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At the core of the complex of scandals swirling around the Department of Justice now is a process of Gleichschaltung, namely a careful review of career staff to purge all those considered not sufficiently loyal to the Republican Party and George W. Bush. While this process seems to have gone on all over the Justice Department, most of the information which has been collected so far goes to the Civil Rights Division and to the Republican Party operative who was placed in charge of it, Bradley Schlozman, or as Kyle Sampson calls him in email traffic, “the Schloz.” Carol Leonnig has an excellent article in today’s Washington_Post detailing claims that Schlozman,
repeatedly questioned the loyalty of his underlings to President Bush and the Republican Party during his tenure as acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Schlozman raised the question of partisan politics bluntly in the fall of 2004, they said, when asking appellate supervisors about the “loyalty” of division lawyer Angela Miller, who had once clerked for David. B. Sentelle, a conservative federal appeals judge. He told Miller’s bosses that he learned that she voted for McCain in the 2004 Republican primary and asked, “Can we still trust her?”
He also warned section chief Diana Flynn that he would be keeping an eye on the
legal work of another career lawyer who “didn’t even vote for Bush,” according to colleagues who said they heard Flynn describe the exchange. Miller told several of the colleagues that she considered Schlozman’s remarks a form of intimidation, and started looking for another job, the lawyers said.
The article goes on to detail an incident when even a lawyer in a late term of pregnancy was reassigned for fear of political disloyalty, disregarding her high performance ratings. Under the stewardship of Schlozman and von Spakovsky, the Civil Rights Division was transformed – with a significant part of its minority staff being driven out, and replaced with loyal partisan functionaries. But the Post article shows that even being a loyal Republican was not enough for Schlozman. Even voting for Bush was not enough. They needed to be engaged political zealots in all they did. Like Schlozman and von Spakovsky.
Schlozman is said to have defended his conduct by saying that he wanted to surround himself with “good Americans.” Evidently the principal test for being a “good American” was demonstrated political fidelity to the GOP, to George W. Bush and to Karl Rove. After ravaging the Civil Rights Division, Schlozman went out to the Kansas City as the U.S. Attorney, and proceeded to do much the same thing. He left a path of ethical destruction everywhere he went.
The Washington Post’s Andrew Cohen reviews the Leonnig article and a slew of others and asks the patently obvious question: “Why does Bradley Schlozman still have a job at the Justice Department? Why are taxpayers still funding his professional career despite a growing body of evidence that suggests he has brought nothing but shame and scandal and rank partisanship to the department?” The answer, of course, is that he hasn’t done a thing that Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove didn’t want him to do. And yes, Gonzo is still the Attorney General. Do you want evidence of how deep, how festering the corruption at the Justice Department is today? Brad Schlozman is there, and he’s been promoted – so now he can influence all of the U.S. attorney’s offices, across the country.
Evan Magruder contributed to this post.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”