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Ear to the Ground

Mukasey Stonewalls Congress in CIA Tape Inquiry

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Posted on Dec 14, 2007
Mukasey
usnews.com

Newly installed Attorney General Michael Mukasey made a forceful statement and gave Congress a taste of what it could expect in coming months by swiftly shooting down requests by House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, as well as other members of Congress, for information about the Justice Department’s investigation of the CIA tape destruction fiasco—because the department would seem “subject to political influence.”  Oh.


The Washington Post:

In letters to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee and others, Mukasey also reiterated his opposition to appointing a special prosecutor to the tapes investigation, saying he was “aware of no facts at present” that would require such a step.

“At my confirmation hearing, I testified that I would act independently, resist political pressure and ensure that politics plays no role in cases brought by the Department of Justice,” Mukasey wrote. “Consistent with that testimony, the facts will be followed wherever they lead in this inquiry, and the relevant law applied.”

One letter was sent to Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Similar correspondence was sent to Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and other House Democrats.

The three letters represent an attempt by Mukasey to push back against growing pressure from lawmakers, primarily Democrats, who have showered the Justice Department with demands for investigations or information on topics ranging from the baseball steroids scandal to allegations of rape by a former military contractor employee.

The letters also are an assertive move by the new attorney general, who was confirmed last month with the lowest level of Senate support in the past half century because of his refusal to say whether a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding amounts to torture under U.S. law.

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By VillageElder, December 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

This saga continues thanks to a literate judge with cojones.  Bushees may sill have to produce…

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By Thomas Billis, December 17, 2007 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Dear Gomerspile.I know that it sounds good to say they hate everything about us.It just happens not to be true.They have a quaint notion that the land they were born into should be controlled by the people who live there.They could give a shit about us if we did not have troops stationed there.The only reason we have troops there is oil.Israel can more than hold it’s own.I hope the new administrtion tests my theory.Get our troops the hell out of the middle east and let the people there decide what government they want.They will still sell the oil.The only difference will be that Exxon Mobil will not be making 40 billion dollars a year.Ronald Reagan sent troops over there that were car bombed and he thought quite rightly “what the fuck are we doing here"and pulled right out.I could give you a history lesson of how we have stuck our noses in the middle east for oil but that would be too long.I advise you read from the end of ww2 to now and you will find our involvement in the middle east for oil disgusting.By the way take your time when you read how we dislodged the elected government of Iran and installed the Shah for 40% of the company that was drilling for oil in Iran.One more by the way.Our involvement and support for Israel allows us to keep our greedy little fingers involved in that region.When the oil runs out none of the ruling class will give a shit about Israel.Those of you who think Israel is leading us around have it all wrong.Iguess it helps you sleep at night blaming the Jews for everything.

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By weather, December 17, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Torture is loosing 2 friends in the WTC, living through the clean-up only to find it was a criminal mass murder that was engineered by anything but 19 Saudi’s w/boxcutters.

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By cyrena, December 16, 2007 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

#120597 by `jbart

Jbart, we are definitely ideological birds of a feather on this…

•  As far as I’m concerned, the “only” religion that has, historically, been proven accurate, and predictable, is mine.  That’s belief in “Mother Nature” or atheism.

Yep, for sure.

However, you and Karl Marx are right about the ‘opiate’ and that’s the real trouble. I’d be willing to bet there are far more people running around stoned out of their minds on religion NOW, then there even was a decade ago.

Meantime, I had to giggle at this…sort of just fit right in…though I’m thinking you probably didn’t do it interntionally:

•  “….either Cayholic, Cristian, Jewish, or Muslim….”

Cay-Holic, huh? That is too funny. Let me know if it was a typo, or intentional. (since Christian is missing it’s h). Never mind, you don’t have to. It’s still funny.

(I used to be a Cayholic, so I can laugh without feeling like I’m doing it disrespectfully).

Truthdogdotorg, #120650 by 911truthdotorg

I did sign that petition. I think it was Friday. And, I sent it along. I’m glad it’s had such good response. Now, we’ve gotta get to it. Based on the piece by Chris Hedges, Dick Bush could STILL hit Iran, without going back to Congress for another approval. And, I personally have no doubt that they would.

So, impeaching the bastards is the only way to keep that from happening.

Here is is again…

•  http://www.WexlerWantsHearings.com
(NO thanks to Ron Paul)

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By 911truthdotorg, December 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Please sign Rep Wexler’s petition to impeach Cheney.

http://www.WexlerWantsHearings.com

Blue Gal posted Rep. Robert Wexler’s video yesterday, asking for citizens to sign the petition on his website in support of impeachment hearings for Vice President, Dick Cheney. Wexler was hoping to get 50,000 signatures and it didn’t take long — it took just 24 hours to meet his goal and the signatures are still rolling in. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can find it here.

More from OpEd News:

  As of Sunday morning, 54,000 people had signed the petition at WexlerWantsHearings.com calling for action now. And names are being added at a rate of one every one or two seconds!

  Wexler has said he wanted at least 50,000 signatures. But why stop there? If people get behind this, and if the impeachment movement spreads the word, he could easily get closer to 500,000 signatures over the next few days. Read on…

The more signatures Wexler gets, the more clout they’ll have with members of the Judiciary Committee who are on the fence.  Let’s show Wexler the power of the netroots to get behind and support elected officials who are representing our values and desires.

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By `jbart, December 16, 2007 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#120579 by troublesum on 12/16 at 10:10 am

The “influence” has no religious donimiation, either Cayholic, Cristian, Jewish, or Muslim. It’s all, and only, about the money. Remember that “heathen” Karl Marx.  Religion is the “opiate” of the mass’s.  That would be “us”, troublesum. As far as I’m concerned, the “only” religion that has, historically, been proven accurate, and predictable, is mine.  That’s belief in “Mother Nature” or atheism.  Sorry if that bothers your view of the world and where you fit in it but, shit,,,,open your eyes and your mind, babe.

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By Don Stivers, December 16, 2007 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

It is not about being Jewish.  Is Bush Jewish?  It is about money and ego.  Whoever pays the most gets it.

They go wherever the money is. 

And our Congress could care less about torture.  They care not for what would happen if a citizen of the United States were kidnapped and sent on a rendition trip.  If they cared about the citizens of the USA they would realize what they are doing. 

It would stand to reason that if one of our soldiers murders an Iraqi that he cannot be tried by our courts because all we have to do is use the President’s reasoning that if we torture somewhere else, we (The Prez and his minions) can’t be held accountable.

And our WHOLE Congress goes along, Republicans and Democrats.

It’s power, money and ego.  Not Jews.

And I don’t believe what the Jewish State is doing to the Palestinians is right either.  But that is a long and complicated story.

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By troublesum, December 16, 2007 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

#120524 jbart:  Is there a Christian influence on our politics?

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By jbart, December 16, 2007 at 4:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you follow all the “suspicion” surrounding the Jewish influence on our politics (AIPAC, 9/11 Mossad involvement, the awarding of the VX Presential Helicopter contract (Schumer was VERY vocal/influential on that one..awarded to Lockheed Martin (wink wink Texas, even though made in Europe, not N.Y.and Lockheed never had made helicopters before) should be evidence that this one is also a neocon stooge.  The DEMOCRATS are everything but truly Democrats, folks.  That’s at least the Demo’s in power.  His being Jewish only “magnifies” who he really is.  Proof? No.  Indicative?  Absolutely

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By Expat, December 16, 2007 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

It must be painfully obvious at this very late period in the game that the “game” is firmly out of our hands.  Betrayal usually extracts an ultimately high price.  What goes around comes around.  I should hope there will soon be a reckoning; my fervent hope is that we survive it.

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By Expat, December 16, 2007 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

#120474 by cyrena on 12/15 at 6:10 pm
(1808 comments total)

“So yeah, we can blame Feinstein and Schumer as part of the ‘clique of Jews’, but what are the excuses of the others? They could have prevented this confirmation.”

As a self described “woman of color”; how do you justify that blatantly bigoted comment?  No response to me is necessary as I’m not Jewish.

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By niloroth, December 15, 2007 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

troublesum:

There a quite a few here who occasionally let their swastikas slip into view.  I don’t exactly know how they managed to slip amongst those on the left, but somehow they have, and they blame israel and the jews for everything from 9/11 to a lack of healthcare in this country.  It is a sad thing, but at least it helps you spot the insane ones rather quickly.

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By troublesum, December 15, 2007 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t know Schumer was Jewish and I doubt that has anything to do with it.  The racial stuff is creepy here sometimes.

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By QuyTran, December 15, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Hey Feinstein and Schumer, open widely your damned eyes when voting “YES” for that guy. Your votes were stupid.

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By cyrena, December 15, 2007 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Some thoughts on the blame of Feinstein and Schumer, (who clearly deserve it, because as Village Elder has said, they’re all of the same club, and we aren’t). But, while they stand out as the main culprits in this, because they are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, let us remember the OTHERS…

So yes, they allowed the muckraker, main clique member to proceed to a FULL SENATE confirmation vote, let’s remember that Mukasey was STILL confirmed by the lowest majority ever. (kind of like Clarence Thomas in his Supreme Court confirmation). SO, where were the OTHER dems of of the Senate, in casting a vote from the full chamber?

Well, neither Obama nor Clinton even CAST a vote. (where were you Senators?) I don’t know what Biden did, so maybe somebody can look that up. Still, there were other dim Senators that did vote to confirm him. Are they in the clique, or just stupid, and…as the Village Elder has pointed out about the CIA, never ever bother to consider the long-term results of their stupidity? (or, they just don’t care).

Would it have made a difference, since the Senate has only a one person democrat majority? I don’t know. Shouldn’t it have required a minimum of 61 votes to confirm him? We know that other dims DID vote for him. (the Senator from Louisiana – Landrieu) I don’t know which others off hand.

So yeah, we can blame Feinstein and Schumer as part of the ‘clique of Jews’, but what are the excuses of the others? They could have prevented this confirmation.

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By troublesum, December 15, 2007 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

#120446 VillageElder:  Yes it is a surprise when the Attorney General of the US will not do his sworn duty.  Nixon’s AG, Elliot Richardson, refused to do Nixon’s dirty work during the Watergate scandal, as did William Ruckleshouse(sp?)the assistant AG.  Both resigned rather than carry out Nixon’s orders.  We’re a long way from Watergate.

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By gus, December 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Schumer and Feinstein didn’t BITE THE BULLET and vote Mukasey - THEY ARE ALL JEWS!

wake up grass eaters… the Germans didn’t just wake up one day and say….“Let’s round up the Jews”

Treason is ALWAYS the reason with Jews. Ask your grandparents - if they are from Europe - they will whisper….. It’s the JEWS, stupid!

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By VillageElder, December 15, 2007 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

We are surprised because ....?  This is Bush’s appointee.  Did you think Bush would suddenly have an attack of conscience and appoint someone whom might not approve of his and his henchmen’s actions?

These folks are all members of the same club, they only differ by the clique they are in.  They are still loyal to the club.  We are not in the club and the club isn’t really concerned with us.  The dem clique will make noises about handling some of our favorite issues.  Remember universal health care has been discussed since before WWI.  Everyone wants better education.  Who is the last candidate, you remember who campaigned saying, “I’m against the family!”

Seasonal Salutations!

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By DennisD, December 15, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This impotent, useless, pathetic Congress we have wouldn’t do anything if they had the tapes, DNA, confessions and smoking f**king gun so what’s the point of these futile exercises other than some face time on TV.
The Ship of Fools sails merrily on while we the passengers throw up over the side.

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By SkippyJones, December 15, 2007 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just so it is on the record…somewhere in this banana republic called the USA…we see through this Mr. Attorney General - and see that you are a sniveling, lying coward.  Your allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States of America - not to petty dictators like George W. Bush who are guilty of war crimes.  I am disgusted with you, even more disgusted with Chuck Schumer, who voted for you because the President threatened that if you didn’t, he would just leave the slot of Attorney General unfilled.  When one practices politics from principle, one need not be taken in by such bluffs.  It is not your problem, Chuck, if the President wants to throw a temper tantrum.  That is his problem, not yours.  As soon as you change your actions to avoid a *temper tantrum* by the President you are being ruled by a dictator.  So now look at the results.  Played you like a fiddle Chuck.  Like a fiddle.  And if you claim he didn’t - then whatever the hell is going on in this country - and I happen to think that it is about hiding Saudi and Pakistani involvement (and potentially the administration’s complicity) in 9/11 - then there is no other conclusion than to charge that you are part of this…this wholesale rip-off and destruction of our country.  And if you think ‘we can’t handle the truth’ - you’re damn wrong.  The truth is the only chance this country has left.  Be part of the solution, not the problem, asshole.

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Unlike the Waterboardgate Scandal & Cover-Up, Nixon at least didn’t destroy all the tapes.

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By Me JJ, December 15, 2007 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does AG Mukasey have a conflict of interest problem?

Jose Padilla’s lawyers argued before the Florida Federal Court that Abu Zubaydah was tortured into saying Padilla was an al Qaeda associate. The DOJ dismissed Padilla"s allegations as “meritless,” asserting Padilla"s legal team could not prove that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured. Well, it"s clear now that they certainly COULD have, if the tapes of the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had been made available!

Now here is where Mukasey"s role comes into question. U.S. District Judge Mukasey, now attorney general, was the one who signed the warrant used by the FBI to arrest Padilla in May 2002. Court records show the warrant relied in part on information obtained from Abu Zubaydah"s interrogation. So we have a problem Houston.

The Attorney General can only issue a warrant based upon legally obtained evidence, and confessions under torture are certainly not “legally obtained”. So either Mukasey was misrepresented the evidence, and would be liable to be potentially a party in those who were presented with “perjured evidence”; or he knew that torture was used in obtaining the confession and ignored it.

In either case he unsuitable to run an investigation, as it will, inevitably involve himself.

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By troublesum, December 15, 2007 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

It was Shumer who persuaded Feinstein to change her mind on Mukasey.  She has a history of this - no backbone whatsoever.  Highest bidder.  Shumer has made a career on kissing up to republicans to show that he is a nice, non-partisan type of guy.  He gave Newt Gingrich a blow-job on c-span book talk just a few weeks ago before Gingrich announced he wouldn’t run for president.

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By Don Stivers, December 15, 2007 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Thank you Senator Feinstein and other kiss ass Democrats. 

And forget about baseball.  We already know they cheat and they only hurt themselves.

This is about hurting others and liars.

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Maybe we should call it the Waterboardgate Scandal.

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

The TortureGate Scandal has similarities to Watergate:  tapes, cover-up, etc.

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By digdug, December 15, 2007 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is anyone really surprised about this?

Any Dem who voted for Mukasey should be vigorously challenged in their next primary election.  It’s the only way to make real change in the cowardly Dems in Congress that continue to enable the neocons and their destruction of our rule of law.

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By Hank Van den Berg, December 15, 2007 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Surprise, surprise, Mukasey works for Bush.  Let’s face it, everyone knew what Mukasey would do, but Schumer, Feinstein, and many other Democratic senators voted for him anyway. 
I have asked this before, but how many times do progressives have to get hit over the head by the Democratic leadership before they realize that there is no real Democratic Party? 
We obviously need a grassroots effort to found a new progressive party, but for now the Green Party will do.  Stop giving the Democrats an endless blank check.  At least until they, for once at least, stop caving in to the corporate machine that increasingly controls the political systems here and around the world.  With the complicity of progressives too fearful of the political reality right on front of their eyes, the two-party duopoly is quietly but consistently taking away our democracy. 
Just vote Green.  Those who refuse to stand up to the Democratic charade, enjoy the upcoming cave-ins on war spending, energy policy, the farm (big agriculture) bill, media consolidation, etc.

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By GW=MCHammered, December 15, 2007 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Didn’t Michael (ADOLF) Mukasey and Michael (HIMMLER) Hayden star in the original Raiders of the Lost Ark? I’m certain they both played solid Aryans.

NO-ACCOUNTABILITY VOUCHERS <u>DO</u> <u>NOT</u> EXIST!
BushCo and whoever they lapdog for will get their Nuremberg Trial. Right after we oust the GOP (Gestapo Ordnung Politik) in ‘08.

President Wilson signed into effect the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913 then claimed the following in 1919:

  “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9-_QPjozMI&feature=related

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By troublesum, December 15, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

We have Shumer and Fienstein to thank for this.

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By TheRealFish, December 15, 2007 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

I’m a management-type worker (yes, some people in management actually work, still, in this country…), though I rose through the worker ranks all the way from blue-collar beginnings as a late teen.

I have seen, over and over and over, that the attitudes of workers and the type of work they do almost always, with very little deflection from this path, reflect the attitudes and work ethic of those for whom they work.

Where is the surprise that Mukasey turns out to be the person we now see or takes the actions he now displays? This country’s organizations, while this is a democratic country, are not democratic (I’m talking functionality, not parties here).

If the style of top management is democratic, middle management workers display democratic values, display more freedom and honor the democratic base of their positions. Autocratic, dictatorial — corporate-model — top management will reveal middle-management types submitting to their autocratic or dictatorial rules.

Maybe we can feel buyer’s remorse that Mukasey is now doing what should have been predicted from the start: He works for a dictator, gives his stiff-arm salute, and dutifully circles the wagons around all his top management dictators to protect them from paying the price for the clear breaking of clear laws.

Yes, the writing was on the wall when he, a lawyer and a judge, could not state with certainty that the intentional, usually non-lethal drowning of prisoners was either torture or illegal.

At the very least, since we tried and, in one case I’m aware of, successfully convicted at the end of WWII Japanese soldiers for practicing this exact torture on prisonsers. It’s clear and now established in US case law. It’s illegal and it’s torture.

So where is the surprise? He is not the problem. Duh. Our American Fuhrer, Bush, and all his minions are the top-down problem and Schumer and Feinstein are complicit.

The top management needs to change first. But, since they clearly have been breaking law after law, they need to be pursued, maybe even from 09 forward if no one has the spine to enforce the law now, to finally see that US law finally gets upheld.

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By Thomas Billis, December 15, 2007 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

How come in this report there are no quotes from Schumer and Feinstein on how pleased they are with their votes.Let’s go press hold these pompous arrogant assholes responsible for their actions.Maybe in the next go round of confirmations someone would think twice before qualifying someone for a cabinet post just because he is better than the worst attorney general in history.

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By Verne Arnold, December 15, 2007 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

This should come as no surprise, especially to the posters here.  It is however one more nail in our coffins.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey; please shock me!

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By Druthers, December 15, 2007 at 2:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Democrats voted for him… he is their man.  What did they expect, lollipops?

California and New York can be proud of their shining contribution to the quicksand that is sallowing our nation. Feinstein and Schumer never let a vote go by without adding their bucket of water.

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By cyrena, December 15, 2007 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

#120285 by waxman

You’ve definitely got a point waxman. I don’t wanna give W any more ‘chances’, but some drugs might not hurt at this point, just to get us by until we can figure something out.

This just scares the holy crap out of me, even though it’s not a surprise. We knew Mukasy would do this. So now, we don’t have a Congress, or a Judiciary, or an Executive branch.

It’s just one big miserable DICTATORSHIP!!

Welcome to the United Police States of America. Pass the drugs, it won’t hurt as bad.

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

We can thank Schumer and Feinstein for this guy.

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By Had Enough?, December 14, 2007 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Senators may need to waterboard him if that want information from him.

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By GW=MCHammered, December 14, 2007 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Time to cut government un-accountability in half. cut off the ‘so-called’ top half. Buncha’ Democracy killers!

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By purplewolf, December 14, 2007 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

This was on the apnews hours ago.

It is no surprise that the first time Muckman is put to the test he failed miserably. Didn’t he say he would uphold the Constitution of this country, even over the presidents wishes and the first thing he does is break the rules. Yep, another true Bush suck up. Since he has proven he cannot do the job he promised to do, it is time to fire him from this job. Forget all this special privilege crap these dishonest crooks claim they have. They are supposed to work for the people of America. WE THE PEOPLE should be the ones to decide if he was elected to that job as well as fired, the congress critters are to disinterested in taking care of the country-a job they were chosen to do-and should not be given the power to decide who gets what job. They should also be treated like the general population- no job security for job failure, poor performance=being fired,with no unemployment, false information given to obtain a position=firing, taking too much time off the job you are canned. America needs people who really want to help the country, not themselves and since they are public servants, or service workers if you will, they are only entitled to minimum wage, no benefits, if you don’t work you don’t still get paid, unlike they do now.Things would change in a hurry.

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By waxman, December 14, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

LETS CANCEL THE ELECTION FOR 2008….THINGS ARE SO SCREWED UP NOW THAT ONLY A CABINET AS SCREWED UP AS THIS ONE HAS A CHANCE ACCIDENTLY GETTING THINGS RIGHT…..GIVE W ONE MORE CHANCE.  A FEW DRUGS MIGHT NOT HURT EITHER—FOR US THAT IS, MAYBE IF WE WERE STONED THINGS WOULD LOOK BETTER…..

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