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Judging Justice

August 06, 2008

Re "The putsch that imperiled America," Opinion, July 30

When I started reading this column, I figured Tim Rutten must be writing about the Clinton administration. But naturally he was simply engaging in the usual double standard of Bush-bashing.

As far as I'm concerned, the Democrats are the lying, spinning, criminal political party. The Bush people's only crime is that they had the guts to politicize the Justice Department, using the opposition's tactics.

May their good work endure.

Patrick M. Dempsey

Granada Hills

I have to take issue with Rutten's assertion, in his excellent article on the "putsch" at the Justice Department, that "their efforts were essentially ideological rather than partisan."

Although it's true that a lot of good people with government jobs who may have been Republicans resigned, took retirement or were forced out of their jobs in the Justice Department and FBI, the far larger pool of victims in this debacle were those who were systematically refused positions in the department.

The Times reported on July 29 that White House hatchet woman Monica Goodling "rejected the application of a career terrorism prosecutor for a job at Justice Department headquarters because his wife was active in local Democratic politics."

Goodling violated federal law by discriminating against job applicants who weren't loyal conservatives and rejecting those who appeared to be liberal Democrats. Graduates of what were seen as progressive or liberal institutions -- like Ivy League schools -- were denied internships and other jobs.

Make no mistake: The permanent Republican majority that Karl Rove dreamed of creating included a Republican Justice Department that would serve as a rubber stamp for a conservative agenda and a strategically placed and partisan impediment should Congress or the White House fall to the Democrats.

Mitch Paradise

Los Angeles

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