be just what was promised: a movement conservative. That phrase is used to refer to an individual who is highly ideological, usually associated with the Federalist Society or a similarly partisan organization, and who is deeply engaged in partisan politics. The probe of the U.S. Attorneys firings revealed a series of criteria that Rove, Miers and their counterparts at Justice were using to pick new U.S. Attorneys. Will they be loyal Bushies? And here were the criteria: are they party members? Do they work in election campaigns? Do they give money to Republican causes? Are they members of the Federalist Society, or a similar party organization, with a track record of active participation? For whom did they clerk? This was a test designed to identify persons willing to betray their office for political purposes. And looking over the list of nominees, it is hard to resist asking whether the same criteria were applied to pick candidates that Kyle Sampson would have discussed with Karl Rove. Here are the nominees:


For Deputy Attorney General, the number two slot: Mark R. Filip. He has a long record of political engagement in electoral trenches for the Republican Party (as the Chicago Tribune reports, he volunteered to work on the Bush-Cheney Florida vote litigation in 2000, for instance). He served as Vice President of the Federalist Society chapter at his law school. He clerked for Antonin Scalia and is close to Solicitor General Paul Clement. Critics of the Bush Justice Department regularly cite a secret subterranean network of former clerks of three judges (Scalia, Thomas and Silberman) who are highly partisan political ideologues, and who routinely shape policy and decisions outside of the formal channels of bureaucratic communication.

For Associate Attorney General, the number three slot: Kevin J. OConnor. He was U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, who came in to serve as the attorney generals chief of staff at the height of the scandal surrounding Gonzales.

To head the highly embattled Civil Rights Division: Grace Chung Becker. She has a long track record of political partisanship, especially advocating Republican Party positions on voting-rights issues. Even while serving at the Justice Department (she is at the Civil Rights Division now), she has continued as a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, where she is listed as an active contact on major matters. At Justice, she would have responsibility for addressing questions relating to voting fraud, caging, voter dilution on which her political organization, is actively engaged. Her attitudes can also be gauged from a speech she delivered a month ago to a bar association in which she said it was an exciting time to work in the Civil Rights Division because the Attorney General made civil rights a top priority within the Department of Justice.

To head the Civil Division: Gregory Katsas. Mr. Katsas also has a long track record of engagement in G.O.P. politics, and clerked for Justice Thomas. He is a principle architect of the Bush Administrations legal policies relating to Guantnamo. He advocated and continues to strongly defend the suspension of the writ of habeas corpusas he told the Chicago Tribune last month, We think its defensible on the law and we think its defensible on the basis of national security.

(bold type added)

By the way, has anyone seen the outgoing acting AG Peter Keisler?

Absolutely NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Only the faces are different.

Thanks, Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein. When you had the chance to restore justice, you frittered it away. Both of you are fools.

The ONLY WAY TO STOP this malignant perversion of the US Constitution and the rule of law in this country is to impeach this uncontrolled executive and his Vice President, and remove both of them from office.

"It's called impeachment. You don't wait. You do it now. Impeach them now." ----Representative Dennis Kucinich, November 15, 2007

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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not sure how much faith to put into Mr. Horton's assessment.
I'm at least willing to give Mukasey a little more than a week to see what I think of him.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. What Horton is saying is that even if he wanted to, Mukasey couldn't stop it.
For instance, the Loyal Bushie installed at the Department of Civil Rights has one mission: To elect Bushies.

Period. For Mukasey to stop her, he'd have to fire her. Hell, the entire Justice Department needs to be DeBushified, and fumigated from the stench of Third World Tyranny.

But Mukasey won't fire her. He's simpatico or he would not have been nominated. It is as simple as that, no matter how much time you want to give Mukasey before you see the truth of what I've said.

Mukasey NOT being a Loyal Bushie Crminal would be like Hilter nominating someone to a high Ministry of Justice post who wasn't Aryan and a Loyal Nazi Criminal.

Such things are next to impossible in Totalitarian Nations like Amerika, so give it all the time you want before you see the other shoe drop, a whole closetful to be sure.

But go ahead, be "fair" to Nazis and Bushies. They desrve it based on their past conduct, don't they?

Isn't it funny? We who are Children of the Enlightenment want to be so "fair" becuase fairness and justice are what the Enlgihtenment were all about.

Well, let me tell you the paradox here: Just as Hitler once called universal public eductaion the most corrosive poison liberalism ever invented to destroy itself, so is the characteristic of liberal fairness one of our greatest undoings, even if only when face with a Hitler or a Bsuh desiring to destroy liberality and democracy.

Because, at that time (this time) all that liberal fairness, navel-gazing, and self-analysis only makes Busheis and Nazis laugh laugh laugh at liberal weaklings, while they continuer their corruption openly, shamelessly and unabated while we wait for ironclad evidence and examine our navels in self-doubt.

How did that strategy work out against True Tyrants when they show up? It didn't.

I just wanted to mention that little inconvenient truth. Feel free to wait and form your opinion on Mukasey. By the time you have concluded he is a Bushie cartoon-villain like the rest, how much more of Old America will he have helped to destroy?
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It's not just the DoJ ... it's all Federal departments and agencies.
The "unbelievers" have been driven out and replaced by the demon spawn of Liberty University, the AEI, the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation, Hillsdale College, and every other viper's nest in the sewers of the Reich Wing. The career paths of honest civil servants have been plowed under and senior positions all over the government have been filled from Day One with 'Movement Conservatives." This is the 'word' I've gotten since the beginning of 2001 ... and it has gone on unabated. The ROT is deep and widespread.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Unquestionably following the Nazi Plan on that one.
Yes, I am well aware that our Federal Government is now largely a criminal enterprise run by Bushie Criminals (i.e. "movement conservatives").

This Naziification/Bushification has gone on without opposition, and even now that the Democrats have exposed it, they cannot stop it for the Bushies will NOT stop and the Democrats are unwilling to do the one thing which a Hitler or a Bush understands...arrest him and jail him for his crimes.

It may be the most distressing thing of all, worse than all the others, for once the executive agencies are Fully sand Throughly Bushified/Nazified, then the most horrific atrocities can begin.

Will the Bushies go for it, as I suspect they will, or will they continue with Kinder and Gentler Facsism in the hopes that they will be remembered as Benevolent Dictators.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I know what Horton was saying, and I understand what you are saying
as well. You can think I'm an uneducated whimp if you wish. I happen to think of my self as a realist. Mukasey is better than Gonzo; at least he can speak in complete sentences and has some decent experience. I prefer him to Ted Olsen who I understand was the next option if Mukasey wasn't confirmed. Secondly, we're stuck with him for the next year or so. If I can believe ANYTHING that I've heard about the DOJ, NOBODY is happy there! If Mukasey has any personal pride and honor at all, the worker-bees at the DOJ will side with him, and the loyal Bushies who were all put into place as Dept Heads will lose their power.

I really don't see another option but to give him a chance, but watch him very closely.
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VP505 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. "Mukasey is better than Gonzo"
is exactly what the Admin wants everyone to think, that way there is no need to look deeper into what is going on in the back room. Problem with the whole thing outlined in the OP is that by the time it becomes apparent what's happening its too late.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I don't think you are an uneducated wimp!
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 03:26 PM by tom_paine
NOTE: I appreciate your clarification of your OP, which I ahppen to agree with. The rest is not directed directly at you, but at reality, so please try not to take it personally. I refuse to put out one of those big egocentric "I'm leaving DU posts", mostly because even if I leave I'll likely be back, so I am ranting here with on your "straw that broke my back". My apologies for you having to take a the brunt of a rant directed at 300,000,000.

You know, I am just about ready to give the fuck up. Seven years. SEVEN FUCKING YEARS and NOTHING has changed. Not in Amerika, where False Bushie Realities are spun and gullibly consumed as quickly as they have always been. Not here at DU, when I can't even make a point without people thinking I am personally insulting them or thinking that I think I am somehow better than them simply because I claim an area of expertise and study. Well I am NOT better than anyone else and I ahve PLENTY of areas where I am as dumb a primate as anyone else, dumber even.

I always say how the Bushie Preopaganda affects us all, even those of us who cosnciously defend against it because it now permeates everything tothe degree where Bushie Lies and Frames kind of seep in through osmosis without people even being aware of it.

Like all good advertsising.

It is funny how often the DU and the Bushie response to a give point or assertion is, "You elitist scumbag! You think you're better than me, don't you?" Kind of like the same psychology has taken over our minds.

Well, I am about ready to throw my fucking hands up! Let it all fucking crash and burn. The Imperial Subjects of Amerika don't WANT to be's too fucking hard. We don't want to think unpleasant thoughts, because that might lead to us having to DO something baout it, and that wouldn't be fun at all.

And no, I don't think the fact that I can see this and most can't or won't makes me any better than anyone else.

I am tired, and the fact that Bushie crimes can be fully exposed in all their feloniousness and STILL nothing can stop them (like the Bushification/Nazification of the Executive Branch) makes me even more so.

Your comment makes me tiredest of all, napi, because it is two thousandth or so time I have heard it here at DU, where we should know better.

Oh wait, please don't misconstrue that comment that I am somehow intrisically better than you or anyone else, for I am NOT.
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