Sunday, February 25, 2007

More on the dismissed U.S. attorneys

So we read that the U.S. attorneys dismissed by the Bush administration in favour of partisan appointees were of course doing their jobs: "Dismissed U.S. Attorneys Received Strong Evaluations." Their evaluations were positive.

Yet we also read that an unnamed official nevertheless anonymously slags the group in the NYTimes today:
On Saturday, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who has led a Congressional investigation into the dismissals and has been briefed on the evaluations, said the reports showed that new legislation was needed to keep the Justice Department from politically motivated firings.

“As we feared, the comprehensive evaluations show these U.S. attorneys did not deserve to be fired,” Mr. Schumer said. “To the contrary, they reveal they were effective, respected and set appropriate priorities.”

In response, a senior Justice Department official said the reviews, which focused on management practices within each United States attorney’s office, did not provide a broad or complete picture of the prosecutors’ performance.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of personnel information, said, “The reviews don’t take into account whether the U.S. attorneys carried out departmental priorities.”

Referring to the 94 United States attorney’s districts, the official said, “You can’t have 94 different sets of priorities,” suggesting that the dismissed prosecutors had failed to follow priorities set by the Justice Department in Washington.

However, each case report included a statement that each of the ousted prosecutors had established strategic goals set by the Justice Department in high priority areas like counterterrorism, narcotics and gun violence.
Just unbelievably low...and further confirmation that the Bush administration values political allegiance over competence irrespective of the job at hand.