Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who's Watching the Watchers?

Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) makes a very good point. The prosecutor firings and replacements just happen to be in all the key 2008 swing states, and not in any states that are safe for either party -- with the exception of California, where the Lam -Cunningham investigation is. Why do you think that would be? -- Josh Marshall

The story that is evolving is becoming quite clear: the justice system is being hijacked by political operatives bent on skewering it with participants bent on a advancing a national agenda for the benefit of one political party. This is the very antithesis of justice. In the past, we, as a country, have relied on the independence of US Attorneys to prosecute corrupt local politicians. The current situation seems to point to a plan to use the Justice Department to advance a corrupt plan (that is: using select prosecution in an attempt to suppress Democratic votes and possibly an attempt to undermine a massive investigation into Republican corruption).

In order to achieve this end, the Patriot Act, which was passed during the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America, was amended to allow a US Attorney to be replaced without Senate confirmation oversight. At that time, any congressman or senator who would have voted against it would have been accused of being "soft on terror." In a sense, this amendment was itself an abuse of power. It was a blatant exploitation of the country's willingness to give the President the power he said he needed to fight terrorism to also make an end-run around the Constitution's check on Executive power.

The US Attorneys are among the watchers in our political system. Given what we now know, who is watching the watchers?

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