Robert Novak is Right* and Monica is on Her Way

As if the continuous defection of Republican lawmakers from the camp of Alberto R. Gonzales wasn't a bad enough sign for the Attorney General, today comes word that the grandaddy of all conservative columnists, Robert D. Novak, also is abandoning ship. In today's Post he notes that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel this week began a new investigation into allegations that the White House illegally participated in the firing of one of the U.S. Attorneys.

And has these (familiar to those of you who read Bench Conference) things to say about Gonzales: "While the current cliche is that Bush never should have named Gonzales attorney general in the first place, the consensus in the administration was that Gonzales also was at sea in his first post, as White House counsel. Colin Powell, Bush's first-term secretary of state, was so appalled by Gonzales that he shunted contact with him off to Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, who in turn handed him down to lower levels along the State Department chain of command. Such derision for Gonzales is viewed by Bush as the arrogance of Washington, and he seems determined not to appease that mind-set. For now at least, the president refuses to yield on the grounds that Gonzales -- whatever his shortcomings -- broke no laws." When you are a Republican official, and you lose Novak, you are truly about to go swimming with the fishes.

Meanwhile, The New York Times this morning also picked up on the story in its house editorial. The Times wrote: "Congressman Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican, was locked in a close re-election battle last fall when the local United States attorney, Paul Charlton, was investigating him for corruption. The investigation appears to have been slowed before Election Day, Mr. Renzi retained his seat, and Mr. Charlton ended up out of a job -- one of eight prosecutors purged by the White House and the Justice Department. The Arizona case adds a disturbing new chapter to that scandal. Congress needs to determine whether Mr. Charlton was fired for any reason other than threatening the Republican Party's hold on a Congressional seat."

*In this one column alone.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday wisely decided to grant "use immunity" to Monica Goodling, all but ensuring that she will be required to testify publicly about her role in the firing of those eight U.S. Attorneys. This is a good development for a number of reasons. First, it sends the message that the politicians are more interested in getting to the bottom of this scandal than they are in keeping alive the possibility of prosecuting Justice Department officials. Second, it breaks the legal gridlock that had taken place after Goodling and her attorneys asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Third, it forces Justice Department officials-- and their hapless leader-- into precisely the sort of box they deserve to be in as a result of their unaccepable conduct. Now that immunity has been granted by Congress-- Goodling cannot be prosecuted for anything she says before the Commitee-- the matter goes to federal district court for approval. Before that occurs, the Justice Department has the right to object to the Congress' use of use immunity. Can you just imagine the political firestorm that will occur if that happens? No, the Justice Department either will have to suck it up and allow Goodling to testify with her immunity or risk further humiliation by objecting to her coming forward and telling the truth-- and then losing in court anyway.

By Andrew Cohen |  April 26, 2007; 8:00 AM ET agag
Previous: 'Get Out Get Out Now' Is the Message to Gonzales | Next: Gonzales Offers No "Pleasure for the President"


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I'm glad to see Robert Novak join the "Gonzales must go" group. Frankly, I cannot understand why Gonzales is postponing the inevitable. or

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | April 26, 2007 08:27 AM

Has Barney come out for/against Gonzales?

Posted by: Chris M | April 26, 2007 08:55 AM

Well, well, well, I understand that Paul McNulty is to be interviewed behind closed doors tomorrow by the Senate Judiciary Committee-concerning what he knew, and when he knew it about the firings of the US Attorneys.

I hope they read his Miranda warnings to him. (smile)

Even more than Gonzalez, whom I just view as more hapless and unqualified than criminal, Paul McNulty is UNFIT to hold ANY Government position; he has a clear inability to tell the truth, but he SURE wants to blame everyone else besides himself for his lies, cover-ups, and omissions-not unlike some other DOJ personnel who are under investigation at the present time.

Posted by: SpaceExplorer | April 26, 2007 09:04 AM

Bush's intransigence in the face of the almost total evaporation of Republican support for Gonzales reinforces the impression that Bush thinks he owns the federal government, i.e., not that he was elected to run it, but that he owns it. That kind of a mindset helps us understand his famous lines "I'm the Decider" and "I earned political capital in this election and I intend to spend (or use) it." His cabinet officers and other presidential appointees who serve "at his pleasure" he considers as at-will employees, with the relevant will being his. "Outsiders" have no right to tell him which of his employees he should keep, like Fredo, or let go, like Rumsfeld. He is, after all, the Decider, and they are, after all, his hired help. The public interest be damned.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | April 26, 2007 09:37 AM

Goodling's attorney should insist on full immunity not merely "use immunity." Her testimony may "connect dots" or provide context which may lead to a criminal characterization of some of her actions.

Posted by: steve | April 26, 2007 10:25 AM

Any c0nservative columnist (Robert Novak) or any other including Senators or House of Reprentatives siding and helping the campaign of descredit or politicking from the DEMOCRATAX PARTY IS GOOD POR US THE REPUBLICANS because that way we will know who is who. We don't want consevatives with wicky legs, we just need people with real and strong conviccions and them when they pull their mask will show the real face.

Posted by: | April 26, 2007 10:58 AM

Before Gonzales "goes swimming with the fishes" and it is questionable Bush will dismiss him. When is Congress going to look into Operation Falcon, which Gonzales describes as a guard against terrorists and others he dislikes? Rounding up 20,000+ "felons" per year for the past 3 years sounds like a lot!
Bush needs Gonzales just like Edgar Bergen needed Charlie.

Posted by: newcastle | April 26, 2007 11:08 AM

I think it's becoming clearer why the symbol of "Justice" is wearing a cloth over her eyes: Otherwise, we'd see the tears she is crying over the sorry state of our DoJ under Little Al and his political cronies, as opposed to the legal professionals they replaced.

The DoJ has simply become the enforcement arm of the RNC, and the Rep. Renzi/U.S. Atty Charlton investigation is just one more example.

Posted by: pacman | April 26, 2007 12:33 PM

Alberto & Condi should consider this one:

The breadth of a jurisdictional committee's investigative authority may be seen in the
two seminal Supreme Court decisions emanating from the Teapot Dome inquiries of the mid-
1920's. As part of its investigation, the Senate select committee issued a subpoena for the
testimony of Mally S. Daugherty, the brother of the Attorney General. After Daugherty failed
to respond to the subpoena, the Senate sent its Deputy Sergeant at Arms to take him into
custody and bring him before the Senate. Daugherty petitioned in federal court for a writ of
habeas corpus arguing that the Senate in its investigation had exceeded its constitutional
powers. The case ultimately reached the Supreme Court, where, in a landmark decision,
McGrain v. Daugherty,8 the Court upheld the Senate's authority to investigate these charges
concerning the Department:
[T]he subject to be investigated was the administration of the
Department of Justice - whether its functions were being properly
discharged or were being neglected or misdirected, and particularly
whether the Attorney General and his assistants were performing or
neglecting their duties in respect of the institution and prosecution of
proceedings to punish crimes and enforce appropriate remedies against
the wrongdoers - specific instances of alleged neglect being recited.
Plainly the subject was one on which legislation could be had and would
be materially aided by the information which the investigation was
calculated to elicit. This becomes manifest when it is reflected that the
functions of the Department of Justice, the powers and duties of the
Attorney General and the duties of his assistants, are all subject to
congressional legislation, and that the department is maintained and its
activities are carried on under such appropriations as in the judgment of
Congress are needed from year to year.9
The Court thus underlined that the Department of Justice, like all other executive
departments and agencies, is a creature of the Congress and subject to its plenary legislative
and oversight authority.In another Teapot Dome case that reached the Supreme Court, Sinclair v. United
States,10 a different witness at the congressional hearings refused to provide answers, and was
prosecuted for contempt of Congress. The witness had noted that a lawsuit had been
commenced between the government and the Mammoth Oil Company, and declared, "I shall
reserve any evidence I may be able to give for those courts... and shall respectfully decline
to answer any questions propounded by your committee."11 The Supreme Court upheld the
witness' conviction for contempt of Congress. The Court considered and rejected in
unequivocal terms the witness' contention that the pendency of lawsuits provided an excuse
for withholding information. Neither the laws directing that such lawsuits be instituted, nor
the lawsuits themselves, "operated to divest the Senate, or the committee, of power further
to investigate the actual administration of the land laws."12 The Court further explained: "It
may be conceded that Congress is without authority to compel disclosure for the purpose of
aiding the prosecution of pending suits; but the authority of that body, directly or through its
committees to require pertinent disclosures in aid of its own constitutional power is not
abridged because the information sought to be elicited may also be of use in such suits."13

Posted by: wrb | April 26, 2007 01:02 PM

This is the biggest story of our lifetimes and most of the press doesn't get it. It is nothing less than an attempted coup d'etat in the United States-- one that would end democracy and install a party of perpetual power, with the Justice Department and GSA turned into political police and enforcers.

Due to 3rd article limits it might not be Treason but it is criminal.

Posted by: wrb | April 26, 2007 01:08 PM

The Democrats are the ones who can write sentences and spell good. Note:
"Any c0nservative columnist (Robert Novak) or any other including Senators or House of Reprentatives siding and helping the campaign of descredit or politicking from the DEMOCRATAX PARTY IS GOOD POR US THE REPUBLICANS because that way we will know who is who. We don't want consevatives with wicky legs, we just need people with real and strong conviccions and them when they pull their mask will show the real face."

Posted by: Phil | April 26, 2007 02:15 PM

When the Sgnt-of-Arms of the Senate seized the brother of the Attorney General the legal response was a petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus (which he lost). Now that Habeas is quaint, I suppose the Senate can order the sgnt to just seize Condi, Rove & Gonzalas, throw them in a Senate basement & throw away the key.

Why not?

"what's good for the goose..." :-)

Posted by: wrb | April 26, 2007 02:36 PM

I am constantly surprised, but little shocked anymore, by the constant attempts of President Bush and his crew to diminish our personal freedoms.

Heavy handed tactics aside, I wonder when "We the People" will finally get enough and take the government back from those who, obviously, have little desire to further the best interests of any, other than themselves.

Frankly, I am glad we live in a place where, eventually, the Federal Government gets replaced, more or less, on a relatively regular basis. However, I am flummoxed that we continue putting singular minded, self-serving people back in those positions.

It is my hope that we do not wake up someday to find that we have been sold out for the thirty pieces of silver.

Posted by: Dan | April 26, 2007 03:41 PM

THE UNITED STATES SENATE OF AMERICA AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES **THE CONGRESS** AS WELL APROVED SUBPOENAS. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------**** LET THE GAMES CONTINUE ****---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------one down **Kyle Sampson** --- two down **MONICA GOODLING** --- three down **Michael J. Elston** --- FOUR down **JUSTICEDEPARTMENT ARCHIEF THOUSANDS OF FIRINGPAPERS AND EMAILS NOT HANDED OVER TO CONGRESS,GONZALES SUBPOENAED TO DELIVER BY MONDAY 2.00 HOURS** --- --- 5 DOWN William Moschella** --- 6 DOWN Scott Jennings _ to reveal their roles in the firings --- SEVEN DOWN **Rove's deputy, Sara Taylor** --- **GONZALES IS ABOUT TO RESIGN,AND OTHERWISE WILL BE SEND AWAY BEFOR MAY, BY CONGRESS SO WE MAY CONSIDER HIM DOW** --- AND MIERS*S VERTICAL SMILE WILL CHANGE IN A GRIME ONES SHES INDICTED ** OUR COMMANDER IN THEFT AND CHEAT WILL LEAVE US SOON **SOONER** NOW THAT WE HAVE DISCOVERED THE PHONY ANONIMOUS ITALIAN LETTER SPELLED IN FRENCH THAT CHEATED US IN AN UNNECESSARY WAR !! EARLY ELECTIONS ARE ON THE WAY...I.E. BEFORE THIS SUMMER. AND LET US BE CLEAR ALL PERSONS BELONG TO THE GROUP OF EXTREME CHRISTIAN REPUBLICAN TERRORISTS !!! Rep Specter says: **Gonzales is a problem by not remembering facts of the firings 72 times,he is hurting the justice department, no says Prez BU_ll_SH_it Gonzales is a good boy, yes says Gonzales I stay. No says the American people YOU GO AND STOP POLITICIZING THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM!!

Posted by: jwh | April 26, 2007 03:41 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.

And it is poetic justice that now Bush too has a Monica problem, although his Monica has a different skillset from Bill Clinton*s Monica.

Posted by: oldhonky | April 26, 2007 03:45 PM

I just can not wait until the Bush Crime Family leaves Washington, DC in January 2009. I think most American's are just exhausted by them. Maybe Cheney will have a heart attack and croak and the new VP will be acceptable so we can impeach King George. If only wishes could come true.

Posted by: Chuck | April 26, 2007 03:52 PM

Gonzo is a better nickname than Fredo.

Posted by: Mel | April 26, 2007 03:59 PM

It is embarressing to be an American and to realize that the world knows that we allow the stupidest, most arrogant and incompetent individuals to continue to lead this country. We get further and further down the road away from democracy, decency with this horrible Bush administration. When historians write about this imbecile, there is no doubt in my mind that GWB will easily be considered the most ignorant, incompetent and worst war-monger of a President the US has ever had.Bush,Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Meirs, Goodling, etc = the absolute Hall of Shame for America.

Posted by: Winters | April 26, 2007 04:00 PM

Firing Gonzales would clearly be the best thing for the DOJ and the country. When a clear majority of the American people have emphatically said that they don't trust the Attorney General, that's a problem by itself, whether or not a crime has been committed. After all, trust and credibility are the pillars of the criminal justice system.

But the fundamental problem is that W doesn't seem to really care. We've all seen the stories about how even Republicans have observed that the White House is in a "bunker" mentality. What people don't stop to think about is what a "bunker" mentality means -- it implies that they've started to see the American people, the press, and the other co-equal branches of government, as enemies from whom they need cover and protection, rather than partners in governing or constituents that they've been elected to serve, or people with valid opinions that they shoudl respect.

Who cares what the people want, when all of the people who want Gonzales gone are outside of the bunker?

Posted by: klu | April 26, 2007 04:04 PM

Some recent incidents:

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war as deputy defense secretary, acknowledged he erred in helping a female friend he is dating to get transferred to a high-paying job at the State Department while remaining on the World Bank payroll. The revelations fueled calls from the bank's staff association for him to resign.

• Matteo Fontana, a
Department of Education official who oversaw the student loan industry, was put on leave after disclosure that he owned at least $100,000 worth of stock in a student loan company.

• Lurita Doan, head of the General Services Administration, attended a luncheon at the agency earlier this year with other top GSA political appointees at which Scott Jennings, a top Rove aide, gave a PowerPoint demonstration on how to help Republican candidates in 2008. A congressional committee is investigating whether the remarks violated a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes.

• Julie MacDonald, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service but has no academic background in biology, overrode recommendations of agency scientists about how to protect endangered species and improperly leaked internal information to private groups, the Interior Department's inspector general said.

Increasing coziness between federal officials and the industries they oversee "is not endemic to any particular administration in Washington," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which seeks to reduce the role of money in politics. "This has been an ongoing problem for some time now."

Potential conflicts "come into heavier play in the second term of two-term administrations because people who have been there for some time start leaving," said Wertheimer.

Both the House and the Senate, responding to voter frustration with corruption and special interest influence in Washington, have approved ethics and lobbying measures. But they apply only to members of Congress, restricting their gifts and free travel, and not to the executive branch.

Republicans like to emphasize that scandals, some large, most small, happen under Democratic presidents too. But Bush's critics say the number of current ethics allegations is unusually high. And they say evidence is strong of close links between the Bush administration and certain industries such as energy and defense.

For instance, Philip Cooney, a former oil-industry lobbyist who became chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, acknowledged to a House committee last month that he edited three government reports to eliminate or downplay links between greenhouse gases and global warming -- and defended the changes. He left the government in 2005 to work for Exxon Mobil Corp.

Former Air Force procurement officer Darleen Druyun served nine months in prison in 2005 for violating conflict-of-interest rules after agreeing to lease Boeing refueling tankers for $23 billion, despite
Pentagon studies showing the tankers were unnecessary. After making the deal, she quit the government to join Boeing.

Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President
Dick Cheney, became the first high-level White House official to be indicted while in office in more than 100 years.

He was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in a grand jury's investigation of the outing of
CIA operative Valierie Plame. The trial also implicated Rove and Cheney in a campaign to discredit her husband, retired diplomat and Iraq war critic Joe Wilson (news, bio, voting record).

Ties between Bush administration officials and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff also taken its toll in the executive branch, as it has in Congress.

J. Steven Griles, a former oil and gas lobbyist who became deputy interior secretary, last month became the highest-ranking administration official convicted in the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, pleading guilty to obstructing justice by lying to a Senate committee about his relationship with Abramoff. Abramoff repeatedly sought Griles' intervention at Interior on behalf of Indian tribal clients.

Former White House aide, David H. Safavian, was convicted last year of lying to government investigators about his ties to Abramoff and faces an 180-month prison sentence. Roger Stillwell, a former Interior Department official, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for not reporting tickets he received from Abramoff.

Not all the administration officials who have left under a cloud have been accused of white-collar misconduct.

Claude Allen, who was Bush's domestic policy adviser, pleaded guilty to theft in making phony returns at discount department stores. He was sentenced last summer to two years of supervised probation and fined $500.

Posted by: Don | April 26, 2007 04:10 PM

U.S. Senator's Son Busted

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has recently found himself the parent of a drug offender. Claude Shelby, 32, was apprehended at Atlanta's Hartfield airport after arriving on a flight from London. With the help of dogs, Custom agents discovered 13.8 grams of hashish in his possession.

In response to his son's arrest, U.S.A. Today reported the Senator said, "We are shocked and saddened by the misdemeanor possession charge against my son and I will stand by him through this difficult ordeal."


Fortunately for young Shelby and his family, he was allowed to pay a mere $500 administrative penalty to Customs officials before he was turned over to county sheriffs for possible state prosecution.

Do not read this the wrong way. Shelby appears to have been treated fairly and it is the juxtaposition between those individuals of power and influence and the average citizen that screams of injustice. Self-righteous people of politics who decry drug use and promote laws and sentences in the drug war, appear to expect that those same laws do not apply to them or to their offspring.

Senator Shelby probably understands the truth behind the impossible task the government has taken on in its battle on consensual drug use. Perhaps someday consideration will be granted to us "average Americans," who now find ourselves prisoners of the drug war.

Dear Senator _Shelby_________,

Today I read with interest the case of Senator Shelby's son who was found in possession of 13.8 grams of hashish after entering the U.S. from London at an international airport. Claude Shelby was released from federal custody after being fined $500. He was turned over to the county but to my knowledge no federal charges have been filed against him.

Can you tell me why Senator Shelby and his family are immune to federal laws? Why are laws that senators freely pass unacceptable to them and their family members­­but good for everyone else?

If people are sent to prison when no drugs are found, how is Claude Shelby free when he was in possession of them? Please take the time to explain to me how it is that people are being incarcerated for 20 and 30 years and even life when no drugs are found, but a senator's son walks free with a misdemeanor charge that is punishable with a $500 fine?


Posted by: U.S. Senator's Son Busted | April 26, 2007 04:13 PM

If the office of the US Attorney General has been used for political persecutions, or investigations were stopped due to politics, how are we different than the old Russian apparatchik? If this behavior is not treasonous, at the very least it must be criminal. Prosecute or Impeach, as required. These people are really starting to scare me if they are willing to trash people's professional reputations and livelihood because they did not go along with the party line. This is very, very, oppressive.

Posted by: tourist | April 26, 2007 04:21 PM

It is a time worn, proven fact that parents and authority figures cannot change a child's questionable or delinquent behavior with harsh methods or a closed fist. It is the same in the world's political theatre.We are supposed to be a democratic nation that does not "impose" democratic ideals on others, but inspires to create effective change. Bush regards intelligent advice and public opinion as adversarial, instead of using it the way it should be used in a true Democratic system - for necessary change and growth with the valued lessons of the mistake as empowerment for the future.How will we ever inspire others if Bush continues on this course?

Posted by: arte | April 26, 2007 04:25 PM

Bush won't fire Gonzales, and Gonzales won't resign, for a very practical reason: Bush doesn't want to get impeached. If Bush fired Gonzales, he would have to replace him with someone who could get Senate approval. This means someone not a "loyal Bushie". Any such person would then have direct access to the White House and all the powers of the Justice Department to investigate. This would very likely lead to uncovering evidence that would result in Bush's impeachment.
Bush's not firing Gonzales is not the result of a bunker mentality, or misplaced loyalty, or anything like that. It is simply the result of playing fast and loose with Federal regulations that seemed not too important at the time, and of getting away with it while the Republicans controlled the Congress.
What is coming is a protracted fight over getting Rove to testify. The Democrats will have to go to court to make that happen. When the court fight is over, assuming the Democrats win, Bush will toss Gonzales overboard and make other concessions to try to make a deal on Rove's testimony so Rove doesn't have to choose between perjuring himself and bringing the whole structure down. By that time, Bush hopes, there will not be enough time for a new AG to get rolling and uncover enough evidence to make impeachment happen -- especially because by then the new campaign season will be underway.
However, things are moving pretty quickly, and all of this might play out before fall, which will make things very difficult indeed for Bush.

Posted by: Jon Webb | April 26, 2007 04:29 PM


Posted by: sy | April 26, 2007 04:38 PM

The volume & seriousness of scandals erupting daily from the Bush Whitehouse are very reminiscent of Nixon's Pre-resignation daily bad news.

Adiositos Alberto!

Posted by: Andy | April 26, 2007 04:41 PM

Why AbuG is still around...

These guys learned from Richard Nixon. In 1973, when Nixon was getting hammered over Watergate, he threw the Senate Committee his Attorney General, a schmuck named Richard Kleindienst. Famously, Nixon's own Rove, a devious creep named John Erlichman, told Nixon to leave the Attorney General, "twisting slowly in the wind." Rove and Bush are doing the Nixon Twist on Gonzales.

During a trip to West Point on June 1, Bush pulled White aside for a private talk. "As long as they're hitting you on Enron, they're not hitting me," said Bush, according to this Army official. "That's your job. You're the lightning rod for this administration."

Posted by: PardonerInChief | April 26, 2007 04:46 PM

Impeachment of Bush and Cheney is the only way we can convince the rest of the world that we are not all morons. We must demand our Representatives take action while we back them up with massive demonstrations and letter writing campaigns. We must act now before it is too late.

Once the "Bushies" are gone, I believe the world will definitely come in full force to help us undo the damage in the Middle East that these bozos have caused with their incompetence and greed.

We must also make sure that we not only impeach them and convict them, but also lock them away for good - (Hague anyone?), so they don't come back again, like the criminals who were pardoned by Reagan who are now in this administration committing more crimes.

We have to stop feeling like victims and stop these thugs who have hijacked our democracy. It is our one and only duty as Americans.

Posted by: George B., Astoria, NY | April 26, 2007 04:48 PM

Does anyone care what the Novak says anymore? He's been the administrations mouthpiece and is partially responsible for the mess that is Iraq. In my eyes he should be hanged for treason solely for outing Valeri Plame.
Gonzales has to go. Everyone knew that before Novak jumped on the bandwagon. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Posted by: MarkD | April 26, 2007 04:50 PM

Dear Professional Writer Andrew Cohen:

The term is "sleep" with the fishes, NOT "swim" with the fishes.

Posted by: Eyeballman | April 26, 2007 04:52 PM

Too many people who actually believe what the TV news reporters tell them have taken their freedom without accepting that there is a price to pay. in the short term, many of you liberal reactionaries love to scream at the leader when the heat's on. Easy to see that's the case. In the long term, history will show that this president
/commander in chief didn't wait and wait and wait some more before a mushroom cloud hung over us all here in the good old USA.
No matter which "brilliant" journalist comes up with their distant wisdom months after we are attacked by ruthless thugs, I will NEVER respect them. I couldnt be happier that there have been No "Neville Chamberlains" in high office in my country. That would have been FAR worse than what we are facing now Mr. Reid et al.

Posted by: BR New York | April 26, 2007 04:58 PM

I hope we can see an end to this culture of corruption and cronyism. Another thing the media hasn't had the IQ to start asking questions about is the public-pay aspect of why so many members of the Republican administration sent SO much of their email about fund-raising and other party matters that their RNC email accounts became their default email accounts for their official business, rather than using the normal government email accounts. They should have been doing party work at home on their own time, not in offices and on computers furnished by the taxpayers. It would seem like the majority of their time was not doing the work of the people, but work for their party, but still financed by the people.

Posted by: John | April 26, 2007 05:05 PM

re: Gonzales. It is impossible to debate or otherwise affect those small minds that never learned to spell or think clearly. They exist at the behest of those devious minds vastly smarter then themselves in the arts of manipulation - politicians and religious leaders. They are always addressed and controlled through their most basic instincts; hatred, prejudice and fear of others different then themselves. They are the minions of osama bin laden and george bush, and to a lesser degree the pope. With their numbers in this world so great, there is no hope for dialog, peace or even a messiah...Ha! Were he to return, they would lynch Christ in a heartbeat for daring to call for an end to all wars, or for turning swords into plowshares, or for advocating a new jerusalem - a utopia of social equality and universal not just Christian truths...

Posted by: John | April 26, 2007 05:07 PM

After watching Gonzo testify the other day
can you imagine that there is a single law
firm in the United States that would take
him on as an attorney? I think not!!!

Posted by: cc | April 26, 2007 05:09 PM

I don't know, but couldn't somebody find out whether there isn't some loophole in the Constitution as to what to do in case both the president and vice president are incompetent? That's is putting it mildly. Another 17 months of this is too long and I don't even want to know the number of young people who will die needlessly. Impeaching GWB would not solve the problem because then VP would replace him. Impeaching VP might not be that great either because then GWB would really govern. Can't get rid of both of them, I guess. The fact remains that the USA is far too influential country, and its goodness or badness affects the rest of the world. And, while you are involved with all this, you give other people opportunities to further their agenda like during the Clinton/Monica which was a cute happening compared to what is going on now. It is a very difficult situation, but all I know that another 17 months of these scandals and icompetence is just too much.

Posted by: arthur assisi | April 26, 2007 05:09 PM

No wonder Corporate America own us. The incompetency in our government, both Republican and Democrat is outragous. Gongalez was incompetent when he was hired. Harry Reid was elected incompetent. Go thru all of them if you can find 50 % that should keep their jobs, you will be doing real good.

Posted by: gingerspice7 | April 26, 2007 05:11 PM

The reason that our midget president won't fire Gonzales is exactly because of Gonzales's shortcomings.
You see, our bubble-boy midget of a president only likes to surround himself with people that are shorter than he is.
Look at the coward Chicken-Hawk Cheney. He is shorter than our imbecile-in-chief, so he gets to stick around no matter how much of a screw-up he is.
Or, look at Harriet Miers. She was so much shorter than our stupid little bubble-boy president that the little idiot even wanted to put her on the Supreme Court.
Qualifications be damned!
If you're shorter than the imbecile Bush, then it won't matter how incompetent you are. Your job is safe!
There may even be a Medal of Freedom in the works for you.

Posted by: chasemonster | April 26, 2007 05:13 PM

Justice. 230 some-odd years ago a group of educated, flawed men set out to demand justice for themselves and their countrymen, all of whom were English and more than likely wished to remain English. When their requests went unanswered, in fact went ignored, they wrote passionately to the population of this land to stand up and demand the rights that they were owed! These rights that those men and women fought for so long ago have been subverted, trampled, ignored, and waylaid by those that have forgotten the reasons and the passions that brought them to us. And now, what are we left with? Is this the land of the free? NO, we are the land of the arrogant, the land of the abused and we take it, we take it for the price of that paltry thing, the least of all, our lives. When 3000 of our countrymen and women died that day so often referred to, so often brought up like a specter to be frightened of, we turned to fear and vengeance. We all gladly laid aside our freedoms and rights so that we could be protected from those that wished pain upon us. We gave those people more power than they could have ever gained by killing, we gave them a power over our lives that not one of us would have given them before. We did it out of fear, but no one should ever relinquish their birthright out of fear, otherwise why did those men and women all those many years ago put aside the fear of death, because that is what awaited them if they should fail, and stand up for something more important than their lives. Freedom is not free, like the bumper sticker tries so hard to remind me, yes it is not free, we have just been paying for it in the wrong currency. Back to Justice then. If our country truly is what it should be, if a criminal act has been committed by a sitting President (and I use the word "if" very loosely here), then it shouldn't matter if it is two days before he is to leave office, justice demands that articles of impeachment be brought up and carried out. For that is the reason why we and so many others around the world suffer, so that justice can be brought upon one man in a country so very far away from us.

Posted by: T.D. | April 26, 2007 05:25 PM

are you smarter than a 5th. graded ? I THINK NOT !

Posted by: SAM | April 26, 2007 05:30 PM


I have a theory why Gonzales will never get fired. He will probably retire and be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom with a lifetime of pay and benefits. Bush knows Gonzo will sing like the true jailbird that he is if he is fired - and only god knows how much dirt Gonzo really has on our idiot boy in chief - going back to his criminal Texas days. Expect Medals of Freedom to fly (along with pardons) now that we have oversight to finally shed light to all that has been done in our name - only to do nothing about it anyway. Tenet would be so proud. What a great lesson to teach our children. If you want a great future: steal big, lie big and make sure you reward well those that helped you get away with it. I hope historians will be kind to the rest of us who kept their mouth shut, believed Fox like the gospel and didn't make a peep when citizens were being arrested for wearing the 'wrong' T-shirt in emperor George's presence. History... PLEASE BE KIND.

Posted by: JT | April 26, 2007 05:43 PM

Yeah, BR. Bush just waited and waited and waited for over seven and a half minutes after he had been informed that the United States was under attack before he did anything. We know this becaue we have the video. I guess "My Pet Goat" is compelling reading.

What color is the sky in your world? When History judges this President, it will find him at the bottom of the barrel. We will all be able to tell our grandchildren that we survived the WORST (by far) president in American history.

The only "Neville Chamberlins" around right now are people like you and the GOP power mongers who have cheered as this administration took a wrecking ball to our Nation and Constitution.

Wake up.

Posted by: Jim Bob | April 26, 2007 05:46 PM

I second John Webb's comments and agree, although I doubt not firing Gonzales isn't about delaying impeachment or protecting Rove. Just the process of getting Senate approval right now for another AG would be far too damaging to the administration.

Posted by: morgan | April 26, 2007 06:00 PM

It's smelling like a pig pen OH it's just the republican'S IN OFFICE !!!

Posted by: GEORGE | April 26, 2007 06:17 PM

I think it is important to remember that lying before Congress is a criminal act.

If there is reasonable cause to believe that Gonzales lied, he should be arrested.

If the case is proved, he should be convicted. Then, perhaps, when he is in jail, we may get a chance for another Attorney General.

Posted by: thompst | April 26, 2007 06:18 PM

PardonerInChief, I believe it was L. Patrick Gray who was left 'slowly twisting in the wind,' not Richard Kleindienst. But I get your point.

Posted by: BarkerDL | April 26, 2007 06:25 PM

How is it that other countries oust their corrupt leaders with votes of non confidence almost immediately, and we are stuck with these filth ridden murderous monsters for over 7 years with no end in sight. Someone please help me understand.

Posted by: Effie | April 26, 2007 06:27 PM

"Abu" Gonzales is dead-body cover for Karl Rove's ongoing illegal plan to politicize American justice by packing US Attorney offices with political hacks who will launch unfounded indictments against Democratic party members. One such conviction was just overturned this month by the court in Wisconsin which ordered the innocenbt woman immediately freed - after admonishing the prosecutor for convicting without evidence.

It isn't about who got fired as much as it is about which political hack cronys they want to pack the offices of USAs with.


Posted by: JBE | April 26, 2007 06:28 PM

Beyond a reasonable doubt, Gonzalas lied and perjured himself. Such memory failure is not believable. He should be impeached, tried and imprisoned.

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Posted by: Rfjnsdao | April 26, 2007 06:53 PM

... and disbarred

Posted by: wrb | April 26, 2007 07:03 PM

Hey, guys this Attorney General stuff reads like a chapter in book called "Unitary Executive, Anyone?" by the Decider.

Posted by: Jan | April 26, 2007 07:11 PM

the Unitary Legislative Theory demonstrates- beyond any doubt- that the Congress can just frog-march these folks to the hearing & then imprison them indefinitely. Obviously, when the executive consistently fails to faithfully execute the laws, the legislature must execute them, for the sake of our union.

Posted by: Yea But | April 26, 2007 07:18 PM

It is a sorry state of affairs when the Attorney General of the United States cannot tell the truth. Who then can be expected to tell the truth.

It is a sorrier state of affairs that we still have to endure over a year and a half of the most incompetent administration in the history of this nation.

Posted by: Cordell Brown | April 26, 2007 07:19 PM

Gonzales Haiku

Wiretapping, torture.
Good ideas, at the time.
Resignation, not.

Posted by: Gnarlene | April 26, 2007 07:23 PM

I'm telling you... you're concentrating on the wrong person-it's not Gonzalez, it's the Deputy Attorney General - PAUL MCNULTY- who is the nuts and bolts of this WHOLE MATTER.

He is where the buck stops-but, McNulty has never been able to tell the truth, and has always very good at covering for others, and blaming others-to take the heat off his own-even while he was US Attorney for the EDVA (smile).

Wait till Monica Goodling testifies, then you'll see-the person who has really lied before Congress about this whole matter, will be found to be McNulty-but they won't touch him-will Congress-because he comes from their culture...

Like I said, I would hope the Judiciary Committee tomorrow reads him his Miranda warnings...He is the scum in the Department.

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Posted by: dogtrainer | April 26, 2007 07:30 PM

I'm telling you... you're concentrating on the wrong person-it's not Gonzalez, it's the Deputy Attorney General - PAUL MCNULTY- who is the nuts and bolts of this WHOLE MATTER.

He is where the buck stops-but, McNulty has never been able to tell the truth, and has always very good at covering for others, and blaming others-to take the heat off his own-even while he was US Attorney for the EDVA (smile).

Wait till Monica Goodling testifies, then you'll see-the person who has really lied before Congress about this whole matter, will be found to be McNulty-but they won't touch him-will Congress-because he comes from their culture...

Like I said, I would hope the Judiciary Committee tomorrow reads him his Miranda warnings...He is the scum in the Department.

Posted by: spaceexplorer | April 26, 2007 07:26 PM

Posted by: spaceexplorer | April 26, 2007 07:31 PM

Whoever commented above that we are finding what its like to like to live in a totalitarian climate is on the mark. I worry if the precedents sent in these six years will open the door to repetition by whichever administration reigns.

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Posted by: katieXkrunktastic | April 26, 2007 08:07 PM

If the funding bill is vetoed, a replacement should be conditioned on compelling testimony from everyone, correcting the constitutional encroachments, restoring habeas corpus, criminalizing torture and conspiracy to permit torture, making clear that "signing statements" are invalid- retroactively, and appointing one or more an Independent Prosecutors

Posted by: Compromise | April 26, 2007 08:09 PM

Gonzales was never qualified to be AG. He is an opportunist who hitched his wagon to GW Shrub by sucking up to him. And he never stopped sucking up. The little monster originated the memo authorizing torture. His office condoned the most egregious abuses of the Constitution... Gonzales has to go because he is nothing but a tool of George W. Bush. And he is obviously determined to do anything to please his master. Gonzales has no moral compass, no integrity, and no honesty. Gonzales is totally amoral.

Posted by: | April 26, 2007 10:29 PM

she can be prosecuted for lying under oath because it is a new crime. there are good people serving in this administration, i dont think they're all devils.

Posted by: egalitaire | April 27, 2007 12:05 AM

Sooooo, just a little while ago, DOJ released some documents to Congress-(withheld others) and guess whose hand is all over them? Why, the DAG himself, PAUL MCNULTY!

And can anyone tell me why this morally bankrupt utterly politicized hack slimeball (PAUL MCNULTY) is getting such preferential treatment by getting a "closed door" session tomorrow morning for his testimony on the US Attorney firings?

Why CAN'T the American public view McNulty in action? To see what a slick lying little bastard HE is, so they can truly understand (as can the rest of the world, who is also watching) what a pair of thoroughly corrupt, arrogant, misleading, totally non-patriotic matching bookends this country has at the helm of the Department of Justice?

Let me say it again, both McNulty AND Gonzalez need to have their Miranda warnings read to them....

Posted by: spaceexplorer | April 27, 2007 12:11 AM

Oh, P.S.- Just ask Washington Post reporter Jerry Markon about Paul McNulty, you see, he's had quite a special relationship with him for quite some time...(smile)

Posted by: spaceexplorer | April 27, 2007 12:16 AM

It has been quite an achievment to have one head of the Dept. of Justice who had to cover up the statue of Justice because he was embarrassed by what he was doing and another who cannot recall what Justice means.
What could we get next?

Posted by: rdonolaw | April 27, 2007 12:29 AM


The behind the scenes reasons as to why PAUL MCNULTY has to again testify today, and how he went against senior Justice Department attorneys advice, insisting that he could draw on his long Hill contacts with Schumer to "explain" (read: lie and mislead) that the firings were "performance based," rather than political:

"...the initial plan had simply been to deny the existence of improper motives. People thought that should be enough," said a source familiar with the discussions that day. "McNulty argued vigorously the other way. He said DOJ had to give these guys on the Hill an explanation."

In the prep session, which occurred in the Justice Department the afternoon before he testified, McNulty emphasized that he had a longstanding friendship with Schumer and that he could smooth things over with the senior Democrat. Also in the meeting were Department officials Kyle Sampson, Monica Goodling, Bill Mercer, Richard Hertling and Michael Elston.

"[McNulty] thought he could explain it was performance-related and Schumer would accept that. He touted his relationship with Schumer, and he said you have to be reasonable with these guys and give them the information," the source said. "No one was willing to second guess McNulty."

At one point, one of the lawyers asked about Cummins's dismissal and how McNulty could explain that using the "performance-related" phrase, the source said. McNulty said he would "just explain the White House had a candidate for the job," the source said.

"That opened up the entire thing," said a source with knowledge of the meeting. "The phrase 'performance-related' is where all this goes wrong."

Instead of accepting those explanations, however, Schumer aggressively challenged McNulty during the hearing over perceived inconsistencies in his testimony and that of Gonzales.

"This is the first we've heard of this," Schumer said incredulously, moments after McNulty revealed that Cummins was fired so Griffin could step in.

McNulty left the hearing believing he'd accomplished his mission of pacifying Schumer, as Sampson reported the next morning. "Paul reports this morning that: He's hearing good reports from the committee," Sampson wrote. "In particular, Sen. Schumer's counsel told him that the issue has basically run its course; that they needed to get a little more information from us (i.e., the closed-door briefing that Paul promised them re the reasons for the resignations), but that will be it."

But AG Gonzalez, who was in South America that day, was furious when he read news stories about McNulty's testimony. "The attorney general is extremely upset with the stories on the US attys this morning," wrote Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, in an e-mail to Sampson and Tasia Scolinos, the chief spokeswoman for the department.

"He also thought some of the DAG's statements were inaccurate." Scolinos responded to the e-mail that she, too, "didn't think the hearing had gone all that well." Roehrkasse suggested in his e-mail that the department offer a "clearly worded op-ed" and reach out "to [editorial] boards who will write in coming days" to help straighten out the situation.

Gonzalez then wrote an editorial that ran in USA Today in which he tried to reconcile McNulty's testimony with his own and to make clear that McNulty's "performance-related" phrase should not be interpreted to mean a negative or inadequate performance by the attorneys. "To be clear, it was for reasons related to policy, priorities and management - what have been referred to broadly as "performance-related" reasons - that seven U.S. attorneys were asked to resign last December," Gonzalez wrote. But it was too late. The U.S. attorneys who had initially told the administration they would quietly resign began to speak out publicly and defend themselves. "He had to defend his reputation," Kyl said of Charlton. "So did the rest of them."

At Schumer's insistence, McNulty went back to Capitol Hill Feb. 14, to meet privately with the Judiciary Committee and provide more information on each firing. But his carefully crafted responses - trying to give minimal information without disclosing much, left senators on both sides of the aisle either angry or frustrated, and according to those with knowledge of the meeting, only fanned the flames of the growing firestorm. A source close to McNulty said the deputy attorney general believes he has Gonzalez' full confidence....

To sum up, it is PAUL MCNULTY who is the slick, lying bastard-always willing to mislead, to blame someone else, for his unethical and blatently political stances. He is utterly unfit to be the deputy Attorney General (DAG).

Gonzalez, as AG, actually DID have the right to dismiss the US Attorneys, who serve at the pleasure of the president, but his slick DAG thought it was more important to put one over on Congress than to simply tell the truth.

THAT'S why Congress ought to read Miranda warnings to PAUL MCNULTY-and now, Gonzalez is tangled up in the web of lies.

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | April 27, 2007 09:21 AM

Let's not forget that this president has led and behaved as if he is the president of the 30% or so of the population whose faith in him is blind.

Posted by: Haz | April 28, 2007 11:58 AM

Condoleeza Who?

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 28, 2007 12:49 PM

To the poster that claims Harry Reid to be incompetent: LOL--compared to whom? W and his administration? Please.
I met the Senator in Nevada in 1996. He's a very smart man, probably an astrophysicist compared to the vegetables in the Executive Branch right now. There are several Republican Senators who stand heads and tails about the Executive Branch right now.
I say, GO HARRY< and we know the BUCK would stop with another one of you, unlike the unaccountable figurehead we have as President currently.

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