Greenwald Is Good Today

Ken AshfordAttorney Firings, Bush & Co., Courts/LawLeave a Comment

He’s on a rant about the Justice Department under the Bush Adminsitration — people who seem to think they work for the President and not for the people of the United States:

The core attribute of the Justice Department is independence, not allegiance to the President as "client." The President has his own lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office. The Attorney General is not and never was one of those lawyers. To the contrary, the Attorney General represents the people of the United States — if he has any "client," that’s who it is — and is often required to take positions and actions adverse to the President. Few things could subvert — and have subverted — the American justice system more than thinking of the President as being the "client" of the Attorney General.

This all used to be so basic. But the belief that the DOJ exists to advance the interests and wishes of the President has become a central premise of how our Government now works. The Justice Department has been transformed into but another cog in the instruments of Government that protect and serve the President. And that transformation isn’t unique to Alberto Gonzales (who, during a CNN interview while Attorney General, actually referred to Bush as "my client"), as The Washington Post‘s Dan Froomkin pointed out yesterday:

Michael Mukasey has President Bush’s back.

Mukasey succeeded toady Alberto Gonzales as attorney general last fall. But the notion that he would restore independence to that post took a big hit yesterday when he refused to turn over to a House committee key documents related to the CIA leak investigation.

This isn’t just ranting for the sake of ranting.  The people who think they work for Bush literally have no idea who they seem to actually work for or what their allegience is to, even though it’s spelled out in their oath. 

Exhibit A from last year — former White House official Sara Taylor actually went before the Senate and testified that she understood that she took an oath when she went to the White House that was "an oath to the President":

That’s quite disconcerting…