Mayberry Machiavellis

MAYBERRY MACHIAVELLIS….Monica Goodling has long since admitted that she used political considerations to hire career lawyers in the Justice Department, and a couple of months ago the Inspector General compiled statistical evidence showing that this was pretty clearly Bush administration policy. So in a way, today’s followup report is anticlimactic: it tells us that the Bush DOJ, as we’ve known for quite a while, was basically run by a bunch of low-rent Boss Tweeds.

Still, anticlimactic or not, its dry recitation of the facts surrounding “Candidate #1” (the first of eight political hit jobs engineered by Goodling) is pretty startling:

He was an experienced terrorism prosecutor and had successfully prosecuted a high-profile terrorism case for which he received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service….Battle stated that Voris told him that the candidate was head and shoulders above the other candidates who had applied for the counterterrorism detail.

Sounds like a great guy. But there was a problem:

The candidate’s wife was a prominent local Democrat elected official and vice-chairman of a local Democratic Party. She also ran several Democratic congressional campaigns….Battle, Kelly, and EOUSA Deputy Director Nowacki all told us that Goodling refused to allow the candidate to be detailed to EOUSA solely on the basis of his wife’s political party affiliation.

….Because EOUSA had been unable to fill the counterterrorism detail after Goodling vetoed this candidate, a current EOUSA detailee was asked to assume EOUSA’s counterterrorism portfolio….He had no counterterrorism experience and had less than the minimum of 5 years of federal criminal prosecution experience required by the EOUSA job announcement. Battle, Nowacki, Kelly, and Voris all said they thought that he was not qualified for the position, since he had no counterterrorism experience. The replacement candidate was a registered Republican who Goodling had interviewed and approved before he was selected for his EOUSA detail.

Your Bush administration at work: When it’s politically convenient, the war on terror is vitally important. When it’s not, it’s not.