Gonzo?

-->
Bush Administration, Congress, U.S. Attorneys

The big news coming out of the Senate Judiciary grilling of Kyle Sampson — which began this morning and is still going on at 4:40 EST — is that Sampson’s testimony, um, differs from earlier statements of Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales claimed not to have been involved in meetings about the attorney general firing. Editor & Publisher has details.

I haven’t been home to watch the entire hearing. From what I did see and hear, I am struck by the apparent casualness with which Sampson and other staffers considered the firing of U.S. attorneys. Sampson’s testimony makes it seem that the original idea to fire U.S. attorneys was made, in 2005, for no particular reason except that they could. Sampson, who was more or less in charge of the Purge Project, didn’t bother to keep a file (so he says) to document who made decisions and why. It seems most of the written record of this episode was in emails drizzled about on White House and RNC servers. No files, no system, says Sen. Schumer; It seems ad hoc, it seems records weren’t kept.

I bet this poor kid keeps records in the future, assuming he ever gets a job again.

Paul Kiel has a blow-by-blow live blog of the hearing, here.

Share Button
9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. NeoJoe  •  Mar 29, 2007 @5:07 pm

    I am just gobsmacked by the childlike nature of Sampson’s methods and professionalism. Amazingingly incompetent, un-organized, and inept; the perfect stooge/foil for Rove and Gonzo.

  2. marijam  •  Mar 29, 2007 @5:09 pm

    “I am struck by the apparent casualness with which Sampson and other staffers considered the firing of U.S. attorneys. Sampson’s testimony makes it seem that the original idea to fire U.S. attorneys was made, in 2005, for no particular reason except that they could.”

    Do I detect a hint of elitism? A hint of this isn’t supposed to happen to government workers?

  3. CF  •  Mar 29, 2007 @5:35 pm

    Oh, my. Methinks that marijan’s objections be the studied, disingenuous musings of a concern troll.

    Marijam, what you are imputing to Barbara, namely, the supposed objection is to the firing of government workers, is a distraction. That’s not the issue. The question is whether political appointees to positions in the Justice Department are to be used as political tools to shield Republicans from legitimate prosecution, and to bring phony charges against Democrats.

    But I suspect you knew that already. Snifflings about ‘elitism’ give away your game.

  4. maha  •  Mar 29, 2007 @5:51 pm

    Do I detect a hint of elitism? A hint of this isn’t supposed to happen to government workers?

    It’s not supposed to happen to anybody who works in an office, whether government or private industry. I learned a long time ago that you never know when you might have to reconstruct exactly who signed off on what or how a decision was made, and I never worked for the government. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent over the years looking for some damn piece of paper to document How The Screwup Happened, or whether a vendor could legitimately bill for something, or whatever. File defensively, I say.

  5. biggerbox  •  Mar 29, 2007 @9:29 pm

    When I worked in a corporate environment, I had more organized files for the pointless handouts from HR health-club-benefit-promotions than Sampson apparently had for a months-long process to terminate the employment of United States Attorneys, featuring communications between multiple individuals at the DOJ and the White House.

    He was Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States, for goodness sake, not some low-level manager at a district widget distributor. It’s absurd to me that anyone operating at an executive level of a Cabinet level office could be so slap-dash about this. A drop folder in his bottom desk drawer into which he’d toss lists he’d write down every so often? Is he kidding?

    It’s first-day management training that one keeps clear, dated files on employees, particularly those you may want to terminate, so that you have detailed documentation should there be any dispute.

    It’s also a good way to avoid having to say something stupid when you are later asked “Did you ever talk to them about the problem?”, as Sampson did today when Schumer asked if he’d spoken to Carol Lam about the alleged immigration enforcement problems. (His answer was essentially Uh, I know I said someone should, but I never did myself, no.)

  6. Tyrone Slothrop  •  Mar 29, 2007 @10:22 pm

    One wonders what Sampson’s next job will be. Certainly a step down from U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah.

  7. AnotherBeginning  •  Mar 29, 2007 @10:42 pm

    These people working in the current administration never worked for a corporation. Kyle Sampson got his first real job working in Sen. Hatch’s office and then moved on to the Office of Legal Counsel and from there he moved to the Dept. of Justice with Gonzalez. Most of the people involved in this scandal, like Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson are in their middle 30s, with executive level government jobs and no real world work experience or credentials. They’re picked for their jobs for this very reason. They’ll be loyal without requiring loyalty back; they’ll act on what they’re told to do without thinking about the consequences; and, they’ll follow the party line because they’re nothing more than non-cerebral robots. Sampson’s assignment to pick US Attys to fire was nothing more than a lark for him and the assignment was flipped to him with no more seriousness than someone would flip a spent cigarette. Come on, you really expected maturity, professionalism and competence for your hard earned tax dollars from this administration’s cronies?!

  8. marijam  •  Mar 30, 2007 @1:03 pm

    maha, thank you very much for the clarification. As a female who is soon to turn 50 with two master’s degrees and a bachelor of science who has been “fired” more times than I care to say from contract jobs, because all the work I can find these days is contract, not full-time permanent (what is that anyway?) so when the contract is up is shown the door, basically fired, believe me, the unemployment benefits office doesn’t know the difference between a contract being up and being fired, I know better than most that anyone can be “let go” for any reason at any time. The only jobs left with a smidgen of security are union jobs – and those are going fast what with all the bankruptcies – which is how the airlines have killed their unions. I’m no “troll” believe me.

  9. AnotherBeginning  •  Mar 30, 2007 @3:54 pm

    To see how the politicization of all government agencies has been taken place, and to understand that government employees like Kyle Sampson is not an anamoly, it is my understanding that you can view the video clip of the testimony of GSA head, Lurita Doan by going to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VePqzIR-ao&mode=related&search=

    You might also find it worthwhile to read Salon’s article by Alia Malek, Bush’s Long History of Politicizing Justice at

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/03/30/civil-rights/



    About this blog

    About Maha
    Comment Policy

    Vintage Mahablog
    Email Me
















    eXTReMe Tracker













      Technorati Profile