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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Inoperative -- and out

The White House spin machine is in high gear in advance of tomorrow's testimony in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee what he knew and when he knew it regarding the firing of eight US Attorneys.

Here's the short version, based on leaked testimony and an op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post: Mistakes were made and I've asked the Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate. And I can't comment further on a pending legal matter.

Gonzo is going to take what Nixon henchman John Ehrlichman once called the "modified limited hangout" route. The method was used to describe a report to the Senate Watergate Committee on White House involvement in the Watergate burglary.

The White House report sounds suspiciously similar to Gonzales' planned testimony as outlined in his op-ed.
I know that I did not -- and would not -- ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason.
But facts are funny things. They tend to get in the way of stories that must later be declared "inoperative."
The former Justice Department official who carried out the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year told Congress that several of the prosecutors had no performance problems and that a memo on the firings was distributed at a Nov. 27 meeting attended by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, a Democratic senator said yesterday.
This hearing should be some of the best political theater since those Watergate hearings. Who says history doesn't repeat itself?

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