Onpoint Radio – on NPR – had an interesting discussion on political purging of US Attorneys (criminal prosecutors) because they did not toe the republican line! This would help the republicans at the election time, it is believed. But it shows the inherent weakness of the American democracy – the structure for checks and balances between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – is not very good! In a "normal" democracy, the institutional structure should ensure that one pillar of democracy is not able to rule over the other! But in Republican congress under a Republican President who was selecting his own Chief Justices, that basic rule was simply non-existent! US in the last 6-7 years has moved towards dictatorship.. and I say it very seriously! These incidents actually underline that trend even further. So, before US goes around lecturing other countries on democracy, I guess it should first understand if it ITSELF has a democracy??!! My contention is NOT!
Deep in the US Senate’s renewal of the Patriot Act was a nearly-unnoticed provision that let the White House replace US attorneys — the nation’s powerful, frontline criminal prosecutors — with no oversight from anyone.
Three months ago, the Justice Department headed down that road with a vengeance, canning seven US Attorneys in a single day. They were almost all Republican, but maybe not loyal enough to politics.
Some had prosecuted Republican politicians on corruption charges. Some had refused to dish on their investigations with Republican candidates. Now, the cry is political purge.
Quotes from the Show:
"They [the fired attorneys] wanted to be very clear on the record [at the hearings] that they were not there to say why they were fired." Dahlia Lithwick
"This is as close to a purge as we have ever seen. … This is not business as usual. …What’s different this time is that these attorneys were discharged midterm. … This is a way of double stacking — getting as many Republicans on the federal bench as possible." Laurie Levenson
"I think you need to be careful with the terminology. The idea that a US attorney should be completely divorced from any political pressure is erroneous in my opinion. … It’s important to distinguish from proper political pressure from within the administration and outside legislative inquiry into pending investigation." Stuart Gerson
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