A blogger I respect, who shall remain nameless, writes:
I’ve read most of your Purge-gate posts with dismay. In brief, you are investing your credibility and integrity with an administration that does not deserve it.
Hold on there, hoss! Who said my purpose was defending the Administration?!
I started this post last night, before the weaselly Kyle Sampson testified, but its essential content remains the same. Apparently, I need to reiterate something I have said before: at this point, I don’t see myself as defending the Administration on this issue. Rather, I am pointing out lies told by Administration opponents.
One of those lies is that the Administration articulated no principled reasons for firing the U.S. Attorneys before the fact. Refuting that falsehold requires me to set out proof that they did articulate such reasons. Now, I don’t know whether those reasons were the real reasons or not. But they damn well were articulated.
Further, I have made it clear that I think Kyle Sampson schemed to lie to Congress. That much is evidence from this quote from a Sampson e-mail (in particular the last sentence):
As I said in this post:
When someone puts the phrase “good faith” in quotes, you should watch your back.
I agree with Sampson (and have said previously) that the Administration has bungled the explanation of these firings.
So, no, I’m not putting myself in the line of fire for this cast of clowns, which includes at least one liar, and maybe more.
I’m glad Sampson quit. He should have.
In addition, I think it’s time Gonzales hit the road. I admire Ed Whelan considerably, and I find myself in agreement with his views on Alberto Gonzales, expressed here, here, and here.
It is indeed time for Gonzales to go. In fact, it’s past time.
This conclusion is only corroborated by Sampson’s confirmation today that Gonzales was more involved in the specifics than he has claimed.
But I agree with Whelan: that doesn’t mean that everything Democrats have said about Gonzales and the Administration is true. Like Whelan, I have utter skepticism for the very weak case that U.S. Attorneys were fired for the express purpose of derailing prosecutions against Republicans, or jump-starting prosecutions against Democrats. Maybe that happened, but I see precious little evidence of it.
So make no mistake: I feel no duty to sit by and watch as the L.A. Times and other leftists distort the record. And I will continue to correct the record when I find it distorted by those on the left.
For example, this morning I documented the absolute travesty of the L.A. Times‘s decision to bury any mention of the clear fact that Bud Cummins has disputed the central premise of a major L.A. Times story on this controversy. I am proud of that post, in which I said:
It’s not “defending the Administration” to point this out. It’s defending the concept of giving the public the whole truth. The L.A. Times has made a deliberate decision to hide the whole truth from its readers. That’s what upsets me.
An analogy may help make the point. Imagine that a criminal defendant is accused of murder. There is evidence that he did it. The evidence includes the police’s discovery that the defendant’s alibi was fabricated. In other words, the defendant lied. But the cops go too far, and plant his DNA at the scene.
If you denounce the police for planting evidence, I suppose folks could say: hey, you’re risking your credibility by defending a known liar! But that would be an unfair characterization of your actions. In reality, denouncing the police is simply defending the truth, and the integrity of the process. This is a valid thing to do, whether the defendant is guilty or not.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve taken up the defendant’s side. It just means that, even if he’s guilty, it’s wrong for people to lie about him.
P.S. I think the person who has shed the most revealing light on the controversy, not surprisingly, is Jan Crawford Greenburg:
The firestorm over the fired U.S. attorneys was sparked last month when a top Justice Department official ignored guidance from the White House and rejected advice from senior administration lawyers over his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The official, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, ignored White House Counsel Harriet Miers and senior lawyers in the Justice Department when he told the committee last month of specific reasons why the administration fired seven U.S. attorneys — and appeared to acknowledge for the first time that politics was behind one dismissal. McNulty’s testimony directly conflicted with the approach Miers advised, according to an unreleased internal White House e-mail described to ABC News. According to that e-mail, sources said, Miers said the administration should take the firm position that it would not comment on personnel issues.
Until McNulty’s testimony, administration officials had consistently refused to publicly say why specific attorneys were dismissed and insisted that the White House had complete authority to replace them. That was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ approach when he testified before the committee in January.
But McNulty, who worked on Capitol Hill 12 years, believed he had little choice but to more fully discuss the circumstances of the attorneys’ firings, according to a a senior Justice Department official familiar the circumstances. McNulty believed the senators would demand additional information, and he was confident he could draw on a long relationship with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, in explaining in more detail, sources told ABC News.
Sounds convincing to me. Read it all.