8th US Attorney Fired

The round of US Attorney firings continues as USAG Alberto Gonzales punishes them for insufficient genuflection to the neocon agenda, only now, after criticism by Democrats and the press that no reasons had been given, so-far-unfired prosecutors are offering excuses, lame though they might be.

An eighth U.S. attorney announced her resignation yesterday, the latest in a wave of forced departures of federal prosecutors who have clashed with the Justice Department over the death penalty and other issues.

Margaret Chiara, the 63-year-old U.S. attorney in Grand Rapids, Mich., told her staff that she was leaving her post after more than five years, officials said. Sources familiar with the case confirmed that she was among a larger group of prosecutors who were first asked to resign Dec. 7. (emphasis added)

What “other issues”? The only reason Alberto ever gave was “performance issues”, whatever they are. That covers a lot of ground. Reporter Dan Eggan has been talking to these unnamed “prosecutors” who have been feeding him…what? Legitimate information or Gonzales talking-points?  Deputy AG Paul McNulty, Alberto’s go-to PR guy, stuck to the script with one exception.

Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty told senators earlier this month that all but one of the prosecutors were fired for “performance-related” reasons. McNulty said that former U.S. attorney Bud Cummins of Little Rock was removed so the job could be given to a former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove.

He gave them that one because he had to but they’re standing firm on the others: “performance-related”.  Except:

U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell, the chief judge in Michigan’s Western District, said in an interview yesterday that Chiara has an excellent reputation in Grand Rapids.

“This is a very classy, distinguished, highly regarded public servant,” said Bell, who was appointed to the bench during the Reagan administration. “She’s one of the best United States attorneys we’ve had in this district, and all of my colleagues agree. . . . To have her suddenly disappear without warning catches us all flat-footed.”

The scuttlebutt Eggan is picking up, wherever it originated, is that Chiara’s out because she doesn’t believe in the death penalty. Uh-huh.

Chiara — who had once studied to be a nun — is personally opposed to capital punishment, but in 2002 she presided over the first death penalty case in Michigan in more than 60 years.

So she’s doing her job even in a case where the outcome is anathema to her. Yet Gonzales is firing her for supposedly poor performance. Apparently “performance” is being defined by Bush Lapdog Alberto to be synonymous with “personal belief”. It isn’t enough for the Bushies if you do what they tell you to do, you have to believe in it.

But this all smacks of red herring to me. What I suspect is actually happening is that Gonzales is demanding his US Attorneys pursue courses some of them are resisting either because the cases are bogus (Padilla comes to mind) or because the prosecutions themselves would force prosecutors to defend patently illegal activities by the Bush Administration or its Republican supporters, or to drop cases that embarrass them. The Randy Cunningham prosecution, for example, has been nicely sidelined by the firing of the US attorney who was handling it, Carol Lam.

Nearly all of the dismissed prosecutors had positive job reviews, but many had run into political trouble with Washington over immigration, capital punishment or other issues, according to prosecutors and others. At least four also were presiding over high-profile public corruption investigations when they were dismissed. (emphasis added)


Wouldn’t have been against Republican defendants by any chance, would they?

That’s what I thought.


5 responses to “8th US Attorney Fired

  1. Dear Congress:

    Although I am glad to see you rushing in to protect our wrongly fired U.S. Attorneys, I must ask you – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? The very same political network, “good old boy clique,” that fired these attorneys, has been around for years attacking other federal government employees who dare to speak out against wrongdoing. Yet you, dear Congress, have done nothing to protect these brave souls who dare become National Security Whistleblowers.

    Currently there is no real whistleblower protection for government employees on the front line of our national security (Border Patrol Agents, Customs Agents, Transportation Security Agents, etc.). Many of these government employees have endured wrongful firings, harassment, threats, and other retaliation on an enormous scale for simply doing the right thing. They have witnessed extreme instances of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption that they are required by law to report. For many of them, what they have witnessed are criminal acts by their mid-level and sometimes very high-level managers. If they don’t report these abuses, they the employees may be criminally charged with a felony (Misprision of Felony). Yet when they do the right thing, the whistleblowers are most certain to be severely retaliated against by the people benefiting from the wrongdoing.

    Moreover, this has been documented and presented to Congress repeatedly by numerous organizations like The Government Accountability Project (GAP), the Project On Government Oversite (POGO), and the Patrick Henry Center. All three of these organizations list scores of National Security Whistleblowers that have testified repeatedly before Congress in different forums (e.g. the 911 Commission; the Blue Ribbon Commission; Whistleblower Counsel). Yet the Whistleblower Protection Act that was authored and sponsored by Senators Akaka and Grassley, and has passed the Senate, sits idle for months now on the House floor.

    As you rush to protect these more powerful federal government employees (U.S Attorneys) who are often hand picked by their home state Senators, remember, there are others who have suffered much more because they have risks much more via the national security issues that they have reported. I doubt that these U.S. Attorneys will have to file bankruptcy because they are being “blackballed” by corrupt government officials, in the same way that National Security Whistleblowers do. I doubt that these U.S. Attorneys will fear the threats and intimidation to themselves and their families; repeated frivolous internal affairs investigations; the passing over of earned promotions, and numerous other tools that government managers have at their disposal to discredit whistleblowers and SHUT THEM UP.

    Yet you, Congress, point the “Political Finger” at the folks who have fired these U.S. Attorneys, while you sit and allow much worse behavior to continue for others. Maybe someone should wave that same “Political Finger” back at themselves. Why is it that the U.S. Attorneys have been given preferential treatment over other government employees who, quite frankly, have put their necks much more on the line for this country than the U.S. Attorneys?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that the firing of these attorneys is political, morally wrong, and perhaps illegal – BUT SO WHAT! Why are you rushing to their aid over the dead bodies of National Security Whistleblowers who were also government employees – and I do mean literally dead bodies. Numerous whistleblowers have had their lives so destroyed by doing the right thing, that they have died of heart problems due to stress, and/or have committed suicide. The whistleblower cases that I have witnessed, including my own, are much more egregious and appalling than what has happened to the U.S. Attorneys. One may conclude that the answer to this question is that U.S. Attorneys are simply more powerful in their positions, and can be of more assistance to Congress in said positions – hence fostering the notion that this sudden interest for Congress to protect them is merely POLITICAL! Therefore, while you waive the “Political Finger” at this administration for firing these attorneys, please take a close look in the mirror at the other end of that very same finger – which is pointing straight back at you! I would encourage you to provide protection to ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, not just the influential ones.


    Darlene Fitzgerald
    National Security Whistleblower & proud of it
    Author: “BorderGate, the story the government doesn’t want you to read”

  2. Pingback: The FBI and NSLs 3: How High Does it Go? «

  3. i want to know when all this corruption in the last six years is going to be investigated especially chaneys company hollbrooke i dont know how dick spells his company name

  4. “BorderGate” Whistleblower in Fed. jail on “trumped up” charges to shut him up!

    Dear Friends,

    I need your help. My fellow whistleblower John Carman (former U.S. Customs officer) has been arrested on what I and others believe are “TRUMPED UP” charges to shut him up.
    A very brave journalist, Bill Conroy, who has also been heavily retaliated against for covering our story, has mustered up the courage to cover this continuing, unbelievable story. Please go to the web site/link listed below and read. Then please help us by telling the world about this injustice. If we shine a bright enough light on
    this, maybe we can help John. Please pass this e-mail along to everyone you know. For more information feel free to contact me @: (606) 310-0078. Thank you in advance for your
    much needed help.

    Darlene Fitzgerald
    Former Special Agent
    Author of “BorderGate, the story the government doesn’t want
    you to read”

    Is former fed a kidnapper, or a whistleblower being framed?


  5. Darlene, you’d get a lot more respect if half your info wasn’t coming from total rags like WorldNetDaily. Sounds like you got a story worth listening to until we realize it’s coming from or endorsed by completely untrustworthy right-wing propaganda organs. Divorce yourself from them and we’ll talk.

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