The issue here is why these US Attorneys were fired and the fact that the White House intended to replace them with US Attorneys not confirmed by the senate. We now have abundant evidence that they were fired for not sufficiently politicizing their offices, for not indicting enough Democrats on bogus charges or for too aggressively going after Republicans. (Remember, Carol Lam is still the big story here.) We also now know that the top leadership of the Justice Department lied both to the public and to Congress about why the firing took place. As an added bonus we know the whole plan was hatched at the White House with the direct involvement of the president.The NY Times reported "Last October, President Bush spoke with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to pass along concerns by Republicans that some prosecutors were not aggressively addressing voter fraud, the White House said Monday." What voter fraud you ask? Well, Bush isn't referring to Republican-instituted "voter-fraud" (i.e. the tactics by which he stole the 2000 US election). No, he's referring to the supposed presence of "felons" on voter registration lists -- votes that are supposedly cast in contravention of some state laws that prohibit convicted felons from voting -- and the alleged failure of federally-appointed attorneys to prosecute these people (see The Myth of Voter Fraud, an oped in the Washington Post).
This White House voter-fraud scare was a part of a too-clever Republican strategy to shift media focus away from successful Republican efforts to rig voter lists in states like Florida (which prohibit felons from voting). BBC reporter Greg Palast showed how the Republicans rigged the voter lists in Florida prior to the 2000 election by indiscriminately tagging black voters as "felons." As most blacks do not vote Republican, a various impartial analysts have concluded that this tactic swung the 2000 presidential vote to Bush. So Bush was having his Attorney General Albert Gonzales purge the US of prosecutors who went after Republicans rather than prosecute the Democrats on trumped-up charges.
More recently, there is evidence to suggest that irregularities in voter registration procedures in Ohio may have tipped the 2004 election to Bush (more here). The Bush White House has worked in tandem with Fox News and right-wing talk radio hosts to create the illusion that non-issues like "felons on voter lists" are worthy of prosecutors' limited attention. (see my next post, US Media Distorts yet Another Bush Scandal)
Josh Marshall has nailed the issue, but the mainstream US media is showing early signs of spinning this story in favor of the White House, by parlaying Bush White House spin that Clinton did the same thing when he hired new federal attorneys (something all presidents have done).
Let's hope that this is the scandal that brings down the Bush White House, lest such brazen efforts aimed at turning America into a one-party state prove successful. Enough of this nonsense, impeach!