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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:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”