Read Candace's bio and previous columns
August 18, 2008
Republican Means Never Having to Be Accountable
That’s it. The U.S.
Justice Department is tainted and its prosecutions meaningless. Save the
taxpayers a lot of money and just disband the entire circus before the
wheels come off.
The preceding is
predicated on the strange inaction of the nation’s top law enforcement
officer, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Declining to pursue
current and former Justice Department officials for their rule-bending
roles in politicizing the process of hiring career civil servants,
Mukasey instead wants to turn state and local police departments into
spies for the federal government.
Maybe his lack of zeal
is not so odd after all. According to Scott Horton in Harper’s
Magazine, before being confirmed as Attorney General, Mukasey attended a
meeting arranged by the White House. There he assured a group of
conservatives that he would not appoint any special prosecutors to
pursue administration figures involved in serious Justice Department
scandals, such as politically motivated hiring and firing, not to
mention those memos to provide cover for torture.
Muskasey is at least a
man of his word. “. . . Not every wrong, or even every violation of the
law, is a crime,” he said at the recent annual meeting of the American
Bar Association. He was referring to the findings of two Justice
Department Inspector General’s reports on the highly partisan hiring
practices of Monica Goodling, Michael Elston and Esther McDonald, all
reporting to former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Up is down. Black is
white. Love means never having to say you’re sorry and Republican means
never having to be held accountable.
you know? Only the little people face accountability. The late Leona
Helmsley was referring to taxes and little people when she was quoted
during her tax-evasion trial two decades ago. “Little people,” of
course, refers to you and me, without the right sort of political
connections or the right sort of financial clout.
however, are precisely the ones most vulnerable to Mukasey’s soon-to-be
unleashed state and local cops – the spies like us who live in our
neighborhoods and work in our town and cities.
The Justice Department
has proposed regulation changes to allowing state and local law
enforcement agencies to target groups as well as individuals, and to
launch criminal intelligence investigations based on the mere suspicion
that the target is involved in terrorism or providing material support
The new regulations
permit state and local police to share their intelligence findings with
a wide range of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies as
well as other, undefined federal departments.
How scary is this: The
locals joining the feds in warrantless spying on anyone they don’t like.
Think it hasn’t happened already? Even without these expanded
regulations, New York police infiltrated protest groups before the 2004
Republican National Convention; Maryland State Police spied on death
penalty opponents and antiwar organizations in 2005 and 2006; Denver
police pursued Amnesty International members; the California state cops
have eavesdropped on animal rights, labor and peace activists.
The preceding are just
the known abuses of power by state and local police. Once Mukasey and
the Bush Administration are done, you and I – “the little people” – will
have a lot more to fear from our own law enforcers than we do any
terrorist. In fact, now that the local and state police will be spying
for the CIA, DOD, FBI, NSA and the entire federal agency alphabet soup,
do not give any of them squat. Don’t cooperate. Don’t volunteer a word –
not even the time of day. Your very freedom and life could depend on it.
Department’s Inspector General has yet to release the findings of
another probe into the politically motivated sacking of nine U.S.
attorneys. It’s a safe bet that Mukasey won’t see any wrongdoing in this
instance, either, no matter what the report actually says.
Rest assured, however,
that any “little people” who protest government policies or advocate an
unpopular viewpoint will find the Bush Administration’s own version of
Big Brother breathing down their necks and hauling them off to the
slammer, where they will be named as “enemy combatants” and held
indefinitely without trial.
Feel safer now?
North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback
about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
This is Column #CT112.
Request permission to publish here.