A New Mystery to Prosecutors: Their Lost Jobs - New York Times--here's another smelly long tale about behind-the-scenes machinations prior to the political change of command at the start of 2007. What's so ironic is that these creeps in Republicans clothing, these draft-dodgers, these boys who would never put it on the line themselves but love to do sneaky-pete, clandestine operations from the shadows of government--what's so ironic is that we're losing our freedoms and our government and our assets to a bunch of adolescent-level gamers who operate as gangsters with impunity and government immunity. We have to expose them and strip them of their protections. (how about old gamers versus young gamers, CIA versus CIA (Central Intelligence Agency versus Cleveland Institute of Art?) It came as a revelation to me a few months ago, reading through The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki, that our young gamers here in Cleveland can save the world. (in the sections about PAM, decision markets, games, and simulations). We also need to be aware that these old gamers, like Karl Rove, have the potential to destroy the world as we know it, as well.
Read the whole article; the link is permanent. Here's an excerpt:
United States attorneys have four-year terms but can be removed at any time, and for almost any reason.
But across the country, legal and public officials have expressed dismay over the firings. In Western Michigan, for example, lawyers and a federal judge came to the defense of Margaret M. Chiara, the United States attorney there, saying she was well regarded.
“It just doesn’t look right,” said James S. Brady, who was United States attorney in Western Michigan during the Carter administration. “It compromises the credibility that justice is being dealt with fairly and impartially. There is a fear that politics have entered in life and death situations.”
Discussions began in October at the Justice Department about removing prosecutors who were considered flawed or deficient in carrying out administration policy by law enforcement officials, lawmakers and others, several officials said. The White House eventually approved the list and helped notify Republican lawmakers before the Dec. 7 dismissals, officials said.
While Justice Department officials expected that top assistant prosecutors in each office would probably fill the jobs initially, the officials said they had not chosen permanent successors. However, officials knew that if the replacements were to have a substantial tenure before Mr. Bush left office, they needed to be named quickly.
The list of prosecutors who were targets was approved by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and the deputy attorney general, Paul J. McNulty, the day-to-day manager of the Justice Department since he was appointed in the fall of 2005.
Under Mr. Gonzales, Mr. McNulty has become a powerful deputy with a wide-ranging portfolio. He was a United States attorney in Virginia, but he worked in Congress for more than a decade and was once legal counsel to the House majority leader. He is regarded in legal circles as more attuned to policy and politics than his predecessor, James B. Comey, a former career prosecutor in New York.
That leadership change may explain the removal of prosecutors who had mostly been in place since the start of the Bush administration.
“I and my colleagues are the same people in December of 2006 that we were in 2001,” said one former prosecutor who would speak only on the condition of anonymity. “The only thing that has changed is the administration of the Department of Justice. We were making the same arguments and the same points before.”
Justice Department officials, who would speak about the department’s decision making only anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly, now acknowledge that the dismissals were mishandled. They failed to anticipate how much attention the highly unusual group firing would draw, and the agency’s contradictory accounts about whether the dismissals were performance-related helped spur suspicions.