I often hear defense attorneys bemoan counterproductive actions by their clients. For example, the attorney might do a tremendous job raising potential reasonable doubts during the People’s case — but then the defendant will ruin everything by insisting on testifying to a story so ridiculous that a conviction is certain.
These attorneys’ attitudes towards their clients can be summed up as follows: I’d like to defend you, but you’re making it very difficult for me.
This is the way I am starting to feel about the folks in the Bush Administration, on the issue of the U.S. Attorney firings. They have unquestionably been the victims of some smears by Democrats and Big Media (but I repeat myself). As a result, I’d like to defend them.
But they’re making it really, really hard for me to do so.
In several instances, I have made valid points in defense of the Administration, only to see the left make an equally valid counterpoint — often based on actions by the very Administration I am defending.
I made the valid point that Carol Lam had been very weak on prosecuting illegal immigration cases — a critical priority in the border district where her office was located. And I was right about that. But then the left made the valid counterpoint that the Justice Department had later defended her on that very issue in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
I made the valid point that the “real problem” Carol Lam presented for the Administration could not have been the Jerry Lewis investigation, because it was handled in L.A. by Debra Yang, not in San Diego by Carol Lam. And I was right about that. But then the left made the valid counterpoint that, the day before Kyle Sampson described Lam as a “real problem” that the Administration was facing “right now,” Lam had “notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe.”
I made the valid point that Carol Lam was on a working list of targeted prosecutors as early as February or March 2005 — meaning she wasn’t initially targeted due to the “Duke” Cunningham investigation. And I’m right about that. But then the left made the valid counterpoint that David Iglesias was deemed a “strong” prosecutor on that working list — and was added only after Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson called him to complain about the slow pace of his investigation into Democrat corruption.
I made the valid point that David Iglesias failed to vigorously investigate claims of voter fraud, citing the wholly inadequate excuse that he lacked sufficient resources — even as he assigned only one prosecutor to public corruption cases. And I’m right about that. But then the left made the valid counterpoint that David Iglesias
had been heralded for his expertise in that area by the Justice Department, which twice selected him to train other federal prosecutors to pursue election crimes.
I’m starting to feel like a volleyball player who makes amazing saves, time and time again — only to have the ball spiked back into his face . . . time and time again. And to make matters worse, he learns that the player who is setting up the spikes is supposed to be his own teammate.
So consider this my open letter to the Bush Administration:
I think the press has distorted some of the aspects of this case against you. And, for that reason, at least, I want to defend you.
But you’re making it really, really hard for me to defend you.
And I’m not your defense attorney. If I think you’re full of crap, I don’t have to defend you.
And, given that 1) at least one of you gleefully boasted that you planned to deceive Congress, and 2) I keep making arguments that get shoved back in my face based on your own actions — I’m kind of tempted to tell you to screw yourselves.
Love and kisses,
Understand: I don’t believe that the Democrats’ wildest allegations are true. I don’t believe that everything the press is saying about this is true. If I see further distortions, I will be tempted to point them out.
But if I do, it will be purely in the spirit of keeping the press (and the opposition) honest — not in the spirit of defending the Administration. I’m tired of defending people who make it impossible to argue in their defense.
UPDATE: Apparently, the guy who successfully prosecuted Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and who convicted Illinois Governor George Ryan of bribery, was considered a middling prosecutor by Kyle Sampson. I wonder if it had anything to do with that prosecutor’s pending prosecution of Scooter Libby (which also resulted in a conviction)?
But then, we already knew that Sampson was a dishonest bonehead, didn’t we?
UPDATE x2: I recently predicted that Gonzales would be gone by this coming Friday afternoon. I now think the only question is whether he will last that long.