Gonzales And His "I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman" Moment

If, as the Cowboy Junkies memorably sing, "good news sleeps 'till noon," than a cardinal rule of politics and journalism is that bad news is dumped upon the collective doorsteps of the nation's media outlets late in the evening on a Friday, when the weekend news cycle already has clicked in and the attention of news consumers is likely to be elsewhere. We've seen it over and over again and we saw it Friday night, when the Justice Department tried (but clearly failed) to whisper to the rest of the world the news that Alberto Gonzales was more closely involved in the firing last December of eight U.S. Attorneys than he told us he was last week. If the Attorney General's reputation and status were shaky before this latest revelation, surely this morning they are downright dissolved.

Why? Because now he is established in the court of public opinion if not yet in a court of law either to be a liar or a fool. Either he misled us all, via live television a la former President Clinton, when he told us two weeks ago that he wasn't involved in these sorts of conversations, Or he wasn't sharp enough to remember his presence and role at this meeting and comprehend the notion that,eventually, this information would tumble into the public realm. Either way, this latest embarrassing episode alone (never mind all the other reasons) disqualifies Gonzales to serve as the nation's top lawyer and its chief law enforcement official. Either way, it undercuts a core premise of the defense the Justice Department and the White House had tried so hard this past week to sell us: the Attorney General is a good guy who was shocked-- shocked!-- to find his subordinates playing fast and loose with well-established (if unwritten) rules about the political dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. It's no wonder that there are now two separate investigations underway at the Justice Department to determine the scope of the wrongdoing.

On March 13, Gonazales looked both you and me in the eye and under a sweaty brow said this about the burgeoning scandal over the dismissal of the eight prosecutors: "What I know is that there began a process of evaluating strong performers, not-as-strong performers, and weak performers. And so far as I knew my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers. Where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district, and that's what I knew. But again, with respect to this whole process, like every CEO, I am ultimately accountable and responsible for what happens within the department. But that is in essence what I knew about the process; was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That's basically what I knew as the Attorney General." (Emphasis Added).

This directly contradicts the documents released last night. How? Because Gonzales "met with senior aides on Nov. 27 to review a plan to fire a group of U.S. attorneys," the Washington Post and about a thousand other outlets are reporting. Because, reports the Post's Dan Eggen, "the hour-long November meeting in the attorney general's conference room included Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and four other senior Justice officials, including the Gonzales aide who coordinated the firings, then-Chief of Staff D. Kyle Sampson, records show." It is no wonder that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) already is turning up the heat on Gonzales to resign-- and that yet another Republican lawmaker urged the Attorney General to quit. The Post reports: "Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (Ohio) said Gonzales has become a 'lightning rod' for criticism. 'It would be better for the president and the department if the attorney general were to step down,' Gillmor said.

Indeed.

By Andrew Cohen |  March 24, 2007; 7:56 AM ET agag
Previous: The Long Knives Are Out for Gonzales | Next: Going After The Gang That Couldn't Fire Straight

Comments

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Albert Gonzales is going to resign - better for him and the nation if he goes voluntarily than wait till he is forced to "resign". The President will dump him as he did Rumsfeld, when the heat is turned up a bit higher.

Posted by: Eduardo Alanis | March 24, 2007 11:12 AM

What a mess these morons have made of this country.

Posted by: Tony | March 24, 2007 11:15 AM

Attorney General Gonzales is no more, and no less, a decent and honorable man than he has to be to fit into the culture that controls the U.S. government and its information services.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | March 24, 2007 12:18 PM

It is a very, very sad day when the chief law enforcement officier of the United States of America is either grossly incompetent or not telling the truth or both.

Posted by: mike | March 24, 2007 12:21 PM

In the quote below, H.L. Mencken did not go far enough when he talked about morons. He should have included VPs and AGs.

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

H. L. Mencken,
Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920


Posted by: Ed | March 24, 2007 12:22 PM

Why on earth would ANYONE even expect ANYONE in this Bush/Cheney Mafia to tell the truth.Truth is their worst enemy.If Congress and the senate go along with this so-called deal they may as well just pack up and leave Washington to these criminals.Bush would probably want to choose which Senators to hear Rove and Co.testify and the others would never know what he did say.Which would have no resemblence to the truth.This is the most disgusting situtation I have ever heard of in my lifetime.And we thought we had problems with Clinton and his intern!!!

Posted by: cincigal74 | March 24, 2007 12:30 PM

Gonzales is Bush and Bush is Gonzales. Two guys in way over their heads and trying hard to fool the rest of us. It is like the boss that we have all worked for at one time or another, except the stakes are much higher and the damage from these two is beyond grave. Both are legends in their own minds. It is becoming almost unbearable for an honest citizen to live in this country. Instead of having a color-coded terror alert system, we should have a color-coded alert system for the level of insidious incompetence within the Bush administration. The easy part is that we would only need one color.

Posted by: Frank | March 24, 2007 12:32 PM

Impeach. Indict. Convict. Imprison. Now.

Posted by: Bugs | March 24, 2007 12:32 PM

I don't think we've seen this level of corruption of justice since the mobster days. In the Bush mafia, hit men don't carry violin cases, they carry Blackberries. But it's the same principle...killing investigations of spying on Americans, co-signing suppression of voters' rights (how is THAT not voter fraud, firing prosecutors when they bring charges against your boys, throwing cases and ordering witnesses to change testimony (the tobacco case). And what we're seeing now is only the tip of the iceberg. We won't know the extent to which this administration perverted justice and corrupted every government agency until after this administration has been removed from power. Bush has shamed us all.

Posted by: windrider | March 24, 2007 01:05 PM

"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Too late. We achieved that in the year 2000... It is only now that some people are starting to awaken from their stupor and realize what has actually been unleashed by our own stupidity, apathy and acquiescence...

Posted by: K.A.Mackie | March 24, 2007 01:05 PM

Pres. Bush needs to choose... serve american people or protect Rove.

Posted by: domga | March 24, 2007 01:08 PM

Bush must be hating democracy right about know.

Will executive privelege continue to be their "get out of jail free" card?

Impeach. Indict. Convict. Imprison. Now.

Posted by: anyonecareanymore? | March 24, 2007 01:10 PM

Are these folks the best and the brightest, to coin a phrase, that Texas has to offer?

Posted by: Roofelstoon | March 24, 2007 01:11 PM

Gonzales is Attorney General of the US only because he has been willing to do his master's bidding, otherwise known as dirty work. Gonzales must have been aware that documentation showing that he was intimately involved in the firings was available. That Gonzales was involved in the firings was not illegal, however, lying to Congress certainly was ... as lower level cabinet official now knows. Does Gonzales think he's beyond the law? Some of his writings regarding Executive Power and the "right" of the Executive to seize and hold people without charging them, and the "legal" right of the Executive to torture certainly suggests that he believes that the President and probably members of the Cabinet are above the law. But Gonzales will certainly learn that he's not above the law when he's facing Congress and a judge - just as Libby has discovered. It is possible that Bush may pardon Gonzales even before a trial begins. If that's done, then Bush will pull the Republican down around him. It may forever cease as a viable party. Bush's gift ...

Posted by: InChicago | March 24, 2007 01:23 PM

To what extent does pinning this on Gonzalez protect Karl Rove?

Posted by: Liam Woods-Smith | March 24, 2007 01:24 PM


If you have a loved one in Iraq write to them. If they are in building 18 pray for them.

Posted by: ggi2510luke | March 24, 2007 01:33 PM

Arbusto wouldnt even testify under oath in public for the Pet Goat Commission! He wouldnt even testify on the record!
Is the U.S. attorney scandal actually a small part of a larger story about how politicized the Justice Department has become over the past six years? No, it is a very small part of a larger story about organized crime and racketeering in the White House. Bush might jack Abram off but his other fall guys are walking free. Last month, Legal Times reported that "the JackoffGate investigation has been beset by the high turnover of prosecutors and supervisors in the two sections running the probe, both of which have operated without a permanent leader for more than a year." What's happening here? Its called obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Boulis | March 24, 2007 01:34 PM

Gonzales is nothing but a loyal Bush lap dog. Woof, woof and he comes. How wonderful if every American behaves the same!

Posted by: | March 24, 2007 01:35 PM

We have an administration staffed ENTIRELY of liars. These people have to be aware of all the lies, yet none of them have the character to stand up for the truth and the people.
If there is no accountability for these people, we risk losing confidence in democrasy, ironically and horribly at the same time Bush is using the spread of democrasy as justification for the war in Iraq. We simple can't afford to tolerate this kind of rank hypocrisy.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | March 24, 2007 01:53 PM

One can have a meeting without having 'any discussion' and without seeing a memo.

There, I have established my credentials, and I am waiting for a job call from the White House.

Posted by: geoff | March 24, 2007 02:04 PM

Of course, a Gonzales resignation would in no way resolve the question of possibly unlawful behavior pertaining to the dismissal of certain U.S. Attorneys for the perceived "intent" of impeding, obstructing, preventing or tampering with ongoing investigations, prosecutions or elements thereof related to those Attorneys.

You will recall the resignations of Erlichman, Haldeman and Kleindeist *preceded* further investigation, Senate hearings, the issuance of subpoenas, the appointment of Archibald Cox, the co-indictment of Nixon and seven of his aides, House impeachment hearings, House Judiciary Committee adoption of 3 articles of impeachment, Nixon's resignation. [1]

[1]
http://www.watergate.info/chronology/1973.shtml
http://www.watergate.info/chronology/1974.shtml


Posted by: reticulant | March 24, 2007 02:04 PM

You're missing the point. The story isn't "What did Abu Gonzales know, and when did he know it?"

The story is, "What goals did the firings seek to achieve, and did they achieve them?"

Karl Rove was the key mind behind the firings. Karl Rove's goal is to prevent Democrats from being elected. One of the most common tactics used by the GOP to prevent Democrats from being elected is to intimidate voters at the polls and "challenge" registered voters' right to vote.

These activities can only be effective if you have politically loyal US Attorneys running the districts in which you want to suppress the Democratic vote.

Look at the map of states where USA's were fired and Rove's hand-picked USA's were appointed: it corresponds exactly to the map of states that Rove feels are "at risk" of electing Democrats over Republicans in the next election.

The fact that "journalists" in DC haven't followed the thread back up to the blanket is pathetic. Get off your duff people, and do some real reporting. This is not about Gonzales, this is about an organized effort to overthrow our democracy and install a permanent Republican "majority" through dirty tricks.

It started with Nixon. We can only end it here if the media does its job.

Hmmm, that doesn't sound so good for democracy ...

Posted by: Matthew | March 24, 2007 02:11 PM

What a bunch of scumbags! And, oh sure, we'll tell Congress the truth! Wonder what the next 'surprise' will be from this administration. Gonzo & Bush - what a pait of Texas clowns!

Posted by: geosinner101 | March 24, 2007 02:12 PM

Some americans react with surprise. Not only did Gonzales follow his predictable track record, but so has our current president. George Bush Jr. from the start has taken the advise of others, specifically Karl Rove, to manipulate and bastardize rules, regulations, checks and balances to his advantage.

The american people who reelected him are the one who should really be ashamed that the fell for such a scam.

Are we, the american people, going to allow partisan politics beyond intellect allow this to happen again in the near future.

Probably!! It's a real shame.

Posted by: David J | March 24, 2007 02:17 PM

| The story is, "What goals did the firings seek to achieve, and did they achieve them?" |

Otherwise known as the Mark Schmitt paradigm.

In this opinion, any answer, however murky, to Schmitt's question may 'satisfy' Schmitt's political inclinations but the question itself is too narrow, problematic and wholly unsatisfactory to any criminal investigation warranted by such firings.

Posted by: reticulant | March 24, 2007 02:26 PM

I think Bush is too busy trying to parallel his political agenda on that of the emperor from star wars episode 3. When he stands before congress and tells the world that he will accept the presidency for as long as it takes to fight the global war on terror, I am moving to Canada. On a more serious note, I think he will be remembered as one of the worst presidents we have had, seriously weakening the United States of America's position amongst it's world neighbors. You can only piss off everyone else in the world for so long before they unite against you. I recently finished a tour in the military and was shocked at how other countries hated him but not necessarily the United States

Posted by: Brandon F. | March 24, 2007 02:28 PM

In other words, must "goals" be achieved to prove intent? To demonstrate a *corrupt* intent to influence, obstruct or tamper?

Posted by: reticulant | March 24, 2007 02:31 PM

For evidence of Cohen's firm grasp on the bigger picture/finer points of potentiality arising from these dismissals, see [ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/opinion/19mon4.html?bl&ex=1174536000&en=47a69d5cd8348721&ei=5087%0A ].

Posted by: reticulant | March 24, 2007 02:52 PM

The levels of corruption we are witnessing in the Bush administration are truly shocking. So many proven lies from so many at the pinnacle of power. It's quite obvious now that all of this was aimed at thwarting investigations into corrupt Republicans like Duke Cunningham. Why else would Carol Lam, the prosecutor who put this Republican-lawmaker-on-the-take in jail, and who was now turning her sights on his GOP cronies, be fired? Why else would Gonzales lie about his knowledge of this? Obstruction of justice is a criminal offence. When will we see Bush, Gonzales and Miers indicted?

Posted by: James | March 24, 2007 02:56 PM

It will to be interested to watch if David Broder who told me, via telephone, that he wrote a column calling for Clinton's resignation because the then President lied to the American people will suggest that Gonzales should resign. I've already suggested to Mr. Broder that he should call for Mr. Bush's and Mr. Cheyney's resignation on the same basis, and he told me never to call him again.

Posted by: D. Arnold | March 24, 2007 02:58 PM

I need to start lawyering in Washington. You all have a better class of paying criminal clients than I have here in Georgia. Plus CNN, Larry King, Clintons, Bushes. . .

Posted by: Michael | March 24, 2007 03:00 PM

Is it possible that Bush appointed Gonzales, as he did Miers et al, knowing how ill equipped he was for the job? Or, is it that he appointed these and many others not qualified because he felt they were closest to his competency? Successful business people enjoy hiring support staff who are brighter than they are but perhaps this president isn't comfortable discussing things in depth and these so-called *Yes* people were tolerable. The other option is that he simply never intended following our laws or Constitution and his crime is far more serious. How long will this play out as we all know the final curtain is waiting to drop.

Posted by: Hawk | March 24, 2007 03:09 PM

This will certainly spur the economy, as I predict that this summer will be the summer of 'Gonzales-Gate', like the Watergate hearings of the Nixon days.

I don't own a good television, but when GonzalesGate goes to prime daytime teevee, I'll buy the one o' them bigscreeens.

And a recorder, although, I'm not sure how much good it will do; as if we actually "learn from our mistakes".

This is just another case of Bush administration's mistakes that have been exposed as it seemingly puts itself above the law.

Ever wonder about the ones (lies) you DON'T find out about?

To put it another way, if I was hiring an employee, and found out that that person had a reputation - only a "reputation" mind you - for dishonesty, then that person wouldn't be working for me: period.
That is ALL it would take and I'd be well within my rights as an employer.

Character references are valid.

It's the "reputation of being surrounded by a pack of liars, scooter, now Gonzales, and the WMD fiasco" puts me at those same kinds of odds with this administration.

I do not trust them to do this type of work any longer.

Do YOU?

Posted by: p.gibson | March 24, 2007 03:12 PM

The overarching reason that there is so much interest in the 1908 Presidential election is that all of us, Republicans and Democrats, cannot wait to get this ship of Bush fools (all incompetent, lying, and destructive) out of the White House. It can't happen soon enough. Ugh!

Posted by: Bill W | March 24, 2007 03:13 PM

We have been living in a state of lies ever since Bush assumed the Presidency.

The news media can write articles and voice opinions about how President George W. Bush and his cronies have lied about this and that. In fact, what took them so long to realize that. But, this still means nothing. Such revelations of Truth have become the back and forth cackle of gossiping spin masters signifying nothing, as nothing has changed. ---

Hypocrisy has enjoyed a stable home in the Republican state of mind. --- To stop this near psychotic mania the real deal will finally surface only when one reporter, that first one, upon being chosen by President Bush to ask a question at one of his press opportunities, stands up and summons the Strength and Courage to ask, "Mr. President, when you lied about...! "---

And with a follow up to address his evasiveness as it is sure to be offered instead of the Truth. ---

That's what it will take --- before the rest of them will do the same. It's time for someone to say that the Emperor has no clothes to his face. ---

It's time for Courage in the Media.

Posted by: bohdan | March 24, 2007 03:20 PM

Does anyone still believe anything anyone in this corrupt administration says? You sound like this is somehow surprising. It is not. Why do folks like you still give these pathological prevaricators the benefit of the doubt? We have reached the point where anything these people say must be assumed to be untrue until proven otherwise.

As for Bill Clinton, you are comparing a single lie with an entire administration of liars who have continued to lie for six years? Is this what your corporate lords expect you to say? Compared to this simian administration, Bill Clinton was a saint. You are pathetic.

Posted by: Steve Franklin | March 24, 2007 03:21 PM

I would not be too hasty in asking for Gonzales resignation. The core supporters of this administration, the compassionate conservatives which make up about 30% of the US voters, need time to emotionally understand the deceit and corruption that has overtaken the leadership of the Republican party. Too quick a resignation, and the issue dies as the works of "dirty Democratic politicians and their attack "values" of America".

Posted by: Oscar Mayer | March 24, 2007 03:36 PM

I am getting a little tired of the way reporters, such as you, mention Clinton in every article dealing with perjury. Clinton, for all his faults, hardly invented perjury. Why mention him at all? What exactly does he have to do with this case? How does mentioning Clinton help get across the information in this article? Are you simply uncomfortable reporting on any scandal without suggesting some bipartisan taint?

Posted by: Cornfields | March 24, 2007 03:37 PM

The state of the Justice Department is frightening. All of this on top of the issue of whether Abramoff and his taint made their way into the ENR Section was corrupted by the former head of that section, Sue Ellen Wooldridge. The Bush crew has time to count how many immigration indictments Carol Lam brought in San Diego, but not enough time to even ask basic questions aout the conflicts that were inherent on the face of Wooldridge's clearance papers. And she claims that the ethics office cleared her to be able to buy a million dollar vacation home with a lobbyist for an oil company that she later greatly aided. I say throw the whole bunch out (including Alice Fisher, who with her lack of trial experience is in no position to take on these issues), and hope that we can do better starting in 2008. Close the place up for the next 18 months until someone can come in with a broom and power washer.

Posted by: Steve | March 24, 2007 03:38 PM

A nation gone horribly wrong, the US.
Definitely not the polity that should, in any way, shape or form, take it upon itself to "export Democracy" to any part of the world.

The present administration, and its enablers (including the editors of this newspapers) have much to answer for -- some of those answers will be elicited, under oath, in the judicial system.
Some of those answers will be given under oath under charges of war crimes.

A despicale, despotic and dishonorable presidency, this one.

Posted by: SteinL | March 24, 2007 03:45 PM

Having twice voted for Mr. Clinton, and wishing I could vote for him a third time, I make the point about Mr. Clinton's perjury to highlight his misconduct was no more grave than the deceit, illegal conduct, and undemocratic secrecy this Administration has made the cornerstone of its legacy. How many hard-core Republicans, that thirty-six percent who would support Mr. Bush through a sex scandal, have denounced these investigations just like Mr. Bush did yesterday, military personnel as props in his background, as examples of the Democrats and their partisanship. It is for that willingly blind thirty-six percent that I highlight the perjury from the only President I've ever remotely respected, to make the point that this President is no more above the law than any of us. Let's not forget, King George is a wartime president because he started an aggressive war, NOT because terrorists scored their biggest strike in forty years of trying on 9/11. Like so many of you who watched the disasters in your back yards, my heart still races when I see an airplane flying low; like many of you, I'm sickened by this incompetent war criminal of a President and his NeoConservative handlers trying to use my pain for its own partisan advantage. Mr. Bush, you illustrate for us the meaning of lying hypocrite.

Posted by: Jay Hurst | March 24, 2007 04:01 PM

"Blah blah blah blah * must resign."
-------------------------------------

* to fill in at the time of presentation.

At least we know what the Democrats want. Only a fool would give it to them. But that is what they expect in Iraq. Give it up.

Posted by: Gary Masters | March 24, 2007 04:17 PM

To what extent does pinning this on Gonzalez protect Karl Rove?
Posted by: Liam Woods-Smith | March 24, 2007 01:24 PM

THIS would explain it ...

The Rovian Theory
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, March 23, 2007; 1:50 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100879.html

" ... Rovian theory suggests the following: The eight U.S. attorneys were fired not only to purge the Justice Department of some prosecutors who were insufficiently willing to use the power of their offices to attack Democrats and protect Republicans --- but also to install favored people who wouldn't have such scruples. And, thanks to a provision snuck into law by a Bush administration henchman (who has since been granted a job as -- you guessed it -- a U.S. attorney) there would be none of those pesky safeguards to prevent those jobs going to unqualified hacks.

"Or, as White House Watch reader Charles Posner wrote to me in an e-mail yesterday: 'Dan - I think everyone is looking at the Justice Dept. scandal form the wrong end - it's not the firing, but the hiring that's the crux of the issue. Rove has a plan and a list. The plan is to install partisans in the prosecutors' office in order to target Democratic congressmen. Of course, Rove can hand pick each prosecutor without Congress's involvement as allowed by the secret provisions of the Patriot Act. Now, where's his list?'"

No?

Posted by: Mark In Irvine | March 24, 2007 04:24 PM

It would be best for the country if Gonzales does not resign.

If he resigns, the administration narrative will be: `the AG mishandled this matter and he`s being replaced, so the story has a happy ending'. This narrative is a Washington standard. Despite a few dissenting voices, the mainstream will buy it, and the real story will be lost and forgotten.

The real story, as a growing minority is pointing out, is first, what the federal prosecutors who were not replaced are doing, and second, as posters above point out, how this fits into Rove's plans.

Paul Krugman reported the work of Donald Shields and John Cragan into the records of federal prosecutors during the Bush administration. They found 298 investigations or indictments of Democrats and only 67 of Republicans. If we assume that there are about equal numbers of Democrat and Republicans in office and that they have an equal propensity to violate the law, the chance that a fair enforcement of the law would result in a record this skewed are about 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

(If anyone can point me to a source for statistics on the party affiliations of officials so I can refine this approximation, I would appreciate it.)

Keep pushing forward - Gonzales is a distraction, a red herring.

Posted by: j2hess | March 24, 2007 04:26 PM

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 667

http://ipol-2008.blogspot.com

Posted by: iPol | March 24, 2007 04:32 PM

Perhaps Mr. Gonzales suffers from the same loss of memory as Mr. Libby, who claimed he was handling more important business than outing Ms. Plame. Hopefully, the AG understands that ignorance of the law is not a defense.

It does not make any sense to me that the AG would know nothing about the firings of each and every US Attorney (that such an important decision was delegated). These people are picked, vetted, scrutinized, washed, and provided with prestigous legal assignments. Did the AG know who was hired in the first place?

If the intention of dismissing highly valued US Attorney's was to manipulate voting by installing more aggressive and biased attorney's then we need to seriously investigate the facts. Which is to say, if Mr. Rove had a hand in the dismissals, let him testify under oath, and in public. Will the truth see the light of day?

Posted by: Richard Morris | March 24, 2007 04:33 PM

I have watched American journalists live in palpable fear the last six years or so. That's why they cannot discuss Bush/Republican scandals without creating "corresponding parallels" for the other side.

Posted by: john | March 24, 2007 04:43 PM

My concern is the regular and routine rhetorical device of apologize profusely and then promising to fix the problem. Am I wrong, or should the public expect their public servants to actually be accountable for and knowledgeable about the activities of their minions? Should we accept the, "I didn't know," excuse. Or rather, shouldn't we refuse to accept this strategy which unfortunately is common as a tactic for diffusing blame. Personally, I'm sick of it and Congress is right to demand an accounting.

The President is using another time honored device to deflect blame by calling the whole thing partisian politics. By now, one should be suspicious or even indignant about such an approach.

At least,the administration should be more creative in their strategy of blame deflection. It's wearing thin.

Posted by: | March 24, 2007 04:57 PM

He lied under oath, Right? I hear no one saying he should be prosecuted, Why?

Posted by: carol bunnet | March 24, 2007 05:08 PM

Gonzales doesn't scratch his rear end without permission from Rove and Bubble Boy. An administration of Republican vermin--liars, cowards, and chickhawks.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 24, 2007 05:08 PM

Forget about the monkey, Gonzales. Impeach the organ grinder, George W. Bush.

Posted by: oldhonky | March 24, 2007 05:11 PM

The attornies-replacement event itself is of such little overall significance, except for one facet: If there was demonstrable official lying or material deception in executing or explaining it, the public attitude ought to be very harsh towards the liars.

It's cognitively difficult for the fifty-plus set to observe liars from our approximate generation acting out boldly and foolishly in their positions of hierarchial power; actually, it's extremely embarassing.

Young folks, despite the pressures you surely feel to think that an impulsive or evasive action is OK only if you want some desired result bad enough, that is always a regretable choice to make. Try to be better than than the political predators on the tube; it'll give peace and sanity, and keep your healthy relationships intact.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 24, 2007 05:16 PM

Great points, I thought, made by Matthew and by Mark in Irvine. We've grabbed a monster by the tail here, and too many people are saying: "Oh, look. A tail."

Watch out, cos there's a monster on the end of that tail.

Posted by: OD | March 24, 2007 05:17 PM

Honestly, as much as I dislike this administration and wish it was over, I'm still not sure whether there's fire under all this smoke.

I do find it intriguing that the officials caught up in this are acting as if they have something to hide. I guess it's planning to use the indefinite-appointment authority they got willy-nilly/wantonly to control USA's conduct in their districts.

Give Karl Rove credit for a light-fingered touch. Maybe he was only "interested" in DOJ's plans, but maybe he had a bigger stake than that.

It's pretty clear, though, that AG AG is either mendacious, spectacularly forgetful, or as disconnected as he claims sometimes to be from these events. None of the alternatives reflect credit on him.

Posted by: Alan | March 24, 2007 05:29 PM

Memo to Surviving US Attorneys: Get with the Bush Administration program!!! Your job responsibilities have now been redefined. You are not supposed to be putting Republican congressmen in prison, even when they have taken $2,500,000 bribes -- for you to do so is DISLOYAL. You are supposed to be putting Democrats in prison, preferably immediately before an election, by any means necessary -- they have always done something naughty, so LOOK FOR IT! After all, they are Democrats. You do not work for the American people, because some of them are Democrats. You work for the Republican Party, to keep our wise and glorious leaders in office for a wonderful Century Of Progress. Do not prattle about *impartial evenhanded justice* if you want to keep your jobs. Join The New America!

Posted by: oldhonky | March 24, 2007 05:41 PM

You know that someone is in free fall in this Administration when Prez Bush throws all his support on him/her.

Attny Gonzáles: it is time for you to turn into the real Speedy Go-nzales... get it?

Posted by: Rob | March 24, 2007 06:42 PM

When will they learn; it's the cover up, stupid!

Posted by: Valerie | March 24, 2007 06:50 PM

This is worse than Watergate, as the dirty tricks then did not have the end goal of a permanent Republican majority at all costs. These Rove Republicans have got to go sooner rather than later for the sake of all of us and the once great country we lived in.

Rather than us true patriots (those who really uphold the constition and rule of law) having to move to Canada, why can't we exile our despotic and corrupt dictators to another thrid-world country (as other nations have done when brutal dictators rose to power)?

Posted by: Enough | March 24, 2007 07:05 PM

If gonzo thinks he's a ceo, then he shd be shown the door just like any other incompetent ceo.

Posted by: hawaiilaw | March 24, 2007 07:28 PM

While there is no doubt that the AG should resign, the grotesque political chicanery of the prosecutor firings, foul though it is, isn't the best reason. I'm still amazed that Gonzo's remark that the US Constitution doesn't guarantee habeas corpus hasn't led to an instantaneous and universal call for his ouster.

When a US Attorney General tells a Senator in the course of hearings that the Constitution's severe limiting of causes for the removal of habeas corpus rights doesn't imply the existence of those rights, it reveals the AG as impervious to logic, and also totally ignorant of the legal traditions and historical framework of the Constitution. He shouldn't have survived to be pilloried for his politicization of justice; he should be long gone because of his denial of the most fundamental of the civic rights of the American citizen.

Posted by: Karl | March 24, 2007 07:50 PM

Gonzales is lying. Period. Any other interpretation is preposterous. It is time to interrogate him under oath.

Posted by: Verbal | March 24, 2007 07:55 PM

He won't resign. Bush owes him and he won't fire him. Let Roberto hang out there a little longer and continue to embarrass the administration.

Posted by: me | March 24, 2007 08:05 PM

Just a remnder: This is the lawyer that got Bush out of jury duty in Texas so he wouldn't have to disclose his DUI arrest in Maine. He owes him!

Posted by: Me | March 24, 2007 08:08 PM

Just think with Gonzales on his way out, there will be a new position for Scooter Libby. Isn't that how it works in the Bush administration.

Posted by: brian | March 24, 2007 08:30 PM

The oonsigliere for the Bushco Crime Family will fall first, then the other dominos can begin to fall.

Posted by: truth | March 24, 2007 08:40 PM

Thank-you Mr Cohen; thank-you very much for compiling this entire series. INMHO, the story has not only been written with a pen driven by the facts but also with an eye toward readability.

I have always believed that Alan Drury (whose works I loved) found his major plot lines in real life inside the beltway; perhaps you might take a look at the book world after the demise of the present administration. It seems to me that other POST writers have been well received in that regard!

Thanks again; I look forward to next week's installments.

Posted by: An Old YellowDog Democrat | March 24, 2007 08:49 PM

Things aren't looking good for Gonzales. Any day now, I expect to see a column by David Broder explaining why Gonzales is making a "comeback" (to be followed by Gonzales' "resignation" the following day).

Posted by: lydgate | March 24, 2007 09:46 PM

I have a pet peeve that I am compelled to address:

To all those people out there who think that the definition of perjury is making a false statement under oath, you are wrong. Perjury requires a guilty state of mind, i.e. KNOWINGLY making a false statement. Perjury also requires that the false statement be MATERIAL to the issue in question.

Bill Clinton lied under oath. But can anyone honestly tell me that whether he got a little somthin'-somethin' under his desk in the oval office from a woman who practically stalked him was material to a land deal in Arkansas on which the Clintons reported a $50,000 loss? Bill Clinton did not commit perjury, and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of the requirements of the law, or a partisan hack, or both.

So enough, already, about Clinton's "perjury."

Posted by: Nellie | March 25, 2007 07:29 AM

Big oops. Re Cohens, Andrew <> Adam.

Posted by: reticulant | March 25, 2007 02:19 PM

The Republican Party is still full of the crooks and CREEPS of Watergate and because the cancer wasn't totally eradicated then, it has spread and become more malignant. Read the following editorial (from the Times West Virginian) and then think about the future of this country's democracy. Can we even save the patient?
"Hoping to wake up from Nightmare (by Jonathan D. Fox; Wednesday, March 21, 2007): I recently came across something entitled 'The 14 characteristics of fascism,' and it is frightening how the Bush crime family and all of the neo-conservative Republicans are turning this country into a fascist nation. Here are those 14 characteristics. I wish I could wake up from this nightmare the Bush crime family has created.
"1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -- Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
"2. Disdain for the recognition of human rights -- Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of 'need.'
"3. Indentification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause -- The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe.
"4. Supremacy of the Military -- Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
"5. Rampant Sexism -- The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
"6. Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship is very common.
"7. Obsession with National Security -- Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
"8. Religion and Government are Intertwined -- Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion.
"9. Corporate Power is Protected -- The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
"10. Labor Power is Suppressed -- Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed.
"11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -- Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested.
"12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment -- Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses, and even forego civil liberties, in the name of patriotism.
"13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption -- Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions, and who use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.
"14. Fraudulent Elections -- Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns and the manipulation of the media."

Posted by: kroswins | March 25, 2007 03:54 PM

kamackie said:
"Too late. We achieved that in the year 2000... It is only now that some people are starting to awaken from their stupor and realize what has actually been unleashed by our own stupidity, apathy and acquiescence..."


Don't forget the vote-suppression and rigged vote-counting apparatus and, umm, the Supreme Court's role in getting these people into power.

Posted by: annex | March 25, 2007 04:13 PM

Seen it before in corporate executive life -- From the mental angle of the high boss, starting the instant his looking at a subordinate feels like peering into the mirror, that's beginning of the end for that unwitting slob. (Simple analysis is, if you are the same as me, why are you there?) Comformity to authority is, in fact, riskier than average thinkers imagine.

The Rumsfeld case also fits the scenario. Presenting oneself as possessing grand certitude, and articulating this in front of a landscape of collapsing results with oppressive thought suppression as a smoke screen, turns out over time to be an embarassment no CEO can endure.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 25, 2007 06:05 PM

Most everyone, including those expert DC pundits, is missing the point in Albertogate. Everyone seems to be assuming that Gonzalez is a fool who created a crisis because he couldn't keep his story straight. What everyone should be wondering is exactly why the AG would risk his career by lying about excercising a perfectly legal perogative to fire USA's. Gonzalez was smart enough to realize that when it finally dawns on everybody why these people were fired there would be an uproar over using USA's for political ends and manipulating the justice system. His clumsy efforts to distance himself from the debacle are going to cost him his career and reputation. Gonzalez is finished, the only question now is will he willingly fall on his sword to protect Karl Rove like Libby did for the VP?

Posted by: sjh | March 26, 2007 08:43 AM

The way things are now, could it get any more obvious that this administration is criminal? Do you 36 percent have a soul? How can you support a war of (not on) terror. This whole presidency is chalked full of blatent incompetence, lies, no accountability, and greed to say the least. Oh wait, I forgot, somehow that's Clinton's fault, right? Give me a break...

Posted by: stevil | March 26, 2007 12:56 PM

Now all that is needed is a ceremony in the White House to present a medal of distinguished service to Al for his service to the president, I mean the Nation. Just like then CIA director and company a few years back.

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

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