In the course of an excellent roundup of the latest in the Gonzales 8 scandal, Talking Points Memo has this useful bit of perspective:
As has happened so many times in the last six years, the maximal version of this story — which seemed logical six weeks ago but which I couldn't get myself to believe — turns out to be true. Indeed, it's worse. We now know that Gonzales, McNulty and Moschella each lied to Congress. We know that the purge was a plan that began at the White House — and it was overseen by two of President Bush's closest lieutenants in Washington — Miers and Gonzales. Sampson is the second resignation. There will certainly be more.
And remember this key point: The 'document dump' is meant to get bad news out of the way fast. But it's always a hedge. It never includes the really bad stuff. And if you're not in deep crisis mode, ya' never do it on a Monday.
And this is sort of odd. The first head has rolled:
The aide in charge of the dismissals — [Gonzales's] chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson — resigned yesterday, officials said, after acknowledging that he did not tell key Justice officials about the extent of his communications with the White House, leading them to provide incomplete information to Congress.
So did the guy actually lie to his colleagues? Stay silent in meetings, sending them off to lie to Congress (with what he may have thought was deniability)? Or is he just the fall guy?
Not that it really matters. Offering up a mid-ranking sacrifice at this stage is little more than throwing a baby off the sleigh to briefly placate the pursing wolves. The key point remains that any of these scenarios is completely incompatible with the idea of a Justice Department with a minimal sense of ethics. And we know who to blame for that.