Category → Fire the Bush U.S. Attorneys
Obama Should Ask For U.S. Attorney Resignations And Get Rid Of Bush, Cheney, and Rove People — If He Gets A Second Term!
We saw in the “war-crimes” situation with regard to Bush and Cheney that Obama considered it “too risky” to mess with the power structure by prosecuting Bush, Cheney, and others for what other civilized countries (and Geneva Accords Signees) clearly thought were war crimes. And the atrocities committed by U.S. forces in Iraq (including torture) were “war crimes” as defined by the Geneva Accords, and were in clear violation of Chapter 7, Articles 39 – 54 of the United Nations Charter — but primarily Article 51:
Chapter 7, Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
When Obama was sworn into office, his official position on the “war crimes” of Bush and Cheney, was that we should “look forward”, not backward. If having a degree in constitutional law is not enough to instruct one on the necessary honoring of the laws of your own country and the international treaties your country has signed — I am not sure where you would turn next. Maybe the conclusion you must draw is the the constitution, the United Nations, and the Geneva Accords were all just window dressing for the dumb-downed masses of America as props for the idea that we are a nation of the rules of law — both domestic and international — when in actuality the only law is the law of money and power.
In that dismal context, it might make sense what President Obama did with regard to the U.S. Attorneys when he came into office. For decades the standard procedure — and expectation really — was that when a new President came into office, particularly when the political party of the President changed — all U.S. Attorneys resigned — it was pro forma.
During Bush’s term, the Justice Department became substantially the political enforcement arm of the Republican party. Karl Rove would direct U.S. Attorneys in target Districts and States, in the case of Senators, to investigate and charge Democratic political candidates with crimes — election fraud, bribery, extortion, or corruption — for the apparent sole purpose of impeding or destroying the political careers and election chances of Democratic politicians and candidates in those locations targeted by the Republican Party as ones they had to win. Many of the U.S. Attorneys complied with Rove’s requests and investigated and/or charged prominent Democratic politicians with crimes. The ones who did not respond to the overt politicization of the Justice Department and refused to prosecute Democratic politicians that had committed no chargeable crimes, were fired and replaced by U.S. Attorneys who would do as Rove instructed them to do. There were at least 6-8 that have been exposed as having done so.
However, when Obama took office, he did not even request the resignations of those political hacks installed in politicized U.S. Attorney positions around the country. He did not request the resignations of any of the U.S. Attorneys. Now I understand that when you are a young, fairly inexperienced black man coming to power in America, it may be prudent to move cautiously and not immediately start prosecuted the entrenched cadre of the White Power elite of America. One step at a time, y’all.
In fact, one of these “politicized” U.S. Attorney “switchees” , I have heard, is behind the John Edwards prosecution for election crimes. I am not an Edwards sympathizer. In many ways he has done the least with the talent, good lucks, and drive that almost anyone you could name has done. He has not only behaved badly — he has behaved stupidly — and shamefully. For which he has paid the price. For a more calamitous fall from grace and loss of reputation you would have to go back to Nixon — although there have obviously been worthy contenders along the way. Bill Clinton’s famous “did not have sexual relations with that woman” comes to humorously to mind also. Right, Bill, blow jobs are just thorough personal hygiene, right? But John Edwards is clearly being prosecuted on a political vendetta of some kind. I mean he is charged with election and campaign fraud by virtue of a couple of his friends personally paying for Edward’s girlfriends expenses and travel money — some $121,000 dollars or some such. Meanwhile Karl Rove collects by his own words $75 million or so in secret money and does not, by virtue of Citizens United, even have to reveal the exact amount or sources of the “political influence” money of dubious origin — and he is a national political hero of the right wing in this country.
So maybe President Obama was just still a little steeped in the moral superiority argument that we need to look forward, not backwards. Maybe he was just showing us a little of the “confrontation aversion” pundits speculated about early in the President’s first term. Maybe there really is a power structure, and rather than run it when you are President — you are allowed to become — or remain — President, only if you genuflect before that power and don’t mess with the under-pinnings of the ruling class’s power structure — which really rules America. Or maybe the President was just astute enough to understand that when you are new, comparatively inexperienced — and an hertofore unconnected to the power elite President — when you first come into office — better to tread softly at first and avoid the risk of an uprising!
But there are at least two things the President must learn. The first is that politics is the quintessential art of acquiring and wielding power. And the nature of power is that if you are given power — and do not exercise it — it will either be taken away from you — or it will be used against you. And Republicans do now how to seize and wield power. But right now the failure to use the power to replace U.S. Attorneys has been usurped and is being used against Democrats to publicly prosecute a prominent Democrat with extreme prejudice and venom when there are far egregious crimes being committed in broad daylight with the blessing of the highest court of the land — the Supreme Court — and with no recrimination whatsoever.
So, Mr. Obama — if you get re-elected, I hope the first thing you do is give notice to the Republicans that your second term will look slightly different than the first one. Request the resignations of all the U.S. Attorneys the day after the election and replace every republican U.S. Attorney — whether they are good men or not — as a demonstration to Republicans that you intend to wield all the power the office of the Presidency commands during your second term. And then do it. The Republicans need their butts kicked — and the American people and Democrats need a President who knows how to wield power — and who can push forward a progressive agenda badly needed by the American middle-class and working poor! The 99%!