Monday, March 26, 2007

Was Paul McMulty Less Than Candid? Does The Pope Shxt In The Woods?

So much spin, so little time, part two:

I'm sitting here watching the wheels fall off again as the Washington Post reports the current White House spin:
The senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, her attorneys said today.

Monica M. Goodling -- who is on an indefinite leave of absence from Gonzales's office -- also said that at least one senior Justice Department official blames her for failing to fully brief him prior to a Senate appearance, leading to "less than candid" testimony.

The reference is to Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty [photo], who told the Senate Judiciary Committee in early February that most of the prosecutors were fired for "performance-related" reasons. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that McNulty called him to apologize for not telling the truth and blamed it on incomplete briefings.
There's something about this explanation that doesn't make any sense. But you'd be hard pressed to find it on your own. Fortunately, ABC has a much more convincing explanation:
Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, ignored White House Counsel Harriet Miers and senior lawyers in the Justice Department when he told the committee last month of specific reasons why the administration fired seven U.S. attorneys — and appeared to acknowledge for the first time that politics was behind one dismissal.

McNulty's testimony directly conflicted with the approach Miers advised, according to an unreleased internal White House e-mail described to ABC News. According to that e-mail, sources said, Miers said the administration should take the firm position that it would not comment on personnel issues.
Paul McMulty said too much; he sparked a political firestorm by going against orders.

Now he's under new orders: squelch the fire!

So he's calling Senator Schumer to "apologize for not telling the truth" and he's blaming it on "incomplete briefings".

I wonder if Schumer's thinking:
Ha Ha Ha!! You were less than candid? What do you think we are, stupid?
The answer to that question would be "YES", by the way ...

Oh what an odious web they weave, they who think they can deceive... But ABC has a nice, detailed scoop!
Until McNulty's testimony, administration officials had consistently refused to publicly say why specific attorneys were dismissed and insisted that the White House had complete authority to replace them. That was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's approach when he testified before the committee in January.

But weeks later, McNulty — confident he could draw on a long relationship with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat — decided he would instead try to explain in more detail, sources told ABC News.

In doing so, he went well beyond the scope of what the White House cleared him to say when it approved his written testimony the week before the hearing, according to administration sources closely involved in the matter.

Most important, part of McNulty's testimony also appeared to directly contradict the earlier testimony by Gonzales.

Those inconsistencies — and McNulty's characterization of the firings — fueled a firestorm over the dismissals, prompting the U.S. attorneys to aggressively defend themselves and their work and angering senators demanding to know what role politics played in the process.

"That's what lit the fuse," said Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee. "They should've expected pushback — not only from the U.S. attorneys but from their supporters once they characterized the reason as negative performance, inadequate performance."
There's a lot more, and it's beautiful! Go read it! Ha ha ha!!

Paul McMulty was "less than candid". And I am less than stupid. ;-)
I'm just sittin' here watchin' the wheels fall off and off
I really love to watch them roll...

OOPS! Did I say "wheels"?