May 27, 2007
President Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, has come under fire for politicizing the U.S. Justice Department for his dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, apparently because they didn’t target Democrats. But using the Justice Department for political ends isn’t simply an invention of Gonzales or of the President; it’s an old Bush family tradition.
In politicizing the Justice Department, Bush takes a page from his father. The George H.W. Bush Justice Department 25 years ago balked at investigating and prosecuting the key players in the scandal of the criminal, terrorist-friendly bank, BCCI, and moved only, and in limited fashion, after New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau forced its hand.
Bush had a strong reason to want Justice to block pursuit of the case: the CIA used BCCI for its “black ops,” including funneling some of the $2 billion Washington sent to client Osama bin Laden and running money for the illegal Iran-Contra operation.