Recently, in their much lauded paper, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Harvard professor, Stephen Walt, and University of Chicago professor, John Mearsheimer, focused attention on the strong Israeli lobby which has a powerful influence over American foreign policies. They detail the influence that this lobby has exerted, forming a series of international policies which can be viewed as in direct opposition to the interests and security of the American people. These acts and policies are more often than not carried out by US government appointees who hold powerful positions and who are dual American-Israeli citizens. Since the policies they support are often exclusively beneficial to Israel, often to the detriment of America, it has been argued that their loyalties are misdirected.
Six attorneys rejected from civil service positions at the Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and three other top officials for allegedly violating their rights by taking politics into consideration in the hiring process.
The suit is an attempt to hold top officials accountable for the hiring scandal that ultimately led to Gonzales' resignation last year, said Daniel Metcalfe, the attorney for the plaintiffs who is also executive director of its Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law.
Job applicants who were rejected by the Justice Department because of improper political considerations will be urged to apply for open positions, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey told an audience yesterday.
"Two wrongs do not make a right," Mukasey told the American Bar Association yesterday in New York. "The people hired in an improper way did not, themselves, do anything wrong. It therefore would be unfair -- and quite possibly illegal given their civil service protections -- to fire or reassign them without individual cause."
Mukasey explicitly ruled out criminal prosecution of former Justice Department employees who investigators say ran afoul of civil service laws, echoing congressional testimony last month by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.
The Homeland Security Department swept aside evaluations of government experts and named Mississippi — home to powerful U.S. lawmakers with sway over the agency — as a top location for a new $451 million, national laboratory to study some of the world's most virulent biological threats, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The disclosure is the latest example of what critics assert is the Bush administration's politicizing of government decisions, such as efforts to steer science over global warming at the Environmental Protection Agency and hiring and firing practices at the Justice Department.
Some lawmakers already skeptical over the department's plans said (Homeland Security official, Undersecretary Jay) Cohen's intervention on behalf of Mississippi appears improper.
"It appears that the undersecretary responsible for this program may have corrupted the site selection process by putting his thumb on the scale in favor of a particular site and its contractor, in violation of his own rules and over the objections of his own advisers," said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. "This raises the question of whether DHS is interested in bioresearch or just shameless empire building."
The proposals followed a March federal court ruling that the park service had violated the First Amendment by keeping war protesters from the parade for President Bush's second inauguration.
The court said the service allowed event organizers to ensure that the crowd was mostly Bush administration allies.
In damning transcript, ex-CIA official says Cheney likely ordered letter linking Hussein to 9/11 attacks
A forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was ordered on White House stationery and probably came from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new transcript of a conversation with the Central Intelligence Agency's former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations Robert Richer.
On Tuesday, the White House released a statement on Richer's behalf. In it, Richer declared, "I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document ... as outlined in Mr. Suskind's book."
The denial, however, directly contradicts Richer's own remarks in the transcript.
"Now this is from the Vice President's Office is how you remembered it--not from the president?" Suskind asked.
"No, no, no," Richer replied, according to the transcript. "What I remember is George [Tenet] saying, 'we got this from'--basically, from what George said was 'downtown.'"
"Which is the White House?" Suskind asked.
"Yes," Richer said. "But he did not--in my memory--never said president, vice president, or NSC. Okay? But now--he may have hinted--just by the way he said it, it would have--cause almost all that stuff came from one place only: Scooter Libby and the shop around the vice president."
"But he didn't say that specifically," Richer added. "I would naturally--I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president."
The Justice Department investigation into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys has been extended to encompass allegations that senior White House officials played a role in providing false and misleading information to Congress, according to numerous sources involved in the inquiry.
The widened scope raises the possibility that investigators will pursue criminal charges against some administration officials, and recommend appointment of a special prosecutor if there is evidence of criminal misconduct.
TVNL Comment: Sure they will explore criminal charges...they just won't file any.
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