Monday, March 19, 2007

Yep, This Is One To Watch

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is pushing for public testimony under oath for White House officials involved in the firing of of federal prosecutors. From the AP:

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said
Sunday he intends to subpoena White House officials involved in ousting federal
prosecutors and is dismissing anything short of their testimony in


The chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), D-Vt., last week delayed a vote on the subpoenas until Thursday as the president's counsel, Fred Fielding, sought to negotiate terms. But on Sunday, Leahy said he had not met Fielding nor was he particularly open to any compromises, such as a private briefing by the administration officials.

So this is what transparency in government is like. Nice. If the Bush administration has done nothing wrong, it should have nothing to worry about.

I remember cackling from the right in response to those of us concerned about potential Patriot Act abuses (illegal wire tapping, racial profiling, and such): if you're a good American, you've got nothing to worry about. It looks like we were right to worry. (Right-minded and think that's a hypocritical different side of the same coin? There's a big difference between abuses coming from an act of questionable constitutionality and congressional oversight. Nuff said.)

Also, this is interesting. If the firings had anything to do with inhibiting a probe into CIA corruption, we have clear criminal behavior (from ThinkProgress):

Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.

Feinstein, D-Calif., said the timing of the e-mail suggested that Lam’s dismissal may have been connected to the corruption probe.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse denied in an e-mail that there was any link.