Justice Makes "False" Statements On Purpose
Josh Marchall linked to an article in Law.com, an interview with former Justice official Daniel Metcalfe. He says some pretty astonishing things about the Justice Department under Gonzalez. At one point, he purposely refused to take part in an op-ed piece because he knew it was 100% false.
The day that I decided to retire, for example, was one on which I was asked to participate in a matter in which a significant part of the department's position was aiming to be -- there's no other word for it -- false. Briefly stated, someone in the White House had determined that it would be a good idea for an op-ed piece on the subject of government secrecy to be prepared, and although its subject matter extended beyond the Justice Department's jurisdiction in multiple respects, it was decided that the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs would take on that task nevertheless. I was perfectly able to make several corrections and substantive improvements to a last-minute draft that I received but drew a line at even attempting to "improve" a Defense Department-related paragraph within it that was incorrect by a full 180 degrees.
Knowing what the facts of that matter actually were, I flatly refused to aid that part of the enterprise, pointedly observing that the Gonzales-era political appointee who was behind the draft did, in fact, to my own certain knowledge, know them as well. I suppose I can take some small satisfaction that the false part of that "final draft" was then entirely replaced with something that was at least arguably true, but that's hardly the point. (That political appointee, by the way, did indeed receive his promotion, but is no longer in Washington.)
[Editor's Note: The op-ed in question appeared in USA Today on March 13, 2006, and was titled "Committed to Being Open."]
Yes, it became quite clear that under Gonzales, the department placed no more than secondary value on the standards that I and my office had valued so heavily for the preceding 25 years -- accuracy, integrity, responsibility and quality of decision-making being chief among them. Had I stayed as director of OIP, I might have been working for a Monica Goodling protege by now. (emphasis mine)