Fitzgerald "Undistinguished?"

For those of you still unbelieving that the administration of Justice in this country has become a shameful partisan circus, where you are fired or promoted based on your biased treatment of Democrats and Republicans rather than your blind prosecution of crimes, I offer you this further evidence: Patrick Fitzgerald, the nation's most respected prosecutor, a man without a single detractor in the Senate, was rated as "undistinguished" by the Bush DOJ.

It's just unreal what they think they can get away with.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.

The chart was the first step in an effort to identify U.S. attorneys who should be removed. Two prosecutors who received the same ranking as Fitzgerald were later fired, documents show.

The March 2005 chart ranking Fitzgerald and other prosecutors was drawn up by Gonzales aide D. Kyle Sampson and sent to then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. The reference to Fitzgerald is in a portion of the memo that Justice has refused to turn over to Congress, officials told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Fitzgerald's ranking has not been made public.

In the end, Fitzy wasn't fired because even crazy people recognize some limits. Even for Rove, whose Permanent Republican Majority project seems to be his sole responsibility in the White House, canning Fitzgerald would just be too obvious a parallel to Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. Just because all the executive arguments come straight from the Nixon White House doesn't mean they have to make that damning fact too apparent to the broader public.

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