Can’t Ignore The Elephant In The Room
(Photo via Nyx.)
Digby pulled some disparate threads together yesterday into a very coherent whole that needs more attention. If you missed this article, please go and read the entire thing. It's okay, I'll wait right here. Digby cites a McClatchy article which succinctly sums up why some smarm merchant in the White House political shop should have known better than to start messing with people who pick apart lies for a living:
Absent another explanation, the signs point to the White House and, at least in some degree, to the president's political adviser, Karl Rove.
David Iglesias, the former New Mexico U.S. attorney and one of the eight fired last year, said investigating the White House's role is the logical next step – one that would follow existing clues about Rove's involvement.
"If I were Congress, I would say, `If the attorney general doesn't have answers, then who would?' There's enough evidence to indicate that Karl Rove was involved up to his eyeballs."
Iglesias said another clue that the White House may have been the driving force is the relative lack of Justice Department documentation for the firings in the 6,000 pages of documents turned over to Congress.
"If you want to justify getting rid of someone, you should have at least some paper trail," Iglesias said. "There's been a remarkable absence of that. I'm wondering if the paper trail is at the White House."(emphasis mine)
This is absolutely correct and, further, in cases where an employer does not have a paper trail, there are enormous questions raised as to whether there may have been a conspiracy to conciously NOT leave a paper trail so that any evidence of wrongdoing would not be on paper, where the firing or other action may be outside the bounds of acceptable practice. In fact, and the employment lawyers in the audience can back me up on this one, where you have no paper trail whatsoever — no indicia of reprimands or other employee warnings with regard to conduct difficulties and the like, no contemporaneous internal memoranda or dialogue with regard to the need to issue some sort of corrective action with regard to the employee, etc. — that raises a whole lot of red flags in the minds of anyone pursuing a case against that employer. A LOT of questions.
Which is why Congress should pursue the improper e-mail trail of government business routed through the RNC servers with as much vigor as possible — including through third party sources wherever possible. (What, you think it's just a two-way transfer? Think again, and there is no presumption of privilege with an internet provider's servers when wrongdoing is at issue. Hello, Bush-sponsored Patriot Act. How's that working for you now? So the Bush Administration can go Cheney themselves on that privilege claim.)
But Gonzales himself was hanging tough. "We believe the burden is now on the Democrats to prove that something improper occurred here—and they haven't done that," said a top Justice official (who asked not to be ID'd talking about nonpublic matters). Publicly, the White House was standing by its A.G. One White House adviser (who asked not to be ID'ed talking about sensitive issues) said the support reflected Bush's own view that a Gonzales resignation would embolden the Dems to go after other targets—like Karl Rove. "This is about Bush saying, 'Screw you'," said the adviser, conceding that a Gonzales resignation might still be inevitable. The trick, said the adviser, would be to find a graceful exit strategy for Bush's old friend.
It would be nice if Congress would continue to exert their spine and show a little legislative branch pride in this — because Karl Rove and George Bush have shown, repeatedly, that they feel they have to answer only to themselves. Think again — you work for us, and Congress works for us, and we are all expecting some answers. And Congress can no longer ignore the elephant in the room: every last little malignant scheme of Rove's Shop needs to be dragged out from under the rock and exposed to public scrutiny and labeled for the cheating, festering mess that it is. Read Digby's piece and tell me the whole "gin up a voter fraud crisis that doesn't exist in order to skew the election results" scheme is an isolated mistake and I've got some oceanfront property here in WV to sell you. And if you still aren't sure, take a peek at this from Paul Kiel at The Muck.
Let the sun shine in…