It's easy to become engrossed in all this Alberto Gonzales and Prosecutor-Gate stuff because there are lots of juicy details to savor. Every Friday evening is a feast as new documents are dripped, dripped, dripped out. There are, however, a couple other issues we oughtta be keeping our eyes on:
I can't believe the Iranians were stupid enough to snatch a bunch of Brits. I mean, it's not as if King George and the Neocon Nation aren't just waiting for an excuse to launch another war of aggression. Ahmedinijad is an idiot.
The Inspector General of the Justice Department has found huge abuse of National Security Letters, which force business owners to disclose sensitive client information without permission from the client. What he has said, in fact, is that the FBI acted illegally in obtaining highly personal information, such as internet records, bank accounts and credit information under the inaptly named Patriot Act. Now there's a freaking surprise. Who would have expected that to happen? Naturally, the Director of the FBI won't resign, nor will 'Berto, his boss (yes, we are back to Mr. Gonzales again). Apparently no one is responsible and the buck stops no where.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Insanity is collecting more information than they can possibly analyze, with annoying consequences to American citizens who find themselves on "no-fly" lists, thereby restricting their ability to travel freely. Constitution? We don't need no stinkin' Constitution.
In addition, King George himself appears to have put the kibosch on an internal Department of Justice investigation into warrantless wiretapping. The investigation was being conducted by DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility, which is charged with monitoring ethical abuses. (OPR was created in the wake of abuses by DOJ during Watergate. The more things change, the more they remain the same.) The investigation was stymied because His Heinie refused to grant the investigators the requisite national security clearances. This bears watching; we may see a lot more about this in the news very shortly.
The extent of the Pentagon's lies following the death of Pat Tillman are finally coming to light. That only took a couple of years. Its Inspector General "will cite a range of errors and inappropriate conduct as the military probed the former football star’s death on the battlefront . . ." That conduct includes the involvement of of four general officers. Geoffrey Chaucer once asked the question: If a shepard be shitten, what shall his sheep be? When military leadership acts this way, incidents such as Haditha should surprise exactly no one.
New Yorkers were spied on widely in the months before the 2004 Republican National Convention. Probably a buncha stinkin' flithy hippies with delusions about their so-called rights.
The new Secretary of Defense wanted to shut down Guantanamo, and the Secretary of State agreed, but they were overruled by Snarling Dick and (uh oh, here we go again) Alberto Gonzales. Meanwhile, the CIA is waiting for King George to set torture guidelines, but those are waiting for review and approval by 'Berto, who is busy with other matters right now.
Finally, because I can't resist, we have learned over the past 36 hours that Gonzo was a tad more involved in the US Attorney firings than previously disclosed, and that the DOJ liaison to the White House has gone on indefinite personal leave. Story here. Keep digging Mr. Leahy and Mr. Conyers. Most of this stuff has a common thread, and we'd like to see you find it and pull it. I will be quite interested to see what unravels.