Tuesday, April 17, 2007

abc's exclusive on gonzales' e-mail contradiction. . .

my view: even without any contradictions,
the AG's story would be unworthy of belief.

it must be said at the outset, that
the alberto gonzales a.g. firing scandal
grows more bizarre by the hour. . .

while abc certainly has locked onto
an important contradiction, and josh
marshall at talkingpointsmemo.com has
filled in a lot of solid detail, all to
suggest that most of what gonzales
will now say sounds entirely incredible
they never even mentioned immigration enforce-
ment deliverables to carol lam, not once!). . .

i would like you to take a careful look at
one of the three documents appearing almost
side-by-side -- in the bates-stamped document
sequence -- with the other two receiving so much
attention. it has not (yet) been as widely
vetted as the others, at least based on my
review of the published reports.

first, the one abc news is quite-rightly-
touting as contradictory to AG alberto
gonzales' opening statement testimony
for thurday, april 19, 2007 (click each
image to enlarge; quote is from the
abc news exclusive story):

. . .In his prepared testimony, gonzales said
that during the months that his senior staff
was evaluating u.s. attorneys, including [san
diego based -- s.d.ca. -- u.s. attorney carol]
lam, "i did not make the decisions about who
should or should not be asked to resign. . ."

mr. sampson (above) writes "certainly in
the AG's mind
" in parentheticals -- more
on that -- in a moment. . . but the "AG's mind"
is the focus of the abc news "contradiction" story.

okay, next -- the most intriguing one:

again, note the highlighted phrase, at
the bottom of the page, the one
kyle sampson sent to mercer, again
in parentheses, ". . .remember the
premise: AG has ordered it. . ."

i am convinced that -- having become
familiar with kyle sampson's e-mail
writing-style -- when mr. sampson in-
tends to be coy, or sarcastic, or dis-
ingenous, he places those comments in
parentheticals. . .

so mr. sampson's use of the word
"premise" is to suggest a false-, or
at the very least, a not-yet-given
"order" of the AG -- alberto gonzales.

now, take a look at this widely-vetted
e-mail, also part of what abc news refers
to in its story of contradictions:

here we see bill mercer writing that one
option would be to "add resources" -- give
carol lam additional assistant prosecutors,
to bring more immigration enforcement cases -- but
the plan would be to do so only after she has
been replaced, for "maximum impact. . ."

why? -- if, as the e-mail also indicates, the
funding already exists to add four assistant u.s.
attorneys to the southern district of california,
i.e., carol lam's district, -- why oh why, if
immigration enforcement really is an
extremely important priority of the attorney
general, alberto gonzales, why don't they
add the assistants like. . . yesterday?

because -- i think -- it was simply not
the pressing priority "in the AG's mind"
messrs. sampson and mercer were here slyly
attempting to "document" it to be. . .

but kyle's penchant for snide commentary,
in parentheticals, seeps through, and undoes
him -- and will now, possibly, undo mr. gonzales. . .

what's that you say? still not convinced?

let's take a look back, at a much-earlier
discussed e-mail, one i posted the night
before sampson's testimony before the
senate judiciary committee
, in march:

note the references, again at the
end of his e-mail
, to "running out the
" and "in good faith, of course. . ."

now -- mr. sampson admitted, under questioning
from senator schumer, on march 29, 2007
that the phrase "in good faith" was intended,
actually, to suggest the utter and complete
absence of it. . . and, he agreed that "running
out the clock" would similarly be a bad faith
abuse (there, of the patriot act's interim
appointment authority, without the advice
and consent of the congress).

[whew. sorry to be so long-winded.]

all of which leads, i think, to a very
fair reading of these e-mails, to suggest
that the attorney general was intimately
connected to the effort to craft a "pretextual
reason" for the firing of carol lam.

and yet, we learn this morning, mr. gonzales
is unable to recall that he actually met
about all this in june 2006 -- a meeting at
which he received documents related to the
coming-purges, according to kyle sampson's
sunday surprise testimony.

so, why go to all this trouble? well, to
cover-up the fact that lam was getting
very close to indicting republican-friendly
people in her southern california district. . .

so, gonzales may testify on thursday that
the meeting was all about immigration enforce-
ment being a pressing priority, generally, in
the southwestern united states, and which
districts were doing a good job at it, and
which districts weren't. . .

but if i were you, i wouldn't buy that
line. . . not even if it is on sale,
for free. . . because now you've
seen the various e-mails trying to dream-
up, and then document, a priority,
complete with priority "deliverables",
that never existed in the first place.

or if they did, they only existed in
some lower-right-hand-file-drawer of
the desk of one d. kyle sampson. or
so he testified on march 29, 2007. . .

one sad and shameful abuse of power, that.

to restore the american people's
faith in the rule of law, over the law
of "the fattest cat wins", alberto
gonzales must go. and, he must go now.

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