Connecticut’s Own

Nora Dannehy 

Bob Child

Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a 17-year veteran of the Justice Department, will now pursue the questions the inspector general was unable to answer. AP

For an October 6, 2008 story about USA Dannehy see “A Low-Key Player for a Politically Charged Case,” by Joe Palazzolo of LegalTimes.


The Department of ….. Justice?

All Attorneys General are political appointments, reflections of the values and judgment of the Presidents who appoint them. To secure confirmation by the Senate, AG nominees are freer than judicial nominees to assure Senators that they, the AG nominees, have the right values for the job. In fact, nominees for Attorney General sometimes figuratively kiss a senator’s …. ring. Not an attractive or impressive or reassuring image for one claiming to have the qualities essential to leading the United States Department of Justice.  

Using their mind’s eye, readers can see two such kisses being planted by reading a recent post by Glenn Greenwald at  If only this were just political theater, conduct engaged in by consenting adults, conduct that did no harm beyond the dissemination of unsavory images involving adult men.  But the kisses were not just an act, they were promises to use the power of the DOJ in a way pleasing to the powerful senator.

Gonzales and Mukasey kept their promises.  Read Greenwald’s post about torture, pornography and obscenity.  Consider who the DOJ prosecuted and why.  Consider the sentence the defendant the DOJ targeted now faces. Consider the difference between what the Bush Administration believed was the lawful infliction of physical harm amounting to loss of a limb or organ failure on one hand and the voluntary playing acting by consenting adults.  

A purveyor of pornographic images faces thirty years in prison where anal rape is common while the creators and purveyors of credit default swaps enjoy the unimaginable wealth produced by the sale of their own obscene creations.  Hence the title of this post, “The Department of …. Justice?”

The Mission Statement for the United States Department of Justice

       From the DOJ website    

Mission Statement
To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

From NPR online: Fired U.S. Attorneys’ Probe Ends, Another Begins

For NPR article click here.

The word “probe” puts men on edge, especially men over 50.  Former Attorney General Alberto Gonsalez, 53, is no exception. News that Attorney General Michael Mukasey has appointed a special prosecutor to continue the probe into Gonzales’ strained removal of 9 United States Attorneys has alarmed the Bush administration which fears the probe may use Gonzales as a back door point of entry into an examination of Bush himself.  For many years President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales have had an extremely close relationship. Bush was responsible for Gonzales’ impressive rise to prominent positions throughout the years.  Gonzales did Bush’s bidding in each of those positions. Gonzales now finds himself in a rather different, less flattering relationship to the Bush. There is speculation Gonzales may decide it is time to get out from behind and under Bush’s influence.

An imaginary source, who insisted anonymity because he does not exist and who if he did exist would not be authorized to talk to the press, reported that Gonzales is considering hiring John Yoo, an expert on the definition of torture, in an effort to block the probe on the ground that it would constitute torture and would violate US and international laws.  Envisioning the awkward position Gonzales will be in when the probe begins, President Bush is said to be privately reconsidering his position on what constitutes torture.

The source also said that the Bush Administration is considering launching a legal challenge to block the probe on the ground that probing Gonzales would constitute an end run around executive privilege that would penetrate the inner workings of the Bush administration.

While there has been no official mention of the possibility of a pardon, with the end of the Bush presidency coming President Bush will no doubt grant executive pardons.

Nora will take it from here – When will the pardon be issued?

Nora is Nora Dannehy, the United State Attorney For Connecticut.  Attorney General Mukasey appointed USA Dannehy special prosecutor to continue the investigation into who did what, when and why in connection with the firing of 9 United States Attorneys by the Bush Administration.  To listen to an NPR report on her appointment click here.

Here is the DOJ Report:  An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006

It will be interesting to see how forthcoming witnesses are and when the pardon will be issued.