The Cracks Widen

A while back, I predicted that with a Democratic Congress wielding subpoena authority, you’d start seeing administration officials start to engage in moves to save their own asses, which could lead to the whole corrupt house of cards coming down.

Monica Goodling, the Attorney General’s top counsel, announced via her lawyer that she would plead the 5th when called to testify before Congress.

She’s concerned that testifying under oath may incriminate herself in connection to criminal charges.

Strange thing is, there are no criminal charges on the table.

Which makes you wonder….especially when you look into it further, and find out that her position was the Attorney General’s White House liaison. She was the connection between the Justice Department, who fired these attorneys, and the White House, who swears up and down that they had nothing to do with it.

Interesting.

Of course, the right-wingers have been scoffing since day one that this was a “made up scandal”, and that “there’s no ‘There’ there.” That this is sound and fury, and partisan politics, trying to manufacture a scandal out of nothing.

If it’s nothing, if there’s no criminal activity…..why take the Fifth?

Of course, as a historical reminder, the right-wingers never thought Watergate was an impeachable offense, either. As that bastion of Red State balladry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, sang in “Sweet Home Alabama:” “Watergate does not bother me; Does your conscience bother you? Tell me true.”

So don’t expect the Conservatives you know to suddenly come around to reason. Expect them to deny, deny, deny all the way, even as the administration goes down in flames.

8 Replies to “The Cracks Widen”

  1. People need to feel that they are not responsible for the crimes to which they have contributed with their ignorance and apathy. Sad but true.

  2. If it’s nothing, if there’s no criminal activity… why take the Fifth?

    Gareth, while I entirely agree it’s high time for some accountability from the Bush Administration, I’m also wary of the premise “the truly innocent have nothing to hide.” It’s an attitude that leads down the slippery slope towards questions like “Are you now or have you ever been…?” where mere accusation becomes conviction of guilt and we are all guilty until proven innocent.

    I’d very much like to know the truth of what the administration has been doing for the past six years, but I don’t want to adopt their methods of getting at it.

  3. Oh, believe me — I’m not espousing that the “innocent have nothing to hide.” My statement that you quoted was more about the bizarre fact that she’s claiming 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination when there are NO criminal charges.

    It is my opinion that her taking the 5th doesn’t speak to her innocence or guilt, but rather to the surety that there MUST be something criminal out there that she knows about…otherwise, why plead? It makes no sense, unless she’s sure that criminal charges will be coming eventually, and she’s getting out in front of them.

  4. I have to go with here. We can’t assume that just because she pleads the Fifth that she is hiding something. That’s the whole point of the Fifth Amendment. It’s like pleading “No Contest” being different from pleading “Guilty.”

    She could just be pleading the Fifth because she’s scared of a Democratic witch hunt.

  5. I inherently disagree with the premise behind, “If you’re innocent you have nothing to be afraid of or hide.” Instead, I’d like the answer to the corrolary questions:

    As it’s been appropriate for this Administration to apply that standard to the American people in its pursuit of information it deems important, why precisely is that philosophy not being espoused by officials of that Administration in their own dealings? If it’s essentially the stated policy of this Administration that the innocent have no reason to fear examination, then why is the White House insisting on unsworn, closed-door ‘testimony’ instead of embracing those principles it’s espoused since the advent of the Patriot Act? How is it not rankest hypocrisy for Arlen Specter to say that he is opposed to White House aides testifying under oath because of the severe penalties for giving false statements under oath? Do they not owe us, we who were told to trust that innocence is its own defense in a world of warrantless wiretaps, information gathering, and FBI abuses of the Patriot Act, the same openness they demanded of us?

    In essence, why do their innocent have so much more to fear than I, who am also innocent? Had they never brought that policy into play, never stated that it was ‘only the terrorists’ who had reason to object to their infringement on civil liberties, then I would have no hook on which to hang my charges of hypocrisy and double standard.

  6. If it’s essentially the stated policy of this Administration that the innocent have no reason to fear examination, then why is the White House insisting on unsworn, closed-door ‘testimony’ instead of embracing those principles it’s espoused since the advent of the Patriot Act?

    Now this is something I’d like to see someone on a Congressional committee ask of members of the Bush Administration…

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