Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Careful What You Wish For

When I first read Eric Foner's piece in the Washington Post - which puts forth the academic claim that President Bush is the "worst president in U.S. history" - I knew that the blood would be set aboil over in Powerline-ville.

I admit, this wasn't a particularly unique or clever insight. Nevertheless, right on cue, Paul Mirengoff stands by his man:

Foner argues that some of our bad presidents were corrupt, and goes on to assert that Bush's corruption is even worse than that of Harding. If there were a board that considers historical malpractice, Foner would have to appear before it for that one. Bush's administration has been nearly corruption free by historical standards. I may be missing someone, but the only high-profile administration offical I can think of who has faced criminal charges or had to resign in the face of scandal is Scooter Libby, who worked for the Vice President and who is not accused of corruption.
Nearly corruption free? Only Scooter Libby? Historical malpractice? Bold statements, even by Powerline's considerably depreciated standards. Problem for Mingeroff: Josh Marshall was feeling magnanimous. So Josh solicited the aid of his readers to help compile a list of Bush administration officials with legal problems and other scandal-related ignominy. As a lawyer, I'm sure Mingeroff appreciates the value of free research.

This should help Paul in his neverending quest for knowledge, and tireless dedication to the truth. A sample (from the first of three categories of scandal-plagued Bush administration officials):

Indicted / Convicted/ Pled Guilty

* Scooter Libby - Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff - resigned after being indicted for Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, and Making False Statements in connection with the investigation stemming from the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

* Lester Crawford - Commissioner, FDA - resigned after only two months on the job. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and making false statements.

* Brian Doyle - Deputy Press Secretary, DHS - Resigned in wake of child sex scandal. Pled no contest to 32 criminal counts.

* Claude Allen - Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy- resigned, pled guilty to shoplifting from Target stores.

* David Safavian - former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget - convicted of lying to ethics officials and Senate investigators about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

* Larry Franklin - intelligence officer, Defense - resigned, pled guilty to passing secrets to Israel.

* Roger Stillwell - desk officer, Interior Department - pled guilty to failing to report Redskins tickets and free dinners from Jack Abramoff.

* Frank Figueroa - senior DHS official, former head of anti-sex-crime Operation Predator - pled no contest to exposing himself to 16-year-old girl in Florida mall. Girl says he fondled himself for ten minutes. Figueroa forfeited his badge, gun, and access to databases; employment status pending internal DHS review.

* Darleen Druyun - senior contracting official, U.S. Air Force - pled guilty and sentenced to nine months in prison for her role in the Boeing tanker lease scandal.

* John Korsmo - chairman, Federal Housing Finance Board - pled guilty last year to lying to the Senate and an inspector general. He swore he had no idea how a list of presidents for FHFB-regulated banks were invited to a fundraiser for his friend's congressional campaign. On the invites, Korsmo was listed as the "Special Guest." Got 18 months of probation.
Go read the rest. It's illuminating. Then consider that these lists are likely to grow considerably now that the Democrats have a little something called subpoena power.

Thank you America.

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