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Thursday, March 29, 2007
Attorney-Firing Defense of the Day: Carter Did It!
Topic: NewsBusters

A March 29 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston makes the following declaration:

Of course, we on Newsbusters know that the ginning up of this "scandal" is all smoke and mirrors meant solely as an attack on president Bush, to weaken him and to further destroy the GOPs chances in 2008.

We also all know that every president has the Constitutional right to fire any or all the U.S. Attorneys just like Clinton did.

But whether the Bush administration had the right to fire U.S. attorneys is not the issue. And Bush did not fire those eight attorneys "just like Clinton did," as we've detailed.

Then, Huston throws out a defense that may be even more lame than the Clinton-did-it defense: Carter did it!

But, it wasn't just Clinton, apparently. Even Jimmy Carter while in the White House fired an attorney that was making things too warm for one of the members of his party, making the action purely political in nature. And he lied about it to the people.

Huston's source for this claim is a March 27 Human Events article featuring the assertions of David Marston, who was removed as a U.S. attorney in Philadelphia in 1978. But a 1978 Time magazine article on the controversy reveals something that neither Human Events nor Huston noted: Marston is a Republican. Time further described Marston as "an outright political appointee who hunted headlines as vigorously as he hunted official corruption in both parties."

The article also quoted then-House Speaker Tip O'Neill calling Marston "a Republican political animal" who took office "with viciousness in his heart and for only one reason -- to get Democrats."

The Carter-did-it defense is just the latest in an ever-shifting line of Bush administration defenses proffered by NewsBusters.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:24 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2007 1:26 AM EDT

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