Once again I'm put in a position of having to defend the Bush administration, which is not my job. My mandate is to watch the Bush administration and everybody else, to watch those who hold power in this country.
But the U.S. attorney thing is absurd, a fabricated event designed to hurt the president and make it easier for the Democrats to consolidate their power and elect a president in 2008.
That being said, all Mr. Bush has to do is to tell Tony Snow to explain the reasons why all eight prosecutors were replaced. Snow could do that in his sleep. Just go, boom, boom, boom, have a nice weekend. But because the Bush administration is so reluctant to explain anything, the media is running wild.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Is the White House ready for this to be played out in court for a political public spectacle?
QUESTION: How do you avoid the appearance of stonewalling?
QUESTION: What do you say to criticism that this is part of a pattern of secrecy?
QUESTION: Are you afraid that they will be able to go through and find inconsistencies in testimony if there's a transcript?
QUESTION: This is the final offer? This is it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, on the print side, here we go.
The ultra-liberal Baltimore Sun says: "Either he," the president, "doesn't recognize the weakness of his position or he has something awful to hide."
Uber-left Newsday writes: "Gonzales wasn't telling the truth when he said the prosecutors were fired for poor job performance."
OK, Newsday, prove it. Prove it. Demonstrate the attorney general was lying. If you can't, close up shop.
And the absolute topper comes from The Brattleboro Reformer, which says: "This whole affair is too reminiscent of Watergate."
No, it's not. There's not even a hint of illegality in play. By the way, the radical left Vermont paper has also called for the president's impeachment.
Now, the only way this dopey story matters is if the Bush administration fired a prosecutor who was looking into political corruption. If that happened, the president is doomed. But there's no evidence of that. In fact, "The Factor's" initial investigation shows that at least three of the fired U.S. attorneys were controversial, to say the least.
In San Diego, U.S. attorney Carol Lam was under fire for failing to prosecute illegal alien criminals. On June 15, 2006, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein complained about Ms. Lam to Alberto Gonzales saying: "It is my understanding that Ms. Lam may have some of the most restrictive prosecutorial guidelines nationwide for immigration cases, such that many Border Patrol agents end up not referring their cases."
That was Feinstein then. Here she is now.
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SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: The White House is in a bunker mentality: won't listen, won't change. I believe there is even more to come out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Yes. And then there's fired U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who wouldn't prosecute pot-smuggling cases unless they were above 500 pounds. Wow.
How about San Francisco federal prosecutor Kevin Ryan? Here is what the liberal Los Angeles Times wrote about him today: "It was only when a Democratic judge threatened to go to Congress to raise a public fuss over Ryan's poor performance that Ryan was put on the termination list, according to e-mails released by the White House."
So, in 24 hours, we have come up with plausible explanations for the dismissal of three of the eight U.S. attorneys. And we only gave it a day. But, again, the White House should be doing this, not us. I'm going to send them a bill.
And that's "The Memo."