Part I: Alberto Gonzales: A Willing Accessory at Justice

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is the 80th attorney general of the United States and if recent events in the law and at the Justice Department are any indication, he is rapidly staking a claim to being among the worst. To test that claim and evaluate the man who is not just nominally called the "nation's top lawyer," we must answer three questions. To what extent did Gonzales' public record before taking office give us clues about what sort of Attorney General he has turned out to be? Has he so far been up to the task as it is ideally defined? And, finally, does he deserve to continue to serve in office?

This series will look at each question in depth. But, here, briefly, are the answers. First, Gonzales' cronyistic record in both Texas and as White House counsel did indeed presage many of the serious problems Gonzales now faces at the Justice Department. He has run true to form over the past two years and has diverted hardly at all from his long history of dogged obedience to the President, which often has come at the cost of institutional independence and adherence to the rule of law. Second, Gonzales is seen by many legal historians and scholars as an abysmal failure--not quite as bad as the worst attorneys general in our history, but much closer to the bottom than to the top. And, third, given the burgeoning scandal over the dismissal of federal prosecutors at the request of the White House, there appear to be few legitimate reasons why he deserves to stay in office. What follows, then, is really a bill of particulars drawn up by some of the nation's leading lawyers and historians, that attempts to support these conclusions.

But first, a step back. To understand better the case for or against Gonzales, to place it more squarely into context, it is important to understand that the attorney general in our federal system has to straddle a line between law and politics, between being the people's attorney and his boss' loyal cabinet member. It is not an easy thing to do and few attorneys general have done it even remotely well. The dichotomy in many ways mirrors the one that everyday attorneys face with their own clients-- am I an advocate who must facilitate what my client already has decided to do? Or am I a counselor who may tell my client on occasion that what he or she wants to do is illegal or just plain wrong?

History has given us very little guidance about where this line is to be drawn. Actually, the history of the Office of the Attorney General is a rather uninspiring one. The position was included in the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Book of Genesis when it comes to the federal judicial system, but it took nearly a century for the attorney general to have any sort of a meaningful "justice department" to run. Originally, for a few decades anyway, the attorney general was not even part of the President's formal cabinet and now, of course, some of the duties of the original attorney general reside in the White House counsel's office. Gonzales, remember, came from that office to his current post when John Ashcroft read the writing on the wall and resigned as attorney general at the start of President George W. Bush's second term in office.

By far the strongest and most persistent criticism of Gonzales, and the one focused upon in this series, is his perceived unwillingness or inability at times to play the role of counselor rather than facilitator--to act independently of the man to whom he owes his job and his public career. Gonzales has been charged, over and over again and both before and during his current tenure, as being President's Bush's in-house and in-court "yes" man, a lawyer whose main role has been to try to justify legally, at least on its face, what his boss already has decided for political or moral reasons to do anyway. This indeed, sometimes anyway, is one of the roles of attorney general. But it is wholly at odds with the other role, that of hands-off protector of the Constitution against both internal and external threats to its viability.

During Gonzales' confirmation hearing in January 2005, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D. Vt.), then ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said "the job of attorney general is not about crafting rationalizations for ill-conceived ideas; it's a much more vital role than that. Attorney general is about being a forceful, independent -- independent -- voice in our continuing quest for justice in defense of the constitutional rights of every single American." Leahy back then expressed his concern that Gonzales did not possess the temperament, training, will, or motive to act independently from the man, President Bush, to whom Gonzales has served in one way or another ever since they both came to public service. Many others since have echoed those sentiments.

It is not hard to see why these accusations seem to have stuck with Gonazales. In July 2005, after he became attorney general, after he swore to uphold the Constitution, he was asked during an interview by folks at the Academy of Achievement to list his role models. His answer? "The three biggest influences of my life, in terms of maturing me as a person, were my mom, my dad and our President, who's given me some wonderful opportunities. I've learned a lot from him in the various roles that I've seen him in, as a father, and as a governor, and as a president."

It is a nice sentiment. But not the sort of quote likely to foster confidence among others that our nation's top lawyer would be willing to stake out when necessary and appropriate legal positions that are contrary to those of his self-proclaimed hero. And, as we'll see, when the stakes indeed have been high over the past few years, and even when Gonzales worked for then-Governor Bush in Texas, Gonzales has obediently toed his boss's line. So much so, in fact, that even before the burgeoning scandal over federal prosecutors, Gonzales' work had raised the specter of the dreaded "C" word within an administration that has come to be known for it--Cronyism. Heckuva job, Alberto!

Professor Stanley Katz, a legal historian at Princeton University, says there is no agreed upon "ideal" attorney general. And he told me Tuesday morning that the job has changed tremendous over time. But he believes that Gonzales "falls short of any ideal I can think of" and says that Gonzales has inappropriately balanced his "loyalties to the President" with his "responsibilities as a lawyer." Gonzales, says Katz, "doesn't seem to see past the relationship with his boss" and has been "a willing accessory" to some of what Katz sees as the "worst excesses" of the administration's policies.

Like Gonzales, some attorneys general have merely been pliant servants of the Presidents for whom they have worked. Others have been independent voices who have butted heads over weighty legal issues with the very people who put them into office. Invariably, posterity has well received lawyers in the latter group. For example, perhaps the most famous attorney general in American history achieved that standing from historians and legal scholars merely because he stood up to his boss. Eliot Richardson was summarily fired from the post in October 1973 when he refused to assent to the wishes of President Nixon, who wanted Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal. Edward H. Levi also gets good marks from historians for restore public confidence in the rule of law when he was President Gerald R. Ford's attorney general.

"About the only honest and shall we say effective attorney general of the past generation or two was Ed Levi," says Stanley Kutler, a legal historian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. "He was politically obligated to no one and was not politically or personally connected to the president. The president (Ford) for his part was quite content to let the attorney general run his own department. It was not run out of the White House--and the news this morning about the federal prosecutors typifies the problem" of an attorney general beholden to a president. In Kutler's view, too many presidents have picked too many attorneys general in the ultimate hope that the top lawyer in the Justice Department would ultimately protect the White House.

A more recent and obvious comparison and contrast to Gonzales is Janet Reno and her tenure as President Bill Clinton's attorney general. Pilloried for her role in the disaster at Waco, Texas in April 1993, Reno famously vexed her boss (so much so that he reportedly stopped talking to her) by appointing a special prosecutor to look into the Whitewater affair, a move that begat Kenneth Starr and Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky and ultimately the impeachment of Clinton in the winter of 1999. Reno was not necessarily a politically-savvy attorney general, had no real constituency in Washington, and did not earn rave reviews from legal scholars. But she was from time to time willing to act independently in a way that put her in direct conflict with the man who had given her the job. No similar examples stand out for Gonzales.

Almost all attorneys general have struggled to adequately describe and then balance their competing political and legal goals and responsibilities. When he was installed in office in February 2005, Gonzales himself said: "There has been much discussion during my confirmation about the appropriate role of the Attorney General; certainly an important and legitimate debate about the individual viewed by many as the primary guardian of our rights and protector of our freedoms. The Attorney General is a member of the President's cabinet, a part of his team. But the Attorney General represents also the American people, and his first allegiance must always be to the Constitution of the United States."

Eric Holder, Jr., a deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, also used the "team" analogy when he responded to me via email on this topic. "An Attorney General has to be a part of a team and yet understand," Holder wrote, "that unlike other cabinet members, he/she has a unique responsibility. As chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General has a responsibility to be more detached, more neutral than other Cabinet officers." John Dean, President Richard Nixon's legendary White House counsel, took the reasoning one step further in an email to me Monday. He wrote: "What is most important about the Department of Justice is to not politicize it, because it really must make decisions that effect the public interest, and the criminal justice system, and if Department is a highly political entity, it will lose trust, it will lose the best and brightest attorneys who want to work there, and then we all lose."

This, then, is the fluid and dichotomous nature of the job of attorney general. It is within the context of this history that Alberto Gonzales' record at the Justice Department should be judged. But before we get to that, in Part III of this series, we need to look at his record in Texas and as White House counsel. That record is the focus of Part II, coming up tomorrow.

About this series: This is the first in a four-part series on Alberto R. Gonzales and his role as Attorney General of the United States. Part I looks at the role of the Attorney General in American history, about current perceptions about that role, and Gonzales' view of it. Part II looks at Gonzales' record before he assumed office in 2005. Part III looks at Gonzales' record as Attorney General and the final part in the series focuses upon the candidates for his successor.

By Andrew Cohen |  March 13, 2007; 12:47 PM ET agag
Previous: Rough Justice: The Case Against Alberto Gonzales | Next: Part II: Alberto Gonzales, Presidential Enabler

Comments

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bub-bye 'Berto

Posted by: dave | March 13, 2007 01:10 PM

I really am hard pressed to think of a single good thing that either the Bush Administration of the previous Republican Congress did in the last six years. The country will be a long time recovering from the debacle of Republican governance for the last six years.

Posted by: J. Crozier | March 13, 2007 01:12 PM

This is why print journalism can't pay the bills and are laying off union employees and sending journalists on "unpaid leave". Is this supposed to be an objective article? Any common sense person would say that $90,000 in a freezer and a congressman remains unindicted is politics. Clinton was smart enough to fire all the federal prosecutors when he took office, and they called him "savvy". Now, the left-wing has a corrupt Charles Shumer, head of the democrat campaign committee, using the liberal media to portray the firings as wrong. Shumer is going after Deminici, who is up for reelection against the candidate of Chuck Shumer. Its always politics. Ted Kennedy got emails from the NAACP to stop the confirmation of appointees to 6th circuit until the existing court could rule for the affirmative action forces. Yet, the WaPo in their selective outrage, have decided when republicans use the political appointment system, it is wrong. This is why the MSM is going away.

Posted by: Karen | March 13, 2007 01:14 PM

karen, you misspelled 'Schumer'. this is why smart people have a hard time believing anything conservatives have to say...they usually express themselves without much thought and the country usually suffers.

Posted by: anonymous | March 13, 2007 01:37 PM

Karen=idiot

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 01:38 PM

This isn't supposed to be an objective article. Look at the title, it is the Case Against Alberto Gonzalez.

There is more to come. It is a three part series.

I'm curious to see the defense of A. Gonzalez too.

Posted by: pensfan | March 13, 2007 01:41 PM

This is a cogent, logical analysis of Gonzales tenure as Attorney General and of the vagaries of that position as well. I would have to disagree with an earlier comment that articles such as this illustrate the problem with print journalism. Indeed, it holds up the best of print journalism. No one demands agreement with its ideas. If the article generates thought and educates one iota, then it is worthwhile. I eagerly anticipate parts II, III, and IV. They promise a perspective I can't easily gain on my own.

Posted by: Sue | March 13, 2007 01:44 PM

"Posted by: Karen | March 13, 2007 01:14 PM"

Karen writes "Is this supposed to be an objective article?"

Obviously not. It is in the Post's "Columns & Blogs" section.

Posted by: K.J. Heidebrecht | March 13, 2007 01:47 PM

Name calling gets us nowhere.

What Karen fails to do is explain how anything she says is the least bit related to the outrageous behavior and corruption of the present attorney general.

I'm so tired of the "you can't talk about this person/group's bad behavior because of the bad behavior of some other person/group" mentality. Huh?

Bad behavior is bad behavior and we all owe it to our country to get rid of it - regardless of ideology.

Why is that so difficult for some to understand?

Posted by: Pat | March 13, 2007 01:48 PM

exactly pensfan. what objective argument could be made for Alberto? he was just doing his job?

what does this type of defense for Alberto tell our children that will have to run the country someday, that it is okay to lie if it is for the president?

Posted by: anonymous | March 13, 2007 01:49 PM

and it looks like the concerns spelled out by the majority of the democrats during abu gonzales* confirmation hearing have been borne out.

abu is a disgrace. he should be dragged before the senate and house judiciary committees to fully explain how these *mistakes* could have happened. how is it that the ag*s chief of staff is granted the authority to dismiss and replace federal prosecutors without the knowledge and ascent of the attorney general.

and let*s not forget who enabled these firings and, esp the ability to bypass congressional confirmation -- arlen specter.

arlen specter has been given a pass by his senate colleagues and overwhelmingly by the usual sally quinn party pals in the washington dc press corps. when is he going to be held to account.

Posted by: linda | March 13, 2007 01:52 PM

This Attorney General and his underlings went to Congress, and as the emails detailed this morning in the Post clearly show, LIED when they testified that the firings were not remotely political. The evidence shows already that the firings were, in fact, political and that the AG and his deputy knew the nature of each for the past 2 years. Gonzales and McNulty have now given patently FALSE TESTIMONY to Congress. And now the AG says he is "taking full responsibility" for what he calls "incomplete information"? Under this president, the phrase "full responsibility" has become a joke - there is no taking of responsibility by anyone. They use this term as something of a "get out of being fired" card. Gonzales absolutely must go... and he should be thoroughly investigated for giving false testimony to the Congress.

Heavens, I never thought I'd find myself thinking "John Ashcroft wasn't so bad"...

Posted by: corbett | March 13, 2007 01:52 PM

The AG shold probably be elected by the public, but this would require a Constitutional Amendment and won't happen.

Posted by: Carl | March 13, 2007 01:55 PM

While governor - Bush and his fishing buddies at Lake Athens in Athens, Texas had their real estate taxes reduced thanks to Mr. G's legal opinions. Something has been "fishy" for a long time. My Dallas, Texas taxes are over $8,0000 annually and have never been reduced.

Posted by: Wyman Elrod | March 13, 2007 01:56 PM

Pick Gonzales, the Republican hack and toady, up by his scaly tail and drop him into the sunlight so we can watch him squeal.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 13, 2007 02:11 PM

Karen should apply for a job at the Fox propaganda network because of her extremely partisan views and her inability to think and analyze. "This is why print journalism can't pay the bills and are laying off union employees and sending journalists on 'unpaid leave'." The Washington Post Co. just reported a quarterly profit of $95.5 million dollars. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/28/AR2007022802114.html While this represents a decline in profits relative to the same quarter in the prior year, one cannot reasonably equate nearly $100 million in quarterly profit as tantamount to "can't pay the bills." And didn't Karen learn that quotation marks always go inside of a comma or period? She incorrectly wrote "unpaid leave". and "savvy".

Then there's Karen's award winning submission for the "I love to make a fool of myself in public" award. She writes: "Is this supposed to be an objective article?" The short answer is: "No." Andrew Cohen is a columnist -- not a reporter. By definition, columnists offer opinion, while news columns are devoted to objective news reporting. Cohen's web page makes this clear at the top: "washingtonpost.com > Opinions> Columns & Blogs." In addition, the link for Cohen's column on WAPO's web site
states: "OPINION: Rough Justice: Case Against Gonzales."

Posted by: Ken | March 13, 2007 02:18 PM

Your report brings up many good points I agree with, but it is also very pointed giving an impression of partisanship and looses some credibility with me during this politicized debate since Democrats are the majority in both the House and Senate.

Posted by: egalitaire | March 13, 2007 02:20 PM

Well... He did go through a "confirmation process," so I don't see how we can blame Gonzales for all the ills at the Department of Justice.

I am not a Republican, but it is my opinion that the article was too harsh on Gonzales' record. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Jeff in Texas | March 13, 2007 02:28 PM

Karen, your analogies are a bit off-base. US attorneys are political appointees. When Clinton came into office, he requested the resignations of all then-sitting US Attorneys, as is the norm when control of the executive branch of government switches to a different party. Likewise, when Bush came into office, he fired the Clinton appointees and appointed his own batch of Republicans. The US attorneys that were recently fired were all Bush's own appointees -- that is what is so unusual. And if it is politics that is delaying the indictment of Rep. Jefferson, it is Republican politics, as Bush's own Justice Department and FBI would handle such a prosecution.

Posted by: cam | March 13, 2007 02:32 PM

Seems to me, an attorney general of a different party from the president would be a good idea. Keep 'em honest.

Posted by: Michael Cooney | March 13, 2007 02:32 PM

Karen,

Whatever other inadequacies exist, in your view, in the manner in which DOJ prosecutors are fired and hired, is altogether irrelevant to the point of the article in question here.

You are, obviously, free to express your outrage about the inadequacies you perceive and, hopefully, to the extent that these are accurate and represent a threat to our Republic, you will be successful in changing.

This considered, it remains true to the cursory observer that the analysis of Mr. Gonzales provided by Senator Leahy is entire accurate. Alberto Gonzales has very amply demonstrated that his loyalty is with the president, and not with our Constitution. He clearly sees his job as Mr. Bush's legal apologist, not as guardian of the the legal basis of our republic.

Hence, whetever else you may feel is true about the way this sort of things proceed, it remains true that Alberto Gonzales is not fit to be the Attorney General of the United States and came to his post essentially the same way as the mishap Mr. Brown came to his former position in FEMA. Namely, because Mr. W. Bush cannot buy a clue and thinks that running our nation is some sort of game in which he gets to play emperor, we get to play subjects, and at sundown, we all go home and have cookies and milk.

Posted by: Saul | March 13, 2007 02:33 PM

And for years I thought Canadian politics were a joke. The Bush White House is really a 2007 version of the Keystone Kops and a bad one at that.
Thank God Bush cannot run again or the US would become a world pariah!

Posted by: Dumos | March 13, 2007 02:33 PM

He's part and parcel with the Bush gang, so good riddance.

Posted by: frank burns | March 13, 2007 02:34 PM

Mr. Cohen is falling victim to the same rhetoric that has been used against the Bush Administration since day one. The fact that Gonzales agrees with the President on many issues does not disqualify him from serving as Attorney General- it just means that he disagrees with you, Mr Cohen.

Gonzales is just the latest target from a rabid political opposition that cannot accept that people might disagree with them.

Posted by: cheezedawg | March 13, 2007 02:34 PM

"Heavens, I never thought I'd find myself thinking "John Ashcroft wasn't so bad"..."

At first I found myself laughing at this, but then was hit by a huge cringe after considering what a complete loser Ashcroft really was. Geez, the company this president keeps is appalling.

Posted by: salesanalyst | March 13, 2007 02:40 PM

Here is th oath of office that the Attorney General swears to:
"I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
Notice that he vows to support and defend the Constitution, not the President.

Posted by: NoVA | March 13, 2007 02:41 PM

Attorney General Janet Reno demanded the prompt resignation of all United States Attorneys in March of 1993, leading the Federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia to suggest that the order could be tied to his long-running investigation of Representative Dan Rostenkowski, a crucial ally of President Clinton. How can this be? Where was the media outrage about this? Let's see, when a Democrat does this it's fine, but when a Republican does it---FRONT PAGE WASHINGTON POST!

Posted by: J. Reno | March 13, 2007 02:41 PM

I really like the title of the final installment:

"the final part in the series focuses upon the candidates for his successor."

Posted by: bsimon | March 13, 2007 02:42 PM

This is not a news story. It is a jaded article showing the author's bias. This type of article is typical of CBS News, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Did the author clamor for Janet Reno or William Clinton to resign when they fired all of their Assistant Attorney General's?

These are simply political appointees. They are subject to political replacement.
Didn't any of you take Political Science 101?

The bias of the media today is weakening our resolve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of reporting the news, the media is simply the scorecard of the enemy.

Did the media have a fit when the United States suffered 81,000 American casualties, including 23,554 captured and 19,000 killed in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II?

No, that was before the media stopped being the first draft of history.

Posted by: Tom King | March 13, 2007 02:45 PM

Yes, we need another President like Clinton that done nothing but chase women and then lie about. We can't afford another President to take care of business the Bush has, something might get accomplished.

Posted by: Charles | March 13, 2007 02:49 PM

Please, Republicans, you are embarassing yourselves. This was not a news story. The Post, unlike Fox, can distinguish between "news" and "opinion". All new presidents ask for the resignation of previous AGs and then appoint their own. However, the AGs are then supposed to be independent and fired only for misconduct, not for failure to follow partisan requests.
Gonzalez' failure to be independent and to offer Bush his insights as to the legality of Bush's policies should be considered not only a failure for the People, but a failure to the president, who needs someone to help him draw the legal line.

Posted by: Christian Democrat | March 13, 2007 02:49 PM

GREAT ARTICLE ANDREW COHEN!

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 02:51 PM

What we used to see in newspapers was the connecting of dots, and how they were interpretted. Then we could figure out whether we saw the same "picture" or not when they finally tried to connect the "dots" together. Newspaper folks got to see a "dot" or two everyday, and after a while, a "picture" started to form. That's why so many blogs and websites on politics and economics have been created. The newspaper folks have been denied their valued work of connecting dots by their conglomerate owners simply to prevent us everyday folks from seeing what those owners are really up to. Precisely what those in the current administration try with all their powers to prevent.

Posted by: educate@greatreddragon.com | March 13, 2007 02:51 PM

Uhh Karen, perhaps you missed the part of this piece that clearly indicates it is OPINION? The writer is perfectly within his writes to put any slant on this piece he chooses.

Posted by: Steve In DC | March 13, 2007 02:56 PM

Thank you Andrew Cohen for a great article, though I think you were too kind in declining to say that Gonzales is our worst Atrorney General ever. really. Who was worse? In any case, I look forward to the next installments.

Posted by: Hamletmachine | March 13, 2007 02:59 PM

Right-wing response: sqwak sqwak! CLINTON!

Where once the right*s response was pathetic bluster, it has become only sad and tiresome. None of you have any defense for Gonzales* actions, so go away.

Posted by: gavin930 | March 13, 2007 03:00 PM

What a great country we live in. We have the absolute right to make idiots out of ourselves and often do.
Gonzales is a gofer just like so many others in this and previous administrations. I must admit that at times I wonder if we are in an alternate reality where the Presidency is actually a fraternity of idiots bent on the destruction of all that our forefathers worked so hard to build.
It will survive....but a price will be paid, and it will be paid by our children and their children.
Shame on them for what they are doing, and us for allowing it.

Posted by: Alex Mautz | March 13, 2007 03:12 PM

Hmm, a little heavy on the condemnation and a little light on the case against him. I hope the second and third installments actually state why Gonzales' policies are bad. This article is just a bunch of "This-is-what-people-say-an-Attorney-General-should-be." What about his famously minority view on war crimes and international law? What about his beliefs on freedom of speech? His support for warrantless surveillance? I mean come on, its not like there isn't plenty of ammunition. Lock and load man.

Posted by: 13BangBang | March 13, 2007 03:17 PM

In response to some comments made by Tom King.

You are trying to draw parallels to events in our nation's history that are the equivalent of comparing apples and oranges. The US entered WW2 after we were attacked by Japan. We did not start the war as we did in Iraq. The media, as were the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the US, were completely behind the the reason why we entered WW2. An attack directly on the US, its territories and our own people had occurred and it was quite obvious that if we had not acted there would be more attacks.

The Iraq war has hardly the choice of a majority of Americans. The case for war leading up to our invasion was at best split 50-50 (check the polls conducting back in 2003 for yourself). The media back then was far more pro-Bush and pro-war than the US population was. It's taken nearly 3+ years for the media to finally catch up to the opinions of the other 50+% (and growing fast) of the US population that didn't want the war.

Now on to your other points. Yes, it is a frequent occurrence that an incoming president replaces the Attorneys General. However, it is not often that a President replaces them mid-term, especially when these AGs have been graded by the Justice Dept as completing their jobs adequately. Flags are raised when these removals appear to be politically motivated. The Justice Dept, as are the Judges of this country, and all lawyers are sworn to uphold the US Constitution not to subvert it to the whims of one man (the President). We can only reach for such strong ideals.

Posted by: Shawn Hill | March 13, 2007 03:29 PM

When loyalty triumph competence, Mr Gonzalez is the epitome of the type of service you get. Remember Abu ghraib prison scandal C.I.A. rendition program and the use of AT&T screening our phone our phone calls to determine if we were talking to terrorist, were all approved to be legal by Mr Gonzalez simply because the president needed them. He never considered the constitutionality of these proposal and how they affect the rights of the U.S. citizenry.

Posted by: Michael Gibbons | March 13, 2007 03:40 PM

Gag me.

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 03:45 PM

One additional point re: Clinton firings vs. Bush. I don't believe that the Clinton administration denied that they had any role!

Let me phrase it another way: if the firings that Bush/Rove/Gonzo carried out were appropriate and aboveboard, WHY DID THEY LIE ABOUT THEIR INVOLVEMENT?

If everything was hunky-dory, why did they not say what they did and why? The answer, of course, was that they did and still do have something to hide.

I'd compare it to the Scooter Libby situation. If leaking Valerie Plame's name was legal and moral, WHY DID THEY LIE ABOUT IT?

Why did Cheney not admit what he did? Again, the answer is that they were ashamed to admit the repugnant and unpatriotic act they carried out to cover up their missteps.

Posted by: Sam | March 13, 2007 04:06 PM

I agree with Frank Burns' "good riddance".

To which I add -

"Both Bush and Gonzales are GREENHORNS,
so what do we expect?

Let's get rid of untried and incompetent
president and attorney general, et al. They are besmirching our country.



Posted by: Priscilla V. Dizon | March 13, 2007 04:09 PM

"Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is the 80th attorney general of the United States and if recent events in the law and at the Justice Department are any indication, he is rapidly staking a claim to being among the worst."

He's still go a ways to go to top John Mitchell, Ed Meese and Janet Reno. Also Harry Daugherty, Harding's AG during the Teapot Dome scandal. And Mitchell Palmer, of the infamous Palmer raids. And John Ashcroft, who helped give us the Patriot Act.

Come to think of it, Gonzales, as bad as he is, isn't even close to being the worse AG ever. The competition is just too stiff.

Posted by: Peter Principle | March 13, 2007 04:21 PM

I think Attorney-General Gonzalez should also step down. Such things never happened during Clinton Administration. Vice President Dick Cheney also not willing to admit what he has done, how these people to be trusted any more.!!!

Posted by: Akber Kassam. | March 13, 2007 04:28 PM

Liberals have always had difficulty with people who enforce the law. In the days when J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were enforcing laws against stalinist espionage in the US, liberals attacked Hoover and accused him of being a homosexual. They rushed to the defense of people like convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their beloved Hollywood Ten as well as the traitor Alger Hiss. In the 60's and 70's liberals attacked the police of our cities as they attempted to suppress race rioters and radical students who were taking over universities and calling police "pigs." They gave AG Ashcroft a hard time and they are starting now on Gonzales. But our liberal friends will be there the next time some condemned murderer needs some compassion. They are not too fond of the US military either. Strange people these liberals.

Posted by: mhr | March 13, 2007 04:31 PM

MHR needs to study history. This country is founded on more liberal principles than not. MHR might prefer that we all goose-step to the same tume, but that's not what America is about. MHR, if you really prefer a populace in 100% agreement with yourself, move to the middle east ... you'd be happier there. No "liberals" to disagree with you. No freedom either, buy hey, that doesn't seem to concern you, now does it?

Posted by: Bill in NY | March 13, 2007 04:37 PM

Don't be so hard on Gonzales. He lost the ball in the sun.

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 04:41 PM

John Ashcroft was the stereotype Bush-lover, much like Ted Haggard. Gonzales showed that when Bush put his sharp legal mind to important tasks like clearing some brush around the ranch, Gonzales was an excellent co-brush clearer and followed Bushs often unspoken orders exactly.

Posted by: Jeb's Taco | March 13, 2007 04:42 PM

Jesus is a Jewish liberal. Unfortunately, the Christian right forgets this point of fact.

Posted by: I am | March 13, 2007 04:46 PM

The problem with this "article" is that it does not at any point define, or better to enumerate, the ideal roles of the attorney general.

Andrew presents one: Senator Leahy's Don Quixote of a an AG who tilts independently at the windmills of injustice throughout our realm. This AG is apparently beholden to no one, except I assume when Senator Leahy calls. Such an independent person who championed the constitutional rights of the unborn and those on life support would not be heartily praised by Mr. Cohen.

Now Andrew does mention Stanley Katz who says that the AG falls short of any defined ideal. But except for the example of Ed Levi, a member of the all U.S. legal team, he sites no examples of good AGs -- well Richardson, but that is a mythic resignation and we really need someone who can be independent AND stay in the job. Further, while Mr. Katz says there are many ideal roles for attorneys general Mr. Cohen fails to provide us with a list of these ideal types of AG.

So this means that Andrew will excoriate Roberto Gonzales as the model of a failed attorney general. He will do so against a backdrop of invective condemnation rather than reasoned argument. I would say that is par for the course for this blog. As a whole this "column" as it is falls into the class of George Costanza's "move:" a whole lot of activity going nowhere.

Posted by: Constitutionalist | March 13, 2007 04:48 PM

Congress and the Supreme court should approve of the Attorney Ceneral and he should serve for life, Indepented of the White house and Congress

Posted by: Stanley Campbell | March 13, 2007 04:49 PM

How sad that nobody from the right here is actually defending Gonzalez. They are simply harping on nonsense about liberals and Clinton, as usual.
Gonzalez is obviously another Bush yesman devoid of morality and decency. Bush really knows how to pick them. Some delegator.

Posted by: ErrinF | March 13, 2007 05:03 PM

I completely agree with ErrinF. Where is the defense of Gonzales' actions from the right rather than attacking a past president and liberals.

Posted by: Ibs | March 13, 2007 05:04 PM

MHR=idiot, Karen=idiot, Tom King=idiot,
mhr+karen+tom king+ Fox news Team.
Where wll we find ourselves, the road ahead gets darker and darker. Less smearing of wacadoo's(like the aformentioned 3) and more compasionate conversations on solutions, may bring home a resolution to the problem pendulum swing of republicrat-democran-republicrat-democran...

asa@permaculturearmy.org

Posted by: America the Beautiful | March 13, 2007 05:15 PM

one serious omission in this article is any reference to robert kennedy, who served as his own brother's attorney general. i cannot think of a greater conflict of interest than that. how could
a brother possibly serve as his brother's critic, and possibly punisher? that appointment blows away any possibility of objectivity if the president or other high officials commit crimes. and, of course, that reemphasizes the need for independent counsels or special prosecutors who are not bound by that closest of ties -- blood -- to a president.

Posted by: samg | March 13, 2007 05:16 PM

Sycophant + Psychopath = Psychophant

Posted by: Lou | March 13, 2007 05:17 PM

mhr+karen+tomking= fox news team

typo correction. my first post, have nice day

asa@permaculturearmy.org

Posted by: america... | March 13, 2007 05:17 PM

To all those Republicans outraged because "Clinton did it,too", remember EVERY President (including GWB)has cleared out sitting AG's when taking office, and replaced them with new nominees.

The 8 AG's that got fired were all "hired" by GWB and John Ashcroft; they are ALL loyal Republicans, vetted by the White House and DOJ and confirmed by a Republican Congress. Their sin(s) were an unwillingness to follow directives from the White House to undertake politically motivated cases against Democrats, and/or to drop embarassing investigations of Republicans.

Posted by: smeesq | March 13, 2007 05:18 PM

I'm not a Republican or a Democrat and please don't pick on my English because I'm not a native speaker.

I'm just trying to express my opinion which shared by lots and lots of foreigners and Americans alike.

If you're so blind because of your party affiliate, please open your eyes for the sake of your country. The Democrats and Republicans have issues but one thing for sure is that since George W. Bush came to power, America doesn't shine too well on international stage.
I love America. Great country. Been there for about 9 years for school and work. Still love it but not impress on the current leadership of George W. Bush.

Posted by: Neutral | March 13, 2007 05:38 PM

Dear SamG
I hate your: smart enough to say something blind and stupid MO. Couldn't ya just be smart enough to recognize the quality of an Attourney General like Robbert Kennedy. He put the smack down on organized crime. Thats a conservative toastmaker. Where do you ignorant half educated rabid dogs come from. Do some of your own research look deep, truth heals all wounds.

Bobby Kennedy, was a man of concience & resolve, If bush a had a brother like that, he... (he wouldn't would he?)
the bush's are a pack of wolves tearing at any remaining "flesh" of honest governance..
//I nead a touch of my own medicine. solutions are hard to come by &"freeRepublic" wackadoo's a dime a dozen.

solution: Attempt not alienate those self-identified as "enemy psycopath" (ie free republic wackadoos) communicate with terms they understand like freedom &america, justice, america, liberty, amerijustice! liberty! America! AmeriFreedom, Justice liberty, America America
...god bless white jesus, I love america
asa@permaculturearmy.org

Posted by: america... | March 13, 2007 05:40 PM

Gonzales has been a consistent stooge for Bush/Cheney/Rove and he has taken that role to its logical conclusion. The next step is either resignation or impeachment. He has lost all credibility.

Posted by: H5N1 | March 13, 2007 05:41 PM

Before anyone attacts me on the original nature of the article. My opinion based on what I've read so far on the news sounds like The current Attorney General is willing to serve his boss than the Constitution.

Posted by: Neutral | March 13, 2007 05:44 PM

When rendering an opinion, the Attorney General of the United States is sworn to uphold the constitutionality of our laws. The Bush administration, aided by the ill advised opinions of Attorney General, Gonzales, acted in violation of the constitution, at a loss to the reputation of our nation and the freedom of its people. The Supreme Court has ruled that actions taken by the Bush adiministration, on the advice of the attorney general, regarding the rights of prisoners and unauthorized wiretapping, violated the constitution. Apparently, the attorney general either lacks sufficient understanding of the constitution, or decided the constitution less important than his willingness to please the Bush administration. In either case, he does not serve our nation well.

Posted by: Barton Frank | March 13, 2007 06:06 PM

O.K. So they fired some guys for standing up to them. Has anybody ever thought about looking at the other 90 or so guys who didn't? How many prosecutions that are politically charged/ beneficial to the White House happened just before the elections?

Posted by: Boris | March 13, 2007 06:17 PM

maybe he should resign. then Carl Rove could put his name in play for a new slot on the Supreme Court , if a slot opens.
what the Hell---he's in the same class as the 3rd prior choice that was dropped---and we all know who she was. Da.

Posted by: nick gisler | March 13, 2007 06:41 PM

1. Is it customary for the incoming administration to replace US Attorneys? *** 2. If customary, what does the incoming administration do when the standing US Attorney is investigating or prosecuting a public corruption case: a. of the same party as the incoming administration ** b. of the other party? *** 3. Janet Reno sent Rostenkowski to prison.

Posted by: egalitaire | March 13, 2007 07:12 PM

Gonzales is only the latest of a pack of despots around Bush to be exposed. He, Bush, Rove, and Cheney all behave as evil and self-serving as do the darkest dictators around the world. In fact it is in even worse as they wield far more power than any of the world's dictators, and seek to hide there dark deeds behind as many layers of secrecy as they can, even resorting to subterfuge and lying.

Please save this country and the wonderful constitution it once had--get rid of these political thugs.

Posted by: vamosya | March 13, 2007 07:39 PM

Conservatives are so morally bankrupt, and their lies are so predictable. Don't let them pretend that what Bush did with the AGs is "normal." It's not. It's unprecedented. The closest thing to it is Nixon's famous "saturday night massacre."

Republicans, you still have time to salvage some credibility. The first step is to STFU and stop defending dishonest thugs.

Posted by: gordonalex5 | March 13, 2007 07:44 PM

The funny thing about this whole episode is that while some of us were in the trenches in the Gonzales Justice Department, prosecuting criminals, trying cases, signing Title III wiretap affidavits, getting search warrants, and so on, we followed some really simple rules. Never lie. Don't break the law to enforce it. Be fair to defendants, because we were the servants of justice, and not just advocates for an ordinary party.

While all this was going on, the Administration was engaging in warrantless surveillance and was plotting to dump our bosses for purely political reasons. McNulty's testimony about the eight firings was, at best, misleading. Look at the e-mails that the Post put on the web. Sampson was the little political grease man who took care of the White House's dirty business at Justice.

I am telling you that it is disgusting. I can understand why Iglesias felt "sick" after the call from Domenici. While we did our best to serve the truth and to do justice, the leadership of our Department looked at the mission of the USAs as part of some broader political game in which they wanted to reward friends, punish enemies, and score political points.

It was not this way under Reno, even Ashcroft. There were true heroes at Main Justice, and I won't mention their names here but folks who have worked at Justice know who they are, and their influence has waned as the White House essentially took control. I hope the rest of the Cohen piece examines how remarkable Gonzales' tenure was for its silence in the face of this creeping politicization.

Posted by: ExAUSA | March 13, 2007 07:44 PM

This is how Gonzales and co. will spin this: They'll say that failing to find proof of voter fraud is evidence of poor performance, not of politics. That of course negates the idea that the demand for such investigations is political in and of itself. What's really ironic is this GOP, which has benefitted so dramatically by voter irregularities, should be so preoccupied with voter fraud.

Posted by: steven | March 13, 2007 07:45 PM

Why is it that you right wingers always seem to get your facts wrong? How many times are you going to stand behind this failed presidents scandals, only to be proven wrong, time and time again? Ever read the definition of insanity?

A summation from another site.

The inane 'Clinton did it too' defense
Posted 1:15 pm | Printer Friendly | Spotlight
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As the prosecutor purge scandal continues to become more serious and more damaging for the Bush gang, the right has struggled to come up with a coherent defense. They seem to have embraced one, but it's surprisingly weak.

Karl Rove got the ball rolling last week.

"Look, by law and by Constitution [sic], these attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and traditionally are given a four year term. And Clinton, when he came in, replaced all 93 U.S. attorneys. When we came in, we ultimately replace most all 93 U.S. attorneys -- there are some still left from the Clinton era in place. We have appointed a total of I think128 U.S. attorneys -- that is to say the original 93, plus replaced some, some have served 4 years, some served less, most have served more. Clinton did 123. I mean, this is normal and ordinary."

A few days later, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) repeated it.

Graham played down the administration's purge of U.S. Attorneys, calling it perfectly within President Bush's authority and merely "poorly handled" and "unseemly." He also repeated Karl Rove's lie that President Clinton also purged attorneys. "Clinton let them all go when he took over," Graham said.

A day later, the Wall Street Journal editorial page was using it.

[T]hese are the same Democrats who didn't raise a whimper when Bill Clinton's Attorney General Janet Reno sacked all 93 U.S. attorneys in one unclean sweep upon taking office. Previous Presidents had kept the attorneys in place until they could replace each one. That was a more serious abuse than anything known about these Bush dismissals.

Today, a number of far-right blogs have picked up on the same talking point, and even the traditional media is picking up on it, with NBC's Kevin Corke repeating the meme this morning.

I had hoped this nonsense, debunked last week, would have disappeared by now, but it seems to be the only talking point White House allies can come up with.

The argument is premised on a mistaken understanding of how the process works. When a president takes office, he or she nominates federal prosecutors at the beginning of the first term. Under normal circumstances, these U.S. Attorneys serve until the next president is sworn in.

In 1993, Clinton replaced H.W. Bush's prosecutors. In 2001, Bush replaced Clinton's prosecutors. None of this is remotely unusual. Indeed, it's how the process is designed.

The difference with the current scandal is overwhelming. Bush replaced eight specific prosecutors, apparently for purely political reasons. This is entirely unprecedented. For conservatives to argue, as many are now, that Clinton's routine replacements for H.W. Bush's USAs is any way similar is the height of intellectual dishonesty. They know better, but hope their audience is too uninformed to know the difference.

Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta told ThinkProgress last week that the entire argument is "pure fiction."

Mr. Rove's claims today that the Bush administration's purge of qualified and capable U.S. attorneys is "normal and ordinary" is pure fiction. Replacing most U.S. attorneys when a new administration comes in -- as we did in 1993 and the Bush administration did in 2001 -- is not unusual. But the Clinton administration never fired federal prosecutors as pure political retribution. These U.S. attorneys received positive performance reviews from the Justice Department and were then given no reason for their firings.

We're used to this White House distorting the facts to blame the Clinton administration for its failures. Apparently, it's also willing to distort the facts and invoke the Clinton administration to try to justify its bad behavior.

Josh Marshall added this morning:

First, we now know -- or at least the White House is trying to tell us -- that they considered firing all the US Attorneys at the beginning of Bush's second term. That would have been unprecedented but not an abuse of power in itself. The issue here is why these US Attorneys were fired and the fact that the White House intended to replace them with US Attorneys not confirmed by the senate. We now have abundant evidence that they were fired for not sufficiently politicizing their offices, for not indicting enough Democrats on bogus charges or for too aggressively going after Republicans. (Remember, Carol Lam is still the big story here.) We also now know that the top leadership of the Justice Department lied both to the public and to Congress about why the firing took place. As an added bonus we know the whole plan was hatched at the White House with the direct involvement of the president.

And Clinton? Every new president appoints new US Attorneys. That always happens. Always.... The whole thing is silly. But a lot of reporters on the news are already falling for it. The issue here is why these US Attorneys were fired -- a) because they weren't pursuing a GOP agenda of indicting Democrats, that's a miscarriage of justice, and b) because they lied to Congress about why it happened.

Note to Bush allies: if the "Clinton did it" defense is the best you can do, this scandal must be truly horrifying.

Update: In case there was still any lingering doubt among conservatives on this point, in White House documents released today, there's an email to Harriet Miers from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's chief of staff Kyle Sampson (who resigned yesterday), in which Sampsons admits that the Clinton administration never purged its U.S. attorneys in the middle of their terms, explicitly stating, "In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton did not seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision."

Posted by: Shaman | March 13, 2007 07:49 PM

If your question Gonzales then you are not supporting the troops and are giving aid and comfort to Al-Qaeda. (It will work every time)

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 07:56 PM

Do any of you idiots really believe there is a difference between the two parties they are both corrupt and only care about their own ambitions and it has gone to far to correct it has to many lawyers in office writing laws to protect their own asses it will never stop without some kind of revolution ordinary people need to be able to hold office.100 million to run for higher office? WE are lost

Posted by: Gerald Marquardt | March 13, 2007 07:58 PM

Actually, I think that Mr. Gonzales and President Bush owe each of the fired US attorneys a very public apology for treating them with such disrespect and for the blanat and inexcusable unprofessionalism shown by the WH and DOJ. After that, I suggest that both Messrs Bush & Gonzales immediately enroll in a Constitutional Law class at Georgetwon. Perhaps they will then understand the oath of office they both took.

What a frigging mess!

Posted by: Paul Sonnenfeld | March 13, 2007 08:16 PM

Ya gets what ya pays for....and only a falling down drunken FOOL could not see that GONZO was, is and shall always be nothing more and nothing less than a BUSH FAMILY HOUSE APE like so many others,e.g.,Clarence Thomas, Scalia, Rove.....and, oh, YES...Hairy Harris!
Don't forget that there were LOTTSA SENATE DIM-ocrat votes cast to "Confirm" this pimp as AG, the most prominent of whom is KISSIN'JOE (the last HONEST man!)Lieberbush!

Posted by: oldgringo | March 13, 2007 08:28 PM

Some people just don't get it. Not to defend Clinton, but the incoming president traditionally asks for and receives resignations from appointees of his predecessor, including US attorneys, especially if the predecessor was from a different political party. The prosecutors dismissed by Bush were APPOINTED by HIM. But, from the standpoint of Bush and Rove, they just didn't "get it". Combine the political pressure with the new-found power of the president, under the renewed and revised Patriot Act, to appoint replacement US attorneys without Senate confirmation, and you have a politicized situation that the so-called savvy Clinton could only dream of, and which would make the likes of Richard Nixon envious.

Posted by: | March 13, 2007 08:35 PM

Interesting how some folks make some things black and some things white with grey paint.

Before you slander Roberto Gonzales, perhaps you should talk to an FBI agent or US Attorney at your kid's soccer or baseball game.

Judge Gonzales has done much to invigorate the FBI and the Justice Department to keep Al Queda from killing our children.

As to apples and oranges, the Iraq war had nothing to do with public opinion. Curve Ball convinced Republicans and Democrats that Saddam had WMD's. Mrs. Clinton should review her speeches from four years ago. She was a major proponent.

If we pull out, Al Queda in Iraq will become Al Queda in Boston. The Republicans and Democrats can become the Shiites and the Sunnis.

Yeah, I keep bringing up Clinton. It's fun because the hypocracy of these posts invigorate us pragmatists.

Posted by: Tom King | March 13, 2007 08:55 PM

Not only a lakey to Bush, but a co- conspirator in warcrimes with the Chainey/bush cabal. Oh yeah, he is as dirty as dirty gets.. Why didn't the German poeple DO SOMKETHING when the nazis started rounding up people and shipping them to (IN QUOTES) *CAMPS* Well you can ask the same question of the Americans--when they paid for persons being sold to them as Taliban/el-quida members. Some of them have been beaten to death by the Americans, but not allowed to challenge their killers & torturers or their actual guilt in anything resembling an inpartian hearing. Chainey/bush have violated their own laws sysmatically as well as the Geneva Convention & the Intrenational Rules of War. Do these monsters that imprison & torture not realize that IT IS WEAK FOR A SUPERPOWER TO BEHAVE LIKE A THIRD RATE HELLHOLE IN MATTERS OF LAW!! Don't they read history?? They sought to break their oponnents but they have only made them stronger and justified their cause in The minds of the 1.4 billion adherants of their faith. Yes, yes , I know, the Saudi king thinks bush Chainey are wonderful. Might he be a little out of touch nwith the *people*? The bush failure will haunt us like Viet Nam. And we have sold our souls & our constitution in support of the bush follies. In the end you have no rights whatsoever in the U.S.A. except those allowed by the current administration. The Americsn bill of rights is after all a swindle, if you have no rights.

Posted by: Thomas Ward | March 13, 2007 09:11 PM

You could use an Editor or more knowledge of how to use a suffix in the English language.

Posted by: farmasea | March 13, 2007 09:20 PM

Tom King,

It's ALBERTO Gonzales. And as a current DoJ employee, I can tell you he's done a lot--to absolutely eviscerate the morale of those who work for the agency.

Posted by: CurrentAUSA | March 13, 2007 09:32 PM

You are correct, it is Alberto. But why is it former colleagues I know at DOJ do not all agree with you. Could it possibly be that there are diverse opinions?

Posted by: Tom King | March 13, 2007 09:48 PM

I'm really surprised that in all of these posts, there hasn't been a single mention of Alberto Gonzales' most obvious dismissal of the Constitution:

"there is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away....

"I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except..."

Not what you would call a balancing of the roles of AG and Cabinet Member is it?

Posted by: Aussie | March 13, 2007 09:49 PM

Aussie, that and his approval of torture (remember Maher Ahar).

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | March 13, 2007 10:01 PM

A pragmatist is a person who is oriented toward the success or failure of a particular line of action, thought, etc.; a practical person.

For Tom King, that practical action is running America into the ground--or supporting Mr. Bush as he does it.

Your misinformation and ignorance is laughable. Your inability to defend Gonzales' actions is telling. Your misdirection is weak.

The White House bullied Republican prosecutors and stripped them of their jobs when they did not tow the administrations' line. Not that they did not do their jobs--they did not follow the President's political agenda, which was not their job. This is shameful. And you, Tom King, just like every other Bush apologist who wraps him or herself in the flag and the troops who you shove into moldy Walter Reed when they are no longer useful in your wars for oil, have no excuses to make. Your boys done got caught.

So STFU. Or keep posting, and keep eliciting guffaws with your "Al Queda is coming! Al Queda is coming" Chicken-Little-style sqwaucking.

Posted by: gavin930 | March 13, 2007 10:07 PM

The real bottom line behind all the over-hyped Gonzales bashing:

He is probably the next pick for the US Supreme Court. The loyal majority is just poisoning the well.

Politics...

Posted by: Tom King | March 13, 2007 10:10 PM

The thought of Gonzales on the Supreme Court is intriguing....nauseating, but intriguing. While the detractors of Gonzales may sometimes get heated, I have yet to see his defendors provide an honest defense. What example of Gonzales performing his job with competence and integrity can you provide? Even you think his torture memos were the cat's pajamas, it should be remembered that he wrote those as White House counsel.

Posted by: tc125231 | March 13, 2007 10:29 PM

LOL. America is great.
Did somebody mentioned that prosecutors were bullied and stripped from their jobs if they don't line up exactly as the Bush Admin.?
Wow, that's impossible. We're talking about the United Stats of America.
Come on guys, Gonzales is just trying to do his job. If he doesn't, do you think Bushy will keep him around. Welcome to the Bush's world. Hopefully the American people won't elect anyone like GWB. It's not only disaterous to America but the whole world.

Posted by: Neutral | March 13, 2007 10:31 PM

Just a factual correction. Attorney General Richardson was not fired; he resigned rather than fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Deputy Attorney General Richardson resigned as well for the same reason. That triggered the public outcry that prompted the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

Posted by: eholtzman | March 13, 2007 10:36 PM

Interesting how when you argue with a Washington Post Blogger:

Get told you are stupid.
Told to STFU.
Called an Idiot.
Becomee a Bush apologist who wraps him or herself in the flag and the troops who you shove into moldy Walter Reed when they are no longer useful in your wars for oil, have no excuses to make.
Become a co- conspirator in warcrimes with the Chainey/bush cabal. Oh yeah, he is as dirty as dirty gets..
become a Sycophant + Psychopath = Psychophant.

Reminds me of Crystal Nacht in Germany before the SS rounded everyone up. Great intellectual discourse.

Posted by: Tom King | March 13, 2007 10:43 PM

Gonzales doesn't have enough character to resign.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 13, 2007 10:46 PM

I admit mistakes were made Mein Fuhrer, er, Mr. President.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | March 13, 2007 10:46 PM

Point of order, Mr. Chairman! Errr Tom King...It is the Bush Administration that has been rounding people up. And torturing them. People like Maher Ahar, a Canadian citizen who was shipped off to Syria. And for extra credit, the Bush Administration (and Gonzales) lied about it.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | March 13, 2007 10:58 PM

These court-related articles are fascinating. Here's another current one.

Boston Globe, 2/28/07. Senator Hillary Clinton's brother Tony is battling an order to repay more than $100,000 he received from a couple pardoned by President Clinton. Tony Rodham, who acknowledged approaching the president about a pardon for the couple, is the second of Hillary Clinton's brothers to receive money from people who were eventually pardoned by President Clinton. Hugh Rodham received $400,000 from two people, one of whom was pardoned and one whose sentence was commuted.

In addition to the people who paid her brothers, those receiving pardons included commodities trader Marc Rich, a fugitive who was prosecuted for tax evasion by then-US Attorney Rudolph Giuliani and fled to Switzerland. Before Rich received the pardon in January 2001, his former wife, Denise Rich, contributed $70,000 to a fund supporting Hillary Clinton's Senate bid, and also made a large contribution to the Clinton presidential library.

"It is a legitimate campaign issue," said Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law. He said that Hillary Clinton should answer questions about her brothers' and her own involvement in the pardons because "the stench of the Marc Rich pardon still stinks and it has never been adequately explained."

Move over Sopranos. Here comes the Clinton/Rodham crime family syndicate. And we don't need to subscribe to HBO to watch. Priceless.

Posted by: tarheel | March 13, 2007 11:30 PM

Yawn. Another typical conservative who breaks down and cries "ehhhh nahhzzis!!" as soon as the rest of us don't FALL IN LINE with his desperate fearmongering.

Conservative logic in a nutshell: 9-11 means you have to believe whatever i say.

Posted by: DZLucia | March 13, 2007 11:33 PM

I just found the REAL oath of office that the Attorney General swears to:


"I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend croynism to the highest order, support and defend the President and the White House even when they lie, cheat, and steal, work to kill or maime evil liberals, and lie to the public at every opportunity; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the President only; that I take this obligation solely because of my cronyism within the Republican party; and that I will fully and faithfully discharge the duties of the office to the maximum benefit of the RNC. So help me itsy bitsy baby Jesus."

Posted by: David Williams | March 13, 2007 11:34 PM

Maybe it's time you Republicans grew some balls and realized that you are Americans first. Have some honor, your first loyalty shouldn't be to the Party.

Posted by: philinAZ | March 13, 2007 11:37 PM

Posted by: jack moss | March 13, 2007 11:40 PM

What makes Karl Rove so special that the White House has "signaled" it will "resist" any calls for him to testify under oath before Congress regarding his involvement in this latest example of political hackery? Come on, Congressmen. Issue a sobpoena! Question Turdblossom under oath. And the moment he lies, indict him for purjury, contempt of Congress, and obstruction of justice. Come on, you can do it! Really!

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 12:56 AM

Richard Nixon is the same as George Bush, Spiro Agnew is the same as Dick Chaney, John Mitchell is the same as Alberto Gonzales, Ron Zieglier is the same as Tony Snow. History is being repeated and our country is doomed to endure lies, coverups until January 2009.

Posted by: Ruben Herrera | March 14, 2007 01:33 AM

Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzales CHIEF OF STAFF is the latest "FALL GUY" in the Bush Administration. Gonzales stated he delegated the job of identifying the weak Federal Prosecutors around the country to Sampson. Gonzales stated he was "NEVER" given memo's, presentations, Emails or updates on Sampson progress over a 2 year period. Gonzales appeared to claim that he was unaware of the recommendation by Sampson to the White House calling for firing of at least 8 of the 93 Federal Prosecutors until it became public..
Let me get this straight, Gonzales meets with Sampson every day or nearly every day. One of the most important jobs delegated to Sampson was to develop a process and determine the "WEAKEST" of the 93 for replacement. Gonzales and Sampson never discuss the Process, the Results or the Recommendations to the White House to fire at least 8.
GIVE ME A BREAK! Let's find out what Gonzales knew, when he knew it and his justifications sent to the White House. What was Karl Roves and Josh Bolton's role. What was Cheney and Bush's role. Let's get some more Emails.

Jim Frego
Grants Pass, OR

Posted by: Jim Frego | March 14, 2007 03:38 AM

Scooter Libby, You can go into History as a Truth Hero like John Dean and John McCord or a Lying Zero. Please consider your place in History and be a Truth Hero to serve Our Country with Honesty.

Posted by: Ruben Herrera | March 14, 2007 04:26 AM

I thought the Genisis analogy was good. I thought the quote attributed to Gonzales on mom, dad, and the president was pretty funny. But in the end, and despite all the criticism, Gonzales simply excercised the inalienable right of every man, which is to sell his soul and body for a paycheck and a career. Of course, if a woman did the same, society would be mad as hell, throw her into jail -- and call her prostitute.

Posted by: H. Rang | March 14, 2007 06:36 AM

have any of you hate mongers thought that these LAWYERS just might, like so many, have been incompetent and should have been fired.

Posted by: wmrg70 | March 14, 2007 07:05 AM

wmrg70
I would see your point only if the same LAWYERS had not be given stellar job reviews before being fired.

Posted by: Ibs | March 14, 2007 08:39 AM

Now that some smart people have exposed the profound, far-right ignorance of Karen and Tom King, where are Karen and Tom King? Do they take responsibility for their errors?

Here's what they need to say now:

"Thank you for curing me of my Fox News-driven ignorance."

"Thank you for explaining to me that when the page header says "Opinions > Columns & Blogs" that the article is by definition NOT supposed to be "objective."

"I now realize that attack is not defense."

"I now realize that I offered ZERO defense of Gonzales making a mockery of justice. Because I cannot defend his indefensible actions, I accept the conclusions that the Bush-Gonzales attempt to politicize the judiciary is dead wrong."

Now that you have been called out, what do you say to defend your errors? Karen? Tom King?

=crickets=

Posted by: Captain Jack | March 14, 2007 08:39 AM

There is politics and there is administration. Much has been said about the former. As to the latter, did Bush appoint Gonzales for his competence or for his loyalty? -- I think clearly the latter.

Now consider that the president holds a master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard. How did he acquire such a noteworthy degree and now shun the importance of competence? I'm stunned again by this pattern.

Posted by: LRP | March 14, 2007 08:45 AM

Why this big broohaha over Alberto? Your'e all screaming at the top of your voices over Alberto's action. Come on folks, get real. Alberto has been Bushs' lap dog for years. Just look at the Texas "partnership" or should I use the term cronyistic relationship.Without Bush, Alberto wouldn't exist. So! which dog do you know bites the hand of its master? Go after the puppet master and the puppet will fall.

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 08:58 AM

I think Tom King could find a new friend in Curveball..

have a few drinks, then some of your medication and presto chango evidence anew of evil wrongdoing

to think you would cling to such an obvious idiotic, proven repeatedly false basis given for what has been done to this country just shows you deserve it..

signed up for service in Eyeraq yet Tom???

Posted by: elf | March 14, 2007 09:00 AM

I agree with Cohen's analysis of the job that Alberto Gonzales is doing. Gonzales is an example of how cronyism can go very wrong. Let's be honest, precious few presidents will appoint people to their cabinet that they have had no prior contact or relationship with. The trick is selecting competent people. And here is where Mr. Gonzales fails miserably. A shame really, because as Rice, his race puts him at a disadvantage with an added measure of scrutiny. He was the President's lawyer before becoming AG. As his lawyer he fought to increase the President's power to that of royalty and be above the law. As AG, his misguided loyalty has failed to bring the President or his staff to task for breaking the law. Why is Abramoff going to prison alone? For that matter why is Libby going to prison alone? The office of the AG needs to be detached from any political loyalty to the President or his cabinet. Reno knew this when she opened several cases against her boss Clinton. Sad to say but Gonzales will go down in history as another subservient Latino doing whatever the Patron orders.

Posted by: Steve | March 14, 2007 09:21 AM

Captain Jack, you hinted, but did not fully point out, that calling a blog MSM, and then using it to attack the MSM, is a straw-man. The logic is erroneous by definition; therefore it is indefensible. Karen? Tom?

Arrrrgh matie.

==crickets and bullfrogs==

Posted by: Harold B. Frogue | March 14, 2007 09:55 AM

Good article, BUT:
Why keep going after the small fry? As the Decider has previously stated, He decides, He makes the decisions and He take the responsibility. Gonzales is the puppet, so go after the puppeteer. IMPEACH Bush the Decider. How much more does this lunatic have to do to the American people before they revolt and demand IMPEACHMENT?

Posted by: perez | March 14, 2007 10:13 AM

I think we all need to get Congress to do it's job, and IMPEACH BUSH! For the love of this country, while it still has some integrity.

Posted by: Rob | March 14, 2007 10:33 AM

Karen can't figure out the difference because she thinks all the talking gas bags on the right are news sources. People that view Fox news don't know the difference between news and opinion.

Posted by: pef | March 14, 2007 10:34 AM

Fire Mr. Gonzalas and all who took part in such dirty tricks. Why ask him nicely to resign. The same people who approved his and other appointees.

Posted by: Rick Chavez | March 14, 2007 11:01 AM

Gonzo NEVER should have been confirmed. He's a LIAR and a Bush-Man extraordinaire. It's way past time to start showing these criminals the door! Chenye's next.

Posted by: Harriett | March 14, 2007 11:19 AM

I see....This is all part of the Rupert Murdoc/Fox news cabal conpspiracy to take over Amerika.

I hate to break it to you. The terrorists at Guantanamo deserve to be there. Mumia is a cold blooded cop killer and is going to die in prison. Leonard Peliter did kill two FBI agents. Bill Clinton did have sex with that woman and lied about it. And oh my God, Nancy Pelosi owns a non-union vineyard, and Al Gore is an energy hog.

Robert Redford is not going to be the next Attorney General.

Get a grip...Bush is not going to be impeached; it is not a perfect world.

Posted by: Tom King | March 14, 2007 11:31 AM

Let us not forget Keith Oberman's response when asked about Alberto Gonzales. Keith wanted to know "who gave him his diploma?" Think about Gonzales being clueless so far as habeas corpus, inter alia. He, like the Educator in Chief, were handed undeserved diplomas.

Posted by: Brenda Rossini | March 14, 2007 11:31 AM

Tom King Godwined. Therefore he automatically loses the debate. And those who would raise the spectre of more terrorist attacks if Bush's stance and tactics were to give in, come awfully close to fulfilling Godwin's Law as well. There is a large number of other people in the world who have, at one time or another, lived with the prospect of terrorist attacks on a daily basis and have not behaved as pathetically or morally challenged as some within our halls of government. Though admittedly, some have behaved worse. The real issue here is a malfeasance of public office and trust. And this has been, in various degrees of coherence and objectivity, seen to be the key element of why Gonzalez and various White House staffers need to be investigated, questioned, and, where appropriate, held accountable.

So, as a challenge to the Gonzalez / White House defenders, could someone stop with the he did / they did routine and actually come up with say, 2 or 3 cogent arguments why Gonzalez shouldn't be held to the coals or dragged out into the bright sunshine for inspection? Blasting the MSM or liberal media or whatever you want to call it certainly does not count, especially when this is an op-ed piece. And while Clinton ultimately pardoned Dan Rostenkowski in 2001, it does not change the fact that, in 1993 and 1994 after the Bush USAs were replaced when Clinton coming to office, he was still was under investigation, was forced to leave office, was found guilty of mail fraud, and did serve 15 months in jail.

Because, so far, the best arguments i've heard all lead to the conclusion that this man Gonzalez is not fit for his office. From a "personal" matter to lying to "incomplete information" to "they didn't go after voter fraud!" all ring hollow from an administration and RNC who, for every vote a DNC move might grab, they've been more than capable of disenfranchisement to balance it all out. Don't believe me?

As the Commission on Civil Rights concluded on their independent examination of voting trends during the Florida 2000 election, Republican officials chose to ignore mounting calls to improve voting infrastructure throughout the state. This inaction led to inequitable balance of voter rights and accessibility:

"These officials simply permitted the unequal distribution of quality voting equipment and other needed resources statewide without the public being aware that an electoral disaster might be approaching.

"As a result, African American voting districts were disproportionately hindered by antiquated and error-prone equipment like the punch card ballot system. Voting districts that were predominantly white were more likely to have high technology including the optical scan system and lap top computers used for verification of voter eligibility...

"The Commission's hearings spotlighted and this report highlights the harsh reality that despite the closeness of the election, it was widespread voter disenfranchisement and not the dead-heat contest that was the extraordinary feature of the Florida election.

"The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) was enacted under the authority of Congress to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment's proscription against voting discrimination. It is aimed at subtle, as well as obvious, state action that has the effect of denying citizens the right to vote because of his of her race. Although the VRA was intended to enfranchise African Americans, the law has been amended several times to include also American Indians, Asian Americans, Alaskan Natives, and people of Spanish heritage. Additionally, the VRA includes a provision that recognizes the need for multilingual assistance for non-English speakers.

"The law allows, but does not require, a violation of the VRA to be established by proof of intentional discrimination. The law may also be violated by proof that the system discriminates."

It goes on, and on it goes, it seems.

Posted by: Will Baroo | March 14, 2007 11:40 AM

You poor sick leftists. Karen writes her thoughts and you tear into her not with counter ideas or thoughts but with ridicule. You are right she misspelled Schumer, she should have used schmuck. You don't want to talk about the Clinton years, of course not it will show you were all, then and now, nihilists.

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 12:05 PM

Let's not forget that Bush wanted to elevate both Gonzalez and Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court, albeit at different times during his Administration, which is all the more frightening given these individuals are also at the crux of a scandal to not only politicize the Justice Department, but engage in a political witch hunt using powers granted to the Attorney General under the Patriot Act. While Bush would haved been happy to stack the Supreme Court with his cronies, he had to settle instead for merely corrupting the U.S. Attorneys Office system for prosecuting and executing our laws. THIS IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE and the Congress needs to ACT NOW to take down what can only be described as a Nixonian power play.

-Felix Kos

Posted by: Felix Kos | March 14, 2007 12:09 PM

"And didn't Karen learn that quotation marks always go inside of a comma or period?"

This is not true

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 12:37 PM

This is so typical. Right wing no name above accuses liberals of name-calling, then closes by calling Schumer a smuck and liberals nihilists. How 'bout this one ...right-wing hypocrite. ;-)

Posted by: Bill from NY | March 14, 2007 12:41 PM

I recently saw an old clip of Bush promising to bring integrity back to the White House. I think it was from 2004. ;-)

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 12:43 PM

Why is it that the Bush apologists can not talk about anything without bringing up Bill Clinton? He was impeached for his dreadful crime of covering up for Monica, and with the votes of many of his supporters. By contrast, the Republicans either avoid the issue, blatantly lie, or more often say 'but CLinton did....'

Posted by: Ron Cantrell | March 14, 2007 12:58 PM

To eholtzman:

Thanks for the correction re the Saturday night massacre.

You wouldn't happen to be the real eholtzman from that time, would you?

If so, thanks for weighing in.

Posted by: ExAUSA | March 14, 2007 01:35 PM

Carol Lam is the main Main D.A. fired for putting Duke Cunningham in jail. Carol Lam was fired before her trial against the main Defense Contractor and the #3 Man of the C.I.A. for bribing Duke Cunningham could start. The trial of these two powerful men would ruin the White House. This trial is intended to be stopped and forgotten by a new D.A. If only Carol Lam was fired, this trial would take Center Stage and create a Huge National Scandal. The firing of 8 D.A.s was done to misdirect attention away from the firing of Carol Lam. Alberto Gonzales would rather handle a smaller, rather than a HUGE NATIONAL SCANDAL.

Posted by: Ruben Herrera | March 14, 2007 01:45 PM

Good Riddance to sneering Gonzo:

They got the Dukester, they showed some sense of objectivity, they had to go.

So Gonzo did it. Without regard to performance, objectivity, honesty, or allegiance to the duties of his lofty office, Just payback,

"The only common thing that" our soon to be Ex-AG, as Keith Olbermann so cleverly said, "is the sharing of their initials": Attourney General - Alberto Gonzales. Nothing else, no integrity, no reverenve for the great values that this- the Greatest Country in the world, the country that has given him the greatest opportunity of his life- the great values of honesty, tuthfulness, justice and some sense of objectivity.

It will be a pleasure to see him go, as we look back at his last appearance in front of the Judciary Committee, sneering with that condescending smirk in his face as he was 'lecturing' the Senators that there was no such thing as Habeus Corpus Right in the constitution.

We have seen that smirk in the face of kids in the playgrounds who are protected by the bullies.

But things have changed Gonzo, Baby. A new Marshall is in town, and is asking questions. You can't hide behind W. any more.

Posted by: Nick-at-Nite | March 14, 2007 02:28 PM

Gonzales is doing a heckuva job.

Posted by: truth | March 14, 2007 05:47 PM

OMG, why does the right not get the significance of this? how can they be so blinded by partisanship to try to defend this nonsense? Let's look at this:

'Clinton did the same thing in 1993'

Every president cleans house when they come to office replacing the opposite party. Clinton did in '93, Reagan did, Dubya did. It wasn't news then because IT WASN'T NEWS. Find me examples of federal prosecutors being removed in the middle of a term and show how they parallel this one.

Let's think about if there had been a parallel. Say Clinton fired key federal prosecuters in 1997/1998, either who were investigating him or weren't being partisan enough in attacking Republicans. Would that have been a story? You bet. Would I have been just as critical? Absolutely. Why were these people removed, what was the reasoning, and what are the "mistakes" that Bush and Gonzales keep alluding to without specifying them (my guess is that they were stupid enough to get caught). The e-mails make pretty clear the motivation, it's so nice that we'll finally have someone to check this out of control administration.

Krugman got it right this morning in the NYT: the scandal isn't those who were fired, it's those who remain. There were 375 identified cases of of investigations of elected officials since 2001, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans and 298 involved Democrats, with no significant difference in the number of indictments stemming from the investigations. This is an out of control justice department out with a partisan agenda, and everyone should recognize the danger that poses to Democracy. Republicans once claimed to care about the rule of law, it's clear that was just another in a long list of Republican lies.

Posted by: Michael | March 14, 2007 05:49 PM

Tom King opined "I hate to break it to you. The terrorists at Guantanamo deserve to be there."

1) Tom King, do you know what a Straw Man argument is?

2) Do you realize that you just made a Straw Man when you brought up irrelevant topics like Gitmo?

3) Do you believe that the INNOCENT PEOPLE held at Guantanamo deserve to be there?

4) Do you realize that you FAILED to answer the actual questions addressed to you?

5) Do you realize that you FAILED to actually defend the ignorant and incorrect comments you made after other people kindly pointed out your errors to you?


Here are some of the points you have ignored in your non-responsive, Fox News-parroting non-answers:


Now that some smart people have exposed the profound, far-right ignorance of Karen and Tom King, where are Karen and Tom King? Do they take responsibility for their errors?

Here's what they need to say now:

"Thank you for curing me of my Fox News-driven ignorance."

"Thank you for explaining to me that when the page header says "Opinions > Columns & Blogs" that the article is by definition NOT supposed to be "objective."

"I now realize that attack is not defense."

"I now realize that I offered ZERO defense of Gonzales making a mockery of justice. Because I cannot defend his indefensible actions, I accept the conclusions that the Bush-Gonzales attempt to politicize the judiciary is dead wrong."

Now that you have been called out, what do you say to defend your errors? Karen? Tom King?

=crickets=

Posted by: Captain Jack | March 14, 2007 06:37 PM

I truly think the prez believes that "to serve at the president's pleasure" means to do the president's will. You know, the fuhrerprincip.

Posted by: | March 14, 2007 07:48 PM

The US Atty flap is only one example of a wider practice over the last several years. The term Political Hack covers thousands of appointment like FEMA, CPB, Bagdad 'green peas' and incompetent US Attys for a few examples. This practice is a New Verb: BUSHACKED - the fate of thousands of federal agencies managed by people whose only qualification for their position is political loyalty (e.g. Brown at FEMA).

They've all been BUSHACKED.

Posted by: Hill Kemp | March 14, 2007 10:36 PM


Ouch. You liberals do thrive on personal attacks. I was wrong, I thought it was just stupid conspiracy theories.

You will just have to come to grips that Bush is President. He has done a good job and most folks voted for him. Many of them were Democrats. Go choke on it.

Gonzales has committed absolutely no crime. So there is nothing to defend. Make up all the phoney political garbage you want. Despite all the hyperbole, and the calls for lybching....

There is really nothing there

I don't answer for you, but you sure spoke for me. That is the problem with left wing lunacy. Everything is a SCANDAL, a CONTROVERSY, or a THEORY....
or a NIXONIAN CONSPIRACY. Make up crazy theories about someone framing someone or violating rights.

A straw man is a person without intellect. In a liberal view, a straw man is someone who doesn't fall for your nonsense.

What maintains the sanity in this country is that most folks, Democrats and Republicans alike know you are full of it.

As to Gitmo, the Chinese do it best. Eleven cents a bullet to the family of the executed.

By the way, special thanks to Al Gore and the rest of you, I get my electricity for almost nothing because you liberals charged my neighbors taxes to put in my solar energy system.

I can fuel my CNG Honda for less than a dollar a gallon thanks to the surcharges you charge my neighbors. I can even ride in the carpool lane alone to work to my capitalist job. PLEASE Keep up the good work.

I will be in my hot tub tonight paying next to nothing form my natural gas because you liberals have come up with fair distribution of carbon footprints. I love you guys....that is the convenient truth.

With my energy savings, mext month I am going on a cruise to watch the Polar Bears drown and the Ice caps melt. Thanks for the energy incentives.

Liberals truly are a work of art.....!

Posted by: Tom King | March 15, 2007 02:12 AM

"A straw man is a person without intellect. In a liberal view, a straw man is someone who doesn't fall for your nonsense."

Tom, if a straw man were a person without intellect, you would be personifying that. However a straw man is actually a false argument ascribed by a person to an opponent in a debate, used when the person is unable to refute the actual argument presented.

Pride in ignorance has put this country on a one-way trip down the crapper and the sad irony is that the ignorant folks like yourself will never be able to recognize that.

Posted by: Sad old owl | March 15, 2007 03:00 AM

Why didn't this serries run years ago, Washington Post?

Posted by: GregInSB | March 15, 2007 11:55 AM

Why do people who expose their thought process as Mr. King has so eloquently accomplished frighten me so?

Posted by: Joe Matherly | March 15, 2007 05:09 PM

Thank you, you can hold your applause.

Tom King has just prostrated himself before us and admitted he has been utterly defeated.

Tom King FAILED to answer one single question.

Tom King FAILED to defend one single point.

If Gonzales has done nothing needing wrong, why are you unwilling to even engage with questions that point out the things he did wrong?

Instead, Tom King only made a lot more off-topic points. In so doing, he admitted he was wrong and had no actual argument.

Tom King also managed to say a load of additional untruths, including this gem:

Tom King: "A straw man is a person without intellect. In a liberal view, a straw man is someone who doesn't fall for your nonsense."

Wrong on both counts.

Tom King, since you have displayed ignorance of the simple definition of a straw man argument (as you have shown your lack of factual knowledge of all other subjects discussed here) I'll take pity on you and give you the definition.

"A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent."

So you see, you are again in error when you attempt to make up a definition of "straw man" and you are in error when you attempt to define yourself as a straw man.

I realize that Fox News makes up reality all the time, because no one is actually on that network to provide any fairness or balance.

But when you try the same tactics here, expect to get taken to the cleaners.

Here's the post you are hiding from, Tom King. When you are done with your cut-and-run, try answering. It will be hard, as it requires rationality and logic.:

Tom King opined "I hate to break it to you. The terrorists at Guantanamo deserve to be there."

1) Tom King, do you know what a Straw Man argument is?

2) Do you realize that you just made a Straw Man when you brought up irrelevant topics like Gitmo?

3) Do you believe that the INNOCENT PEOPLE held at Guantanamo deserve to be there?

4) Do you realize that you FAILED to answer the actual questions addressed to you?

5) Do you realize that you FAILED to actually defend the ignorant and incorrect comments you made after other people kindly pointed out your errors to you?


Here are some of the points you have ignored in your non-responsive, Fox News-parroting non-answers:


Now that some smart people have exposed the profound, far-right ignorance of Karen and Tom King, where are Karen and Tom King? Do they take responsibility for their errors?

Here's what they need to say now:

"Thank you for curing me of my Fox News-driven ignorance."

"Thank you for explaining to me that when the page header says "Opinions > Columns & Blogs" that the article is by definition NOT supposed to be "objective."

"I now realize that attack is not defense."

"I now realize that I offered ZERO defense of Gonzales making a mockery of justice. Because I cannot defend his indefensible actions, I accept the conclusions that the Bush-Gonzales attempt to politicize the judiciary is dead wrong."

Now that you have been called out, what do you say to defend your errors? Karen? Tom King?

=crickets=


Posted by: Captain Jack | March 15, 2007 06:47 PM

Why do liberals always say this country is in the crapper? Why do they always call anyone who does not support their philosophy, ignorant. Do you want us to go to re-education camps as in Viet Nam?

Perhaps liberals are not the wise old owls they beleive they are. Perhaps that is why the Hugo Chavez's, Fidel Castro's and John Kerry's end up as just footnotes in history.

Liberals always seem to say those who disagree with their pessimistic outlook are wrapping themselves in the flag.

This is a great country, and if you have traveled throughout the world as I have, and studied abroad, you would know that millions of people are dreaming of coming here.

While some may say you don't get in a urinating contest with a skunk, I'd say all your rhetoric sounds pretty 1960's and pretty old. Even sounding a little like Dorothy's straw man.

Posted by: Tom King | March 15, 2007 07:47 PM

Joe Matherly: "Why do people who expose their thought process as Mr. King has so eloquently accomplished frighten me so?"

Unfortunately, Tom King is the rule and not the exception among Bush supporters. Being able to understand both sides of an issue is too LIBERAL a value for the likes of him.

Only the reality invented by the Fox News/Bush administration is allowed in. I have seen little evidence of their ability to engage with actual reality.

The questions are clearly numbered for their convenience. But have they been answered? Of course not.

This is why they consistently resort to Straw Man arguments. If they dared to even acknowledge a real argument they would risk actually noticing how wrong they are.


Posted by: Captain Jack | March 15, 2007 08:40 PM

F**k Gonzales!! And W!!!!!

Posted by: guess! | March 15, 2007 10:39 PM

Constitutionalist: "So this means that Andrew will excoriate Roberto Gonzales as the model of a failed attorney general."

God, you authoritarian right-wingers crack me up.*

You're willing to support anything and everything this president and the members of his administration does, right or wrong, when you don't even know their names.


*That is, when you're not scaring the living daylights out of me.

Posted by: JGabriel | March 16, 2007 12:34 AM

Getting back to Karen, she also spelled Pete Domenici's name wrong. I wish she'd come back and mangle more names so we can compile them with all of GWB43(.com)'s malapropisms...

Posted by: keyser | March 16, 2007 01:27 PM

Tom King: "Why do liberals always say this country is in the crapper?"

1) Tom King, are you unaware that conservatives also complain about the direction of the country? (Consider the endless far-right complaints about so-called culture wars, gays having actual rights, women having actual reproductive freedom, etc.)

2) Are you aware that your entire post does nothing to defend your errors here, like the way you think that Opinion columns are supposed to be objective?

Tom King: "Why do they always call anyone who does not support their philosophy, ignorant."

3) Karen accused Andrew Cohen of not being "objective" in writing this article, and you accused Andrew Cohen of "bias." A mere glance at the page header shows that it is "Opinions > Columns & Blogs." How else do you explain your error other than the fact that you were ignorant of the fact that this column is an opinion, and is SUPPOSED TO BE an opinion?

Tom King: "Liberals always seem to say those who disagree with their pessimistic outlook are wrapping themselves in the flag."

4) Who here has said anything like that?

5) Do you realize that you are again FAILING to actually address the real comments of your opponents?

6) Do you realize that you are again attempting to put words in the mouths of your opponents? (This is known as making a straw man argument.)

7) Do you realize that resorting to straw man arguments and failing to address your errors after getting caught means you lose the debate?

8) Do you realize that you have still offered no defense for Gonzales making a mockery of justice?

9) There is ample evidence that Gonzalez has been using firings to force US attorneys to prosecute Democrats and to force them to stop prosecuting Republicans. If this turns out to be true, do you condemn it?

10) If Bush and Cheney were involved, do you condemn them?

11) What punishment would fit such a crime?

12) Are you too afraid to answer?

=crickets=

Tom King again pulls back the curtain and reveals how much Fox News has damaged the thinking of 30% of the nation by decimating their ability to think and analyze. Tom King, if you think I am wrong, you can answer. If you are afraid I am right, by all means continue to cut-and-run away from answering.

Posted by: Captain Jack | March 16, 2007 03:02 PM

Note the fact that Tom King and his far-right ilk are terrified of the corruption question above and cut-and-run rather than answer.

The sound of crickets is deafening.

Posted by: Captain Jack | March 19, 2007 07:58 AM

Hello, nice site nah =)

Posted by: ys1d3mif | March 19, 2007 06:35 PM

This is the sort of bias that makes one less and less willing to perceive the Post as an unbiased source of news. While I am no defender of General Gonzalez, I am really surprised at how much editorialzing the Post now does in the presentation of news.

Posted by: | April 3, 2007 01:07 PM

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