Dan Froomkin advances a theory: Briefly, to turn the Department of Justice into the political enforcer for the Current Federal Administration.
Rovian theory suggests the following: The eight U.S. attorneys were fired not only to purge the Justice Department of some prosecutors who were insufficiently willing to use the power of their offices to attack Democrats and protect Republicans — but also to install favored people who wouldn’t have such scruples. And, thanks to a provision snuck into law by a Bush administration henchman (who has since been granted a job as — you guessed it — a U.S. attorney) there would be none of those pesky safeguards to prevent those jobs going to unqualified hacks.
Or, as White House Watch reader Charles Posner wrote to me in an e-mail yesterday: “Dan – I think everyone is looking at the Justice Dept. scandal form the wrong end – it’s not the firing, but the hiring that’s the crux of the issue. Rove has a plan and a list. The plan is to install partisans in the prosecutors’ office in order to target Democratic congressmen. Of course, Rove can hand pick each prosecutor without Congress’s involvement as allowed by the secret provisions of the Patriot Act. Now, where’s his list?”
As I said, it’s a theory.
But one consistent with past behavior of smears, innuendoes, lies, and rumors.
Digby offers his thoughts here.
Glenn Greenwald on executive privilege. Crucial quotation:
Once a party demonstrates a propensity to issue false explanations and refuses to tell the truth voluntarily, no rational person would trust that party to make voluntary disclosures. One could trust (if at all) only on-the-record testimony, under oath, where there are criminal penalties for lying (if they have questions about that motivational dynamic, they can ask Lewis Libby).