Speculation is swirling about who will replace Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales -- everyone from Utah's Senator Orrin Hatch to former
Solicitor General and Clinton stalker Theodore Olsen.
Until last week, the name most bandied about was Secretary
of Homeland Security and USAPATRIOT Act co-author Michael Chertoff. You'd think
selecting Chertoff in light of the New Orleans debacle would be a stupid thing
to do since Chertoff's continued ideological mishandling of the Katrina
disaster borders on the criminally insane.
Oh. Yeah. I forgot. Stupid bungling and destructive,
criminal assaults on the less fortunate seem to be the criteria for serving at
the pleasure of this president. Who can forget Chertoff's bewildered
insistence that nobody could "predict such a disaster ever
could occur"? Or that he refused hundreds of aid personnel and dozens of
vehicles offered by Chicago's Mayor Daley . . . refused to let the Red Cross
deliver food . . . refused the Navy's offer of a ship with a 600-bed hospital .
. . refused Amtrak's offer to assist in evacuations . . . turned away Wal-Mart
supply trucks . . . prevented the Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel . . .
blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid . . . turned back a
German government plane loaded with 15 tons of food . . . put on FEMA's website
that first responders were "not to respond" unless dispatched . . . and
then tried to cover his ass by asking the media not to take pictures of the
The response to Katrina was an evil, genocidal racist
disaster, a contractor's wet dream, a dry run for mercenary troops to impose
martial law. Its PR was orchestrated by Karl Rove, who also controlled the
money, and by Michael Chertoff who apparently was in charge of ridding the Big
Easy of its bottom feeders, you know, the ill, the elderly, the poverty
stricken and tens of thousands of its black population. They did a heckuva
a job . . .
The Democrats seem to think doing the Gonzo Boogie is as
easy as ABC -- Anybody But Chertoff. They're getting nervous, begging Bush to
consult with them and to come up with a candidate that suits both sides of the
aisle. Bush's response thus far has been to extend the middle fingers of both
hands while accusing Democrats of dragging Gonzales' "good name"
through the mud for political reasons.
According to the Washington Post, which long ago quit even pretending to identify its sources,
administration officials are warning that Bush will nominate an attorney general
who agrees with his policies. "It is the president's prerogative to
appoint someone who shares his views," a senior administration official told the Post.
Well, that lets former Acting Attorney General James Comey,
the one man who could perhaps bring some sanity back into our justice system,
off the hook. Comey is a Republican whose attention is riveted on the views of
the U.S. Constitution rather than those of the president. Comey appointed
Patrick Fitzgerald as special prosecutor to investigate the CIA leak case,
which resulted in Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby taking the perjury perp
walk. It was Comey who thwarted Gonzales' smarmy effort to get the surveillance
program reauthorized in his midnight raid on the hospital room of a critically
ill John Ashcroft. And it was Comey, the only Justice official not to lose his
memory when facing questions from Congress, who told the truth
about the filthy, behind-the-scenes activities of the Bush administration.
If Bush had any integrity or appreciation for the rule of
law, he would consider Solicitor General Paul Clement, a 31-year-old legal whiz
kid who is not only brilliant, but honest. Clement is a true conservative, a
former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia, and a deputy to Ted Olson when he was
solicitor general. However, that doesn't necessarily mean he would meet Bush's
criteria of an attorney general who agrees with his policies or shares his
dangerous views. In a January article
in Legal Times, Tony Mauro wrote, "Clement
defends liberal legislation with as much zeal as he does Republican policies.
His litigating skills and reputation for straight shooting have won him
plaudits from across the ideological spectrum."
Does it matter whose names remain on Bush's "short
list" for attorney general? Nah . . . Bush is The Decider. Under pressure
to fire Gonzales, he declared, "I decide who serves in my
government." He decided long ago the U.S. Constitution is nothing but a
G**damn piece of paper, and his obsession with exercising magisterial control
over every facet of government, over the people -- over the entire sphere --
borders on vampire lust. Bush is Caesar, his visions put Plato to shame, and
when he weeps, his head is on God's own shoulder.
Removing Chertoff from consideration without a fight is
uncharacteristic of Bush, and is designed to force the Democrats to cave yet
again; to give Bush what he wants while weakly claiming victory. And what Bush
wants is unparalleled, unmitigated power such as that proposed by former
Ashcroft deputy assistant John Yoo -- the power to wiretap US citizens, the
freedom to torture not only terrorist suspects, but their children
as well, and to declare war anytime, anywhere, on anyone.
Fortunately, Yoo, currently a professor of law at the
University of California, Berkeley, is radioactive, but we can look for former
Solicitor General Theodore (Ted) Olson to be at the top of Bush's list. Olson
was part of the Paula Jones legal team in her case against President Bill
Clinton, and was deeply involved in Kenneth Starr's Richard Mellon
Scaife-funded Swiftboat investigation of Whitewater. Olson also personally
represented Bush in the 2000 election coup in Florida.
Olson almost makes Gonzales look good. He is campaigning for
Rudy Giuliani in 2008, and is the chairman of Giuliani�s Justice Advisory
Committee. In a recent National Review article,
"Two for the Price of One: The presidency and the judiciary," Olson
openly admitted his goal is to stack the courts with "jurists in the mold
of Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito and Chief Justices Rehnquist and
Roberts," and Giuliani is the guy who will do just that.
And then there's Judge Laurence (Scary Larry) Silberman.
Should his name pop up for confirmation, I'll wager the Democrats won't
remember, or will hope we don't remember that Silberman is the Reagan campaign
operative who worked behind the scenes with Iran's Khomeini regime to
successfully delay release of American hostages until after the 1980 election.
Silberman's reward was a seat on the powerful right-wing
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he was instrumental in
changing the course of history by intervening in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Investigative journalist Martin McLaughlin writes
that Silberman's "most important decision on the Court of Appeals came in
the case of Lt. Col. Oliver North, the principal figure in the Iran-Contra
affair. Silberman and fellow justice David Sentelle,
a former aide to arch right-wing Republican Senator Jesse Helms, voided the
convictions of both North and Admiral John Poindexter in 1990. Their
intervention played a key role in sabotaging the investigation by Iran-Contra
special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh."
The Democrats may discover that confirming a new attorney
general is not as easy as ABC. We could go on through the alphabet and find
other candidates, such as Poppy's Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger,
the leader of the Bush-Cheney coup team during the Florida recount, or former
Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, who left government service shortly
after the Iraq invasion for a saner position at the helm of PepsiCo.
It's likely Bush won't be able to resist ramming a political
firecracker in the mouths of Democrats just to see their heads explode by
nominating Connecticut donkey
Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has spent the last six years selling his soul to prove
to Bush he's a team player who really really wants to be attorney general. Democrats
would be forced to reject the totally unacceptable Lieberman, or accept him and
split the Senate down the middle while Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell appoints a
Republican to replace him.
Nothing will change with Gonzales' departure, because each
candidate on Bush's attorney general list is Gonzo "squared" -- each
one committed to do the Gonzo Boogie from now until January 2009. Until then,
the Democrats will continue to struggle with their attention-deficit disorder
(ADD), and the American people will sink deeper into the morass of national
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
And Bush? It's been a hell of a ride. So exciting that Bush
has decided to keep "surging" and "kicking ass" until his
job is done, and then he says the next president can clean up the body parts
'cause he's gonna go out and give speeches and make lots of money like Poppy
and Bubba . . .
Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information
Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact
her at email@example.com.