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In “Tamm: Punished for Defending the Constitution”, I reviewed the story of Thomas Tamm, the career Justice Department lawyer who blew the whistle on the Bush Administration’s felonious surveillance of millions of Americans in the guise of “national security.” In summary: the Bush Justice Department responded to the disclosure of its criminal manipulations in the pages of the New York Times by launching a massive manhunt, headed by an FBI Special Agent named Lawless, to identify the person in its ranks who mistakenly placed fidelity to the Constitution and laws above loyalty to President Bush. In 2006 and again in 2008, the American people spoke clearly to the Bush shenanigans, delivering electoral rebukes of historic proportions.
You might think that the hounds would have been called off given that a new leadership is shortly to arrive at Justice professing the view taken by Tamm (and indeed, by almost the entirety of the legal profession in the United States) that the Bush program was criminal in nature. But the campaign has continued. Here is a letter sent by Steven A. Tyrrell, the head of the Fraud Section at Bush Justice, who insists that the effort to get Tamm is still on and now requests Tamm’s cooperation in his own destruction. Mr. Tyrrell is extremely eager to have Tamm’s cooperation before January 20. I wonder why?
At the Justice web site, Tyrrell describes himself as a “dedicated public servant,” and he outlines the work his department has done. His group is the one that should have managed a probe into the Madoff affair and myriad other frauds and schemes that have damaged the nation’s finances. Instead, while white-collar crime prosecution all but came to a standstill, the resources of Tyrrell’s department were turned to attacking the administration’s political adversaries like Tamm. Perhaps Tyrrell is just a loyal Justice department functionary doing as instructed–but in doing so he is failing to exercise the independent discretion that used to be the hallmark of the Justice Department.
I hope that after January 20 Mr. Tyrrell will find some time to engage in actual law enforcement. Even better, perhaps he can focus his sights on the criminal conspiracy that led to the systematic circumvention of FISA. As it stands now, what he claims is an enforcement action is certainly viewed by many as another extreme effort to cover up the most criminal chapter in the history of the Justice Department.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
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.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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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.'”