Alberto Gonzales (Abu Gonzo) Free and Clear

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Yesterday the story snuck out with little fanfare that the two year investigation of Alberto Gonzales, former US Attorney General under the Bush Administration, had concluded. The special prosecutor  in the case, Nora Dannehy, did not find anything Gonzo did or didn’t recall doing or saying regarding the firing of former US Attorney David Inglesias to be criminal in nature.  Unprincipled behavior, yes. Criminal, no.

Confused?   Does it feel as though Justice is being denied?

In case you can’t recall the details, or in case you’ve blotted them from your mind intentionally, see more on the flip side.

From the New York Times

Prosecutor’s 2006 Firing Won’t Result in Charges

In the end, Ms. Dannehy concluded that while the politically motivated firing of Mr. Iglesias violated Justice Department principles, it was not a crime and did not warrant criminal charges. She also concluded that misleading statements made by the former attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, and others at the Justice Department did not rise to the level of a crime, according to a summary of the investigation sent to Congress by the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. accepted Ms. Dannehy’s decision, a Justice Department official said.

The decision brings to a close the last in a string of investigations into the Bush administration’s 2006 firings of nine United States attorneys, including Mr. Iglesias. The controversy led Democratic critics to charge that the Bush administration had politicized the Justice Department, and it spurred the resignation of Mr. Gonzales in August 2007.

From the LA Times

Justice Department will not seek charges in U.S. attorney dismissals

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that “no criminal charges are warranted” against officials in the George W. Bush administration for the firing of nine U.S. attorneys four years ago, which led to allegations of improper political pressure and ultimately cost Alberto R. Gonzales his job as attorney general.

The decision, revealed in a letter to Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, brings to a close any consideration of criminal misconduct in what became one of the most searing political controversies in the Bush administration.

Ronald Welch, an assistant attorney general, said in his letter to Conyers that Nora R. Dannehy, an assistant prosecutor from Connecticut who led the investigation, was unable to unearth enough evidence to bring criminal charges pertaining to the ouster of U.S. Atty. David C. Iglesias in New Mexico, and determine whether “misleading statements” from Gonzales and other top Justice Department officials were tantamount to perjury.

Welch said the investigation did find that Gonzales made a “series of statements” that were “inaccurate and misleading” about the firings after they became a political scandal in Washington. He said D. Kyle Sampson, then a top Justice Department official, also made “various misleading statements.”

And from Emptywheel at FDL

Shocking Result In Dannehy US Attorney Purgegate Scandal!

This is entirely what anybody with a lick of sense should have expected from the forward looking modus operandi of the Obama Administration. The one note I would make is that Dannehy’s “investigation” was never a full fledged inquiry into the entire matter; the focus was set at, and remained, on David Iglesias’ complaint, which was not phrased all that compellingly by Iglesias to start with, and was further muddled by the antics of Scott Bloch. Little but lip service was given to the remainder of the sordid picture of Purgegate. You might remember Scott Bloch, the “professional” Iglesias was so sure would do the right thing and get to the bottom of the abuse engendered upon Iglesias.

In other news, the Obama/Holder DOJ recently announced they have no problem with Scott Bloch getting off with probation on his criminal plea of guilt.

The Obama White House loves tidy little packages, and they have clearly wrapped one up here. Any more questions about how the big John Durham “preliminary review” will come out?

Marcy provides a link to the letter to Rep. Conyers in case you’d like to read it.

Here is the concluding statement from the letter

In closing, it is important to emphasize that Attorney General Holder is committed to ensuring that partisan political considerations play no role in the law enforcement decisions of the Department. In this instance, Ms. Dannehy, a long time career prosecutor, was asked only to assess the possible criminality of the actions described in the OIG/OPR report, to conduct such additional investigation as necessary to make that assessment, and to determine whether anyone made prosecutable false statements to Congress or OIG/OPR. The Attorney General appreciates the work of Ms. Dannehy and her investigative team and has accepted her recommendation that criminal prosecution is not warranted.

The Attorney General remains deeply dismayed by the OIG/OPR findings related to

politicization of the Department’s actions, and has taken steps to ensure those mistakes will not be repeated. The Attorney General also appreciates the work of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility on this matter.

We hope that this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact this office if we can provide additional assistance regarding this or any other matter.


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  1. in case you missed the story. Unsurprisingly, the story and the outcome sort of flew under the radar.

    I hope you all are having a good summer. Personally, I’m frying and would very much like some rain. 🙂

    • Edger on July 22, 2010 at 17:26

    we’re moving fuckin’ forward, ain’t it?

    The legal concept of “eternal precedent”:

    What we do, and what we vote and say, today, will ring down through the centuries.  And those who stand with Bush and Cheney, or oppose removing them, will do so at the peril of being on the wrong side of history.

    I wonder what it will be like to live, say a century or two in the future, when people may well look back at these days, shake their head and wonder “what ever possessed them, that they discarded all the rights they’d won, defended, and brought into other nations, merely for the illusory promise of ‘security’?”

    Every now and again, when I listen to Austrian radio, I’ll hear them refer to the “Grossdeutsche Wahn*” – that’s the mass hysteria which accompanied the bullsh*t Hitler and his cronies sold the German-speaking (and a lot of the rest of the) world.  Sixty years on, they’re still shaking their heads wondering “what the hell were we thinking”.

    *”Wahn” means, roughly, “Craziness”, “insanity” or “Hysteria”.

    On the other hand, in a century or two, torture, degradation and authoritarianism may, because of Bush, Cheney and their henchmen, be as normal and accepted as breathing, eating and drinking.  After all, in ancient Rome, not only were there multitudes of slaves, but a slave could not testify without having been tortured first.  And everyone thought that normal.

    The paradigm for the future – for the descendents of those who may have kids today – is what the choices made today will decide.  And that is why the precedent we set today is eternal.  Once that choice is made, or ducked, it’s done and the alternative path now available, is gone and can’t be gotten back.


    I wonder who will be blamed for it by the future historians?

  2. unsurprised.

    Nora Dannehy

    On September 29 2008, Dannehy was appointed by United States Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to continue an investigation into the dismissals of nine federal prosecutors in 2006. She is to determine if anyone should be prosecuted following the investigation by the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility  of the Department of Justice, which concluded that political pressure drove the dismissals of at least three federal prosecutors in 2006.

    Expect much of the same ol’, same ol’.

  3. BO just doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.  Gnaw!

  4. Republicans: “Hey, its not illegal”

    Yeah? Do we need to push the bounds of legality constantly. The law is fluid, and changing it to suit your version is fucking immoral. I hope you pieces of shit burn!

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