Charles R. Parmele III ’47 completely misses the critical point (letters, Nov. 19) about the story on the U.S. attorney firings by focusing on the lack of coverage when Clinton fired the U.S. attorneys at the start of his administration and the supposed bias in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
It always has been common practice for incoming administrations to remove the U.S. attorneys from their posts and to appoint new U.S. attorneys. This never has been in contention by anyone. President Bush also removed the U.S. attorneys at the start of his administration, and President Obama will do the same. The U.S. attorney-purge scandal was about the removal of U.S. attorneys midterm for political reasons. For example, Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., both contacted the attorney general’s office to complain about U.S. Attorney David Iglesias’ failure to pursue political witch-hunts that had no legal or factual basis. This action was unprecedented and led to the downfall of the attorney general and others at the Department of Justice.
This is the basis of the attorney-purge scandal, and the coverage by Josh Marshall ’91 and his co-workers at Talking Points Memo was groundbreaking and award-winning because of its objective thoroughness.