No Comment — May 17, 2007, 9:27 am

WaPo: Gonzales Sought Dismissal of 26 U.S. Attorneys

In a dramatic expansion of the current Purgegate scandal, the Washington Post reports this morning that Alberto Gonzales knowingly gave false evidence to the Judiciary Committee when he attempted to limit the scope of the program aimed at removing U.S. Attorneys.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified last week that the effort was limited to eight U.S. attorneys fired since last June, and other administration officials have said that only a few others were suggested for removal. In fact, D. Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales’s chief of staff, considered more than two dozen U.S. attorneys for termination, according to lists compiled by him and his colleagues, the sources said.

They amounted to more than a quarter of the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys. Thirteen of those known to have been targeted are still in their posts. […]

The number of names on the lists demonstrates the breadth of the search for prosecutors to dismiss. The names also hint at a casual process in which the people who were most consistently considered for replacement were not always those ultimately told to leave.

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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
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