Some things just need to be said.
Subject: Is it just me………
…….or does Gonzales have that angry chimp thing going on too?
And that was one of ’em.
There is a nice “look back” at our Dear Alberto’s Reign of Terror out today… Sorry, I mean, service to his country as attorney general. Reign of Terror, man, what was I thinking?
The San Francisco Chronicle, in a Dec. 12, 2004, editorial, wrote that Gonzales had “an inspiring story.” He was “one of eight children of low-income laborers in San Antonio,” had joined the Air Force to pay for college and ended up with a law degree from Harvard. In all, the Chronicle concluded from various accounts, “Gonzales is sharp in intellect, mild-mannered in temperament, and decidedly more moderate than Ashcroft on social issues such as abortion and affirmative action.”
Then came the “but” clause. The editorial continue with a bulleted list of decisions made by Gonzales that were questionable, leading the Chronicle to be “concerned about whether Gonzales is the right fit to become the nation’s attorney general.”
Others were more blunt. The editorial page of the Los Angeles Times a month prior to the Chronicle’s post was emblazoned with “Gonzales is a Disastrous Choice.” While acknowledging that Gonzales would be the United States’ first Latino attorney general, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Bush had missed a “golden opportunity” with his decision.
“He is a terrible choice,” the Times concluded, due both to the now infamous torture memo that he wrote in 2002, which waived the rights under the Geneva Convention for suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, and for his “zealous” support of the Patriot Act. At the time, the L.A. Times was a rarity in its outright reproach of Gonzales.
…Fittingly enough, today’s New York Times editorial, titled “The House Lawyer Departs,” holds no punches either. The first line reads: “Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned.”
Fuck ‘em. I hope the door hits him square on the ass come September 17th.
The NY Times editorial below the fold:
The House Lawyer Departs
Published: August 28, 2007
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice. He has resigned. But his departure alone cannot remove the dark cloud that hangs over the Justice Department. President Bush needs to choose a new attorney general of unquestioned integrity who would work to make the department worthy of its name again — and provide the mandate to do it. Congress needs to continue to investigate the many scandals Mr. Gonzales leaves behind.
When Mr. Gonzales was appointed, it seemed doubtful that he would be able to put aside his years as Mr. Bush’s personal lawyer, which stretched back to the Texas governor’s office, and represent the interests of the American people. He never did.
In many ways, Mr. Gonzales turned out to be the ultimate “loyal Bushie,” a term his Justice Department chief of staff used so incredibly inappropriately to describe what his department was looking for in its top prosecutors.
It was just that kind of craven politics — the desire to co-opt the power of the government to win elections — that was the driving force in Mr. Gonzales’s Justice Department. Dedicated and capable United States attorneys were fired for insisting on doing their jobs with integrity — for refusing to put people in jail, or shield them from prosecution, simply to help Republicans win elections. Lawyers were hired for nonpolitical jobs based on party enrollment and campaign contributions, and top members of Mr. Gonzales’s staff attended pre-election political briefings at the White House led by Karl Rove and his aides.
When Mr. Gonzales testified before Congress, his misstatements and memory lapses were so frequent that it was hard to believe they were not intentional. He told Congress many things about the prosecutors’ firings that were contradicted by his top aides and by documents. His testimony about the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance program also ran counter to many credible sources, including the account of Robert Mueller, director of the F.B.I.
There was a more basic problem with Mr. Gonzales’s tenure: he did not stand up for the Constitution and the rule of law, as an attorney general must. This administration has illegally spied on Americans, detained suspects indefinitely as “enemy combatants,” run roughshod over the Geneva Conventions, violated the Hatch Act prohibitions on injecting politics into government and defied Congressional subpoenas. In each case, Mr. Gonzales gave every indication of being on the side of the lawbreakers, not the law.
Mr. Gonzales signed off on the administration’s repugnant, and disastrous, torture policy when he was the White House counsel. He later helped stampede Congress into passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which endorsed illegal C.I.A. prisons where detainees may be tortured and established kangaroo courts in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to keep detained foreigners in custody essentially for life. He helped cover up and perpetuate Mr. Bush’s illegal wiretapping programs, both in the counsel’s job and as attorney general. The F.B.I. under his stewardship abused powers it was given after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the name of enhanced national security.
Mr. Gonzales will hardly be a tough act to follow, but the standard for the next attorney general should not be set that low.
President Bush needs to appoint someone who does not come out of the world of electoral politics or the White House, and is not a “loyal Bushie.” He should consult with leaders of Congress in making the decision and choose someone with bipartisan support.
There is talk that the president might make a recess appointment, taking advantage of Congress’s vacation to name someone who would not need to be confirmed by the Senate. That would be a major mistake, and it would ensure the next attorney general a bitterly antagonistic relationship with Congress for the next 17 months.
The next attorney general will have two critical tasks. First, he or she must get to the bottom of the scandals hovering over the department. Mr. Gonzales played defense, as if it were Congress’s job to discover what laws his department may have broken, and his job to thwart it. The next attorney general should appoint a credible, independent investigator to look into the prosecutors’ firings and likely Hatch Act violations and make clear that the investigation will be permitted to follow the facts where they lead — including, as appears likely, to the White House.
Second, the next attorney general will have to fix a badly broken department. Many of the top positions are now empty, vacated by aides to Mr. Gonzales who came under Congressional scrutiny. They need to be replaced with qualified, nonpolitical professionals. The “loyal Bushies” who are still on staff need to be removed.
Congress — in particular, Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont; Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York; and Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan — deserve credit for keeping the pressure on, even when critics were saying there was nothing to the scandals. But many questions remain to be answered. High on the list: what role politics played in dubious prosecutions, like those of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, and Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin civil servant.
Mr. Gonzales, for all of his undeniable deficiencies, merely reflected the principles of this administration. His resignation is a necessary but hardly sufficient step in restoring the nation’s commitment to the rule of law.