Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mukasey Proves Our Case for Moral Rot in the GOP

Just yesterday, we wrote about the moral rot that is at the heart of modern conservatism.

Today, Attorney General Michael Mukasey proves our point by rejecting the idea of criminally prosecuting former Justice Department employees who improperly used political litmus tests in hiring decisions.

Scott Horton, legal-affairs contributor for Harper's magazine and a law professor at Columbia University, attended Mukasey's speech at a meeting of the American Bar Association. Horton said the crowd was visibly angered by Mukasey's speech, and the AG's reception was "ice cold" throughout. Here is Horton's initial report:

Today at the ABA meeting in New York--I was present--Michael Mukasey delivered a speech in which he anticipates the outcome of the current US Attorney's inquiry. Perhaps it will show that the Justice Department was being unlawfully and politically manipulated, he appears to grant. And then he went on to say that he would oppose any effort to hold those who attempted to politicize the Justice Department to account. The crowd was visibly angered at Mukasey's speech and his reception was ice cold throughout. Essentially Mukasey was saying "okay, so maybe we got caught politicizing the Justice Department. But we'll use our political control of the Justice Department to block any accountability for the perpetrators." It was astonishing.

Alabama whistleblower Jill Simpson, a Republican, had a swift response to Mukasey's speech. Simpson, at significant personal cost, came forward to say she overheard a phone conversation in which GOP operatives planned a political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The wimpy tone of Mukasey's speech left Simpson underwhelmed:

United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey is a disgrace to our country and those who really pursue justice. He is showing a complete lack of respect for the rule of law by not charging individuals who were part of the United States Justice Department that broke the law.

He is creating a class of individuals that are above the law in this country, and that is wrong. They should be tried for the crimes they committed, but Mr Mukasey told the ABA they are going to get off scot free. These DOJ employees broke the law, and it doesn't matter where they work--ignorance to the law is no excuse, plus the evidence suggests these folks knew what they were doing and broke the law anyway. They should be tried, and if convicted, punished for the crimes they committed.

Yet, Mr Mukasey wants to sweep it under his rug and forget it. By refusing to do his job he is part and parcel of the crime. Mr Mukasey made a very big mistake saying he will not charge these individuals. He will lose the respect of people around the world as this story is carried to other nations. The message around the world will be if you work for the Department of Justice in the United States of America and break the law, you won't be charged.

What kind of message is that? Have we no respect any longer in the Department of Justice for the rule of law?

It sounds like Mr Mukasey has no respect for the law. What is our President doing allowing this guy to run the DOJ? He took an oath to uphold the law, he should do so. If he cannot, then the President should fire Mr Mukasey.

His job after all is to uphold the rule of law and treat all citizens the same. Surely we are not now going to make a new class of citizens that are above the law. I am calling on the President of the United States of America to restore the rule of law in this country. After all, our attorney general seems to have forgotten what his job is.

Glynn Wilson, of Locust Fork World News & Journal, has an excellent overview of issues connected to Mukasey's speech.

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