That phrase is a perfect summary of the influence of the Bush administration. It comes from an article in which a prosecutor explains how the office of the Attorney General undermined the tobacco lawsuit.
Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s office began micromanaging the team’s strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government’s claim that the industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.
She said a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop recommendations that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions as a possible penalty. He and two others instructed her to tell key witnesses to change their testimony. And they ordered Eubanks to read verbatim a closing argument they had rewritten for her, she said.
“The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said,” Eubanks said. “And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public.”
The last few years make sense if you see them as a prolonged exercise in treachery at the highest level: a betrayal of the American public to benefit American corporate interests. Gonzales must go. Bush and Cheney must be impeached. Let’s not make the mistake we made with Nixon, letting a corps of criminals escape unscathed, even allowing them to continue their pernicious influence on government for another generation.