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Sunday, November 09, 2008

No to Gorelick for AG

The Democratic Party's ethical standards have now plummeted significantly below those which prompted Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards to joke in 1983 that "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

It appears that we have no example extreme enough to provide an answer yet to this critical question: How badly do you have to screw up to stop getting promoted, much less destroy your career, in the Democratic Party?

Oddly enough, one of the first series of posts I wrote when I began blogging in August 2003 was to defend Jamie Gorelick — a Clintonista liberal Democratic Washington lawyer — from charges that she was ethically disqualified to serve on the 9/11 Commission because the law firm she had just joined, then known as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, also had prominent Saudi clients (whom she did not personally represent, but some tiny percentage of whose fees would flow to her through the law firm partnership). I continue to believe that her law firm's Saudi clients were not a legitimate source of serious objection to her service on the 9/11 Commission.

Jamie Gorelick But I didn't know then — nobody much outside the Clinton Administration knew — that she had been the principal builder of the "wall" between domestic and foreign intelligence that, more than any other single factor, made possible the success of the 9/11 attacks. Now that was a huge, glaring, substantive, and disabling conflict of interest. And her decision on that matter while in office showed such incredibly bad judgment on a crucial matter of mixed legal and national security concerns that it ought to have disqualified her from ever serving in any future president's cabinet.

Then there's the little fact that from 1997 to 2003, she was the vice chairman of Fannie Mae.

And yet: The New York Times says Jamie Gorelick is under serious consideration to become Barack Obama's attorney general (h/t InstaPundit). The NYT allows how "Some conservative bloggers have already begun trying to derail Ms. Gorelick’s possible nomination as attorney general, pointing to her experiences at both Fannie Mae and the Sept. 11 commission." To that, my response is to jump up and down with both hands waving frantically as I shout, "Damned right we are! Damned right!"

Short of appointing an actual member of al Qaeda, I cannot imagine a more offensive symbolic repudiation of the Global War on Terror — nor a more enthusiastic embrace of the chronic mismanagement, cronyism, and graft which led to this fall's credit crisis — than the appointment of Jamie Gorelick as attorney general.

When Obama choose an amoral, souless Hard Left hitman like Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff, I was willing to grant that such is his right for such a position, and I didn't even grumble. Indeed, because Emanuel is likely to be effective in doing his principal's wishes, that simply means that Barack Obama himself can be held strictly accountable for his administration's successes and failures: Emanuel is a switchblade, and every political corpse he leaves behind him (some of whom will also be Democrats, although of which flavors we do not yet know) will be stacked in a large pile directly at Barack Obama's feet.

But the prospect of Jamie Gorelick heading up the Department of Justice is worth filibustering, if anything or anyone is. She's not "change you can believe in," she's "change guaranteed to cause even more cosmic calamities" because she's done that consistently in the past.

Posted by Beldar at 09:42 PM in Law (2008), Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to No to Gorelick for AG and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Gorelick for Attorney General?! from Capitol Punishment

Tracked on Nov 10, 2008 5:08:43 PM


(1) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Nov 9, 2008 10:17:06 PM | Permalink


This makes me sorry you are no longer guest-blogging on Townhall.

This article deserves higher exposure.

(2) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 9, 2008 10:20:59 PM | Permalink

Nixon used to have an old adage: "Lift it up the flagpole,boys and see if people salute."

The first rule of politics is to "take care of your own."

And, Obama isn't diddling around on small stuff. He seems willing to throw the biggest pieces of meat out there, just to see what happens.

As to the right? Hardly likely the dems will ever fight for them. Or even flirt with them. Why?

Also, it seems it wasn't Jamie Gorlick who caused the problems at the CIA! It was the turf battles of the MANDARINS! 9/11 "happened" because both the FBI and the CIA have been run into the ground.

A wall of separation? Wait till you hear of all the illegal stuff that went on by Dubya's "orders." Hardly likely to be something that just falls by the wayside.

Sometimes, I'm suspicious of the crap that rolls off the press. (Did you see the Ramirez cartoon today? It's up at Lucianne. And, it buries McCain, while practically quote him, too.)

Newt Gingrich is also using his telephone to call in his wish to head the RNC.

Sometimes, when I see things in print? I wonder why.

So, it could be Jamie Gorlick has the inside track to AG.

How much screaming can ya do, when you had the "annointed"
Aschcroft. Followed by The Bozo. Not as if there's a great track record out there from Dubya's watch.

It's "official" only if Gorlick's name goes to Congress for confirmation.

So, this news piece is news? Or is Harry Reid on board?

And, yes, when you win elections you get to choose personnel.

Makes me wonder HOW McCain got chosen. Weren't there people close enough to see this disaster?

You want to lay claim to Gorlick being a disaster? What if she's a real player? What if Obama picks her? Seems he knows what he wants! He seems to be dropping hints that his package of things "to do" will include dealing with the economy. Or is this just pressure on Bush not to veto Pelosi's rescue package of the US Auto Industry?

Bush was surrounded by too many milky-toasts.

By the way, under GOP leadership; let's say this goes to Senator Mitch McConnell. You expect to see fireworks? You know, that would surprise me!

(3) Charlie (Colorado) made the following comment | Nov 9, 2008 10:40:48 PM | Permalink

Gorelick also had a big hand in (and made lots of money from) her involvement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and back in the Clinton Administration, was behind the effort to prevent effective encryption from being available to civilians (the "Clipper Chip") because they wanted to be sure the government could listen in to private conversations if it wanted to.

Oh, and she also helped direct the 9/11 Commission, which carefully avoided looking at some of the "wall" stuff.

But other than having pushed to prevent Americans from having access to privacy-protecting technology while impeding intelligence from going after external threats, thereby contributing to 9/11, and having profited hugely from the financial debacle that is causing the current unpleasantness, she's a wonderful candidate.


(4) Greg Ransom made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 1:17:44 AM | Permalink

You seem to be under the illusion that Senate Republicans have spines and brains.

Prediction -- John McCain will lead the charge against any Republican who challenges Gorelick.

(5) Beldar made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 2:25:16 AM | Permalink

Greg, you might be right, but I hope not.

(6) kimsch made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 5:39:15 AM | Permalink

There's also talk of RFK, Jr. for EPA. Another very bad choice.

Maybe they're throwing out some completely unacceptable people so that they can get some marginally acceptable people through?

(7) A.W. made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 8:26:17 AM | Permalink

Yeesh, the woman whose legal squeemishness kept our intelligence services from talking to each other and may have literally prevented us from putting together the pieces needed to prevent 9-11.

Yeah, that is change you can believe in. We will go from Bush who pushes to the very edge of the legal frontier in order to protect American lives. We will go from a man who may have even crossed the line a little. We will go from that, to a President overly concerned about the legal niceties. 4-8 years of this and guarantee you that we will have another 9-11. And will anyone be sane enough to notice the connection?

(8) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 10:09:17 AM | Permalink

Sorry. But the CIA failed on its own. Just picture Tenet. The Israelis tagged him "a fat slob."

Anyway, Obama isn't looking to hide. Given that he's put Rahm Emanuel in charge of his staff. And, given his insider's knowledge of the democratic political apparatus. (This is what FDR was so ably able to control.

Since I'm clueless about the internals; where powers reside, I have no idea if Gorelick is a real choice. Or just someone who knows media types. So? She made "phone calls." And, her selection registers "as a possibility." OR? Obama is sharing the "tough calls" out in the open. Meaning? He's not afraid of the dust storms that follow.

By the way, YES, I agree. McCain plays ball with the democrats, "whose hands across the aisle" are a familiar touch to him, anyway. Besides, he lost only in his bid to be president. He still owns his senate seat.

If you were to look at McCain, now, it's best to consider his "cost/benefits" ratio. What would he gain by suddenly becoming a reactionary republican, appeasing the right wing of his party?

McCain gains "good media theater" by giving Obama his vote. And, yes, too. It goes a long way in letting Mr. McCain "prove" he's also an agent of change.

This whole election came down to a winnah who best represented "change."

Seems to me it's a match made in heaven. And, McCain does not need any more grief from the public.

Maybe, it's an easy call? It's certainly not football; where there's a play called the GAP. (Where games are won by blind-siding the quarterback.) Not that politics doesn't have its own rules about sacking.

Can anything at all be learned by the republican right, from this year's results to our 2008 election? Beats me. But somebody's got to come up with a reason McCain got selected in the first place. And, so many other candidates on the primary stage bit the dust.

If I remember correctly, Guiliani got thumped in Florida! And, he spent a mint in Florida! Then, you have Fred Thompson. Looked lazy. Seemed to have the "wrong energy." While whatever was thought "right" about McCain, turns out was fool's gold. (Here? The right thought they were hand-picking a dodo bird that independents and democrats would love.)

As to the issue of Gorelick, figure out how many independents and democrats, now, would hate her being selected. Look up at Nixon's flagpole. I think the answer flaps in the wind. It looks like a great choice. But then I'm just in the stands. Wondering where it gets ya when y a fight the "winds of change."

Will you have energies left when the rest of this show comes down the pike?

Obama isn't afraid of making "tough political choices." That's just the way it is when you want to grasp powers into your hands. (An art Dubya never learned.)

(9) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 10:35:59 AM | Permalink

Dear A.W.: Nope, you can't hit Gorelick for legal "squeamishness." The wall that she helped build wasn't from her caring about legal procedure. It was an expression of distrust for "career Justice," that it might be too aggressive for Billyboy's making nice with the PLO and other terrorists. You need only look at Waco to judge how "squeamish" Billyboy's Justice Department was.

Gorelick is being considered for one reason only: someone who will sack Pat Fitzgerald and shut down the Illinois investigations. Said investigations can only hurt The One, but shutting them down will cause a big stink and unify the GOP. Someone needs to be willing to take plenty of blasting to do this. Gorelick, with her sordid reputation, is just the axe wielder. Her rep is in the toilet. What's one more scandal for her? The consequences will be unpleasant, but the payoff is immense: she will be a player again, and a feared one. The Clintons lose another tool, as they seethe in not-so-concealed frustration. Her Fannie Mae days made Gorelick rich. Now she'll have power, and The One will be deep in her debt, i.e. she'll be untouchable. Pat gets canned, Gov. Blagjovich is in The One's pocket, and Michelle is appointed to replace The One in his Senate seat. This last may be farfetched. What isn't farfetched is that Michelle has a gigantic sense of entitlement, and no sense of ethics whatsoever. She really thinks that a) The One's election to the Senate in November 2004 and b) her promotion at the University of Chicago, tripling her salary, are unconnected, that she got the promotion on her alleged merits. What a show this will be! Geo. W. could stop this nomination dead, simply by appointing Pat as a special prosecutor, and hence unfirable for all practical purposes. Will he do it? It seems unlikely, given Geo. W.'s hamfisted record.

The alternative is that Gorelick is being set up to be blown to bits, damaging a Clinton tool beyond repair. That done, The One can name Arlen Specter to be AG. This burnishes his rep as a uniter, as bipartisan. The press sings hosannah. This also leaves yet another vacancy in the Senate, to be filled by the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell. Think that GOP filibuster will hold? Not likely.

Finally: I don't know this for a certainty, but the overwhelming likelihood is that Geo. W's Justice Department has "crossed the line," and not just a little bit. (By the way, when did "crossing the line a little" become something we can wink at, as you imply?) I base this on the frenzied efforts to get telecom immunity. The telecom companies faced serious consequences, and were ready not just to quit, but to blow the whistle if they didn't get the same immunity the lawyers assumed was theirs by right. Don't believe me? Listen to Instapundit's podcast with Jack Goldsmith on 13 September 07:


Ol' Jack ran the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the section that tells the Executive Branch what is and isn't legal, for eight months in 2003-04. He admits that by the end of his tenure, he was sweating buckets, worried that his own ass was on the line, and he might get tossed in the klink for what he was deciding. So, yes, I do think that Geo. W. and his merry gang crossed the line, substantially and often. Bothersome? You bet. But the threat this nation faced was real, no matter how many liars in Ivy League law schools and the press say otherwise. That's enough for me. Likely I will swallow hard should the full record of Geo. W's Justice Department ever emerge. But I am willing to pay the price of "crossing the line" without knowing completely what I am buying now. I may look a fool later on (or right now, for that matter.) But I won't kid myself that rough stuff was, and is, the order of the day in Gep/ W's Justice Department.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(10) Bill Brandt made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 10:56:21 AM | Permalink

The Obama Administration is off to a roaring start. Gorelick for AG and the MI gov - name escapes me - for economic advisor.

(11) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 11:15:24 AM | Permalink

I followed a link from Glenn Reynolds to Jules Crittenden. And, it turns out the AG list of possibilities is larger than just an Obama pick of James Gorlick. Here's the cut and paste. QUOTED BELOW:

The big money on who becomes the next attorney general is split between two distinct camps: consummate Washington insiders with serious policy credentials and prominent political backers of President-elect Barack Obama, according to leading insiders from both parties.

The most-bandied about name among elected-officials is Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. A former U.S. attorney and the state’s first female attorney general, the Democrat has the requisite law enforcement experience and would help Obama bring gender balance to his Cabinet.

Other politicians who make the Washington speculation lists are Democratic Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Vetted as a possible Obama running mate, Kaine campaigned hard to swing his home state from Republican to Democratic. Patrick and Obama are kindred spirits. And an offer to serve his friend as attorney general might be attractive enough to convince Patrick to leave the Bay State halfway through his term.

Inside-the-Beltway candidates include two former deputy attorneys general under President Bill Clinton: Eric Holder and Jamie Gorelick.

Holder, an Obama confidante who helped lead his vice presidential search, is a favorite among insiders. A former U.S. attorney, Holder is a respected prosecutor who falls neatly into the role of top cop.

(12) narciso made the following comment | Nov 10, 2008 12:35:13 PM | Permalink

A serious prosecutor, who gave the go-ahead for the Elian rendition, to be a servant of the Cuban regime. An accomodator to the Mark Rich pardon; tell us another one.
Jack Goldsmith's actions were will within the law, for those who actually read it. Gorelick only ratified what had
been bad practices; read Mark Riebling's Eclipse. She steered Fannie Mae into the ditch, and got away with a golden parachute. She represented the head of the Islamic
Banking Federation in the class action lawsuits; in part with information she gleened from her stint on the 9/11 commission.

(13) Kathleen made the following comment | Nov 11, 2008 2:43:24 PM | Permalink

In my insingificant opinion because I am just a member of the common "we the people" and not a lawyer, I think appointing Jamie Gorlick as AG is a serious conflict of interest. Fannie Mae gave over 120,000.00 dollars to Obama and now they are getting rewarded again. Once by the rescue package and now by the possiblility of a strongly connected member of Fannie Mae possibly becoming our AG. May God have mercy on us and I mean the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac

(14) Jim Davis made the following comment | Nov 11, 2008 6:50:23 PM | Permalink

(10)---that would be Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan. Given the condition we find ourselves here in the Great Lakes State, naming her to the economic advisor slot is kind of like having China and Cuba on the UN Human Rights comission.

(15) Carol Herman made the following comment | Nov 11, 2008 7:56:02 PM | Permalink

Before an event comes to pass, all you can have is a "theory."

Sometimes? You can test this theory. To see if it passes the smell test.

Journalists run with headlines to be provokative. Yup. PASSED.

Journalists cannot figure out the inner workings, yet, of Obama's staff. Yup. PASSED. (What the journalists want to know is "where's the conflict?")

Jamie Gorelick "might" be on a list. Just as others were on McCain's VEEP list. What happened to them? All you know is that Pawlenty, Jindal, Romney, and Guiliani, to mention a few ... "were passed over." McCain picked Palin. Before the pick though, the "guessing was wide open." Check.

Has at least one reporter pointed out that Janet Napolitano, who went from a prosecutor's job, into the governor's mansion ... And, who has worked very hard for Obama ... Ah. And, is probably going to get a cabinet chair.

LESSON: Cabinet chairs are not taken home.

What would be of major importance to Obama, as he starts out? The mood in DC is going to be happy, happy. The day that follows Inauguration Day, is Martin Luther King's birthday. It's gonna be hard to put a damper on that!

Hillary's already been sidelined. By Ted Kennedy. She wanted to open a sub-committee on Health Care. And, she won't get it. Ted Kennedy is going to call a "full committee" hearing instead. And, when this problem gets resolved the "feather in his cap" goes to Obama. No extra feathers for Hillary. Check.

Why would Gov. Janet Nepalitano be a top runner? Gee. Ombama is going to want women in his cabinet. Check.

Obama is going to want to set up a pool of talent to off-set Hillary's claims. Probably a wise move.

And, the talent is there!

Hardly likely that Dubya will escape blame for the state of our economy. But you can dream on. Be my guest. It's possible for Obama to run on the Bush created mess ... until 2010. Heck, you can re-package Dubya as Katrina. Put a tutu on him. And, let him dance.

He didn't add to his credentials by saying "he's giving a nice transfer to Obama." Unless you wish to forget how the voters felt back in 2000. When the time came to pick between two petunias; when they went to vote. This problem didn't happen with Obama on the ticket. This time? Only one petunia.

Say what you will, even Sarah Palin doesn't give Dubya high grades for the way he ran the government.

Oh, and like it or not there will be books!

You have no idea how many agents are asking Palin to write one! If she does? Her voice will radiate and her book will sell. And, in print Sarah Palin won't hold back. She came to DC "briefly" ... and what she saw with her eyes was amazing. Amazing, yes. Complimentary to Dubya? In your dreams.

(16) hunter made the following comment | Nov 11, 2008 9:04:03 PM | Permalink

When I see Gorelick, I see one of the best modern examples of the banality of evil in existence today.

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