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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:
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith