Gonzo Governance

The record of the current Attorney General of the United States is not exactly a distinguished one but it may have reached its lowest point yet when Alberto Gonzales Tuesday tried to distance his Justice Department from the horrible case of Maher Arar, the Canadian who was wrongly accused of being a terrorist (by Canada and the US) and then "rendered" to Syria where he was tortured. The Attorney General's lame soft-shoe was immediately repudiated by the Justice Department itself, on Wednesday, when a spokesperson said that her boss "had his timelime mixed up."

Today's Times' report included this: "'The facts speak for themselves, you know,'" Mr. Arar said. "'The report (by Canadian officials, including a high-level judge there) clearly concluded that I was tortured. And for him to say that he does not know about the case or does not know I was tortured is really outrageous.'" Maria C. LaHood, Mr. Arar's lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, called Mr. Gonzales' comments 'unbelievable. I had hoped that they would actually step up and say, "We made a mistake, we accept the report's findings, we clear Mr. Arar's name and we apologize," ' Ms. LaHood said."

Admit a mistake? Not this Attorney General. Allow the facts to get in the way of his talking points? Not this Attorney General. The Arar Commission Report is embarrassing enough coming during the tensest of times during the political debate over the treatment of terror deteainees. But for a high-ranking Administration official to pretend that the Arar episode either didn't exist or that US officials were not partly to blame is even worse. Credibility is the coin of the realm in the fight now between Congress and the White House. And the nation's highest-ranking lawyer, a man who isn't exactly brimming with credibility anyway thanks to past debacles, just lost some more.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 21, 2006; 10:30 AM ET
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Alberto Gonzales is emblematic of the kind of people Bush likes to have around him: fawning, obseqeious toadys, anal smooching sycophants, heavy breathing groupies, and obedient political love slaves who will bend over and take the big one for him.

This is not the White House. It is high school and Bush is the head jock (although "jock" in application to Bush has nothing to do with the qulities one would normally associate with a real "jock"--athletic prowess, physical ability,etc.). You all remember them from high school--arrogant, cocksure, vindictive, a "win at all costs" attitude, ruthless and brutal with opponents, and possessed of a natural conceit that loyalist should be willing to accept any humilation or suffer any degradation in the cause of preserving his image as a "winner".

Is Bush really a "winner"? Think about it for a moment. Absent this army of anal attending sycophants, he would be nowhere. He would have been dispatched by Ann Richards without them out there planting slanderous rumors about her. He would not have won the nomination for his party had they not launched an all out smear against John McCain in South Carolina. And, he would certainly not be in the office of the Presidency had he not had this cabal of thugs and love slaves banging down doors to prevent a recount and getting the question before his Father's old buddies on the Supreme Court.

Bush a winner? Hardly. He didn't win the popular vote in 200 and he didn't really win the electoral vote in 2004. Thank you Kenneth Blackwell for stealing Ohio for me. You did a heckova job!

Even now with the growing realization of just how awful a leader Bush is, he still maintains this army of love slaves out there diligently re-writing history, concealing realities, and manufacturing their own intelligence.

Posted by: Jaxas | September 21, 2006 12:12 PM

Alberto Gonzalez is a disgrace to this nation. But then again, so are almost all the current crop of Bush Republicans.

Posted by: Moe | September 21, 2006 07:00 PM

The problem is that Alberto is not so Speedy. And his boss is bogged down on top of a Texas fence post. This is the tale of the tortoise and the turtle from Texas. It's a shell game.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | September 22, 2006 06:37 AM

Alberto Gonzales owes his entire career to Bush - as Bush probably does to Gonzales. Gonzales is the same guy who bamboozled a judge and two lawyers in Texas into excusing Bush from jury duty prior to jury selection, so that Bush would not have to (a) answer questions about or, alternatively, (b) lie about a previous DWI, mention of which was omitted from Bush's jury information card (where it should have been). Bush might have really stepped in "deep do-do" (as his daddy liked to say) in that moment, and might never have been elected president. Even later, when it was discovered that those two had combined to evade answering a simple question about Bush's past, it never seemed to occur to Bush's supporters that this was a canary in a coal mine, an indicator of the character of the two people they were about to push onto the national stage.

Gonzales also gave an indication during that small episode of the legal ridiculous arguments he would be willing to make to protect Bush. Bush evaded jury duty because, Gonzales argued, he might later be called upon to grant clemency as governor in that particular misdemeanor DWI case - which is beyond stupid.

So, surprise, these antics are being carried out at a national level, and the only things being lost are . . . the human dignity and the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Oh, and billions of dollars. And our prestige and moral authority around the world. And Tony Blair's job. We should have taken these character and intellectual defects seriously when we had the chance.

Oh, well. In the meantime, innocent people are being killed and subjected to unspeakable horror. Ten months in a shallow grave . . . it's a small price for some other guy to pay if it's what Bush "the Decider" wants. And that's the other thing about Bush that has been very consistent . . . someone else always has to pay the price. In Vietnam, it was men who actually went to a war Bush supported. And in Iraq . . . well, it's exactly the same thing, as it is with everyone around him. So Bush needs guys like Gonzales to shield Bush "the Decider" from even the appearance that he knows the price others are paying for his decisions. Down in Texas, we have a term for guys like that . . . they're lying yellow dogs . . . actually, they're much worse than that. Always have been. Always will be.

Posted by: attorneyofrecord | September 24, 2006 11:22 PM

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