Category: Alberto Gonzalez
All the President's Men*
Category: Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez, Republicans
Being a former Bush administration official can make finding a gig in the private sector pretty tough, as businesses are hesitant to hire people who have the reverse Midas touch. On the paid lecture circuit, Alberto Gonzales has been getting heckled constantly and having his appearances cancelled:
Students at Pomona College were considering bringing former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to speak on campus, but have now rejected that idea. “It was a combination of not having the funding and the impression that students would not attend this event,” said Kelly Schwartz, the chairperson of the Speakers Committee of the Associated Students of Pomona College. According to Pomona’s Student Life newspaper, Gonzales “asked the school to pay him $35,000 in addition to first-class accommodations.”
Based upon his administrative competence and legal acumen, I can't imagine anyone paying Gonzo $35K to do anything. Then again, maybe he knows this, because he's been slashing his prices lately:
'Berto's fee would have been a deeply discounted $35,000. You might remember that he charged $40,000 for appearing at the University of Florida last month. (In a few months you might be able to get Al on the dollar menu at Burger King)
If he can't get work giving speeches, I'm sure there are some county fairs that would take him for their dunk tank. And speaking of which, the other former Bush AG John Ashcroft has been having his own rocky speaking engagements and got some well-deserved ridicule recently for telling one Colorado crowd he'd be willing to be waterboarded if necessary, because it wouldn't kill him:
Ah, but talk is cheap. If waterboarding really isn’t torture - really isn’t a big deal - then Ashcroft and the others who advocate it should put their money where their mouths are. On national TV, maybe; then we could all see how the issue has been overblown, as Ashcroft begs for mercy.
It’s telling that one of the few Republicans who has actually been waterboarded - John McCain - has been opposed to it. Because he did undergo it - and he knows it’s torture.
While that does sound like Must-See TV, Ashcroft (or any other supporters of the technique) actually allowing himself to be waterboarded misses the point entirely. He knows the people waterboarding him will eventaully stop. The luxury of this knowledge is not afforded to those people who we have been
torturing waterboarding torturing.
Meanwhile Paul Wolfowitz, who got just about everything wrong on Iraq and was forced out of his appointment as head of the World Bank on corruption charges, is skipping the private sector altogether. He knows the Bush administration rewards incompetence, and he's now Condi Rice's advisor on WMD's. Just another example of falling upwards as Wolfie takes advantage of some of that sweet, sweet Republican-style welfare:
It doesn't matter how badly you mess up, how badly you get things wrong, how dangerous your views are, how corrupt you may be -- in the end, as long as you remain loyal, as long as you remain ideologically friendly, there'll be a place for you somewhere in the lofty echelons of Bushworld.
The previous chairman of the ISAB was, of all people, Fred Thompson, current Republican presidential snoozer -- hardly a Bush loyalist, even more hardly a great mind. One suspects that Wolfowitz will bring a tad more vigour to the job, much to the detriment of, well, the whole damn world.
And while not one of the President's men* (and no, I will not address rumors to the contrary), arch-conservative Ann Coulter wants to follow Wolfowitz's footstaps and climb aboard the sinking ship as well:
Ann Coulter is many things — author, pundit, speaker, provocateur — but “diplomatic” is not one of them.
Yet she told a crowd gathered at the National Press Club for the National Journalism Center’s 30th anniversary that she deserves to have a job in which finesse is essential: White House press secretary. Coulter said that she would take the job for the last six months of the Bush administration. Of course, that’d be perfect timing: The final six months of any president’s second term is lame-duck time, when there’s little pressure to perform.
Ann Coulter. White House press secretary.
Heh. Heh-heh. (snicker)
Category: Alberto Gonzalez
I had almost given up...
I was convinced Alberto Gonzales could eat a cat on live television and the President would claim the feline was depressed and had committed suicide.
Not since Don Rumsfeld set the bar for how inept, mendacious and generally out of touch you could be for the longest stretch of time and not get fired from the Bush adminstration has there been a public servant so stubbornly clinging to office without reason. Rumsfeld set the bar high, and while Albert Gonzales may not have been a poet like Rumsfeld, when it came to being the totally wrong guy for the job, no one did "incompetent" like 'Berto.
There was really no way for his critics to defend him, short of sticking their fingers in their ears and repeating "La-La-La-La-La-La-La-I'm-not-Listening!" (See President Bush doing just about that here.) You either recognized that Gonzales prevaricated, twisted and flat-out lied through mutliple congressional hearings, or you chose to believe that he was telling the truth - and therefore had to be the most inept, incompetent administrator in the history of the Justice Department. There was no third option.
He was 'Fredo, 'Berto, "Gonzo" and "the turture guy." He was a Yes-man and and an I-don't-recall loyalist. Singularly cagey and brazenly ignorant, he could - and did - argue that while the Constitution specifically prohibited taking away one's right of habeus corpus, since it didn't expressly grant that right in its language, then the right to habeus corpus simply did not exist.
As Mom would say, he was a piece of work.
There is almost no limit to material for how bad Gonzales was. So, while there are certainly other aspects to the story of Gonzales long-overdue resignation - like who's goiing to replace him (and why) - let's savor this with a leisurely stroll through the blogospheric reactions. Someone with such a unique place in American history as the most incompetent, truthfully challenged public servant ever to abuse the position of Attorney General deserves nothing less.
Whining to the end that he has been treated unfairly and (isn't this rich) was being hounded out of office by partisan politics, Gonzalez leaves an extraordinary legacy: A disdain for the rule of law - whether it had to do with torture, civil rights or fair elections - that bordered on the obsessive.
And let's not forget his obsession with not telling the truth. Wonkette catches him going out the way he sevred - lying through his teeth:
Even until the bitter end, Gonzo was lying about every goddamn thing he could:
Mr. Roehrkasse said Sunday afternoon that he had telephoned Mr. Gonzales about the reports circulating in Washington that a resignation was imminent, “and he said it wasn’t true, so I don’t know what more I can say.”
That’s his own spokesman he lied to. For no discernible reason at all. The man lies about what he wants for breakfast in the morning. He tells his dog she’s good but doesn’t mean it.
Anyway, Democrats won, hooray, and all they had to do to win the resignation of a criminal they should’ve impeached was agree to sign away all of our rights in a wiretapping bill that they were angry with Fredo for illegally trying to enforce in the first place.
But don't cry for 'Berto. Pam's House Blend reminds us the rewards that await such incompetence:
When shall we expect to see him to receive a Medal of Freedom from Dear Leader?
That's probably more than he expects, and certainly more than he deserves. Gonzales is probably just happy enough to be able to slink off into obscurity instead of being the laughing stock of his peers and the country:
As for why this is happening, I imagine Gonzales is tired of being a punching bag, tired of his boss saying, "Stick around! I want to fight these people! So go out there and get beat up for me!"
Now, before we get into the creme de la creme, I wanted to present some opposing viewpoints. First, Blogs for Bush, doing the blogging other Americans don't want to do, can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with that nice, loyal
puppy dog Attorney General who was just doing the good Lord's President's work:
The Democrat Smear Machine Claims Another Victim
Democrats may be patting themselves on the back right now, but this just another example of Democrats repeating a lie over and over and over enough that the lie was accepted as conventional wisdom...Republicans needs to start fighting back against the Democratic Smear Machine.
Sometimes I think that B4B isn't really a blog written by actual humans, but an automated computer program that just spits out random RNC talking points based on keyword alerts in Google News.
No, it wasn’t the AG’s criminal incompetence, breathtaking dishonesty, and multilpe scandals that “distracted” the Justice Department; it was Gonzales’ critics who had the audacity to point these problems out. Got it.
And then there's the Rolls Royce of conservative wingnuttery. When you want to come to a conclusion diametrically opposed to logic, the boys at Powerline are at your service (emphasis mine):
I’ve never been a fan of Gonzales, but I can’t help feeling sorry for him. The “scandal” that led to his demise—the firing of the U.S. attorneys—appears to involve no wrongdoing on his part. Moreover, the underlying decisions and process appear to have been the product of the White House, not Gonzales. His defense of the decisions was hardly stellar, but if I’m correct, he was handicapped by the fact that they were not really his decisions.
Gonzales’s only real offense seems to have been mediocrity. But mediocrity in an Attorney General is nothing new (think Janet Reno), and any blame for this occurrence properly attaches to the White House.
And if you're not correct, John?
This is from Powerline's John Hinderaker, who previously had this to say about the man in that selfsame White House:
It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.
And therefore, QED, since Bush is a misunderstood genius, then this whole affair is actually a brilliant ploy and Alberto Gonzales is vindicated! Huzzah!
Alternatively, if you aren't trying to be willfully ignorant, then the reason Gonzales' scandals "appear to involve no wrongdoing" is because he demonstrably lied about his and others' involvement and we have yet to hear the truth*.
(*See "Scooter" Libby)
But back to the obituaries...
Andrew Cohen has been law blogging on Gonzales longer than he would care to, as no one public servant should ever be involved in so many ethical dilemmas as Gonzales' has. And after lo these many months and years, Cohen has made quite the case against him:
He neither served the longstanding role as "the people's attorney" nor fully met and tamed his duties and responsibilities to the Constitution. He was a man who got the job not because he was supremely qualified or notably well-respected among the leading legal lights of our time, but because he had faithfully and with blind obedience served President George W. Bush for years in Texas (where he botched clemency memos in death penalty cases) and then as White House counsel (where he botched the nation's legal policy on torture).
For an administration known for its cronyism, and alas for an alarmingly incompetent group of cronies, Gonzales was the granddaddy of them all. He lacked the integrity, the intellect and the independence to perform his duties in a manner befitting the job for which he was chosen. And when he and his colleagues got caught in the act, his rationales and explanations for the purge of the U.S. Attorneys were so empty and shallow and incoherent that even the staunchest Republicans could not turn them into steeled spin. Devoid of any credibility, Gonzales in the end was a sad joke when he came to Capitol Hill.
Or if that's too dry for your tastes, you can get it straight, no chaser, from The Left:
...everybody can appropriately heap scorn on this useless, recently resigned halfling and his legacy of incompetence, politicization, and unfamiliarity with basic Constitutional principles. Like Karl Rove, I think his family-oriented retirement should be riddled with numerous subpoenas.
As they say, read the whole thing. Norbizness at his non-happy, non-furriest.
And so we bid a fond farewell to the one and only "Master of Disater," the latest adminstration hack who held service to his friend the President in higher esteem than service to the Constitution or his country:
We may never see his like again. Well, at least not until the confirmation hearings for his successor.
Or until the subpoenas are served, whichever comes first.
Category: Alberto Gonzalez
Will the contestants who had August 27, 2007 in the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resignation Pool please bring your ticket stubs to the judges to claim your prize, a weekend getaway to spend more time with Andy Card's family.
All those who had "months later than he should" will be eligible for the runner-up prizes, pocket copies of the Constitution [redacted].
Cheney, Doing What He Does Best
Category: Iraq, Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez, Dick Cheney
....lying, sticking up for other liars and generally oozing hyperbolic partisan rhetoric at every turn.
That thumping sound you hear is Dick Cheney inadvertantly throwing Alberto Gonzales under the bus. Gonzales claims that his trip to John Ashcroft's hospital room was NOT about the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Taylor Marsh notes that on Larry King last night, "Shooter" failed to stay on message:
Q In that regard, The New York Times -- which, as you said, is not your favorite -- reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President's intelligence-gathering program. Was it you?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't recall -- first of all, I haven't seen the story. And I don't recall that I gave instructions to that effect.
Q That would be something you would recall.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I would think so. But certainly I was involved because I was a big advocate of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, and had been responsible and working with General Hayden and George Tenet to get it to the President for approval. By the time this occurred, it had already been approved about 12 times by the Department of Justice. There was nothing new about it.
Q So you didn't send them to get permission.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital. [Emphasis added by me.]
Larry King was asking Dick Cheney about "the President's intelligence-gathering program". In response, Cheney confirmed that by the time the hospital confrontation occurred, "it" had been approved 12 times by the DOJ and there was "nothing new about it". The "it" being the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" as Cheney makes clear in the preceding sentence, even though Larry King had referred to it as "the President's intelligence-gathering program". There you have it: confirmation from the Vice President of the United States that Gonzo confronted Ashcroft about the "Terrorist Surveillance Program".
To be fair, Gonzales has told so many whoppers by this point that even he can't keep them all straight; we can hardly expect Cheney to as well.
But y'know, Cheney also said he couldn't recall if he'd sent Gonzales to Ashcroft's hospital room. Odd, for someone so as hands-on as Cheney who was also a big supporter of the TSP. Not, "No I didn't," but the cagier "I don't recall." Gonzales, as we;ve seen ad nauseum, can't seem to recall anything about anything at all. And even Don Rumsfeld trotted out the now-well-worn caveat today in the House Government Oversight Committee's investigation into Pat Tillman's death. The Moderate Voice has concerns about a premature memory loss epidemic in the White House:
Shouldn't a medical team be dispatched to examine members of the Bush administration? There seems to be some kind of massive affliction that is taking away their ability to recall.
Quick, 40 cc's of ginkgo biloba, stat! But Cheney did have one moment of clarity. Granted, it's two years too late, but still:
Cheney admitted he was wrong when he said, in 2005, that the insurgency in Irag was in its "last throes." As a boss I once had...would say: "You have a firm grasp of the obvious." It's nice to see Cheney have a lucid moment.
But don't worry, lest you think "Shooter" is going soft, the rest of his tour de farce was classic Cheney:
Between reading the Petraeous tea leaves--"significant progress" is likely to be reported--cheerleading a convicted Libby--"he still has a very difficult road"--embracing a lying attorney general--"Al's a good man, good friend, and in a difficult assignment"--and doing a bit of lying himself--he had no recollection of sending Gonzales on his sick-bed visit--the vice president managed to smear a sitting senator with the classic aiding the enemy charge.
All in a days work for a man who occupies his own branch of government [an argument revived by the VP in yesterday's CBS interview] and is accountable to no one.
That's our Dick. Making us proud.
WaPo Wakes to Find Gonzales Has History of Untruthfulness (Gasp!)
Category: Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez
So the Washington Post is shocked, SHOCKED to learn that, if you actually go back and look at Alberto Gonzales' career (jour...na...lism?), he has something of a credibility problem. Now, far be it from me to condemn the speed with which it took anyone at the WaPo to put two and two together, but...it's not like the signs weren't there all along:
Why is it even news that Alberto Gonzales is a liar? Why, many of the stories I just linked to are from your own Very Serious Publication, written by Very Serious People! Don't you read your own paper?
How is it that I - just another dirty hippie with a blog - knew all along that Gonzales, a longtime fixer for this president, was selected as Attorney General for that very quality?
His lying is a feature, not a bug.
Now do you understand?
Maybe. But I wouldn't hold my breath. If it's taken congress this long to put the pieces together, god knows how long it will take the Post's editors to admit what is plain for everyone else to see:
It was clear during his confirmation hearing that Gonzales was incapable of giving a straight answer, yet the Senate confirmed him anyway. As with Roberts and Alito, the danger signs were obvious to anyone whose vision wasn't clouded by political calculation. Now the Senate must deal with a monster of its own making.
Just a reminder, it was Sen. Arlen Specter who insisted that Gonzales not be sworn in for his 2006 testimony on the domestic spying program, because just his word was good enough. Smart move, Arlen. Now they're finally catching on to Gonzales' history of shielding uncomfortable, if not incriminating facts about the administration to lawmakers.
But maybe I'm being too hard on 'Berto. Maybe his low-key, behind-the-scenes history of being Bush's fixer left him simply unprepared for primetime?
Is Alberto Gonzales a liar? a slippery parser of language? an amnesiac (as yet undiagnosed)? Or is he just an idiot?
Defenders of Gonzales certainly have ground to stand on. Gonzales does (claim to) forget a lot (points for the "amnesiac" theory). And every answer he gives is tangled in lawyerly knots (points for the "slippery parser"). And sometimes in the midst of a hearing, he just seems befuddled (points for the "idiot" theory).
What about "All of the above"?
Of course, Gonzo's just following rule #1 for any street gang:
Alberto Gonzales has replaced the rapper Cam'ron as the national poster boy for the "no snitching" code; the fact that he's also America's top law enforcement officer makes the irony that much more delicious, and more disgraceful.
But if you've paying any attention, it's not any more surprising.
P is for "Perjury"
Category: Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez
Today's blogs are brought to you by the letters A & G, for "Attorney General" and "Alberto Gonzalez," and the letter P, for "Perjury."
With the revelation of a memo from national intelligence director John Negroponte's office that contradicts Gonzales' testimony, the plot, as they say, thickens. The Carpetbagger Report has been following the twists and turns - not easy considering 'Berto's shuck-and-jive routine these last few months:
The irony is, Gonzales was apparently lying to cover up earlier lying. Last year, Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee there was no disagreement about the program. Then James Comey said there was a lot of disagreement about the program. A month ago, Gonzales said he and Comey were referring to the same program. Tuesday, Gonzales said he and Comey were referring to different programs. What a tangled web he weaves....
But Gonzales, as should come as no surprise, is sticking by his testimony. The only reason for this that anyone can figure is that Gonzales is taking parsing language and semantics to dizzying new heights - or lows, as the case may be:
I suspect, some clever White House official seized upon a semantic distinction between "the program the president confirmed" and its predecessor. Only the program as currently constituted would be called the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Any features that had been dropped in 2004 would be considered "other intelligence activities."
Relying on this unstated and hyper-legalistic distinction, Gonzales then testified that there had been no internal dissent over "the program that the president has confirmed."
I hate to quibble over details, but.....IT'S STILL THE SAME #$@!^&%*! PROGRAM!!! It's like saying a person who shaves their head is a completely different, separate human being than when they had hair. Not exactly a stirring argument. Legal experts see getting a perjury charge to stick as akin to shooting fish in a barrel (or shooting quail with Dick Cheney, if you prefer). And so, "Bring on the Special Prosecutor!" say Senate Democrats. The blog Corrente says great idea, but we just don't have the time:
If we were playing baseball, this would be a great play. But we’re playing football, and smashmouth football at that. Why? Because football, unlike baseball, is played to the clock. And right now, the Republicans are running out the clock. And if a Special Prosecutor can get the job done before election 2008, why the hell can’t we just impeach, since there’s time to do that too?
Yesterday I suggested someone do something - impeachment, contempt citation, perjury charges, anything. But I was reminded today that in the end, this administration's officials have the best fringe benefits of any job, ever. And because of this, Ana Marie Cox at Swampland doesn't think even a special prosecutor is going to help:
Sure, appoint a special prosecutor! That'll show Bush! Just like the last time, when we threw Scooter Libby in jail... Oh, right. Hm. Maybe now "special prosecutor" is just a ceremonial title, designed to make people feel good about the illusion of justice. Like, you know, "Attorney General."
The White House better start ordering "Get Out of Jail Free" cards in bulk.
Stop Me If You've Heard This One: "Alberto Gonzales Walks Into a Bar..."
Category: Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez
With Alberto Gonzales' (pardon the phrase) tortured testimony, the senate investigations into the prosecutor purge and domestic spying scandals have gone from ones of public outrage and derision into the realm of black comedy. Even some conservatives can't believe their eyes:
Doesn't This Man Need To Spend More Time With His Family?
Gonzales once again spent the hearing zig-zagging and backtracking, stoking calls this time for a special prosecutor from one of the Republicans on the committee. He managed to reverse himself twice on the late-night meeting with John Ashcroft in one hearing...As Gonzales continues to flounder in a sea of his own contradictions, one has to wonder why the White House continues to allow this bleeding to continue.
Why? I'll tell you why, because Republican calls for a special prosecutor notwithstanding, the GOP has stood by their man Bush, and he's stood by his man 'Berto:
Obviously the Democrats have to do something. I'd like it if some Republicans thought that having their congressional powers mocked and laughed at was an area of concern, too, but those people who spent their time holding their breaths waiting for Republicans to do the right thing have long since died of asphyxiation.
Gonzales' latest performance has been compared to the works of Marx. Groucho and Chico, not Karl. Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?" also comes to mind.
GONZALES: I clarified my statement two days later with the reporter.
SCHUMER: What did you say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I did not speak directly to the reporter.
SCHUMER: Oh, wait a second — you did not.
OK. What did your spokesperson say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I don’t know. But I told the spokesperson to go back and clarify my statement…
But not everyone is laughing. Especially legal blogger Adam Cohen at the Washington Post's Bench Conference blog:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales deserves to be fired for his testimony Tuesday alone; for morphing into Jon Lovitz's famous "pathological liar" character (or maybe just one of the Marx Brothers) as he tried to dodge and duck responsibility before the Senate Judiciary Committee not just for his shameful leadership at Justice but also his shameless role in visiting an ailing John Ashcroft in the hospital to try to strong-arm him into renewing the warrantless surviellance program. Can anyone out there remember a worse, less-inspiring, less confidence-inducing performance on Capitol Hill? I cannot.
No reasonable person watching Gonzales' tragically comedic performance Tuesday's on Capitol Hill-- especially his miserable exchange with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in late morning-- can any longer defend his appalling lack of competence, courage and credibility...
I am running out of words to describe how inept this public servant is and how awful is the message our government sends to the nation and to the world by allowing him to continue to represent us.
At one point, Gonzalez even refused to answer questions from Sen. Chuck Schumer. As the Talking Points Memo points out - and the US Attorney General should bloody well know - you can't do that:
Testifying before Congress is like being called to testify in court. You have to answer every question. Every question. You can fudge and say you don't remember something and see how far you get. Or you can invoke various privileges. And it's up to the courts to decide if the invocations are valid. But it's simply not permitted to refuse to answer a question. It is quite literally contempt of Congress.
Cite him for contempt (it seems to be all the rage today), impeach him, convince him to resign and spend more time with Andy Card's family, or just take him for a drive out into the woods, open the door, throw a tennis ball out and hit the gas before he realizes what's happened, but someone ought to do something.
Our Attorney General is a joke.
5 million White House Emails Disappear; Barney Suspected
Category: Abuse of Power, Alberto Gonzalez
I guess "the dog ate them" was considered too weak an excuse...
5 million emails go missing, in violation of the Presidential Records Act. First, the White House told reporters only a handful of administration officials had outside email accounts from the RNC. Then they explained that, by handful, they meant 50. Now that's been reviosed. By 50, they mean 88, and Karl Rove's excuse is he lost his blackberry. First, to be fair, Joe Gandelman at TMV gives us all the possible explanations:
–The Bush White House is TERRIBLY misunderstood and it’s all the Democrats and the mainstream media, working in conjunction as they rub their palms with glee in a political vendetta to smear the stalwart White House’s image.
–The Bush White House is TERRIBLY incompentent
–The Bush White House is showing the kind of respect for the law that a wife beater shows for a bleeding, battered spouse.
Let's see...They've long since lost the benefit of the doubt for #1, but #'s 2 and 3 sound pretty plausible. And then there's the connection to Watergate.
The Presidential Records Act, which prevents White House records from being destroyed to cover stuff up, was one of the many provisions passed by Congress in the wake of Watergate...In terms of parallels between this Administration and Nixon's, it's ironic how many of these types of specific post-Nixon laws that Congress created that this Administration law broken (FISA is another famous example of these).
I'm not sure that this should surprise anyone. Since he first nominmated himself as the best man to shepherd the lightweight Bush through his tenure in the Big Chair, Dick Cheney has been hell bent and none too secretive about rolling back every perceived infringement on executive power that's come around since he served in the Nixon White House himself. And while it may not be 18 minutes of missing audio tape, Daily Kos goes a little further in this Watergate analogy,
Among the 37 officials for whom the RNC did preserve records, those records evidence "major gaps." For instance, despite the enormous volume of e-mails known to have been sent or received by Rove during certain periods, for others -- like the first term, for instance -- only some 130 e-mails are available.
That would be the years of Sept. 11, the ENRON investigation, the Valerie Plame leak, and the lead-up to the war in Iraq, just to name a few. Coincidentally, it also covers the period when a younger, undoubtedly happier Alberto Gonzales was White House counsel. Now 'Berto has yet something ELSE to be unhappy about:
We know the White House was aware of the problem as recently as 2005, and took no action to preserve the emails - but there is now further evidence that Alberto Gonzales was aware of the problem back in 2001...This has to be the "other shoe dropping" that Bush was waiting for before he axed Gonzales, and I expect Albterto to go very soon.
To which I can only respond -
If Bush hasn't fired Gonzales by now, 'Berto could swipe the wristwatch off Harry Reid's arm in the middle of Senate testimony and shoot a cat and it wouldn't make a lick of difference.
The White House's Monica (Goodling) Problem
Category: Abuse of Power, Prosecutor Purge, Alberto Gonzalez
"I don't believe I intended to commit a crime," "I know I crossed the line of civil service rules," "I believe I crossed the line, but I didn't mean to." So did Monica Goodling's testimony today provide a new wealth of comedy material. Tbogg thinks Goodling's strategy sounds familar:
In a strong opening gambit, Monica Goodling invokes the Paris Hilton Defense...Considering her theological bent, we can expect the Flip Wilson ("The devil made me do it") defense before the day is out.
The last time the White House had a Monica problem...well, you know how that ended. Now, everything old is new again. New Monica. New problem. It is, however, the same old Bush administration:
Monica Goodling's first-rate law school education is on display today in an astonishingly nit-witted but thus far dry-eyed appearance…Quoting constitutional scholar Martha Stewart, among others, Goodling acknowledged in testimony given under a grant of immunity that she had made a "snap judgment" in weeding out job candidates based on their partisan bona fides. A "snap judgment" that she made numerous times.
There must be a orientation manual given to all new administration employees on what to do when you find yourself testifying under oath. It would be very small, consisting of one line: Pass the Buck.
So Goodling blames McNulty and Harriet Miers, and by inference Rove for being more involved in this than she was, even though she was the White House liaison for DOJ, and even though Alberto delegated all day-to-day matters to her and Kyle Sampson. She is in a very risky position given her limited immunity and McNulty’s ability to come right back and undermine her testimony. But at least we now know that they don't teach integrity, ethics, or responsibility at Pat Robertson's Wingnut University.
That's Pat Robertson's Regent University actually, Monica Goodling's alma mater and a school who's stated goal is to increase Christianty's influence in our legal system, tearing down the wall between church and state. With 150 graduates currently working for the Bush administration, they're taking their best shot at it too. And the payoffs are already starting to show:
Goodling is now the latest high-ranking DOJ official to say that, really, she has no idea why those U.S. Attorneys were fired last year, or who made the choices. The list appeared, somehow, but apparently not from any human hand. It's a miracle!
The sharpest legal minds of tomorrow...today!
Fred Hiatt wakes up and smells the coffee
Category: Media, Abuse of Power, Prosecutor Purge, Alberto Gonzalez
Well, well, well. Look who woke up! Fred Hiatt on the Washington Post's editorial page had this to say today:
WHY IS IT only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging? The chief reason is that the administration, in the person of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, stonewalled congressional inquiries and did its best to ensure that the shameful episode never came to light.
Mmmmm....Wakey wakey, eggs 'n' bakey. Good morning to you too, Fred! Let's get you a nice hot cup of wake-me-up courtesy of blogger Glenn Greenwald:
...the equally significant answer to Hiatt's question -- "why is it only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging?" -- is that the Beltway establishment, led by the likes of Hiatt, decided that the President's lawbreaking was really nothing to be too bothered by, that those who objected to it were shrill and hysterical, and they found justification, or at least sufficient mitigation, to look the other way...For Hiatt to now act all bewildered and ask "why is it only now" that we are learning of this misconduct is disingenuous in the extreme.
It's not like some people haven't been shouting themselves horse over this for some time now. In fact, Fred, your own paper just reported that in the other scandal Gonzalez is involved in (I know, it's hard to keep track of them), Gonzalez, shall we say, took some creative artistic license with the truth when he said that only 8 US atty's were considered for termination, when in fact, the number was closer to two dozen. AmericaBlog explains what that means so even a Washington Post editor can understand:
When someone says something that's not true, it's a lie. When someone says something that not true while under oath, that's a crime. The media were buying the Bush administration spin that the U.S. Attorneys scandal was over. It's not. George Bush's Attorney General has been lying to Congress and to the American people. That's been standard operating procedure for years with the Bush crowd. But, now, there has to be accountability.
But before that happens, the media needs to wake up from it's long faux-patriotism-induced nap and start pointing out the obvious. And in case Fred Hiatt starts getting sleepy again, others will continue to point out the obvious for him:
For a story whose defenders have said is about nothing and is, at its core a simple one, the revelations sure do keep on coming..If the DoJ and the administration have been forthcoming, why do we keep getting new information?...How many times are we going to find out that something he has told Congress under oath doesn't, in fact, comport with reality?
The good Dr. Taylor is referring to the US Atty's scandal, but really, does it matter? When you hear Gonzalez say anyhting about anything, it seems to be just a matter of time before the opposite is shown to be true.
UPDATE: Almost missed this. It looks like Fred hit the snooze button and is getting comfy again:
What was the administration doing, and what was it willing to continue to do, that its lawyers concluded was without a legal basis? Without an answer to that fundamental question, the coverup will have succeeded.
Gee, Fred, that's quite insightful. Now, if only there were someone who was curious about that, someone who could go get that answer by following up that line of questioing, instead of just letting it sit there getting moldy...Someone with access to a widely-read editorial page that could make....Ooops. My bad. He's asleep alreday.
They're so cute when they're sleeping.
:: Next Page >>
Black Box Report
|<< <||> >>|
- Abuse of Power (82)
- Alberto Gonzalez (11)*
- Announcements [A] (2)
- Background (2)
- Congress (14)
- Culture Wars (16)
- Democrats (26)
- Dick Cheney (6)
- Economy (17)
- Election 2008 (131)
- George W. Bush (28)
- Health Care (6)
- Immigration (17)
- Iraq (47)
- Media (16)
- NY Politics (7)
- Republicans (23)
- RFL Big Story (54)
- SCOTUS (2)
- Slow News Day (5)
- Terrorism (11)
- Wingnuttery (32)