Thursday, June 21, 2007

Making Room for "Good" Americans

Total control of all branches of government is something that every despot wants. It's what Saddam Hussein wanted, it's what Doc Duvalier wanted it's what one wants if one wants to rule a country absolutely. So it comes as no surprise that we've been reading of the present US administration's infiltration of the Justice Department and the attempts to purge those that didn't toe the line.

We've also all followed Gonzalez' precipitous fall from grace and, although he squeaked by in avoiding a vote of no confidence, everyone knows that he is politically dead. He'll have trouble finding a job washing dishes when he leaves the DoJ. Schlozman is another candidate for the booby prize however and this week more revelations surfaced about the sorts of things Schlozman did or said and they should make anyone's eyebrows arch. From an article in The Washington Post:

Karen Stevens, Tovah Calderon and Teresa Kwong had a lot in common. They had good performance ratings as career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights division. And they were minority women transferred out of their jobs two years ago -- over the objections of their immediate supervisors -- by Bradley Schlozman, then the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Schlozman ordered supervisors to tell the women that they had performance problems or that the office was overstaffed. But one lawyer, Conor Dugan, told colleagues that the recent Bush appointee had confided that his real motive was to "make room for some good Americans" in that high-impact office, according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.

Now you know the truth - some of you are not regarded as "good Americans" anymore. Not because you called for more government control, not because you said the government should wiretap anyone it wants whenever it wants, not because you were opposed to the unilateral invasion of one country by another, not because you find torture acceptable, not because you find it OK that habeas corpus was thrown out of the window, not because you believe in the separation of church and state and not because you were fine with the Constitution being shredded, but because you did not accept that these things were happening in your country.

Another quote from the article:
"When he said he didn't engage in political hiring, most of us thought that was just laughable," said one lawyer in the section, referring to Schlozman's June 5 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Everything Schlozman did was political. And he said so."

That Schlozman was able to fire two minority women in the Department of Justice tells you everything you need to know about where this country was headed and in fact, how far along the line it had gone.

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