When it rains, it pours

A slew of scandals have hit the news lately that would make President Bush sweat if he actually read newspapers.

Scooter Libby found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. Remember when Bush promised to restore "honor and dignity" to the White House in 2000? Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's civil suit against Libby, Cheney, Rove and Armitage is also coming up soon.
By the way, who knew that Scooter Libby wrote a book filled with prostitution, pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia? I can't find the New Yorker article online, but this is from the google cache of Close Reading Dept. Scooter's Sex Shocker, by Lauren Collins:

Other sex scenes are less conventional. Where his Republican predecessors can seem embarrassingly awkward—the written equivalent of trying to cop a feel while pinning on a a corsage—Libby is unabashed:
"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."
And, finally:
"He asked if they should fuck the deer."
The answer, reader, is yes.

Anyway, back to Bush's scandals:

Walter Reed hospitals found in deplorable shape. People are getting fired left and right, including the commander of the hospital, Maj. General Weightman, his replacement, Kevin Kiley, and the Secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey. Bush portrays still himself as Mr. Support the Troops.

A slew of U.S. attorneys are fired because they didn't engage in partisan investigations. David Iglesias, one of the fired attorneys from New Mexico, says that Representative Heather Wilson and Senator Pete Domenici, both Republicans, both pressured him to finish investigations of Democrats in time for November elections. A clause slipped in to the second installment of the Patriot Act by a staffer of Senator Arlen Specter, without the Senator's knowledge, allows the Department of Justice to replace U.S. attorneys with "temporary" replacements that serve indefinitely without Senate confirmation.

The FBI's use of National Security Letters is riddled with errors and has no oversight. This is probably the least surprising of all of them, given that Bush explicitly said in a signing statement attached to the Patriot Act that the executive can do whatever it wants as long as they can tangentially relate it to national security.

Mark Klein, former AT&T employee who went public a little while ago about the NSA installing secret rooms in phone companies' buildings in order to suck up all the data that passes through there, had an ABC Nightline feature on him and the story. The new bit of news is that the L.A Times editor killed the story because the documents Klein supplied were too technical and he "could not figure out what was going on."

Two guys are suing the NSA for wiretapping them. While the NSA has been wiretapping everybody, it's difficult to establish standing in court because you can't prove that you specifically been harmed or wiretapped. Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, two lawyers in Oregon, were shown Treasury Dept. papers with their phone logs on them, evidence they can use in court to establish standing.

A lot of this stuff has to do with the Department of Justice. Attorney General Gonzales might be on his way out (or so I can dream). Senator Specter is pissed, saying "One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later." Maybe Specter is just pissed that he got hoodwinked by his own staffer in that business about replacing U.S. attorneys.

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