Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Has Bush Obstructed Justice?

The Associated Press reported yesterday, that U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez stated before Congress that President Bush personally blocked justice department officials from conducting an internal probe into allegations of warrantless wiretapping by his administration.

The Office of Professional Responsibility, a unit within the Justice Department, was tasked with the investigation. When questioned by Republican Senator Arlen Specter, who asked, ""It was highly classified, very important and many other lawyers had access. Why not OPR?", Gonzalez replied, "The president of the United States makes the decision." Later that day, Press Secretary, Tony Snow explained, "The president did not consider the Justice unit that functions as a legal ethics watchdog to be the 'proper venue.'"

Is he kidding? Who better THAN the unit of the Justice Department that functions as the legal ethics watchdog?

Isn't that the MOST proper venue to investigate alleged legal improprieties? Of course it is and the President knows it. There's just one small problem. If he lets them investigate, they are going to quickly discover that the law has been violated, repeatedly. So once again, Mr. Bush drapes the long veil of "national security" over the issue and expects that it will go unchallenged.

Republicans are well skilled at framing issues into digestable sound bytes for the public's consumption. One need only listen to the news this week and you will hear them beginning to refer to current world conflicts as the beginning of World War III (convenient in an election year). I think it is critical that those who stand in opposition to this President begin to do the same.

When the President of the United States prohibits the legally charged unit of the Justice Department from investigating his own alleged improprieties, it is plain and simple, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE!

No one has called it that yet, but that's what it is. In the most cynical and Nixonian sense, President Bush is obstructing justice. And that in and of itself is a crime.

It's time for Congress to get off their asses and investigate!


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