Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eighteen Minutes? Eighteen Days? B. F. D.


Josh Marshall reports there is an 18-day gap -- first spotted by a commenter on the blog Talking Points Memo -- in the over 3,000 emails released by the Department of Justice pertaining to the attorney firing scandal.

The gap covers the days between November 15 and December 4, 2006. So far, only one email has been found dated within that 18 day period among those released in Monday night's document dump. The lone email, from November 29, 2006, was one forwarded by Justice official Michael Elston to a fellow staffer asking for an attached review document to be printed.

"The firing calls went out on December 7th. But the original plan was to start placing the calls on November 15th," notes Marshall. "So those eighteen days are pretty key ones."

Politico reporters Mike Allen and John Bresnahan also picked up on the gap. They surmise that the missing communication covers "a critical period, as the White House and Justice Department reviewed -- then approved -- which U.S. attorneys would be fired, while also developing a political and communications strategy for countering any fallout from the firings."

The gap, specifically because of its length, is an eerie reminder of the infamous eighteen-and-a-half minute gap in the Nixon tapes. As one blogger
writes, "The Bush Administration is working overtime to make this attorney scandal look more and more like Watergate by the day."

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