When Bush administration officials at the Justice Department dismissed nine U.S. attorneys in 2006, there were various theories as to why the prosecutors were being let go.
They were too soft on the death penalty. They did not prosecute enough illegal immigrants. They did not go after enough Democrats.
On Monday, the Justice Department's internal watchdog hinted at perhaps the most sensational justification yet -- perceived homosexuality.
In the second of a series of reports on the politically charged tenure of former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, the department's inspector general found that two former Justice aides used sexual orientation as a litmus test in deciding whom they would hire or fire.
In one instance, a US Attorney (Margaret M. Chiara) was fired and a career prosecutor (Leslie Hagen) lost a prestigious position in Washington because of rumors that they were lesbians.
After working in Grand Rapids, Hagen was reassigned in 2005 to the Justice Department in Washington to work on Native American issues and was offered a customary extension by her supervisors after a year on the job.
Goodling intervened and blocked the extension. The report said that several witnesses told investigators that her opposition was based on the "alleged sexual orientation."
One official told investigators about a conversation in which he told Goodling that he had heard the rumors that the women were lesbians. He said Goodling responded to that news "by putting her head in her hands and asking why no one had told her about this information before." [Emphasis added]
Um, maybe because it wasn't relevant?
But, wait: there's more.
Monday's report also said that Goodling used an Internet search that included the words "gay" and "homosexual" to screen candidates and their backgrounds.
Investigators found that Goodling used the same search parameters as Jan Williams, who served as White House liaison before Goodling. The report said that Williams had used the string in late 2005 and early 2006 to research candidates for positions on a national advisory commission on violence against women.
Heaven forfend we have gay prosecutors!
I'm just surprised it didn't occur to Ms. Goodling and her bosses to narrow the search string even further, you know, to include "gay" and "brown eyes" and "height under 5'3".
And for this she got paid a salary funded by tax dollars.
Labels: Justice Department