Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 19, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BRIAN ROEHRKASSE, PLEASE LEAVE THE BUILDING....Most of the Justice Department leaders responsible for the U.S. Attorney scandal have long since resigned. Alberto Gonzales left in September. Deputy AG Paul McNulty gave notice a few weeks before that. Bradley Schlozman left at around the same time. Kyle Sampson is gone. Mike Elston is gone. Monica Goodling is gone.

But one of the prime figures in the scandal is not only still around, but got a promotion: Brian Roehrkasse, a Bush 2000 campaign worker who worked as a spokesman for the DOJ Office of Public Affairs during the USA scandal, was promoted in August to head the entire office. In the December issue of the Monthly, Bud Cummins, one of the U.S. Attorneys who was fired last year, says it's time for him to leave too. "Roehrkasse did more than perhaps any other DOJ official to disseminate the avalanche of untruths," Cummins writes. Then, "out of dozens of examples," he lists Roehrkasse's five biggest whoppers. You can read 'em here.

Kevin Drum 12:54 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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avalanche of untruths,

I thought they made their own reality?

Posted by: craigie on December 19, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

No president had ever fired his own appointees in such a manner, and a scandal was born when Congress started asking questions and getting fishy answers from the DOJ.

Actually I would quibble with that bit. Congress didn't ask any questions at all until pressure built on them to do so by people like Josh Marshall and Corpus Juris.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 19, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bud Cummins is very tactful. He mentions, under the head of "Spinning the Post," a March 2007 story that pleased the administration. He doesn't name the authors.

The story dates to March 3, and the authors were: John Solomon and Dan Eggen. Solomon has done hard-hitting exposes of meaningless topics, like who John Edwards sold his house to. Eggen has done a lot of work with Walter Pincus.

One doesn't want to judge reporters based on a single story. But Cummins enumerates the errors it contains. Why John Solomon, finally working on a meaningful story, stopped asking hard questions, is an interesting question.

Posted by: Dan Tompkins on December 19, 2007 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

Another worthless, do-nothing slug on the government dole, because conservatives view being in power as a chance to loot the public purse. We need a complete and total purge of these criminals...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 19, 2007 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

Um, Clinton fired all the US Attorneys when he came into office. There is no US Attorneys scandal Kevin; you need to let this go for your own mental health.

I am going to start a Progressives Counseling group for all of the pent up anger which will result when there is no President Bush to focus all this venom.

Posted by: Orwell on December 19, 2007 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

K, (per orwell) not only is there no scandal here, there are no wars going on, every mortgage in america is secure and the CIA is buying an ice cream for EVERYBODY! chunky munkey all around.

and democracy is spreading like a virus...

Posted by: andyvillager on December 19, 2007 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

All please resist the urge to once again explain to Orwell the difference between what every other prez does with USAs and what Bush 43 did. Orrie already knows and he's too bent to care. andyvillager: right on.

Posted by: shortstop on December 19, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

So far, shortstop, I am managing to resist. But damn, it's hard...the feckless...it burns sometimes...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 19, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

things are slowly turning in texas. cornyn suddenly is everywhere after hiding for 4 years, patches of blue spreading like a weed. 8 letters to editor for impeachment today, people are pissed. got a land commissioner selling off public land, brags about a firearm in his left boot at all times. speaker of house so corrupt he makes senator no seem normal. the eyes of texas... blue skys shining on me, nothing but blue skys do i see.

Posted by: mestizo on December 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Ignoring the troll morons in this forum is one of the more onerous responsibilities of the intelligent and informed among us.
This is the true burden of intellect.

Posted by: Govt Skeptic on December 19, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

I am going to start a Progressives Counseling group for all of the pent up anger which will result when there is no President Bush to focus all this venom.

I'm cool - I can just shift it all to Kit Bond - and I don't even have to get a new acronym! Missouri is stuck with that tippling old fool until Class III comes up in 2010.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

update on my previous post;
dems wins in special election in republican district. heh.
http://www.burntorangereport.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4528

Posted by: mestizo on December 19, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

While the fact that he has finally noticed that being a republican means being a lying scumbag.
This however cought my attention:

Here's another thing: We are at war. There are a great number of relevant and legitimate legal debates about executive power generally—about topics like the terrorist surveillance program, torture, and the legal status of enemy combatants. Unlike a typical Washington Monthly reader, I happen to agree with President Bush on most of these issues. The executive branch, from the president down to the investigating agent on the street, should have as many constitutional tools to protect the security of the nation as possible. And it isn't smart to debate all of the issues that face us out in the open in front of our enemies. Some issues need to be analyzed more privately. In sum, our government needs a formidable range of powers in order to investigate and combat terrorism properly.

Posted by: Aaron on December 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

A friend of a friend of mine is an electrical engineer in DC and he says he advised Addington the other day not to plug in a 50.000 watt industrial shredder in a pre-world war II era electrical outlet.

Its kind of interesting, first the NSA HQ at fort Meade creates a demand for electricity thats more than Baltimore Gas and electric can handle and now the wiring in David Addingtons office burns trough.... what are these guys up to? They have as much bad luck with their electricity as with their e-mail systems as with their memories, no wonder they cant win a war, its just bad luck!

Electrical fires are not that common, one wonders if contractors were allowed to voluntarily follow building safety codes, if they were, I bet some miners will sleep a little better tonight.

With this and Cheney shooting a guy in the face its almost as if these guys are desperately trying to make up for never seeing combat.

AAAAAAAHHHHHH I want my DAILY SHOW!!!

Tell me I got the facts wrong, tell me a fire didn`t just break out right next to the office of David Addington (CNN reported that) the morning after the New York times pretty much printed that he conspired to destroy evidence thus pretty much ensuring the appointment of a special prosecutor?

Posted by: asdf on December 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

But one of the prime figures in the scandal is not only still around, but got a promotion.

Inevitability itself.

Posted by: Neil B. on December 19, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

TPM had an open forum devoted to making fun of the fire that was seen in the "public offices" of Dick Cheney (isn't that an oxymoron?), across from the White House.

My entry, which was not allowed by the screeners, was that "It wasn't a fire that was seen - it was Mr. Cheney's personal portal to the nether regions of Hades...."

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 19, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me I got the facts wrong, tell me a fire didn`t just break out right next to the office of David Addington (CNN reported that) the morning after the New York times pretty much printed that he conspired to destroy evidence thus pretty much ensuring the appointment of a special prosecutor?

I woke up this morning to my husband shaking my shoulder and saying "[BG] wake up! It's the fucking Reichstag fire! WAKE UP!" He had a gleam in his eye that I haven't seen for a while...

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