Embeds --- how many Bush era operatives are burrowed into the Obama administration?


by digby

During the US Attorney scandal many of us wondered if it would result in a bunch of GOP operatives remaining burrowed in the Justice Department because the Democrats would fear being criticized for "politicizing" the department if they tried to fire them. Republicans, having fully mastered "I know you are but what am I" politics can always be counted upon to cry victim even when the turned tables are of a completely different type and the hapless Democrats end up chasing their tails because they can't figure out how to parry it. It was predictable that, perversely, there would be quite a few wingnut holdovers after the scandal completely safe in their jobs.

It turns out there are burrowers and one of them has left the department and immediately gone to the press to spill breathless tales of racism in the Obama/Holder DOJ -- toward white people, naturally:

Adams' allegations spread across the right-wing media. After Adams penned a Washington Times column leveling accusations of a "corrupt" dismissal of the New Black Panthers case and appeared in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, Adams' unsubstantiated story spread throughout other right-wing media. Kelly brought the story to Hannity, and it was picked up by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, radio host Jay Severin, the blogs Hot Air, Atlas Shrugs, Ace of Spades, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, and the Fox website Fox Nation.

Adams was one of Bradley Schlotzman's proteges, the notorious destroyer of the civil rights division under Ashcroft and Gonzales and long time right wing vote suppression specialist. Media Matters quotes from the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility report:
The evidence in our investigation showed that Schlozman, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and subsequently as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General, considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division. In doing so, he violated federal law -- the Civil Service Reform Act -- and Department policy that prohibit discrimination in federal employment based on political and ideological affiliations, and committed misconduct. The evidence also showed that Division managers failed to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that Schlozman did not engage in inappropriate hiring and personnel practices. Moreover, Schlozman made false statements about whether he considered political and ideological affiliations when he gave sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and in his written responses to supplemental questions from the Committee...

Several attorneys in the Division also told us that Schlozman was open about his disdain for and lack of trust in the attorney staff of the Division. Appellate Section Chief Diana Flynn told us that in conversations with her, Schlozman alternately referred to the Appellate Section lawyers hired during prior administrations as "Democrats" and "liberals," and said they were "disloyal," could not be trusted, and were not "on the team." Flynn said Schlozman pledged to move as many of them out of the Division as he could to make room for the "real Americans" and "right-thinking Americans" he wanted to hire.

Accounts from numerous other Division employees and officials, including former AAG Wan Kim and Section Chiefs Cutlar and Flynn, as well as the context of Schlozman's e-mails, indicate that his use of terms such as "real American," "right-thinking American," being "on the team," and similar terms were Schlozman's way of referring to politically conservative applicants and attorneys. For example, an e-mail dated July 17, 2006, from Schlozman to Monica Goodling, who at the time was Senior Counsel to the Attorney General and White House Liaison, sheds light on the meaning of Schlozman's terms. In that e-mail, Schlozman recommended a friend who had interviewed with Goodling for a political position. Schlozman wrote, "I can assure you that [the applicant] is a good American. [The applicant] and Sheldon Bradshaw and I (and [one] other person) made up a four-member Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy at my former law firm." In another e-mail sent to Goodling on December 4, 2006, in which Schlozman recommended a different friend for an Immigration Judge position, Schlozman wrote, "[D]on't be dissuaded by his ACLU work on voting matters from years ago. This is a very different man, and particularly on immigration issues, he is a true member of the team."

A May 9, 2003, e-mail provides additional evidence of the meaning of Schlozman's phrases. Luis Reyes, then Counsel to the AAG for the Civil Division, sent an e-mail to Schlozman in connection with a legal matter, endorsing an attorney in the Department's Office of Legal Policy as a "right thinking american [sic] to say the least." In an e-mail response, Schlozman wrote that he "just spoke with [the attorney] to verify his political leanings and it is clear he is a member of the team.".

Despite all that, his protege Adams was kept on in the Obama administration --- according to the Washington Times article he was there until a month ago. And Media Matters reports that last October, presumably while he was still a Justice department lawyer, he penned this delightful screed for the American Spectator comparing Obama to Nobel Prize winner Norman Angell from 1933 whom he excoriated as an appeaser:
Angell's arguments were comfortable in 1933 for the same reasons many today find comfort in the primacy of negotiation as the best tool to confront militant Islam, Iranian nukes or a belligerent Russia: prosperous nations are deluded into thinking talk is always the best way to preserve prosperity. Your familiar comfort and daily routine simply cannot be inconvenienced by wars or rumors of wars. The lessons of an entire century, both Neville Chamberlain's errors, and Ronald Reagan's successes, aren't enough to shake awake a populace blessed with comfort and material satisfaction.

Churchill, responding directly to Angell, asked "who is the man vain enough to suppose that the long antagonisms of history and of time can in all circumstances be adjusted by the smooth and superficial conventions of politicians and ambassadors?"

The Nobel Committee may have answered Sir Winston's query for the 21st century.
Keeping him on was basically like having Karl Rove working in the Obama administration. I wonder how many more like him there are?