Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The sad state of education in civics

Talking to the American Bar Association, Dubya consigliere-cum-"Attorney General" Mukasey explains his take on the way the law should work:
In a speech today before the American Bar Association (ABA), Mukasey was more explicit in his rejection of any sort of review or prosecution, saying that the “negative publicity” they faced was enough:

That does not mean, as some people have suggested, that those officials who were found by the joint reports to have committed misconduct have suffered no consequences. Far from it. The officials most directly implicated in the misconduct left the Department to the accompaniment of substantial negative publicity. … To put it in concrete terms, I doubt that anyone in this room would want to trade places with any of those people.

Mukasey also reiterated that these former employees were not found to be in violation of any criminal laws. They did, however, violate civil service laws. A joint report by the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility found that in particular, Michael Elston, formerly the chief of staff to the Deputy Attorney General, “violated federal law and Department policy” by selecting candidates based on their political affiliations.

Mukasey is of the opinion that anyone working for Dubya should be free from prosecution or other punishment as a matter of course, as I recounted previously here and here.

Commenter Osage over at Think Progress remembers what should be obvious and says what shouldn't need to be said (and good on 'em for doing it):
It IS his job to prosecute those who violate the law without expressing his personal beliefs or moral judgments. It is NOT his job to determine what is or isn’t sufficient punishment. That is for a judge and a jury to decide!
Like d'oh!... And Mukasey is a former judge; you'd think he would know these things. But shouldn't there be some lawyer in the audience that might pipe up and point this out to Mukasey?

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