Study: White House guilty of "political profiling"

In a study cited on the floor of the United States Senate earlier this week, two researchers have found that the Bush administration's Justice Department has persistently engaged in what they call "political profiling" and that there is a "non-proportionate political profiling of elected Democratic officials" by U.S. Attorneys.

In a February 2007 article, "The Political Profiling of Elected Democratic Officials: When Rhetorical Vision Participation Runs Amok," Donald Shields, Ph.D. and John Cragan, both Professors of Communications at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Illinois State University, respectively, provide the data behind a charge leveled by Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the Senate floor Monday.

"These statistics are troubling, and we have to look into them," said Durbin. "The firings of the U.S. attorneys and documents that have been turned over to Congress really call into question the legitimacy of all prosecutions brought by the U.S. attorney in cases involving partisan interests."

Durbin is referring to a study done by Shields and Cragan showing that, under the Ashcroft/Gonzales Justice Departments from 2001 through 2006, a vastly disproportionate number of Democratic officials were scrutinized when total investigations were viewed based on political party affiliation.

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