How does a man as profoundly perfidious as Paul McNulty get appointed Deputy Attorney General? Who vetted this snake to a post where his betrayal could do so much damage? If you don't recognize the name, you need to read this exclusive account of perfidy, disloyalty and disobedience to understand what type of loathsome viper the President inadvertently invited into his Department of Justice.
McNulty is a product of the same Southern District of New York which produced Comey and Fitzgerald. He exhibits the same fawning servility to Chuck Schumer as do the other two and his allegiance to that snake of a politician is possibly even stronger. As you read the article you can sense the slightest bit of regret by McNulty for carried scorpion (Schumer) across the river. That regret is as phony as the balance of this non mea culpa. McNulty was and is a very willing betrayer angling for a future political plum.
The President is reaping what he himself has sown in this matter. His retention of Dan Bartlett and Cathie Martin in the communications office (both are very close to Rove), coupled with an apparent desire to appear to be "above" politics have severely damaged both his standing with the people and his ability to actually lead.
The President's ludicrous instruction to "fully cooperate" with FBI agents running a political operation in the Plame matter while at the same time insisting that a condition of employment by this White House means forfeiture of the Fifth Amendment right has finally reached what should have been its obvious conclusion. AG Gonzales' counselor, Monica Goodling has appropriately taken a leave of absence and announced her intention to make full use of her right against self incrimination. Apparently she paid close attention to Fitzgerald's conduct in the Libby matter and decided that allegiance to a President unwilling to stand beside those who stand beside him was of little value.
McNulty's fawning obsequience to Schumer and his sideshow is another matter. Having never been loyal to anyone other than himself he cannot be characterized as other than a week reed who should never have been entrusted with his office.
The President's decision to rid himself of the eight US Attorneys who were not carrying out his policies was correct and without need of any justification other than that they did not please him. After all, that's what "at the pleasure of the President" means. Cobbling up the "poor performance" rationale was shabby cover for the exercise of a legitimate prerogative and the cover was torn aside by McNulty in an attempt to ingratiate himself with Schumer.
The Bush administration has been remarkably clean (especially in comparison to the Clinton administration). The Indian Affairs scandal (Abramoff affair) was largely due to the venality of Congressmen who thought themselves beyond the law. The Plame matter could easily have been a tempest in a teapot if it had not been handled so maladroitly and the current brouhaha about the exercise of legitimate executive power is an entirely self inflicted wound.
It would be nice if the President woke up tomorrow and remembered that he is still only a politician. He isn't "above" the fray and he is going to be running the Executive by himself if he doesn't drop the "turn the other cheek" pose and return open blow for open blow. He might start by taking a hard look at his communication staff and a harder look at those closest to him. They are not telling him what he needs to hear if he is to complete his term with any support whatsoever.
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