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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: All Heart

"’I would never, ever make a change in the United States attorney position for political reasons,’ Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in Senate testimony in early January. In a Feb. 6 hearing, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty told lawmakers, ‘When I hear you talk about the politicizing of the Department of Justice, it's like a knife in my heart.’"
-Salon, February 28, 2007

“The White House suggested two years ago that the Justice Department fire all 93 U.S. attorneys, a proposal that eventually resulted in the dismissals of eight prosecutors last year, according to e-mails and internal documents that the administration will provide to Congress today.
The dismissals took place after President Bush told Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud investigations, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.
Gonzales approved the idea of firing a smaller group of U.S. attorneys shortly after taking office in February 2005. The Gonzales aide in charge of the dismissals — his chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson — resigned yesterday, officials said, after acknowledging that he did not tell Justice officials about the extent of his communications with the White House, leading them to provide incomplete information to Congress.
But the documents and interviews indicate that the idea for the firings originated at least two years ago, when then-White House counsel Harriet E. Miers suggested to Sampson in February 2005 that all prosecutors be dismissed and replaced. Miers resigned this January.”
-Washington Post, March 13, 2007

“That would be the same Harriet Miers that Fearless Leader nominated for the Supreme Court. The same one who said this..”

"’You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect,’ Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him ‘cool,’ said he and his wife, Laura, were ‘the greatest!’ and told him: ‘Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed.’"
-New York Times, October 10, 2005

“Good choice. Still, the interesting part has to do with Alberto ‘Thumbscrews’ Gonzales, who apparently lied to Congress in his recent testimony on the firings, stating that politics had nothing to do with the firings. I believe that he may have been under oath at the time, and, let’s face it, lying to congress really isn’t a good idea, even when you aren’t under oath, if you happen to be the top guy in the country (short of Fearless Leader of course) responsible for upholding the laws.”

“In other words, there's no political favorites when it comes to justice, that if someone is guilty, they will pay a penalty.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 11, 2007

“We can only wait for the penalty that Alberto Gonzales will face. We know that we will see something done though. This Administration knows that it needs to take care of the concerns of the American people. It’s just like when the whole Walter Reed scandal hit. The Administration found clear and decisive measures to clear up any concerns.”

“Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.
‘Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,’ one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.”
-Navy Times, February 28, 2007

“And once the media was no longer a concern they found a way to help the injured troops out of the bad hospital setting that they were trapped in.”

“’This is not right,’ said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. ‘This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers,’ he said angrily. ‘If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight.’

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.
And while Grigsby, the brigade commander, says he is under no pressure to find troops, it is hard to imagine there is not some desperation behind the decision to deploy some of the sick soldiers. Master Sgt. Jenkins, 42, has a degenerative spine problem and a long scar down the back of his neck where three of his vertebrae were fused during surgery. He takes a cornucopia of potent pain pills. His medical records say he is ‘at significantly increased risk of re-injury during deployment where he will be wearing Kevlar, body armor and traveling through rough terrain.’ Late last year, those medical records show, a doctor recommended that Jenkins be referred to an Army board that handles retirements when injuries are permanent and severe.
A copy of Jenkins' profile written after that Feb. 15 meeting and signed by Capt. Starbuck, the brigade surgeon, shows a healthier soldier than the profile of Jenkins written by another doctor just late last year, though Jenkins says his condition is unchanged. Other soldiers' documents show the same pattern.
One female soldier with psychiatric issues and a spine problem has been in the Army for nearly 20 years. ‘My [health] is deteriorating,’ she said over dinner at a restaurant near Fort Benning. ‘My spine is separating. I can't carry gear.’ Her medical records include the note ‘unable to deploy overseas.’ Her status was also reviewed on Feb. 15. And she has been ordered to Iraq this week.”
-Salon.com, March 11, 2007

“Good Lord! Don’t you people have anything more productive to do than complain? First people complain that our injured troops aren’t getting the proper care at Walter Reed. Then the Army figured out a way to get injured troops out of the hospital and back to productive lives, and now you complain because that means sending them into a war zone (again). Can’t you people do anything but criticize?”


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