The DOJ's report (compiled by the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Inspector General) on politicized hiring practices contains a politically explosive finding that could be a valuable weapon in the Democrats' arsenal against the Republican party as we prepare for the fall elections.
The particular findings of the report are generally as we expected... that Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson and other Bush administration appointees violated federal law and Justice Department policy on two separate fronts:
- By using inappropriate political and ideological tests in hiring career U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys; and
- Lying to investigators.
But the most potentially explosive finding has nothing to do with the violations of federal law itself, as damaging (and horrific) though that is. In the midst of the recommendations, there is a paragraph (see the second full paragraph on p. 136 of the report, which you can find here) that should send chills through every Republican politician (or even every Democratic one) that has tied itself to the Bush administration's policies on fighting terror:
In addition, we determined that Goodling often used political or ideological affiliations to select or reject career attorney candidates for temporary details to Department offices, including positions in EOUSA that had not been filled by political appointees. Goodling’s use of political considerations in connection with these details was particularly damaging to the Department because it resulted in high-quality candidates for important details being rejected in favor of less-qualified candidates. For example, an experienced career terrorism prosecutor was rejected by Goodling for a detail to EOUSA to work on counterterrorism issues because of his wife’s political affiliations. Instead, EOUSA had to select a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who EOUSA officials believed was not qualified for the position.
Folks, there's your money quote. Bush appointees deliberately threatened national security for political purposes.
Anyone who has been promoting Republicans and the Republican Party as the better, safer hands in the waging of the War on Terror needs to be confronted by this finding. The plain fact is, as we have known all along, the Bush administration and the Republican political machine that operates it, have been engaged in a systematic fraud on the American people.
Far from fighting terrorism, the entire U.S. counter-terrorism operation at all levels has been a funnel through which taxpayer dollars, government jobs, and political favours can be funnelled to political friends. The DOJ Report confirms this once again, on another front. All there in black and white.