Monday, July 28, 2008

When the Law breaks the law; or, the politicization of Justice

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Here's another sordid chapter of Bush's presidency -- and of Bush's legacy -- not to mention of the history of the Republican Party and its various conservative organs:

Former Justice Department counselor Monica M. Goodling and former chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson routinely broke the law by conducting political litmus tests on candidates for jobs as immigration judges and line prosecutors, according to an inspector general's report released today.

Goodling passed over hundreds of qualified applicants and squashed the promotions of others after deeming candidates insufficiently loyal to the Republican party, said investigators, who interviewed 85 people and received information from 300 other job seekers at Justice. Sampson developed a system to screen immigration judge candidates based on improper political considerations and routinely took recommendations from the White House Office of Political Affairs and Presidential Personnel, the report said. [emphasis added]

Indeed, just to drive the point home, one of the questions Goodling asked applicants was this: "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"

Which would be funny if, say, Stephen Colbert were uttering the line, but when two top Justice officials act like they're serving Stalin, well, that ain't so amusing.

But it's just government-as-usual under Bush, who, along with his minions and underlines, has been spent much of his presidency picking away at the the very foundations of American democracy.

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