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March 14, 2007

in "good faith"?

Most of today's newspapers quote the Attorney General's remark, "mistakes were made," which William Schneider wittily calls the "past exonerative." It was indeed a Nixonian grammatical construction, an inept attempt to evade accountability and moral judgment. But Mr. Gonzales' phrase is not the one to which I would award the Tricky Dick Memorial Prize for Talking Like a Crook While Saying that You Aren't One. That badge of shame belongs to his former assistant, D. Kyle Sampson, whose memo on tactics ended with a wonderfully self-damning use of scare quotes:

I think we should gum this to death. ... Ask the Senators to give Tim [Griffin, the administration's choice for federal prosecutor in Arkansas] a chance, meet with him, give him some time in office to see how he performs, etc. If they ultimately say "no never" (and the longer we can forestall that the better), then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All this should be done in "good faith" of course.

What is the meaning of "in good faith" in that last sentence? I think it precisely means "in bad faith," but I'm open to correction.

March 14, 2007 12:41 PM | category: none


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