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Of all of the testimony given on Thursday by AG Gonzales and the questions posed by Senators in the Committee, the most devastating bits came from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.  The above YouTube is via The Muck, who did a fantastic job of getting quick testimony bits up for everyone to view.  What I really want, though, is a clip of that devastating bit near the end of the day's testimony, and another glance at the chart that Whitehouse had up showing the increasingly tangled web of influence that the Bush White House political shop had at the Department of Justice by comparison to the very limited connections that the Clinton Administration had when they were in office.  The level of infiltration of political management in a department that, by all rights, ought to be as apolitical as possible was as visually stunning as it was intellectually shocking.

If anyone can find that clip for me, I would be very, very grateful.

Here is why:  I am wondering if we did such a chart for every federal administrative agency, what would that show?  For a group of people at the White House who have little to no regard for the civil servants who work for all of us ensuring that the laws and regulations are implemented to the fullest extent, it seems awfully odd to me that they would concentrate so many tentacles, extending them outward into these agencies, from Rove's Shop….unless there was something in it for them.  And, further, it seems to me that showing that visually for all of these agencies — the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education…all of them. 

The list goes on and on where politicization has become the norm where, in prior administrations both Democratic and Republican, that was not the case to the extent that we are seeing under the current regime.  Politicization of the fundamental role of governmental agencies, so that they are advancing a single political agenda rather than being concerned about the performance of their duties for the betterment of the whole of the population, regardless of their political affiliation or connection to the White House in terms of influence or money donations?  We have the right to the whole truth on this — all of it.  What exactly were they after?  How many contracts for cronies are we talking about?  How much subversion of the laws, and rules and regs in order to advance a political agenda at election time and beyond? 

And, for the American public, I think that picture would be worth more than a thousand words.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com