Friday, August 03, 2007

Executive Privilege Run Amok

It's a good thing the Founding Fathers had the forethought to make the Constitution 2-ply. It's amazing that Mr. Rove was able to find a square of the law of the land not yet soiled by the theory of the unitary executive but damn if he didn't find it and use it and put it in a ziplock for this feller to take to a Senate Hearing...

From the NYTimes:

To describe his predicament, Mr. Jennings chose an allusion that must have flown right by those senators not steeped in the works of Homer. “I hope that you can appreciate the difficulty of my situation,” he said. “It makes Odysseus’s voyage between Scylla and Charybdis seem like a pleasure cruise.”

In myth, Scylla was a sea nymph turned monster; Charybdis was a monster in myth, and it churns in real life as a whirlpool in the Strait of Messina, off Sicily. The expression Mr. Jennings used is defined in the dictionary as “between two equally perilous alternatives, neither of which can be passed without encountering and probably falling victim to the other.”

Mr. Jennings’s attempt at Homeric levity did not put the senators in better humor.

Mr. Leahy asked the witness about an e-mail exchange he had with Monica Goodling, the former White House aide who had a role in selecting career Justice Department employees and, by her own admission, sometimes went too far in considering the prospects’ political leanings.

“It is an e-mail,” Mr. Jennings said.

“Mr. Jennings,” the senator said, “I’m not here to play games. I’m trying to be fair to you. Is this an e-mail exchange between you and Monica Goodling?”

“Yes, sir,” Mr. Jennings said.
"Look Senator, I don't have to tell you anything -- it's in the Constitution...I'm PRE-LAW!"

So, Scott can' tell Dean, a Senator what his job description is, smirking at Leahy because Leahy doesn't know Scott's a made guy. He's a DKE like Georgie the cheerleader and he isn't accountable. He can just smirk that privileged (ha-ha, get it?) smirk.

Jennings is a crucial part of the DOJ firing scandal as he was the point man in the swing state of New Mexico for W's 2004 re-election campaign:

From CNN:

Jennings also was asked whether he had sent an e-mail to Monica Goodling, then-counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, about New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who was fired late in 2006.

Jennings worked for the president's re-election campaign in New Mexico in 2004.

"Were you in contact in that capacity with Monica Goodling at the Department of Justice?" Durbin, D asked.

Jennings: "No, not that I recall."

Durbin: "Were you aware of any conversations by members of Congress or members of the White House staff with Mr. Iglesias about the conduct of his office in New Mexico?

Jennings: "No, I'm not aware of any conversations that were taking place."

When Jennings was quizzed about whether he had communicated with Goodling via e-mail about New Mexico politics after he had worked in that state, he said he couldn't recall.

Durbin then pulled out an e-mail exchanged between Jennings and Goodling in June 2006, and asked Jennings to explain it. Jennings declined, invoking executive privilege.

According to Gonzales, Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, New Mexico's senior senator, complained to Gonzales about Iglesias in the fall of 2005, saying the U.S. attorney "was in over his head." Iglesias contends Domenici wanted him to push harder on a corruption probe of state Democrats before last November's midterm elections.

Jennings said he began using the RNC e-mail system because it was always available to him. Eventually, he added, it became a kind of "default" e-mail address.

Restoring honor and dignity to the concept of autocracy one nominee, one firing, and one manipulated election at a time.