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It’s after five p.m. on Friday, and the question is therefore: What compromised senior official of the Department of Justice will resign today? The resignations are always put out at exactly this time in order to minimize public attention. Afterall, if you’re at the Gonzales Justice Department and are reading the newpapers, you know it’s a great time not to have your name appear in the press in any connection with the Justice Department. And to be fair, not all the people who are leaving are compromised. Some just want out. Who could blame them?
And the answer is: Rachel Brand, the head of the Office of Legal Policy. Gonzales delivers a fitting salute to her today, saying she has “passion for the issues” she worked on for him. Not clear exactly what specific issues he had in mind, but it certainly includes “war on terror” issues, including bolstering Gonzales’s firm support for the Guantánamo detention camps and the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” there. Her predecessor in that position, Viet Dinh, is now publicly stating that the policies he helped to form were a “clear mistake.” But Ms. Brand charged ahead with gusto.
Does Ms. Brand’s name figure in connection with the U.S. attorneys scandal? Yes. Associated Press explains:
Brand was a member of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ leadership team. When officials were planning to fire U.S. attorneys in San Diego, San Francisco, Michigan and Arkansas, Brand was named as a possible replacement for Margaret Chiari in Michigan, according to documents released as part of a congressional inquiry.
The firings have led to congressional investigations, an internal Justice Department probe and calls from Capitol Hill for the resignation of Gonzales.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”