Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Web They've Woven

Both the NYT and the WaPo have stories this morning on the illegal, or inappropriate to say the least, hiring practices at the DOJ under Alberto Gonzales. They loved their fun and games at the DOJ, didn't they? At both ends of the process, hiring and firing? The folks who write the Jurisprudence section at Slate were already on this last week, with a delightful article by Emily Bazelon, Kara Hadge, Dahlia Lithwick, and Chris Wilson, called Crimes and Misdemeanors. The article opens with a beautiful Venn diagram, showing the overlapping of administration personnel in four areas of said Crimes and Misdemeanors: Wiretapping, "Coercive Interrogation," DOJ Hiring, DOJ Firing. The diagram is interactive and invites one to spend some idle moments mousing over the names and crimes. In medias res, at the very center of the Venn, implicated in just about everything. we find Alberto Gonzales himself, like a spider in the center of her web. There is also a text version,with an alphabetical (John Ashcroft is first) list of names of personnel and the crimes in which they are implicated.

And on the subject of our criminal administration, Nathan Robinson mulls at the HuffPo on the possibility of citizens' arrests being made of these officials for their many crimes. He takes his inspiration from the four activists who were themselves arrested in Des Moines Iowa while attempting a citizens' arrest of ur-criminal Karl Rove:

The news that 4 people had been arrested in Iowa while trying to perform a citizen's arrest on Karl Rove got me wondering: Can we arrest Bush administration officials ourselves? So I slogged through a slew of state statutes, and as it turns out, the answer is yes. But only if you live in certain particular states.

After exploring the rules and regs in re citizens' arrests in the various states, he concludes that:

We really ought to be inspired by the 4 courageous Iowans who dared to try to hold Rove accountable for his crimes. Government officials, no matter how high-ranking, should be prevented from even walking the street without fear of arrest, if they are guilty of a crime. Whether or not justice is done should not depend on how politically influential the accused is. If the Justice Department will not do its job, then let citizens uphold the law. Citizen's arrests are a powerful yet peaceful way to show the strength and defiance of the American people.
So, be on the watch for any of these folks from Slate's list of criminal officials coming to your venue any time soon. It might just be worth a couple of hours in jail to organize a posse.

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posted at 7:27:00 PM by marigolds2

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