MINNEAPOLIS ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ Three lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis resigned their management posts, moves that gained national attention against the backdrop of claims top federal prosecutors elsewhere were fired for political reasons. U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose confirmed Friday that John Marti, a first assistant U.S. attorney, Erika Mozangue, head of the office’s civil division, and James Lackner, who heads the office’s criminal division, have decided to “go back to the line to be full-time prosecutors.” She did not say why the three stepped down and indicated that she would have no further public comment. “We have work to do,” her statement said.
Just in case anyone doubts that the Bush Administration in general, and Attorney General Alfredo Gonzales in particular, isn’t heavily invested in thoroughly politicizing the administration of justice on the federal level, consider if you will the case of Rachel Paulose. Ms. Paulose, the new US Attorney in Minneapolis, is an overqualified DUMB@$$, if for no other reason than her failure to recognize (or willingness to ignore) the blindingly obvious.
If you’re a manager, and three of your staff members resign, a capable manager would engage in at least a modicum of self-reflection. What role did I play? What responsibility do I bear? Do I knew to alter my management style so as not to adversely the quality of work we produce? How do I keep the best, most qualified people around me feeling as if they belong, as if they have something to add?
Then again, self-reflection doesn’t appear to be a job requirement for ANY political position in this Administration. Political fealty and subservience to the political agenda of neoConservative Republicans seem to be the only real vetting points.
Then again, who says Justice is blind??
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Ms. Paulose isn’t a talented lawyer. Clearly, she has an impressive resume. However, at age 34, just a few short years out of law school, how can ANY reasonable person argue that she’s ready and able to take on the responsibilities of a US Attorney? It has nothing to do with her gender or her ethnicity; I’d be saying the same thing about a 34-year-old White male. It’s just difficult to fathom how a lawyer, no matter how smart or accomplished, has the wherewithal to assume the role of a US Attorney in their mid-30s.
I’m fully cognizant of the reality that US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of
the Chief Executive Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © . The job of US Attorney is hardly an apolitical one, thought by all rights it should be. In a perfect world, the administration of justice would not even begin to be a political issue. Clearly, as repeatedly evidenced on a daily basis by this clusterf—k of a President, we live in nothing close to a perfect world.
Yes, a sitting President has the perfect right to appoint an ideological compadre to a job as US Attorney. However, a sitting President has a corresponding responsibility to the American sheeple to at least show a minimum of respect for the rule of law. It should be an article of faith that the application of federal law should be free of political influence.
Yes, any political appointee serves at the pleasure of a President. That President perquisite, however, carries a corresponding responsibility to ensure that cases are or are not prosecuted under federal law for purely political reasons.
Rachel Paulose is little more than a small symbol of a huge problem: that this Administration has politicized the rule of law. Can their be anything more despicable, more anti-Democratic, and more just plain WRONG? Ms. Paulose may be capable of simutaneously summoning the spirits of F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Johnny Cochrane, and Clarence Darrow. She may be the living, breathing embodiment of Lady Justice. Unfortunately, it appears that she couldn’t manage her way out of wet paper sack if her life depended on it. If three subordinate managers resign their positions and demote themselves to once again becoming rank-and-file prosecutors, would a reasonable person assume that there’s a problem with their management style?
Of course, I’ve yet to hear the word “reasonable” used in the same sentence, and rarely in the same paragraph, as “Rachel Paulose”.
The truly sad aspect of the US Attorney scandal that’s embodied by Ms. Paulose’s appointment is that this Administration couldn’t even be bothered to at least try to maintain even a facade of impartial jurisprudence. They’ve made it crystal-clear that their sole responsiility is the aggregation and maintenance of political power by any means necessary.
Somewhere, Niccolo Machiavelli is smiling….
STILL GLAD YOU VOTED REPUBLICAN??