Tuesday, April 24, 2007

There Is Something Here

On August 30, 2006, a workgroup of US Attorneys, the Regional Law Enforcement Information Sharing WG, wrote a letter to Deputy AG Paul McNulty regarding the LiNX information sharing system between federal, regional and local law enforcement. The letter takes the position that the DOJ should be in the lead on this. The letter was written over USA John McKay’ signature and was signed by 17 other US Attorneys.

It caused quite a stir and Mark Connor sent an email to Michael Elston with a cc: to Michael Scudder:

Mike: I believe McKay is way out of line here. This document was drafted-under the guise of an info sharing working for the AGAC - and it was directed to the DAG: Internal deliberations and policy recommendations should not be shared outside of the Department unless so authorized by the DAG. I don't know what McKayns motives are, but this is embarrassing and outrageous. . MAC
This letter has been pointed to as a reason for McKay’s forced resignation. Let’s look at the other members of the committee and see how they fared. A pattern emerges quickly
  • John McKay - Western District Washington - Fired.
  • Carol Lam - Southern District California - Fired.
  • David Iglesias - New Mexico - Fired.
  • Michael Heavican - Nebraska - Retired between 9/06 and 10/06.
  • Debra Wong Yang -Central California - Resigned January 1, 2007 - Correction: October 2006. TPM's on this.
  • Charles Larson - Northern Iowa - Retired 12/31/06.
  • Paul Perez - Middle Florida - Resigned March 2007.
  • Lisa Wood - Southern Georgia - Resigned between January 31 and February 9, 2007.

The remaining ten members were all (100%) Presidential appointees. Four were recently appointed. Watch this:

  • Thomas Anderson - Vermont - Appointed June 2006.
  • Don DeGabrielle - Southern Texas - Appointed March 2006.
  • Catherine Hanaway - Eastern Missouri - Appointed April 2006.
  • Chuck Rosenberg - Eastern Virginia - Appointed March 2006.

Of the remaining six, all were appointed by Bush between 2001 and 2004. USA Karin Immergut from Oregon, appointed October 2003, wrote a letter to McNulty implying that she had been tricked into signing the letter.

I really don't know if the letter has much to do with this although a 45% loss rate is pretty big, but I do see a pattern in US Attorney appointments. The purge appears to have been alive and well, ambling along because Senate confirmation was required from 2001 through 2006. Slowly, however, because they didn't really want us to see what they were up to but it was happening.

Finally, however, the damn broke with that key little revision to the Patriot Act.

As you know, I've been trying to get Senator Nelson's letter to the DOJ inquiring about this very issue but Nelson's office is moving with at a snail's pace - including using snail mail to reply.

There is something here. We are all around it but we're just not there yet.