Out of Touch, Out of Line and Running Out of Time

If there was one single moment in this morning's testimony by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee that encapsulates the sheer gall and shamelessness of the man in the hot seat, it occurred at about 10:52 when he said that questions about "partisan politics" within the Justice Department actually are an insult to (and criticism of) the career attorneys who bring controversial cases. For that cruelly cynical statement alone-- pretending that legitimate criticism of his own failed leadership as Attorney General actually is instead unfair criticism of some of the victims within the Justice Department-- Gonzales deserves to be fired. Not in a month. Not in a week. Today.

Gonzales said precisely this: "Because, when you attack the department for being partisan, you're really attacking the career professionals. They're the ones, the investigators, the prosecutors, the assistant U.S. attorneys, they're the ones doing the work." And, just in case you might be inclined to give him credit for making a slip of the tongue, he went down this rocky road again, at approximately 12:36 p.m., in an exchange with Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). What utter nonsense offered by our nation's top law enforcement official! Career professionals within the Justice Department are the ones who have traditionally not been political-- and who have thus brought the Department its greatest measure of respect and success and admiration. They are the ones who have suffered most from the current purge. They are the ones who have been aced out recently, over and over again and in systematic fashion, by relentlessly political operatives like 1) Kyle Sampson, the now discredited former chief of staff; 2) Monica Goodling, the zealously unqualified former top lieutenant, and 3) the Attorney General himself, the long-time grandaddy of cronies in Washington.

So for Gonzales to try to defend himself and his lackeys from attack before the Committee by playing the "career professionals" card is not only disingenuous it is downright appalling. It demonstrates once and for all that Gonzales isn't merely a hapless hack in over his head and a lethargic lapdog for the White House. It demonstrates that he is willing to say or do anything to protect himself and his allies at the expense of the people he purports to lead. It demonstrates that he is still unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for his own lack of leadership that has led directly to this controversy. And it proves conclusively that he is a big part of the problem and certainly not the solution at the Department.

Over and over again this morning, Gonzales was asked why he wouldn't simply resign for the good of the Department and the country. Over and over again he told Committee members that he still believes that he can do a good job over at Justice. It is precisely this sort of flawed judgment that has made him the object of scorn and ridicule within the world of the law; precisely this sort of faulty rationale and muddled sense of responsibility that has brought shame upon an institution that has for a century held a special place in the life of the nation. Even if you ignore all the parts of his testimony that made no sense this morning or that otherwise contradict the formal record in this investigation, and even if you believe the Justice Department has been well-run during his tenure, surely you have to concede that the good, earnest, honest, unbiased people who toil at the Department deserve better than what they are getting (and hearing from their boss. And we all deserve better, too. Much much better.

By Andrew Cohen |  April 19, 2007; 2:00 PM ET agag
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"[S]heer gall and shamelessness" indeed, Andrew. In its own way, just an inverse corollary of the classic definition of "chutzpah": That which is displayed by someone who kills both of his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan. All in all, even worse than one would expect.

Posted by: Dan Metcalfe | April 19, 2007 02:18 PM

Watching the feckless, sycophantic and ineffectual testimony of Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an embarrassment for any member of the bar. One was driven to the inescapable conclusion that the Attorney General lacked the mind of a lawyer. Although he had practiced and studied law, he never understood the Law, spelled with a capital "L".

For Mr. Gonzales, there is no pragmatic difference between a government under law and a government of men. That is why the Department of Justice is more than the President's attack dog. This Attorney General sees law as a hand tool, an instrument to achieve the goal of a client. His successful rise to power has been achieved by a consistent policy of writing legal opinions to please his masters and denying accountability for the consequences. The Attorney General wrote opinions to justify torture and rendition of enemy combatants. Nonetheless the Attorney General has repeatedly denied any responsibility for Abu Graib, torture at Guantamo and other shameful consequences of his legal conclusions.

If given the chance to start over, the Attorney General would again terminate the eight attorneys general, according to his testimony. All he would change is "the process" of reaching the same end. The law serves Mr. Gonzales as a means to an end; the Law as an end in itself is invisible to the Attorney General. Such blindness, ipso facto, makes him unfit to serve as the top lawyer in the government.

Posted by: R F Kessler | April 19, 2007 03:46 PM

the gop will support him.

GOP UBER ALLES, especially over AMERICA

Posted by: Barb | April 19, 2007 04:17 PM

Fortunately Barb, several highly respected GOP senators have already encouraged the president to dump this clown.

Posted by: Loudounian | April 19, 2007 04:21 PM

May I just say what an enjoyable day I've had listening to Fredo stumble, sweat, and suffer? I can't remember which senator made the good point--I believe it was a Republican and good for him--that why should Gonzales not be held to the same standard that these attorneys were? There were people who were fired with no warning, thinking that they were doing an excellent job (and they were). He's had his chance to defend himself. Not that I'm a lawyer, but I'm going to guess that a day of mumbling I can't recall about things like whether or not he talked to the president is not going to serve him well in the credibility department. It was pretty funny watching Senator Kyl talking about internet gambling as if Abu Gonzales is going to have a job next week. This was as enjoyably pathetic as it's going to get for a long time. What a total utter evil creep the man is.

Posted by: Ahh13 | April 19, 2007 04:21 PM

Is he under oath?
The deal is he quits and therefore doesn't get indited for perjury

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 04:23 PM

One would not think it possible for the Alberto Gonzales to be more incompetent in his thinking than when he wrote in the recent Op-Ed piece for the Post that "to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign" -- a statement which, as Eugene Robinson noted, can only mean that the Attorney General of the U.S. makes decisions without his own knowledge.(?!)

Yet, Gonzales has actually managed to amplify this position of making decisions without his own knowledge at this morning's hearings by declaring he "has no recollection" of physically being at the the key Nov. 27, 2006 DOJ meeting in which top members of his staff were assembled and have gone on record as saying the AG was indeed present, a point which, of course, Mr. Gonzales does not dispute, but states only that while he has there he has no recollection of being there.

This is the Bush Universe.

Posted by: JB | April 19, 2007 04:27 PM

One would not think it possible for Alberto Gonzales to be more incompetent in his thinking than when he wrote in the recent Op-Ed piece for the Post that "to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign" -- a statement which, as Eugene Robinson noted, can only mean that the Attorney General of the U.S. makes decisions without his own knowledge.(?!)

Yet, Gonzales has actually managed to amplify this position of making decisions without his own knowledge at this morning's hearings by declaring he "has no recollection" of physically being at the the key Nov. 27, 2006 DOJ meeting in which top members of his staff were assembled and have gone on record as saying the AG was indeed present, a point which, of course, Mr. Gonzales does not dispute, but states only that while he was there he has no recollection of being there.

This is the Bush Universe.

Posted by: JB | April 19, 2007 04:30 PM

To ahh13: The president is a tragic clown himself for placing personal loyalty over competence.

Posted by: Joseph | April 19, 2007 04:47 PM

At some point, the committee is going to have to make a decision about whether to impeach Gonzales, since he appears unlikely to resign on his own, and the President keeps saying, "Heckuva job, Tony."

Posted by: Nellie | April 19, 2007 04:48 PM

I enjoyed Dianne Feinstein`s point that no one really knows or at least no one will admit knowing, who put the names on the list. AG doesn`t recall; Kyle Sampson was just an aggregator; the AAG didn`t know there was a list, and on and on and on. My question is: Who has been minding the store since Gonzo doesn`t know anything about anything that is going on in the DoJ? And who`s going to take the fall? My guess is that Monica is going to get blamed. She is really making them sweat. They don`t know which way she is going to jump. Might as well pin it on her. AG kept claiming he took responsibility without taking any of the responsibility.

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 04:52 PM

He won't quit and Andy can't fire him, so he must be mad (or stupid).

Huff and puff and blow down his house - Andy!

If you can.

Posted by: Gary Masters | April 19, 2007 04:55 PM

As the man who wrote the infamous "torture memo," today's proceedings were particularly torturous when we consider the implecations that "heckuva-job" appointments have had on the fundamental infrastructure of our Democracy.

Posted by: TR | April 19, 2007 04:56 PM

This is the Bush Universe

If this were a Greek tragedy we could get up from our seats and go on with our lives. What 's the best description: incompetent hubris or hubristic imcompetence? The mid-terms stripped away the inflammatory veneer of post-2001 delusion and exposed this adminstration as cynical, incompetent, and delusionally partisan.

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Posted by: BMWfanatic | April 19, 2007 05:03 PM

I am embarrased by Bush and now I have to be embarrassed by a bumbling AG. Not a proud day to be an American.

Posted by: rob | April 19, 2007 05:06 PM

This may be a shock,but AG Gonzales is not the fundamental problem. The office itself is the problem. The AG is a walking conflict of interest where political loyalty invariably trumps loyalty to the law or managerial competence. The very structure of the job shows where the AG's loyalty lies:he/she is appointed by the president, serves in the president's cabinet and at the pleasure of the president.
History says the AG is the White House councilarie. Look who's been appointed in the past: Robert Kennedy, political enforcer and brother of the president; John Mitchell and Richard-went to jail- Kleindienst in the Nixon administration; William French Smith, former personal lawyer for Reagon; Ed Meese, political fixer for Reagon. Most presidents recognize that any AG is a potential dagger pointed at them, and they as a result value political loyalty in the job.
Congress has been no less myopic. When one party controls both the White House and the Senate, checks and balances prove impotent. Same party Senators want an AG who will make sure the local US Attorneys obey the political realities: if politicians have to be indicted, indict the opposition.
Forcing Pres. Bush to appoint a new AG will probably mean appointing a new but equally loyal aide. So what is all the hoopla about? Let's be frank. A big reason is to embarass the president and give the Dems a leg up politically. A second reason is to hopefully force the future AG not to be so blatant about the politization of the administration of the law.
And that is how it will continue to be unless the AG office is given some measure of independence. But that will probably take a bigger scandal then we currently have to accomplish.

Posted by: John G. | April 19, 2007 05:07 PM

It was Lindsey Graham who made the comment that, if other attorneys can be fired for just not being the right person at the right time, then Gonzales can be fired for that too.

Posted by: rty | April 19, 2007 05:09 PM

Senator Hatch was less than pathetic. No independent thought, just the unswerving Administration line. I feel nothing but sadness for the morons in Utah who vote for this toady. Absolutely no shame at all.

Posted by: John D | April 19, 2007 05:13 PM


As a foreigner, i must say to you that the conduct of the hearing ought to give you plenty of pride in being American...

There are some very articulate and skillful lawyers on that committee

Posted by: Neutral Observer | April 19, 2007 05:15 PM

Just like everyone in Bush's gang of crooks and idiots. It's easy for them to screw things up but when they have to answer for their daily lies, they find someone else to blame. Like now with Bush. It's the Iraq's fault we're there. Bush's want those people out of the way so his party wouldn't look so bad before the election and as long as his gang gets what they want then to h... with everyone else

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 05:17 PM

Just like everyone in Bush's gang of crooks and idiots. It's easy for them to screw things up but when they have to answer for their daily lies, they find someone else to blame. Like now with Bush. It's the Iraq's fault we're there. Bush's want those people out of the way so his party wouldn't look so bad before the election and as long as his gang gets what they want then to h... with everyone else

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Posted by: ZetMaster | April 19, 2007 05:19 PM

Hey man! So...I promised you...I wasn`t lazy so I made this LIST...
But you have to call it Oh dear LIST of STUFF because I didn`t want to give it to you.
Eh...go to hell, Dan...you`re my friend.

Posted by: CChesterRich | April 19, 2007 05:21 PM

Just another pretty picture of a corrupt and decadent administration. The value of each player within it is intrinsically connected to how loyal they are to their king. The king thinks everyone is doing a heck-of-a-job so where is the motivation to quit? Gonzo can continue to sit it out in his department of incompetence since this department was only doing the biding of the king and not the people.

Posted by: flipper | April 19, 2007 05:32 PM

Alberto... you're going a heck of a job !!!

Posted by: Dan Kelly | April 19, 2007 05:44 PM

After all that time to prepare the ineptitude of his testimony was breathtaking. Somehow I keep expecting this Administration to catch on, change tack, try a different angle, but all they do is give it to the fullback every play and tell him to plow through the middle. It worked with the last congress, I guess. Anyway, anybody who thinks Gonzales is a goner needs to remember how long Rumsfeld hung around after he was a "goner."

Posted by: Brendan | April 19, 2007 05:44 PM

The anger with Gonzalez is mis-directed. Like Eugene Robinson, I too want to root for this guy as he is the highest ranking Hispanic in the country.

Posted by: Don N | April 19, 2007 05:50 PM

The real value of Gonzales to Bush is that his clowning distracts attention away from the mess in Iraq.

Posted by: andy | April 19, 2007 05:51 PM

Just like Lurita Doan of GSA infamy could remember who attended the meeting, that she came late, that they had cookies...but could not remember anything about the key component of the meeting - a powerpoint slide presentation about the GSA supporting GOP candidates by one of Karl Rove's henchmen from the Political Office of the White House.

Gag me with a spoon, for chrissakes!

Posted by: ShockedAndAppalled | April 19, 2007 05:58 PM

The purpose of AG AG's testimony was to provide little bits of soundbites that Rush could play and Hannity can play that reinforce what the ill informed have been duped into believing. "But Senator, I have apoligized over and over..." To which Rush says: "See how they are browbeating this poor man!"

Posted by: ShockedAndAppalled | April 19, 2007 06:00 PM

Attorney General Gonzalez is the nation's highest ranking Hispanic government official. But his performance in this instance, coupled with the evidence made public thus far leave something to be desired. Speaking as a Hispanic Attorney myself, he ought not to be immune from criticism by the sheer fact he is Hispanic. Instead, he is an American and should be subject to criticism if his acts warrant it--just as the rest of us are. In this case, the facts suggest incompetence. It is fair to criticize him for that flaw.

Posted by: AFL | April 19, 2007 06:15 PM

AGAG comes more and more to resemble Chance the gardener (aka Chauncey Gardner) in "Being There." Here's the imdb summary of the movie of Jerzy Koszinski's novel:

"A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman (Eve) and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider."

Oh, I know it's not a perfect match, but it's pretty clear that AGAG claims he doesn't know anything about the firings except what he learned - after the fact - from "the documents." He's seen more of them - unredacted - than the Senate committee, and he still seems to know less than the Senators about what he's done (intentionally and unintentionally).

Best case, he's either incompetent or negligent. In either event, he should go and take his "senior leadership" group with him.

Posted by: Alan | April 19, 2007 06:17 PM

Alberto Gonzales will not resign, nor will his patron George W. Bush fire him. Bad for the country, but good for the Democratic prospects in the next election, to have Gonzales hung around Bush*s neck like the smelly decomposing albatross hung around the neck of the Ancient Mariner.

Posted by: oldhonky | April 19, 2007 06:23 PM

Heckuva job, Fredo!

The Department of Justice is Karl Rove's attack dog. The President has the NSA to do his dirty tricks, he doesn't care about Justice. The Fredo Bandito has repeatedly denied responsibility for Abu Ghraib, torture at Guantamo and other shameful consequences of his legal conclusions as dictated by Bush. The Geneva Convention is quaint for anyone caught mixing cronyism and government. I can't recall, I can't recall. The president is a tragic clown himself for placing personal loyalty over competence. True. And tragically, far more so than you know. Forcing ol' ArbustoBucks to appoint a new AG will probably mean appointing a new Ashcroft or Kenny Boy. It could be worse.

Posted by: Mel Carnahan | April 19, 2007 06:23 PM

what's the bottom line here? no matter how many idiotic statments AG makes, he can stay in office as long as Bush likes him.
can the senate force him out? i would guess not.
can they get him on a perjury charge? perhaps a lawyer here can answer that.
so all he has to do is sit there, smile and continue his miserable tenure at DOJ.
isn't that the sour truth?

Posted by: inedal | April 19, 2007 06:32 PM

geez, didn't this fishwrapper just publish a lie filled article by abu ???

bout time to apologize for that, don't ya think ???

Posted by: freepatriot | April 19, 2007 06:37 PM

I would suspect that a perjury charge is possible, but highly unlikely. Particularly in light of Sen. Feinstein's line of questioning relating to what Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling said regarding his involvement. The comparison would be between their credibility and Mr. Gonzalez. I suspect he does not carry much currency in that regard given his inability to recall recent events--particularly the Nov. 27th meeting. The consequences of his testimony today are likely more political than legal. This all presupposes that his testimony was under oath today.

Posted by: AFL | April 19, 2007 06:42 PM

BTW folks, of course his testimony was under oath. He said he didn't recall over 100 times! Gonzo is an insult to all Hispanics, to Harvard Law School and to all educated Americans. It's hard to beleive he even made it through law school, much less HArvard. He defines the word cipher--no value, no influence, just a complete puppet. He should only stay around long enough to get Rove and Meirs, the real political thugs, to testify. Once he's gone the Committee will lose that opportunity.

Posted by: CJ Burke | April 19, 2007 07:07 PM

What a puny and pathetic performance by a less than truthful sitting Attorney General. It was clear he either is not in charge of the DOJ or he is suffering from a convenient lack of memory. He did not do himself a favor by appearing. He has less than zero credibility after today. This is so typical of what can we expect from a bunch of chronic low octane performers in this administration. If he had an ounce of self respect he would resign.

Posted by: Redman | April 19, 2007 07:14 PM

Gonzales said precisely this: "Because, when you attack the department for being partisan, you're really attacking the career professionals. They're the ones, the investigators, the prosecutors, the assistant U.S. attorneys, they're the ones doing the work."

Sounds familiar. Bush says every day that those who criticize the occupation of Iraq are undermining the troops.

Posted by: andyk | April 19, 2007 07:24 PM

I don't care if Alberto Gonzales is the highest ranking Hispanic in the government; he is a brown-nosing synchophant of the most inept president and administration in recent history, and perhaps, of all time. This affair with the US attorneys is absolutely prototypical of the Bush administration; as long as you are a loyal "Bushie", qualifications and aptitude mean nothing; just be a hot-ass red-stater. Do you feel it, boys and girls? The end of the conservative era is about to unfold.... and, just in the nick of time; I doubt the nation could take much more.

Posted by: Mike | April 19, 2007 07:34 PM

What a refreshing take on the man that told a closed door session with Senators that "I don't have to prove anything to you." One looks at gonzo and sees a mirror reflection of his equally arrogant boss bush. How these two came to be at the pinnacle of leadership in this country shows how really inept the electorate is.

Posted by: Mark Hamblett - Citizen! | April 19, 2007 07:36 PM

Gonzales should now be searching for a sword upon which to impale himself. His performance, considering that he studied relentlessly for two weeks for it, was that of a drugged and amiable seventh-grader. What astounding mediocrity! What astonishing memory loss! What amazing obliviousness to detail! He knows nothing, he does nothing, he remembers nothing. Decisions occur in his office, but he has no idea who makes them. A total cipher. A complete puppet. Is he an android, or a simulacrum of a human? No matter, it is now time to resign!

Posted by: J. Yoo | April 19, 2007 07:36 PM

It's sad when there is this much confusion when the purpose of the session was to clarify.

We should try to be fair to the Attorney General. That he cannot recall meetings a few months ago would suggest that he may be afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. On that basis, he could state that he is resigning for health reasons.

The other interpretation of today's session is that Mr. Gonzalez has made so many missteps already that any clarification would regrettably create another contradiction or further support the impression of mendacity or disingenuousness.

Posted by: Charles | April 19, 2007 07:43 PM

"I now understand that I had a conversation with the president...."


Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 19, 2007 07:59 PM

It is painfully obvious to me that Gonzalez is another fall guy for another higher up in the administration. Whether it is one of Bush's advisors or Bush himself is the only question. Most likely it was Rove. Judging by Gonzalez' demeanor, his past history, and the statements that he's already publicly made, it is clear that Gonzalez is a 'yes man' and a political 'go fer' and that he probably had nothing to do with making these decisions. He merely approved the decisions that he was told to approve. Forcing a Gonzalez resignation doesn't solve anything. This is a political dog and pony show and the people who could really tell us what happened, are Goodling and Samson. Perhaps they should be offered immunity from prosecution in return for their sworn testimony. As a loyal foot soldier in Bush's fundamentalist army, Gonzalez' job now is to confuse, obfuscate and delay. Anyone who can draft a legal defense of torture is well qualified for that task. Clearly though, Alberto Gonzalez wasn't in charge at the Attorney General's office when these decisions were made, and neither, I think was Goodling or Kyle Sampson. So the question remains, who was giving the orders at the Justice Department?

Posted by: cynik | April 19, 2007 08:16 PM

The $64,000 question: what kind of knuckle-walker is Bush going to appoint in his place?

Posted by: Chris Fox | April 19, 2007 08:19 PM

How sycophant en extremis O'Hatch keeps the lid on his Republican gay lifestyle is beyond me. Maybe he has the dirt on half the Senate, the ol' J Edgar Hoover maneuver. 'Bout time someone called a spade a spade and a hypocrite a hypocrite. For the Christian right this would be quite a blessing.

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Posted by: TEWNASNEW | April 19, 2007 08:25 PM

You all are on crack. The lawyers can be fired for any reason. This is just a witch hunt by Chucky.

If W wants him to stay, he will. If not, he won't. All this today on this online is wasted energy by Democrats.

Posted by: George Bowers | April 19, 2007 08:38 PM

Gonzalez is not a stupid man. And those two weeks that he spent rehearsing for today's testimony were not wasted. His performance today was artfully designed to frustrate, deflect and obstruct Congress'oversight-- by miring it in a sea of "can't remembers" and "don't recalls" and grinning and shuffling. Call him a fool all you want, but look at the results. He gave Congress nothing. NOTHING.

Ever loyal to his clients, Gonzalez is serving himself up as a fall guy. He playing a role. And like everything else in this administration, it is all designed for TV. Thus, Gonzalez's supposed incompetence -- and the question of whether he should resign -- will become the focus of the public's attention for the next several news cycle -- instead of the substantive issues about political corruption.

Posted by: Bokonon | April 19, 2007 08:45 PM

Don: I am rooting for the survival of this country, and the AGs' ethnicity has nothing to do with it. He's a lackey. He deserves to be imprisoned in Abu G. after we leave Iraq.

Posted by: Meg | April 19, 2007 09:00 PM

Bush has done it again. By having another puppet at the end of his strings leaving you with the uneazy feeling that you must be missing something, that Gonzo could not be that stupid. But like Rumskull, Brownie the horseman, Wolfie and the rest of the right-wing neonitwits it unfortunately is the case. The unbelievable fact about the complete lack of accountability, the continued lying about Iraq (someone should tell Condi that we attacked Iraq not he other way around) and a fiscal responsibility that will having the middle and lower class paying for for 20 years is simply beyond comprehension. The simple fact that Gonzo has been a legal counsel for the W for years should be grounds alone to fire him. Just yesterday W had another of his mindless quotes refering to the restriction on abortion rights and "his pride in upholding the santity of Life." Amazing from a man who is singuarly responsible for more deaths on our planet the last 4 years than any other person or group. My guess is that Gonzo finally has the plug pulled, he'll be the happiest man in America for moving away for the Bush gong show.

Posted by: topshelf | April 19, 2007 09:02 PM

I don't recall. I don't recall if I knew. I don't recall if I remembered. I don't recall what I knew at the time. I don't recall knowing that. I don't recall whether I remembered what I don't recall whether I knew. I can't say whether I knew what I can't recall. I don't remember knowing that. I don't recall the meeting you mention. I wouldn't say that but I don't recall. I don't recall doing what you say. I don't remember recalling whether I knew. I don't know. I don't recall. I don't recall whether I didn't know. I don't recall that. I have no recollection of that. I have no memory of knowing that. I don't recall that I knew that. I don't know. I don't recall. You'd have to ask someone else about that. I don't recall remembering knowing that. I don't know that that was the case. But nothing improper was done, I would know!

Posted by: jpk | April 19, 2007 09:07 PM

He better not quit before IMPEACHMENT proceedings against the whole Neo Con Bush Administration for Gutting, Usurping and Crapping on the United States Constitution.
Fire them all including the Attorney's, Judges and Prosecutor's the Bush and prior Republicans put on the bench and Supreme Court. We have TREASONOUS Crooks in charge of the Justice Department and should rid ourselves of these TREASONOUS Neo Con Nazi Wannabe Parasites.

Posted by: CurtJ | April 19, 2007 09:18 PM

The Virginia Tech killer gave the Parasitic Neo Con Bush Administration a reprieve from Iraq and Gonzalez and the Partisan test of the Justice Dept.

Posted by: CurtJ | April 19, 2007 09:25 PM

The Gonzalez performance was so pathetic and disturbing. And within minutes of his departure today Bush offered his full support for this clown. Ever hear the phrase *Bush League*? We had the demo today. What are these guys doing in high office? Take back America, Senators. It's time to pull the plug on this tragicomedy.

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 09:43 PM

On the AG Gonzalez disgrace...the Iraq quagmire...the inept handling of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina...on-and-on: W will go down in history at the nadir of US Presidencies. Ralph Nader, you got us here! US Supreme Court, you made it stick! Shows me what a mess democracy becomes when no-can-win-only-can-mess-things-up gains ascendency.

Posted by: Clyde McDowell | April 19, 2007 10:01 PM

All roads lead to rove

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 10:13 PM

Oh, and I must not leave out the Bush League tragedy of what they've done on global warming. Years from now, people living on a hot and inhospitable planet, will ask themselves, how could the American people have been so stupid to have chosen Bush over Gore. Alas, too late!

Posted by: Clyde McDowell | April 19, 2007 10:15 PM

Well said. The shamelessness of this AG is appauling and disgusting. He sat there, calmly lying his way around, just like what happened in the last few weeks. How can this kind of a man be a US AG in the first place? Well, of course, he owns the same guy who now still has confidence over him: Bush. Well, Bush used to have a lot of confidence over Rumsfeld, Brownie .. and a long list of terrible failures. What is amazing is that Gonezales doesn't even feel how unbelievable his lies are, and he still continues to tell them over and over again like everybody eles is an idiot. How come he doesn't remember the content of a Nov 2006 meeting he attended? Does he suffer from memory loss? If so, he is not good for the job anyway, and may be should go to a mental hospital.

Posted by: Dave | April 19, 2007 10:24 PM

Most attorneys know that they must be ready to back up their arguments and assertions with fact and law or they lose and the judge yells at them. As a result, most attorneys prepare carefully before presenting arguments because they hope to serve their clients well (and would prefer to avoid disbarment and disgrace). One cannot help but wonder when Mr. Gonzales last saw the interior of a courtroom. Or is he such a political shill than he never actually practiced? However, we should not focus on Mr Gonzales since the most important point is that he has ruined the reputation of the DOJ and the US AGs office. We cannot afford to have their honesty and credibility ruined any more than we can afford having our local police department be suspected of being controlled by the mob. Until he and his cronies are gone, it will be difficult to restore the honor and reputation of either agency.

Posted by: julie kreutzer | April 19, 2007 10:36 PM

What a pathetic and shameless lier, period.

Posted by: | April 19, 2007 11:18 PM

I can't see in any of the comments just how smart Gonzales really is. I happened to watch quite a bit of it and could see only the disgust/fustration on the faces of the Senators. They got zilch, zero from this man by any measure that I can think of. He did what he was supposed to do, and that is to hide/protect GW and his cronies. Any prosecution of those in The White House is but a wish that will almost surely never happen.

Posted by: lylepink | April 19, 2007 11:25 PM

Why isn't the Post leading on this story rather than wagging the tail of the dog? I've followed this story at Talking Points Memo and they've been doing an exceptional job covering the story.

How about it WAPO? Can't you tell us about those five million lost emails? How about leading with some stories for a change?

I've been a lawyer for 25 years. Never have I seen just gross abuses of power, including Nixon.

If the Post had been doing it's job in 2000, we wouldn't be where we are today. The Great Purge has been going on for seven years now. I am beginning to wonder if I haven't gotten trapped in a time warp and am really in Russia circa 1930's.

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Posted by: artkill | April 20, 2007 06:20 AM

As I watched and listened to the hearing on C-Span 3, I got to thinking of all the congressional hearings I have watched over the years, starting with the Army-McCarthy hearings in the 50s. I've seen a lot of hearings over the last 50 plus years but never in my life have I seen anything as preposterous and pathetic as yesterday's clown show before the Judiciary Committee. This is the guy that all the federal prosecutors report to? This is the guy that the FBI reports to? This is the guy in charge of protecting the civil rights of Americans?

What does it say of George W. Bush that he put such a man in charge of the Department of Justice? What does it say about George W. Bush that that told the nation that he was "very pleased" with Gonzales' wholly incredible testimony?

Surely, Gonzalez' testimony, more than anything else, has strengthened the suspicion that the firings had everything to do improper partisan abuse of federal prosecutorial power and nothing to do with legitimate management concerns. This was a classic cover up at a very high level. It wasn't Sampson, Battle, and the others at DOJ who determined who made "the list" and who didn't, it was Karl Rove and his minions, including Harriet Miers. The purpose of the replacements was not to remediate problems of the past but to gear up for the next election in key swing states. Why would Rove want one of his own political deputies in the US attorney's office in Little Rock in the period leading up to the next national election? Because he's "very well qualified" as Gonzales testified, or to have the power of a federal grand jury to harass Hillary Clinton?

Gonzales' torment by the senators was so embarassing that there were times when I almost felt sorry for him. When those feelings started to surface, I reminded myself that this is the guy who routinely blew off clemency appeals when he was the Decider's pardon counsel in Texas and who provided the torture opinion that let Bush and Rumsfeld bring shame upon the nation "under advice of counsel." Berto/Gonzo/Fredo has so much blood on his hands, I'll save my sympathy for his many, many victims. Any honor that attended his name is long gone. Good riddance. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | April 20, 2007 07:00 AM

The very first thing that ran through my mind after reading the column and deciding to opine wasn't "oh what shall i write about this tragedy" but rather it was "just how far can i go discussing this spineless, feckless sycophant before my phones are tapped, my email compromised and perhaps even my pet cat subjected to rendition and Gitmo in solitary".

So I've decided not to say a word about an administration that rewards the average, has a foot long measuring stick for achievement that is all 6's (think about it...its a pretty apt analogy), and could, out of a pool of what? 800,000 lawyers, stick its hand into the fish barrel and pull out an eel like this.

So for my own safety and the well being of my cat, I'm going to keep quiet.

Posted by: hdhouse | April 20, 2007 07:24 AM

Cynik, above (April 19, 2007 08:16 PM) hit the nail on the head. Gonzales is a smoke screen whose mission is to prevent or postpone investigation of Rove. "Neither he nor anyone in his department would fire a prosecutor for political reasons". And thoswe outside the department ...? For his service to Rove ("Bush's brain", "Turdblossom"), Fredo Bandito looks like a sap but gets to keep his job.

Posted by: Gilbert Adams | April 20, 2007 09:58 AM

R F Kessler (2nd post) and Buck B above - well said indeed !

Posted by: Pete | April 20, 2007 11:04 AM

He can't resign; our next AG might want to indict him for obstruction of justice.

Posted by: Ron | April 20, 2007 12:59 PM

I must disagree with those who think the testamony was inept. Flamboyant perjury, yes but It was quite ept if telling the truth would have revealed crimes comitted by the administration including Bush. Thus Gonzalas must protect Bush as the one who can pardon, and Bush must protect Gonzalas as someone who if he is turned will send Bush to prison. It is the only explaination that works.

Posted by: wrb | April 20, 2007 03:41 PM

Why has everyone in the Bush administration and their republicna sympathizers completely forgotten about ethics? Why is it always that the letter of the law and their interpretation of the law is the only standard that matters. Appointing partisan hacks to run the Justice Department as a political wing of the White House first and public servants second is just plain unethical and wrong, no matter if Bush technically has the power to fire anyone for whatever cause. Do you Republicans (I'm looking at you George Bowers) have any decency left?

Posted by: Michael | April 20, 2007 10:03 PM

I wasn't surprised that Gonzales used the "career professionals" card. It is so glaring similar to President Bush's use of the "endangering the troops" card when castigating the Democrats for proposing a timetable to leave Iraq. Doesn't it work for Bush? Well, why shouldn't it work for Gonzales?

Posted by: | April 20, 2007 10:24 PM

Fred Fielding worked for John Dean (the smartest guy in the room) when Nixon went berserk during watergate.

At least ONE guy has some experience!

Posted by: pre-ameriKKKan | April 22, 2007 02:22 AM

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