Justice Dept. violated federal laws

The Justice Department under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales routinely violated federal hiring laws by using politics, sexual preference and other illegal criteria to replace qualifications, an internal report concludes.

The report found that qualified candidates for jobs were rejected because a spouse was involved in Democratic politics or because either the candidate or a candidate’s wife was believed to be a lesbian.

The report is a damning indictment of a Justice Department destroyed internally by political motives with no regard to laws.

The practices slowed hiring at critical times and hurt the department’s credibility, the report says.

Reports The New York Times:

A longtime prosecutor who drew rave reviews from his supervisors was passed over for an important counterterrorism slot because his wife was active in Democratic politics, and a much-less-experienced lawyer with Republican leanings got the job, the report said.

Another prosecutor was rejected for a job in part because she was thought to be a lesbian. And a Republican lawyer received high marks at his job interview because he was found to be sufficiently conservative on the core issues of “god, guns + gays.”

The report, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general and its internal ethics office, centered on the misconduct of a small circle of aides to Mr. Gonzales, including Monica Goodling, a former top adviser to the attorney general, and Kyle Sampson, his former chief of staff. It also found that White House officials were actively involved in some hiring decisions.

According to the report, officials at the White House first developed a method of searching the Internet to glean the political leanings of a candidate and introduced it at a White House seminar called The Thorough Process of Investigation. Justice Department officials then began using the technique to search for key phrases or words in an applicant’s background, like “abortion,” “homosexual,” “Florida recount,” or “guns.”

The report focused its sharpest criticism on Ms. Goodling, a young lawyer from the Republican National Committee who rose quickly in the department to become a top aide to Mr. Gonzales.

Before a crush of cameras, Ms. Goodling testified before Congress in May 2007 at the height of the uproar over the firings of nine United States attorneys, admitting that she may have “crossed the line” at times in using politics in hiring decisions. But Monday’s report catalogued an effort much more systematic than Ms. Goodling described, leading some Democrats to charge that she, Mr. Sampson and Mr. Gonzales should be investigated for perjury.

Last month, the inspector general, Glenn A. Fine, and the Office of Professional Responsibility released a separate report that found a similar pattern of politicized hiring at the Justice Department in reviewing applications from young lawyers for the honors and intern programs.

The report released on Monday goes much further in documenting pervasive evidence of political hiring for some of the department’s most senior career positions, including immigration judges, assistant United States attorneys and even senior counterterrorism positions.

18 Responses to "Justice Dept. violated federal laws"

  1. jgw  July 29, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    I suspect that the really interesting thing about this is that its such old news! This was known months ago and, suddenly, the dems start to do something other than kiss the Bush ass. Too late! Too little! Vote ALL these jerks out of office!

    ..and hope that the next administration has the guts to actively go after those who actually broke the law (wishful thinking I fear, especially if the dems actually win as they have shown just how weak kneed they can be!)

    jgw
    Port Angeles, WA

  2. Direct Democracy  July 29, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    No amnesty!

    Pursue the Bush administration beyond January 20 until they are brought to justice.

    FREE AMERICA

    DIRECT DEMOCRACY

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer  July 30, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Sir Obama of Camelot will support Smirk’s Pardons for Monica Goodling and any of the other clowns involved so as not to rock the boat for his election prospects.

    Nancy ‘The Care of our Country is off the Table’ fancy Pants Pelosi will support Smirk’s decision to pardon Monica Chumpling -can’t have these things getting in the way of the Democrappers winning the White Trash House.

    The one thing that is a slight relief is the Pants Suit is out of the equation.

    Yep, the Democrappers are just like the weenies in the opposition party in pre-Hitler Germany that would not stand up against Dolf’s enabling act.

    VOTE THIRD PARTY -NO MORE LEXUS LIBERALS, NO MORE FANCY PANTS PELOSI.

    NO MORE PANTS SUITS

    NO MORE SIR OBAMA OF CAMELOT

    NO MORE HAIRY REED

    DEMOCRATS FAVORITE STRATEGY: ‘RUN AWAY -RUN AWAY’

    Well If I have offended any Democrats then I suggest you go home -or I shall taunt you a second time!!!

  4. Sandra Price  July 30, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Look out! Klaus will fart in your general direction!

  5. bryan mcclellan  July 29, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Anyone with two active brain cells should recognize that this practice was initiated from the top, so for justice to prevail any and all prosecution needs to start there.

    The time to hold those truly accountable is nigh but watch the dems fold and the neocons get a free pass again.

    Smirky got a new box of pardon pens.

  6. JerZGirl  July 29, 2008 at 9:12 am

    A dictatorship by any other name smells equally rancid!

    But, will this Democratic Congress pursue these proven perjuries as a former Congress once pursued Bill Clinton? Probably not – they don’t have the anatomy for it.

    ————————————————–
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain

  7. Sandra Price  July 29, 2008 at 9:25 am

    The Republican Party is corrupt! Do the people even care? All they want is a ban on abortions! If they can manage this under McCain, our problems are over and the Christian Empire will be born (again). Say goodnight Gracie.

  8. Warren  July 30, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Both major parties are corrupt. Any third party that ever replaced one of the two majors would almost of necessity become corrupt. Until we move away from our two-party winner-take-all voting system, this kind of corruption will remain. Our hope lies in a voting system like RCV (IRV) where multiple parties hold levels of power. Constitutional amendment required. Until then, live with corruption regardless of which major party is in control.

  9. woody188  July 29, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Alberto Gonzales should be locked up for perjury. He claims to have no knowledge, but his top aides were involved. He only initiated reform after they were caught. How could he not have known?

    Add to that his support of torture, and his attempts to get Ashcroft to sign off on the secret National Security Agency wiretapping shows Alberto has a pattern of contempt for the rule of law. Another “worst ever” from the Bush Administration.

  10. adamrussell  July 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    This is a common pattern of the culture of corruption evident in the republican party for the last 40 years at least. Do whatever it takes to grab and keep power.

    “The 11th commandment is to speak no ill of another republican”
    Ronald Reagan

  11. VietnamVet  July 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Well, if breaking that law were the ONLY thing this crooked administration did, things would probably not look so bad. But, when you fold in shredding the constitution, starting a war of choice (costing over 4,500 of our best, maiming thousands more), red ink budget deficits as far as you can see, doubling of the National debt, one crooked GOP scandal after another, and….well you get the picture. Mr. Bush and his administration will, without a doubt whatsoever, go down in history as the worst President and administration ever to occupy the White House! It is mind boggling that a good percentage of the American public are STILL willing to vote for a GOP candidate, Mr. McCain, and undergo four more years of disaster! God help us if he too is somehow installed as the head of our Government.

  12. ekaton  July 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    It matters little from here on out who is elected president. The whole system is broken and has become a juggernaut ever gaining speed. Regardless of who is elected it won’t be long before all taxes collected will not be sufficient to even pay the interest on the ever growing national debt. What then? What then?

    – Kent Shaw

  13. Warren  July 30, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Inflation. That’s always been the solution and will continue to be. Just make the dollar less valuable. Pay interest on less valuable principal with less valuable dollars. Works every time.

  14. Jeffers  July 29, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Is there any other way to avoid the natural bias in the system?

    People who want to have government career jobs tend to believe in government activism.

    Imagine trying to reduce the scope of any government agency, such as the department of education, when all the employees strongly believe in expanding it.

    Likewise, I would expect that the Department of Justice is chock full of lawyers who want to make their difference in the world using the “hammer” that they have as a government lawyer.

    It is hard to find those who just want to apply the law as written and minimize the role of government.

    Government is full of people who believe in a better world through government, not necessarily through personal freedom.

  15. Timr  July 29, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    30-50 years until we no longer have a constitutional republic, oh, the form of the govt will still exist, but the govt itself will become an oligarchy, perhaps with a theocratic front man. the repdem or demrep parties will have become meaningless. The senators will even more openly accept bribes-wait for it, congress will make the giving and accepting of a bribe openly legal, not like now when you have to claim it as a “political contribution”-and they will openly be pocketing million$. Congressional seats will become hereditary, not only life long jobs, but generations long all feeding at the trough. I know its a dark future, I know that I am very cynical, but I look at the last 50 years, and what do I see. A headlong rush over the cliff into the money pit. Ike warned us about the military-industrial complex, but did we listen-no. Big oil packed the pockets of congress, dem or rep no difference, and they passed bills giving out billion$ in corporate welfare. Exon-Mobil, the richest corp in america, is getting corporate welfare checks from the govt. Who owns ya baby? The entire upper ranks of the govt have become corrupt over the years, a nickle here, a dime there, until now it is million$ to influence new govt regs. Meanwhile the poor sap, the sheeple, as long as he has his beer and snax along with his sports will remain a sodden dupe of the oligarchs. Wages go down, profits go up, prices continue to rise past the point where one can actually make a cash purchase. A new from of slavery rises, the debt slave, where debts from one generation roll over to the next generation. and on and on. Businesses are complaining mightily about the new $6.65 minimum pay rate, saying that it is the poor who will suffer because jobs will disappear. Meanwhile, the 900 lb gorrila in the room is ignored by everyone in power. Education. NCLB is a rip off-teach the test and massage the drop out figures. Check out your local school, what do they claim is the number of drop outs? 2%, 4%, never higher than 5%. You want the truth? Try a minimum of about 30% of students- nationwide- who drop out every year. One school that I read about recently claimed a drop out rate of 11%. It was actually 79%.(a HS in Austin Tx) No, that is not an error, it was 79%, average, per year. Seriously. The next generation in this country will either be ignorant of the world around them-even more than now, and will vote for whoever gives them pocket money-and on welfare, or running whatever the 21st century equivalent of an “idiot stick”-shovel-will be. His boss will be Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Indian(no from India, not an amerindian)and he will work for maybe a $1 an hour, or maybe $10 a day-debt slavery, remember-then he will spend all his money in the company store(walmart) on a credit card. Hell yes, my outlook is black, you see any way out of where we are headed. Damn glad that I will not live long enough to see the total corruption and end of the american dream.

  16. almandine  July 29, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    30-50 years??? Drop the zeros.

  17. Sandra Price  July 30, 2008 at 8:42 am

    You are right Warren and yet when we had the opportunity to change the economic base of the government, it was ignored. I’m talking about the fiscal conservative plans under Goldwater, Perot and Paul. All three ran on preserving our American dollar and all three were defeated by a wave of a promise of redistribution of wealth that also failed.

    We failed in the education of the last two generations who were taught the government was there as a safety net not as a protection of the Constitution. We are heading full speed into Socialism and sadly many here at CHB will be pleased. Americans are no longer motivated to stand as individuals and we will be sheep by choice.

    Is there any place left on the planet where we can live freely? Australia? It still has open spaces…..People are so desperate that even islands to be built by fraudulent opportunists are starting to sell if they can keep their organizers out of prison.

    Sadly this nation of ours is being sold out by the voters for a half inch of security traded to the government for our votes.

  18. ekaton  July 30, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Theoretically a devalued currency should make manufactured goods cheaper for other countries to import, thus ramping up exports and stimulating the economy of the country with the devalued currency. But there are so many other artificial forces at work (NAFTA, WTO, WAR, etc.) that skew the works, and in our case the manufacturing base is so eroded that inflation will probably eat us alive (more expensive trinkets from Communist Red China) before we could ramp up industry enough to take advantage of that devalued currency.

    – Kent Shaw

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