HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE NET….I missed this yesterday, but Dan Drezner went directly to the source and discovered how Justice Department officials vetted potential DOJ employees using the awesome power of the Nexis news database. Here’s the search string they used:
[first name of a candidate] and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!
Mayberry Machiavellis indeed. Click the link to read their fevered denials and eventual confessions.
UPDATE: The LA Times has more:
In the second of a series of reports on the politically charged tenure of former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, the department’s inspector general found that two former Justice aides used sexual orientation as a litmus test in deciding whom they would hire or fire.
The report describes an alleged “sexual relationship” between a career prosecutor and a U.S. attorney, who were not named. Margaret M. Chiara, the former U.S. attorney in Grand Rapids, Mich., said in an interview with The Times that she now believed she was fired because of the erroneous belief that she was having a relationship with career prosecutor Leslie Hagen.
“I could not begin to understand how I found myself sharing the misfortune of my former colleagues,” Chiara said of the eight other U.S. attorneys who were fired. “Now I understand.”
The Chiara case was always one of the oddest of the U.S. Attorney firings, and apparently now we know why. A followup report on all nine USA firings is expected shortly.