Truth to Power

Who watches the watchers, Gonzo edition

Good thing I like bananas, ‘cause we’re living in a banana republic:

Gonzales Investigated Subordinates Who Were Likely To Testify Against Him

Alberto Gonzales was briefed extensively about a criminal leak investigation despite the fact that he had reason to believe that several individuals under investigation in the matter were potential witnesses against him in separate Justice Department inquiries.

A senior law enforcement official said, “Most of the people who have been looked at [during the leak investigation] are never going to be charged. Most did nothing wrong.”

Yet, during the course of the leak investigation, the official said, people were asked about their contacts with the press, whether they disagreed with aspects of the Bush administration’s eavesdropping program, and even their personal politics. The official said that special care should have been taken in briefing Gonzales – a political figure who also was the nation’s chief law enforcement official – and indeed was to some degree. But the fact that some of those investigated had information about potential wrongdoing against Gonzales was even worse.</em>

But the story ends on a good note:

If the fears of Gonzales’s new legal team are well-founded, the major question ultimately facing the Inspector General is whether to ask the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section to begin a formal criminal inquiry, or even to suggest the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Such an inquiry may not focus narrowly on whether Gonzales made misleading statements to Congress. It could examine the termination of the OPR investigation by President Bush, and whether Gonzales informed Bush that he was a focus of the OPR probe. It could examine whether Gonzales misused information he learned from the leak probe to squash dissent from his own subordinates or influence their potential testimony about him.

Because of the involvement of President Bush, the appointment of a special prosecutor may not be as remote as many believe.

According to one senior career federal law enforcement official, not directly involved in the probe: “That could prove to be a nightmare for this administration that they could have never imagined.”</em>

When the book is finally written on the wretched eight years of Bush, when as many of the loose ends are tied up and presented, people will be staggered. Our government is run by people who don’t believe in our government.


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