Monday, August 03, 2009

Obama hires back one of the U.S. attorneys fired by Bush and Rove.

Good on Obama.

He is starting to correct some of the wrongs which took place under the Bush administration:

From Murray Waas:

In an appointment that senior Justice Department officials say demonstrates the Obama administration’s commitment to reversing the Bush administration’s politicization of the Department, a U.S. attorney fired by President Bush was reappointed to his old job on Friday.

Daniel Bogden, who was fired in the fall of 2006 by the Bush administration as the U.S. attorney in Nevada, was offered his old job back by President Obama, and was formally nominated on Friday.

Bogden’s confirmation by the Senate is all but assured: He has spent his entire adult life in government service, and as a former U.S. attorney was confirmed by the Senate previously. He was also thoroughly vetted for his new position by the White House Counsel’s office prior to his most recent nomination, even though he was vetted during his first appointment as U.S. attorney by the Bush administration. Moreover, he has the backing of both his home-state senators: Harry Reid, a Democrat, and John Ensign, a Republican. That Reid is a Senate Majority Leader, and that Reid personally suggested to the President that Bogden get his old job back probably, won’t hurt matters.

Ironically, Bogden’s formal reappointment as U.S. attorney comes exactly one day after former Bush political adviser Karl Rove gave sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the firings of Bogden and eight other U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration. A federal grand jury is currently investigating whether Bush administration officials and members of Congress obstructed justice in pressing for one or more of the firings, and also, whether they misled Congress as to why the prosecutors were fired.
Investigators managed to find out why most of the Attorney's were fired, and who did the firing, but not in the case of Bogden.
An entire chapter of the report was devoted to his firing, but it concluded only that investigators “could not determine who was responsible for Bogden’s name being placed on the U.S. Attorney removal list.” His firing, if the accounts of senior DOJ officials responsible for terminating him are to be believed, was one of Immaculate Conception.

At the time of the firings, Alberto Gonzalez was attorney general. His chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, was in charge of compiling the list of names of U.S. attorneys to be fired – allegedly for poor performance (though those involved later admitted the firings were in fact made for political reasons). In interviews with investigators, according to the Justice Department report, Sampson “acknowledged that he must have physically placed Bogden’s name on the list.” But Sampson “denied that he made the decision to add Bogden to the list,” and asserted that “he did not remember who made the recommendation.”

Deputy attorney general Paul McNulty, who was the second highest-ranking official in the Department at the time, told investigators that he too "did not know why Bogden’s name was on the list of U.S. Attorneys to be removed.”

And Gonzales himself, who resigned in disgrace in large part over his role in the firings, denied to investigators that he had even wanted Bogden fired. Gonzales told federal investigators that he “did not have an independent basis for understanding why Bogden was to be removed.”

There is the distinct feeling that a wrong is being corrected here. The very fact that both Nevada Democratic Senator Harry Reid and Republican John Ensign have both suggested that he be reinstated tells it's own story.

This man had worked his entire life in public service and was fired without anyone ever being able to give a good reason as to why this was taking place. But we were all left with the distinct impression that the Attorney's were being fired because they were not right wing enough for the Bush administration's tastes.

And there's a wonderful irony in the fact that Bogden gets his job back exactly at the same moment that Karl Rove finally faces questions about this disgraceful affair. One of the things which most pleases me about the Obama administration is when it sets about correcting the shit of the last eight years. And the firing of those US Attorney's was one of their shittiest acts.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

No comments: