US Attorney firingsRove says, in part, "Look, by law and by Constitution [sic], these attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and traditionally are given a four year term. And Clinton, when he came in, replaced all 93 US attorneys. When we came in, we ultimately replace most all 93 U.S. attorneys -- there are some still left from the Clinton era in place. We have appointed a total of, I think, 128 US attorneys -- that is to say the original 93, plus replaced some, some have served 4 years, some served less, most have served more. Clinton did 123. I mean, this is normal and ordinary. What happened in this instance, was there were seven done all at once, and people wanted to play politics with it. And it's served at the disadvantage at the people who.... Look, some of these were removed for cause. Some of them were policy disagreements. One United States attorney refused to file cases...of death penalty case...refused to ask for the death penalty, contrary to policy. Another United States attorney was doing an otherwise excellent job in the San Diego district. [She] refused to file immigration cases...at the direction of the Attorney General, she was asked to file, and she said I don't want to make that a priority in my office. Others are [because of] with performance issues."
Walter Reed scandalDuring hearings in the House Armed Services Committee about veterans care, Phil Gingrey says the conditions in Walter Reed's now-infamous Building 18 aren't so bad. Instead of criticizing the cockroach infestation, for example, he says, "I was glad to know that those cockroaches were belly up. It suggested to me that at least someone was spraying for them." As for the conditions, Gingrey blames the soldiers themselves: "And, of course, if you leave food around in a motel room or a dorm room at a college, you're going to get some mice show up at some point in time." Instead, Gingrey blames the media, specifically the Washington Post, for the fallout, and says that he is "shocked" that Army Secretary Francis Harvey and Walter Reed commander George Weightmann were fired. "[A]sk the Washington Post whose head should roll, I think [President Bush] probably would be...the only satisfaction," he snarls. After trying to blame everyone but the military for the problems at Walter Reed, he intones, "[L]et's try to take some of the politics aside and some of the rhetoric, and try to solve the problem." (Think Progress [link to video])
Lewis Libby perjury trialParry writes, "Fred Hiatt's...editorial page and George W. Bush's presidency have a lot in common -- most notably an arrogance of power so extreme that they believe their very words can alter reality." Parry uses the recent editorials from Hiatt and the Post editorial writers to establish that for years, the Post editorial writers "continue...to manufacture a false history of the case, [consistently] slamming Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson."
Lewis Libby perjury trialNovak is, of course, the columnist who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson on July 14, 2003, at the behest of his White House cohorts. Novak was an enthusiastic participant in the White House smear campaign against Joseph Wilson, if not completely informed of the smear campaign's inner workings.
US Attorney firingsHe agrees to "let" -- i.e. not oppose -- Congress limit his powers and interview Justice Department officials as part of an escalating battle over the firings of eight US attorneys. Gonzales knows, as do some of the senators, that another scandal about the FBI abusing Americans' privacy is about to break (see items below), and knows that he is losing support even among the GOP faithful. "What else do you want us to do?" he asks the senators.
Plame outingPlame has already agreed to testify before Congress on March 16 (see below item). Fitzgerald recently won a conviction against former White House senior aide Lewis Libby (see items above). Waxman and other Democrats want to hold hearings on Fitzgerald's investigation that would span a wider range than Fitzgerald's narrow prosecution of Libby. Fitzgerald would be asked to provide evidence he obtained during the course of his three-year investigation about the roles Dick Cheney and other White House officials played in the Plame leak. Waxman has sent a letter today to Fitzgerald asking him to voluntarily appear before his committee. Waxman writes, in part, "I recognize that as a federal prosecutor, you are constrained by the rules of grand jury secrecy. But you undoubtedly recognize that Congress has a responsibility to examine the policy and accountability questions that your investigation has raised. As a result of your investigation, you have a singular understanding of the facts and their implications that bear directly on the issues before Congress.... Your investigation had a narrow legal focus: Were any federal criminal statutes violated by White House officials?"
Conservative media slantIn his speech at the First Amendment Awards ceremony, Ailes also made a bad joke about Bill Clinton's infidelities and obliquely threatened presidential candidate John Edwards, who quickly announced that he would not participate in any such debate if Fox sponsored it. (A clip of Ailes's performance can be viewed here.)