#2 at Office of Special Counsel Resigns

James Byrne, #2 at the Office of Special Counsel, has resigned, claiming in his letter of resignation that his boss, Scott Bloch, is just carrying water for his political agenda.

James Byrne, second in command at the embattled Office of Special Counsel, resigned his post effective today after leaving his boss, Scott J. Bloch, a stinging letter suggesting that Bloch's "political agendas and personal vendettas" were preventing the agency from fulfilling its mission.

The two-paragraph letter, obtained by The Times, was sent to Bloch last week at a time when the Bush appointee faces a Justice Department inquiry that includes allegations of illegally erasing information on his government computer.

Byrne led the task force investigating the politicization of the Justice Department and other Executive Branch agencies under Bush. With Bloch in control, it's even more unlikely there will be any accountability. [More...]

As the executive director of Project on Government Oversight says:

"It is an untenable situation that witnesses continue to be subjected to the supervision of Mr. Bloch while they are being called upon to provide evidence to the Grand Jury concerning his wrongdoing."

The Office of Special Counsel oversees protections for whistleblowers. In May, 2008, the FBI executed search warrants on Bloch's home and office.

Bloch remains under investigation.

Bloch is under federal investigation, accused of destroying evidence potentially showing he retaliated against his own staff.

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    I'm glad he went public (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 08:39:03 PM EST
    assuming he is the one that got his letter to the Times. I wish he could have stayed in the job and given press briefings every day, but I'm sure that would not have worked very well.

    I hate that so many of the abuses of this administration are just going to vanish down the memory hole.

    I'd support a Truth Commission (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Fabian on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 08:58:08 PM EST
    if it would get all the dirty deeds exposed to public scrutiny and so the public could respond.  I would at least like to have an opportunity to reject, denounce, disown and in general disapprove of this administration's actions.

    Just don't put Nancy Pelosi in charge of it.


    Nominate these two to the Truth Commission (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by aquarian on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:27:15 PM EST
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Congressman Artur Davis (AL) would be plenty capable of nailing DOJ abuses to the wall.  

    It is galling that (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by weltec2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:43:00 AM EST
    as ruffian says so much of it is going to disappear. But part of any Truth Commission should also include a serious investigation into why Pelosi removed impeachment from the table from the beginning.

    I do not buy her excuses. In order for the United States to be truly healed from the damage this administration has caused us and in order for foreign countries to believe in the US as a country of laws there had to have been an impeachment. But there hasn't been and there won't be.

    Nancy abandoned the mandate that she was given in 04. We need to know why. I honestly do not believe that we do know why. All we have been given are lies and evasive stories that a child could see through.


    Good Idea... (none / 0) (#10)
    by santarita on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    except change the name to Open Government Commission with a mandate to review all of the executive orders and privileges asserted to block legitimate inquiries and recommend legislation so that  loopholes are closed.

    Accountability is secondary to honestly addressing the root causes and coming up with ideas to prevent the abuses of last eight years from happening again.


    perhaps this is naive of me, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 08:59:08 PM EST
    but shouldn't mr. bloch be on some kind of leave status, until the investigation about him is concluded?

    if our internal people were investigating me, for professional/criminal wrongdoing, i can guarantee i would not be actively working cases, until it was completed.

    Why isn't Obama (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by BernieO on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:41:21 AM EST
    bringing this up? How hard is it to make depoliticizing the Justice Department a big issue? This would be a smart move particularly after abandoning civil rights with his cave-in on FISA. In fact it would be a bold move for McCain, but one that would pay off if done right. He could frame it in such a way that it would be  hard for conservatives to argue against him without looking like they favor political prosecution.
    I think Obama should say he would reinstate the Republican attorneys general that got fired. Iglesias and the others are clearly people who believe in the rule of law and have the courage to stick to their guns. Such a move would be bipartisan and principled and would also serve to focus a spotlight on what a rogue administration this is.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:05:33 AM EST
    I could get a lot more excited about voting for him if he would represent our anger over these abuses.

    Don't Hold Your Breath (none / 0) (#6)
    by bob h on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:32:24 AM EST
    waiting for accountability in the Obama administration.  He will let the malefactors go, in the interests of comity and harmony that will never happen as the sore loser Republicans try to destroy him from day one.

    There have been so many lies told (none / 0) (#9)
    by DeborahNC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 10:12:53 AM EST
    and crimes perpetrated by the Bush administration, it defies reason that Scooter Libby is the only major player to be successfully prosecuted and charged with a crime. Then, of course, Bush took care of that for his buddy!

    This administration is undoubtedly corrupt, so why have the Democrats been so unsuccessful in their investigations? One reason is they exchanged letters with the relevant Bush administration officials for months, and then didn't enforce subpoenas.

    Now with the new and unimproved FISA bill, we will likely never know the details of many of their crimes. It's frustrating for me to witness the ineffectiveness of the Dems. as well as having to speculate on the reasons why.