Running the Department of Justice Exactly the Same Way as Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authori

Brian Zick

The hiring practices detailed in Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, have been instituted at the Bush administration's Department of Justice. Chandrasekaran documented the staggering stupidity and incompetence in the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, the result of the Bush administration's hiring of Bush loyalists over experienced and highly trained professionals. The CPA folks, you may recall, managed to completely lose track of $8.8 billion fucking dollars. And that was the least of their hideously tragic failings. It has now become plainly apparent that the identical hiring guidelines were instituted in the Department of Justice: blind unquestioning political loyalty first, competence not necessary at all. The Bush DoJ is being - and has been - run exactly like Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority, by totally incompetent ideological zealots whose sole reason for hire was because of their resolute fealty to George Bush. Charlie Savage for the Boston Globe reports on the Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, from where former Gonzales' aide Monica Goodling graduated in 1999. "It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . "… That a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ." (…) Not long ago, it was rare for Regent graduates to join the federal government. But in 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni. (…) In a recent Regent law school newsletter, a 2004 graduate described being interviewed for a job as a trial attorney at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in October 2003. Asked to name the Supreme Court decision from the past 20 years with which he most disagreed, he cited Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling striking down a law against sodomy because it violated gay people's civil rights. "When one of the interviewers agreed and said that decision in Lawrence was 'maddening,' I knew I correctly answered the question," wrote the Regent graduate . The administration hired him for the Civil Rights Division's housing section -- the only employment offer he received after graduation, he said. The graduate from Regent -- which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place -- was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring. via David Kurtz at TPM

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