THE BLOG

Why Were They Fired...

03/03/2008 09:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

...who wants to cover it up, and is it any coincidence this is happening before a major election?

"Our investigation into the firing of United States Attorneys revealed an Administration and a Justice Department that seemed to put politics first, and today's decision to shelve the contempt process, in violation of a federal statute, shows that the White House will go to any lengths to keep its role in the US Attorney firings hidden. In the face of such extraordinary actions, we have no choice but to proceed with a lawsuit to enforce the Committee's subpoenas," said Rep. John Conyers regarding Attorney General Mukasay's stalwart refusal to enforce Miers and Bolton subpoenas.

Everybody is getting caught up in the contempt citations, but nobody is talking about the core issues. Core issues of racism, and voter suffrage, need closer examination by Justice, and both political parties.

The attempt at political obstructionism by way of voter fraud charges simply cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. Racism does not only apply to the demographics on death row, and the make-up of our penal institutions.

The appearance (or disappearance) of former White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former presidential counsel, Harriet Miers, ostensibly involves fear on the part of the executive branch that either one, or both, the former aides will divulge details about why the nine U.S. attorneys were fired. The attorney general appears to think that executive branch employees do not have to answer to a congressional subpoena once the President has uttered the shiboleth "executive privilege."

But, Mukasey needs to clarify what he thinks the parameters of "executive privilege" are, if any, unless we are to infer that they are ubiquitous. During his confirmation hearings, the attorney-general gave the impression that Justice was capable of acting independently from the White House. That claim has yet to be substantiated, and appears dubious in light of Friday's decision in this matter.

There are lots of ways to sabotage an election -- breaking into the Democratic headquarters, as happened on Nixon's watch, is only one. Litigating against, incarcerating, or otherwise disenfranchising members of a community, especially those who would fall under one's opponent's demographic, under spurious "voter fraud" claims is yet another.

We've seen from the important work, most recently, of Rev. Glasgow, in Alabama, as well as others, throughout the country, to ensure that voting rights be respected despite the best efforts of some partisans to disenfranchise those most likely to vote for Democrats.

For a government that likes transparency, what could be more transparent than which demographic, politically, socially, and racially, was intended to be targeted by "voter fraud" allegations, and lawsuits which these U.S. attorneys honorably refused to pursue.

George W. Bush has indulged in more white collar crime than any president in recent memory, and has no more right to get off the hook, or get away with destroying millions of White House e-mails, than Richard M. Nixon did. That Numero 43 should be allowed to serve out his second term, with impunity, will be a stain on American history that even the finest K Street dry cleaners would be unable to remove inasmuch as he's not only added hubris to his job description, but unparalleled, and unscripted, use of executive privilege.

One way or another, with or without Justice, all the president's men must be held to account for contempt not merely of Congress, but of the democratic process.

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