Gonzales to Congress: Get Over it, I'm Staying

For a man with much to be modest about, Alberto R. Gonzales sure seems to be feeling his oats these days. On Wednesday, in prepared remarks he intends to deliver to the House Judiciary Committee when he testifies again on Capitol Hill today, the Attorney General told the lawmakers to move their pretty little minds past the U.S. Attorney scandal so that everyone at the Justice Department could get back to work. "The sooner that all the facts are known," wrote the man who famously couldn't or wouldn't remember vital details last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in the controversy, "the sooner we can devote our exclusive attention" to protecting "the American people from the dangers of terrorism, violent crime, illegal drugs and sexual predators." (Memo to file: Under Gonzales' watch, violent crime in many large cities is up, as is drug use in the middle of the country, and it has nothing to do with the Attorney General becoming distracted).

Then came this from today's New York Times: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales appears increasingly confident that he will survive the crisis over the dismissal of federal prosecutors, as White House aides who view him as a liability see little point in trying to persuade President Bush to push him out, administration officials and Republican allies said. Though Mr. Gonzales is considered in Congress and in legal circles as an isolated and diminished figure, he has told aides he believes he has weathered the storm." Perhaps this newfound (and to me inexplicable) confidence explains why the Attorney General's prepared remarks to the House Committee are strikingly similar to his prepared remarks before the Senate Committee last month-- and we all know how that turned out for Gonzales. In fact, the whole lead-up to Gonzales' date with the House reminds me of what George Packer wrote in this week's New Yorker magazine: "The Bush Administration has come close to perfecting the art of unaccountability."

Gonzales can declare until he is blue in the face that "mistakes were made" at the Justice Department but until the President holds him accountable for those mistakes-- or until he holds himself accountable and simply leaves-- the Attorney General's indirect apologies aren't worth spit. For example, Gonzales will apologize today to the U.S. Attorneys who were fired last year not for the shoddy way in which they were treated (and in some cases threatened) but for "allowing this matter to become an unfortunate and undignified public spectacle..." At what point should a public official's mistakes cost him his job? Sometimes, I tell my eight-year-old that saying "sorry" just isn't good enough. And it's certainly not good enough here now that the credibility of the Justice Department has been wrecked as a result of the Gonzales Era.

Moreover, the Attorney General is trying to shame the Congress into moving past the controversy even as new facts emerge each week, each day it seems, that widen the scope of the scandal. For example, this morning the Washington Post is reporting about a ninth (and new) fired federal prosecutor caught up in this mess. Why in the world should Congress simply forget the matter when the "matter" keeps evolving and looking worse for the Attorney General? It's no wonder that Gonzales tanked it last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee-- either he knows how bad it is and doesn't want to say or he doesn't know how bad it is. Either way, he can't be candid for fear of looking worse than he already does.

Equally pathetic is the notion that Gonzales today will somehow reverse course and wow 'em before the House Committee. If he stonewalls like he did last month, he is going to get hammered by lawmakers, just like he was last month. And if he suddenly has a series of epiphanies about his role in the affair you can bet that the folks in the Senate will want to know how it came to pass that the man's memory was better in May than it was in April. A failed leader has a losing hand to play and it's hard to see how another halting few hours before another hostile Congressional Committee ( the over-under on Gonzales saying "I don't remember" during his testimony is hereby declared to be 60) is going to change that.

The Attorney General and his people may be trying to spin the idea that the worst is over for him. But so long as he keeps opening his mouth and saying nothing, and so long as men and women of goodwill keep coming forward to add breadth and depth to this sorry story, Gonzales will be trapped; destined to muddle around in this legal and political purgatory. Don't just listen to what he says today. Listen to what he doesn't say.

By Andrew Cohen |  May 10, 2007; 8:30 AM ET agag
Previous: Forget Censure and Impeachment; Gonzales Needs to Go Now | Next: House GOP to Gonzo: Scandal, What Scandal?

Comments

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Congress and DOJ can move on just as soon as the OPR and IG investigations are completed, and hopefully those investigators will follow the evidence wherever it leads. Immunity for Goodling will hamstring any potential prosecution of her, but I would look above her anyway.

Posted by: ExAUSA | May 10, 2007 11:44 AM

"simply needs to go, either voluntarily or with a push from the White House"

Get over it. He's not going to. Period. That 'push' you are looking for has NO chance of arriving unless impeachment proceedings start. Bush feels he has weathered the worst of this particular storm and no amount of sanctimonious commentary from Congress is going to change that. To quote Joseph Welch, this President "has no sense of decency." Pretending/hoping otherwise suggests a mind impervious to experience.

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Posted by: AutopatriotCar | May 10, 2007 12:16 PM

Typical Cheney/Bush operations. Hear no evil, speak evil, see no evil, and do evil.

Posted by: Wayne | May 10, 2007 12:27 PM

Bush is as stubborn about Gonzales as he is about Iraq. Things will not change. Until 2008, things will not change.

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 12:27 PM

Wow, an AG with guts. Anybody actually payng attention knew this was a witch hunt from the beginning. My only dissapointment was that he didn't talk like this from the start.

The firings need NO explanation. Heck, Reno fired them ALL and I remember no investigation. I get the feeling this sillyness will finally be over. If they can't intimidate him they are wasting their time.

Maybe they can find a picture of a little kid on one of his underlings computers and see if THAT can somehow damage him.

Sheesh...

Posted by: rob | May 10, 2007 12:28 PM

Well, if the Democrats in Congress are willing to stand by and let Gonzales thumb his nose at them, why not? If they had any spine, they'd impeach him, or cut the DOJ budget to the bone, but they don't have it in them. They'll get huffy and outraged, and then life will go on exactly as it has. Was it even worth changing majorities this past November? Substantively, nothing has changed.

Posted by: gasmonkey | May 10, 2007 12:28 PM

I find it ironic that while congress is up in arms about Gonzales' firing 'scandal', no one has brought up the interesting precedent that countless other presidents have set in having their attorney generals fire opposite partisan candidates.

There is nothing new here except that a majority partisan congress is going after the opposing sides' firing to drum up political support and the publics' know nothing outrage.

Stories like this that write with the upmost amount of bias should be ashamed of belonging to a national news site.

Posted by: Apokriphos | May 10, 2007 12:29 PM

If no one was fired over 9/11, what makes anyone think he'll get axed for this offense?

This is symptomatic of what is also happening in the business world. The CEO (Bush) ignores the shareholders (U.S Citizens) and does whatever he feels like doing, no matter who or what is hurt nor how significant the damage.

It is time to remove the entire administration. Government for the people, by the people -- Not this time round!

If only we had a time machine!


Posted by: John | May 10, 2007 12:30 PM

Save USA... Impeach Bush and his lackeys...

Posted by: shah | May 10, 2007 12:30 PM

This was all ridiculous months ago and now it's getting worse. Is there anyone, Bushevik or not, who does not believe that this was an attempt to use the DoJ to help Republicans win elections they hadn't earned? Let the little grub stay in his job as a slimy reminder of what a Republican presidency means.

Posted by: Chris Fox | May 10, 2007 12:31 PM

Alberto Gonzales,like many of his cronies has spun so many lies that he is in a deep crater unable to see out for what would be another plausible lie! He is so far gone that he can only turn the least aching side to the dart throwers and try to be cannon fodder in a retrograde operation for his superiors. If we do not punish these people for their flagrant abuse of power, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and politization of the Justice Department, we will never have a nation again and politics will consume us from either side like a wind out of hell.

Posted by: c.e.bowman | May 10, 2007 12:31 PM

BESIDES ALL HIS FIREINGS, IS HE DOING THE JOB OF HIS OFFICE, REGARDLESS?

Posted by: RHEA ADAMS | May 10, 2007 12:32 PM

Gonzales to the people of the United States, "I raise my middle finger to all of you - high and proud".

Posted by: Gary | May 10, 2007 12:32 PM

IMO, this entire incident was a non-issue and those who have attempted to build this mole hill into Mt. Everest are the ones who need to "go away".

These US Attorneys all serve at the pleasure of the President, and if they were removed, this is nothing to sneeze about.

Yes, I think it was handled poorly - the Bush administration should have from Day One just come out and said, we removed these people, under the Constitutional authority of the government, because they had lost the confidence of the Department and elected officials in their jurisdiction. End of story.

Posted by: DL/NASHVILLE | May 10, 2007 12:33 PM

Gonze, you need to go that's the bottom line. You are not tellin the truths therefore keep the esteem of Attorney General's position and just freak'n resigns man. Gonze your image is already shattered and beyond repair no matter whether you stay, quit or forced to quit.

Posted by: Reply | May 10, 2007 12:33 PM

I'm amazed that all this congress can do is investigate the Bush administration instead of actually getting any work done. Oh I forgot this Democratic congress has done some work such as pass non-binding legislation as well as pork filled, withdraw time lined, war funding bills that have been guaranteed to be vetoed by the President. This entire scandal and this congress thus far has been a do nothing/no solution congress. I am sick and tired of this horse play and plead with anyone to urge your congressman or woman to get to work, actual results based work and stop all this silliness and obsession to make Bush look bad. Gonzales did nothing wrong and further more did not break the law. This is just another attempt to strike at Bush, instead of serving the people of the United States.

Posted by: EnoughIsEnough | May 10, 2007 12:33 PM

9/11, Iraq, declining dollar, massive debt, hugh trade imbalance.

Funny how every child in America is held accountable by BUSH and his bending buddies, but he is accountable to no one. Especially not the voters.

I guess our once great nation is no more.

Posted by: JR | May 10, 2007 12:34 PM

I'd like to see this idiot go now but the way I see it in 2008 that whole bunch of white house crooks will be gone. Then we can begin to clean up the Bush mess!!!!

Posted by: jb | May 10, 2007 12:34 PM

Rob - You are an idiot. Please wake up - you would have fit in real well in Germany in the 1930's. I bet you watch Fox news and listen to O'hannity.

Posted by: Bush is incompetent Chaney is crazy | May 10, 2007 12:34 PM

I live in Washington. Ours was one his department fired, and should have. A democrat stole the governors seat in broad dailight and NOTHING was done. It was a travesty and party afiliation has nothing to do with it. It would have been just as bad if a republican had done it.

Meantime, our government employee who is supposed to investigate and prosecute such matters did nothing. Gonzalez department fired him.

But they don't really need a reason. They could have fired him for his hair style. I don't think Reno had cause for firing all of them.

Posted by: Rob | May 10, 2007 12:34 PM

This is typical of those who give hispanics a bad name; could be this guy is an illegal alien asserting his "Rights".

Posted by: crazyhorsewon | May 10, 2007 12:35 PM

In this day and age, officials don't get convicted for a crime, particularly when there is no crime. What they try to get them on are petty falshoods or errors in their statements. Anyone hear of Libby or Stewart?
I would have no memory either if I knew that they were looking at every word I uttered in an effort to hang me. One would have to be a fool not to use the " I don't recall" phrase.

Posted by: Eric Anderson | May 10, 2007 12:36 PM

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. Mr. Cohen seems to have, like Mr. Gonzalez, forgotten about that.

Posted by: Bill Moran | May 10, 2007 12:37 PM

why all the fuss about the fired federal prosecutors, they serve at the will of the president who can fire them for no reason if he wants to. the times should get over it and stir up trouble somewhere else.

Posted by: stuart | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

[Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales appears increasingly confident that he will survive the crisis over the dismissal of federal prosecutors]

another authoritarian in the executive branch that never waivers, never doubts, never admits any wrong ... amongst a whole group of psychopathic personalities leading the country.

Posted by: bobnjersey | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

I fear even in 2008 things will not really change very much given the populist choices the system gives us to vote amoung. Both parties are to blame for letting this happen. The media wants a war president. So does industry. No one seems to really do a thing about the constitutional abuses by Bush and Gonzales -- wiretaps, habeas corpus, posse comitatus, etc. Bush even has said he has the power to perpetually wage war without Congress. This is a clear violation of the separation of powers and shared responsibility for war. Most on the hill are too comfortable for the fight. Iran is next under all but Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul.

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

You need to get a life. Being a sarcastic so called journalist is not a life, it's no more that a tainted paycheck. Freedom of the press even protects the petty so called journalists. What are the qualifications for a journalist? I'm sure you failed miserably as so many of you have!

Posted by: JOHN COLLINS | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

Little Al is the Rumsfeld of 2007.

But I'll bet he's got something on the Shrub, so we may have to wait until he writes his "justification" book.

Even worse, he won't be the last. Monica Goodling could be next.

Lurita Doan and the Scott Jennings "political" briefings at GSA and other departments will get us closer to Rove as we learn the extent this administration has gone to place politically partisan people in what should be professional positions.

Posted by: pacman | May 10, 2007 12:38 PM

great job of objective, unbiased journalism

Posted by: Tery | May 10, 2007 12:39 PM

There is not, nore ever has been any story here. If Gonzalez had dispensed with the PC responses from day one we wouldn't still be discussing this. He showed weakness in the beginning and became a potential achilles heel for Bush to all those who pathologically hate Bush.

There is no "there" there and never was. Reno proved you don't have a reason as have AG's throughout the history of the office. He should have thumbed his nose at these folks from the start but, better late than never.

Posted by: Rob | May 10, 2007 12:39 PM

"the Bush administration should have from Day One just come out and said, we removed these people, under the Constitutional authority of the government, because they had lost the confidence of the Department and elected officials in their jurisdiction. End of story."

Makes sense to me. If the best weapon in your arsenal is lengthy strings of self-serving lies, then by all means, you should play your strength.

Posted by: Paul Dirks | May 10, 2007 12:40 PM

Bush must be impeached, held for crimes against humanity by the world court, then executed along with Cheney and Gonzales.

Posted by: DMZ33 | May 10, 2007 12:40 PM

He didn't do it, Prersident, VP and white house did it, Find the real cuases. Now shut up and get back to work.

Posted by: jack | May 10, 2007 12:41 PM

look at the desperate Busheviks reciting their talking points! If I were still trying to support Bush I would be anxious to change the subject too. But I'm smarter than that.

Posted by: Chris Fox | May 10, 2007 12:41 PM

Bush, quoting him "is always responsible",
but he holds himself aloof of consequences.
Katrina, Iraq, budget, Wolfowitz, Fox, Gonzales, etc. are the morass he has created and cultivated.....

Posted by: Henri Devieux | May 10, 2007 12:42 PM

John, you said: "If no one was fired over 9/11, what makes anyone think he'll get axed for this offense?"

What offense? I have yet to see a shred of evidence that anything wrong was done, and even when some accuse him of things I don't see those things as offenses.

"Officer, he was doing the speed limit and it was raining."

So?

Posted by: Rob | May 10, 2007 12:42 PM

STOP SAYING THAT EVERY AG HAS DONE THIS! THAT IS A LIE! Everyone knows it now. Yes, every admin fires the previous admins AG's but NOT IN MID-TERM!!!!!! Stop making excuses for these people. Real Republicans (NOT FACIST NEO-CONS) don't approve of this moron and his cronies, nor do we blame the Dems for our parties awful transgressions. We need to impeach them for crimes against their own fellow Americans or it will be too late when "We the People" are able to right these awful wrongs. Let's just admit that he and Cheney are bad for America's future and move on to fix it.

Posted by: Notalkingpointer | May 10, 2007 12:42 PM

I've got a fever! And the only prescription is more Gonzales!

Posted by: I Ate My Wheaties | May 10, 2007 12:42 PM

Fire Gonzales... Impeach Bush and his whole crew... the reasons are so numerous... lets get The USA back on course and not under the Bush screw with the rules as he sees fit dictatorship.

Posted by: john | May 10, 2007 12:43 PM

IF CONGRESS can't stop GONZO...
how can they stand up to empty drum
like Mr Bush.
get over it ????

PLEASE NO MORE LIES AND DECEPTION.

Posted by: PHIL | May 10, 2007 12:43 PM

Turning a blind eye or just "waiting" until 2008 is not the answer. Bring everything to the surface and force the truth.

Posted by: 86 Bush | May 10, 2007 12:43 PM

The reason this is such a big deal is that the new appointments were put into place without congressional approval thanks to a now-closed gap in the law. Congress is just pissed they brought this on themselves by not reading the legislation they passed beforehand. I'm sick of it; thank God I'm an independant.

Posted by: Dave | May 10, 2007 12:44 PM

It is incorrect to state that the firings were justified because the U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the Attorney General, and because other AGs have fired U.S. Attorneys before. It is necessary for the Attorney General to have the power to fire non-performing U.S. Attorneys without a lot of red tape. However, firing a U.S. Attorney because s/he investigated political friends and allies undermines the faith that we have, and must always have, in the rule of law in this country.

More important to me is that it is reported that Mr. Gonzalez lied to a federal judge. If that allegation is true, and the Democrats have any spine, they will move to have his federal license to practice law suspended.

Posted by: PGJ | May 10, 2007 12:45 PM

This inarticulate, disingenuous, and bumbling fool makes a mockery of the law. What happened to the ethical obligation of candor to the tribunal? Thank the Lord I left this profession as it circles the toilet.

Posted by: bjg629 | May 10, 2007 12:46 PM

Rob-

Did Janet Reno fire them at the begining of a presidential term, or in the middle of one, like Gonzales? It wasn't a big deal then because the lawyers weren't fired for not investigating BS fraud charges that were bogus. History - look into it.

Posted by: Duh | May 10, 2007 12:47 PM

You said:

"look at the desperate Busheviks reciting their talking points! If I were still trying to support Bush I would be anxious to change the subject too. But I'm smarter than that."

I am no Bush supporter, but I know a witch hunt when I see it, regardless of the party.

Bush and his administration most definitely have their faults, but this ain't one of them. It was a witch hunt, and a really, REALLY stupid one at that. There simply is NO wrongdoing here even if all the accusations turn out to be true.

People need to choose their battles. This one was a really poor choice on the part of the Democrats. I mean mind bogglingly poor!

Posted by: Chris Fox | May 10, 2007 12:47 PM

Perhaps a review of the U.S. Constitution would be helpful in this matter, as it pertains to the issue of "separation of powers" and the method of corresting abuses, or supposed abuses of power, is clearly defined by an election. If something unlawful happened charge the AG with a crime, otherwise stop wasting taxpayer money with these hearings.

Posted by: D.M. Peterson | May 10, 2007 12:48 PM

guilty? Schmilty....

The poor soul is suffering from early onset Alzheimers and needs nursing care.

Posted by: wallace | May 10, 2007 12:48 PM

Hey Rob, you see no indication of anything wrong? I think that tells me everything I need to know about the value of your viewpoint. The point you're attempting to make has been rebutted many times. Some fell on rocky ground.

Posted by: Chris Fox | May 10, 2007 12:48 PM

Reno fired ALL the attorneys at the president's request at the beginning of Clinton's administration. This is fair and common practice. Bush did the same thing when he entered office.

The problem, rob, is that all of those attorneys were approved by the senate, and the role of Congress was not diminished. With the current scandal, the president is exercising a provision snuck into the reauthorization of the patriot act to replace attorneys without Senate confirmation -and doing so for plainly political reasons. Most of those dismissed were prosecuting prominent replublicans. (Please review the testimonies of those who were fired.)

The politicizing of the DOJ is a travesty, but no cabinet position under the Bush administration is above partisan hackery. Dirty politics is the only thing Bush and co. are good at.

This administration is a disgrace to the American people, but as has been mentioned before, nothing will likely change until 2008.

Please, Rob, remove your blinders.... you should realize that your entire post was a White House talking point.

Posted by: bill | May 10, 2007 12:49 PM

If it is shown that the White House and Gonzalez undertook actions which amounted to, or facilitated, violations of the Hatch Act, those responsible should be impeached, indicted, etc. All this talk about Clinton and other presidents terminating attorneys when they first came to office is just non sequitur nonsense designed to distract from the underlying wrongdoing of using the DOJ to advance the political aims of the GOP. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Mark In Irvine | May 10, 2007 12:53 PM

Impeachment is the only way congress is going to get answers to this situation. Let honest Republicans and Democrats finally fulfill their responsibilities- enough of prevarications, faulty memories, and outright lies.

Posted by: wstickney | May 10, 2007 12:54 PM

Duh, you seem to be living under the false impression that there is some sort of magical time limit for when firings are LEGALLY justified.

There isn't. And frankly, I couldn't care less WHY these firings happened, even if it WAS for political reasons. That is why we have terms. None of the people involved here are supreme court justices - aka job for life. If you don't like the way they do their job then, by all means, vote aginst them next time.

I can tell you this: the one that was fired from my state desperately deserved it. He was 100% worthless in protecting us from massive voter fraud. It was due to that case that I no longer vote.

I am not a lemming.

I also have not had TV in my home for over a decade. I get my news from more reliable sources - although that isn't too hard.

This is only a story to partisan hacks - on both sides. The rest of us see it for what it is. Those of us that actually read the body of information available that is.

Posted by: Rob | May 10, 2007 12:54 PM

The Bush administration position is well documented. "We aren't in positions of authority, we ARE the authority."
So what if he lies to the U.S.Senate. He's fighting the war on terror. So what if he doesn't remember and is incompetent.? So what if Karl Rove told Bush to fire these guys and hire his pals. What's the surprise? It's only the Justice Dept.
This is what the republican party is all about."We screw the other guy and pass the savings on to you, good Buddy"

Posted by: Billy | May 10, 2007 12:55 PM

No, Mang! You are going to the joint, Vato! Maybe you can ask for Herr Rove as your bunk mate so you can discuss what went wrong!

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Posted by: AutopatriotCar | May 10, 2007 12:58 PM

RE: Eric Anderson

There is logic in your reply, but if Gonzo and Co. would have come out from the beginning and told the truth, this mess would not exist.

No one (with half a brain) cares about the fact that the US Attorneys were fired. People care because they were lied to about it over and again, and they continue to be lied to.

I understand that this whole situation isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. However, "petty falsehoods" have piled up and are about all we've heard from this administration, and people are finally sick of it.

Took them long enough...

Posted by: Ryan | May 10, 2007 12:58 PM

Funny how conservatives that lap at this incompetent presidents heels like faithful scotties, who don't care how much they are lied to, as long as it's by a republican. We'll see how well he manages now that his own party is telling him in no uncertain terms that his war plan is clearly seen as "waiting out the clock", at the expense of the lives of our young soldiers and marines, and that even they can't support that any more without looking as incompetent as he does.

Posted by: A Response | May 10, 2007 12:59 PM

If I recall correctly, Reno fired the prosecutors when she took office. It is typical for an incoming president to replace the prosecutors that served for the last president.

These latest firings are unprecedented because they are in the middle of the administration's tenure, and not at the beginning. So, to use Reno's actions as justifications for Gonzales' actions is disingenuous.

Posted by: DCX2 | May 10, 2007 01:00 PM

You said: "Please, Rob, remove your blinders.... you should realize that your entire post was a White House talking point."

It is interesting, because I never heard them. I came up with this on my own. It is obvious to anyone who follows this but has no party affiliation. Fact is, I am one of the few here that DO NOT have blinders.

But I am already being sucked into this more than it warrants. You guys have fun beating your head against a brick wall. Meanwhile, I recommend the book by Claire Wolff: http://www.billstclair.com/lodge/Books101.shtml

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- opening lines of 101 Things To Do 'Til The Revolution by Claire Wolfe

This is why I do not vote.

Posted by: Bill | May 10, 2007 01:00 PM

Say Gonzales leaves or (imagine this) W lets him go....

Do you really think it's going to get any better with the next chump?

I'm moving to the Bahamas where they have a completely transparent and logical legal system. If it's good enough for Mr. Birkhead, it's good enough for me.....

Posted by: Toulouse Lautrec | May 10, 2007 01:01 PM

Trash journalism. I hope you didn't waste a lot of your parents money on college. This reads like an article in a high school paper.

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 01:02 PM

There is simply no way anyone with a brain and a love of The Constitution of the U.S. can read ANY of the analysis of this situation and not come away sickened by this AG's and administrations hubris and lack of ethics.

However, many comments here seem to suggest everything is in order.

Goes to show once more, you can lead a Republican to water, but you can't make them think.

Posted by: joey | May 10, 2007 01:03 PM

George Bush and his administration may not face accountability now, but they will certainly face it in November of 2008. This country has had enough. The Republican Party will take a whipping and justly so. I voted Republican at times in the past. I think it will be a long time before I do that again. I've had it with the lies and deception. I don't believe anything that comes out of the White House now. It's a sad state of affairs indeed.

Posted by: Joe in Arkansas | May 10, 2007 01:05 PM

One last note. As an independent, it is interesting to go back and read through these responses. One side seems to have a different level of civilized discourse than the other.

I give the reader freedom and responsibility to discern which is which. ;)

Posted by: Rob | May 10, 2007 01:07 PM

Wow, the 28 percenters are out in force today! Still making the same robotic, totally brain-dead comparisons to Janet Reno I see. No wonder they still love Bush: if you are completely ignorant of both the facts and reality he's doing a wonderful job!

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 10, 2007 01:09 PM

If Gonzo can't remember things he does and says, he shouldn't be in that position! Maybe he could be Bush's gardener, all he would mess up then are plants and not people's lives. I think he should be impeached. I can't wait till 2008, then the REST of these clowns, will be voted OUT of office!

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 01:09 PM

DL/NASHVILLE:

"because they had lost the confidence of the Department and elected officials in their jurisdiction. End of story."

The minor detail here is that the only person in this whole story who had lost the confidence of the Department is the man at the head of the department. What rock have you been under?? These attorneys almost all had exemplary records and were doing their jobs.

Posted by: Mark | May 10, 2007 01:09 PM

Rob-

Last time i checked, i didn't cast a ballot for Attorney General. I made no mention of a "magical time limit" in my post -just facts. I think that your tone is too politically colored. I'm not a fan of any politician, regardless of party affiliation, but given the circumstances, I most certainly can see why hearings are being held.

Are you a loyal replublican? Do you believe Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda? Do you think the people of New Orleans are "scum" who just want to blame the president for there poor problem-solving skills? Do you believe the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" was in any way legal? Rob... if you answer yes to any of these questions, I've profiled you, and I can stop wasting my time responding to your misguided rants.

Funny how Bush supporters will dilute an argument rather than rebutting it point for point. At no time in Rob's response did he even mention any of my earlier points in order to dismiss them in an intellectual way. That i could respect. Instead, he starts his post with 'Duh' and starts talking about magical time limits. A neocons response is always so muddled and venomous, it leaves you so confused and scared by the lack of intellectual integrity, that debating them seems pointless. It's Hannity's winning formula.

Posted by: bill | May 10, 2007 01:10 PM

How much money will we spend on this battle? The first shot was fired by the repubs. As you may recall Star spend millions of our tax dollars on "Monica Gate", so naturally the Dems will retaliate with "Gonzogate"! Where does it end...

All you particans have to ask yourselves one question.

Where does it end?

Taxpayers (all of them) Dems, Repubs, Indep, Green etc... are paying the price.

SO if he goes, it ends (for now) then in 08 more changes occur and the vicious cycle continues....

GOD Help us!

Posted by: Mark P | May 10, 2007 01:12 PM

The Department of "Justice" isn't at all about justice, and won't be until the Bushies are gone. And we are not guaranteed that it will be better afterwards.

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 01:15 PM

The Washington Post just dosen't get it. Who hires these narrow minded people. The story is long over, Nothing anybody says can escape the toilet bowl where it was found to begin with. The Post and the New York Times are in bed with each other. What idiot would subscribe to these Democratic controled lap dogs?

Posted by: The Lone Ranger | May 10, 2007 01:25 PM

Honestly, I think they're letting the Gonzo Show conclude because there are much bigger fish to fry in this scandal.

Posted by: Reverend Rock | May 10, 2007 01:31 PM

[What offense? I have yet to see a shred of evidence that anything wrong was done, and even when some accuse him of things I don't see those things as offenses.]

and you never will ... regardless of what transpires.

Posted by: bobnjersey | May 10, 2007 01:32 PM

Get over it. This administration can fire whoever they want. These are political appointments. Move on and find something else to bellyache about.

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Posted by: drazdoperma | May 10, 2007 01:34 PM

Rob, how many times does it have to be written that the firings done by Janet Reno were not the same. Every administration has the option of cleaning house at the beginning of the term. These were done very late in the game and for entirely different reasons. The Clinton Administration did not dismiss those they felt were not loyal to the Clinton Administrtion, they dismissed them all without putting them through loyalty tests. Besides, this administration is not telling the truth about its motives and Mr. Gonzales is getting a little too cocky for his own good. Come on Dems, get justice rolling!

Posted by: ohreallynow | May 10, 2007 01:37 PM

It's nice to see the righties still clinging desperately to the utterly nonsensical argument that Clinton and Reno fired federal prosecutors too. So hey, shouldn't Bush and Gonzales be off the hook?

No. Stop pretending that everyone is stupid. There is a huge difference.

First of all, when Clinton did it, it was a routine matter. Secondly, it was done at the beginning of Clinton's term. Thirdly, and most importantly, the new prosecutors were subject to Senate review!

Did you read that? Clinton's new appointments were subject to Senate review. Bush, on the other hand, tried skirting the need for Senate approval, opening the door for abuse.

Is this clear enough for righties to understand? Senate review on one hand, no Senate review on the other. Routine on one hand, politically motivated firing of effective performers on the other.

Posted by: I Eat Conservatives | May 10, 2007 01:38 PM

[The Washington Post just dosen't get it. Who hires these narrow minded people. The story is long over, Nothing anybody says can escape the toilet bowl where it was found to begin with. The Post and the New York Times are in bed with each other. What idiot would subscribe to these Democratic controled lap dogs?]

AGREED.

Posted by: Gerson M. | May 10, 2007 01:41 PM

So let me get this straight...violent crime goes up in cities and somehow the Attorney General--rather than the mayors-- is responsible?

Posted by: disputatio | May 10, 2007 01:42 PM

Bush is the President; he chose Gonzales and believes in him. Get over it. Tell the demo to do the job they were elected to do and what they stated they would do. But we know that all politicians and most of liberal media lie. This is what we get for believing in them.

Posted by: Way | May 10, 2007 01:43 PM

[The Washington Post just dosen't get it. Who hires these narrow minded people. The story is long over, Nothing anybody says can escape the toilet bowl where it was found to begin with. The Post and the New York Times are in bed with each other. What idiot would subscribe to these Democratic controled lap dogs?]

aren't you reading it?

Posted by: bobnjersey | May 10, 2007 01:43 PM

When has objectiveness been a requirement in the opinion section? In my view Mr. Cohen has done a good job of illustrating the scattered response of the administration to this whole affair, its hard to *just*ify either withholding information if nothing improper was done or justifying simple incompetence at that level of office. If it is a common practice to push out judges with dissenting opinions or beliefs or party membership just say that and let the general public decide what should be done.

Posted by: J | May 10, 2007 01:44 PM

No one cares that Clinton did the same thing?

Posted by: jono | May 10, 2007 01:45 PM

Chris:

"People need to choose their battles. This one was a really poor choice on the part of the Democrats. I mean mind bogglingly poor!"

Interesting. I wonder why so many Republicans in Congress have also said - not just said but vehemently insisted - that he should go? I think there's a fair amount of "there" there, and frankly I am quite impressed with these GOP officials who have (finally) put principle above party. Kudos to them. If I lived in their states, I might even consider voting for them (especially Spector). Then again, that's probably precisely the reason for their sudden epiphany on principle, after the first six years of zero-oversight blank checkism.

Either way, it's nice to see them speaking out on this attempt to effectively dissolve of one of our 3 branches of government.

Posted by: Mark | May 10, 2007 01:47 PM

Rob from Washington is a typical ReThuglican who believes that any time a ReThuglican loses, it is a CRIME.

Well, apparently General Gonzo thinks so, too. Or at least he's fine with letting Unka Karl stick his grimy little fingers into the Justice Department to work the levers of politics through partisan prosecutions.

What the ReThuglicans tried to do, and unfortunately succeeded in large part in doing, to our legal system is to make it an arm of their party, the GOP, the God Offal Party.

I just love it when Gen. Gonzo says that firing the US Attys was the CONSENSUS decision of senior Justice personnel, and every single one of those senior personnel says they have no idea where the list came from or what the criteria was for the list.

Give Monica II immunity and she'll say where the list came from. Karl Rove, that is where it came from.

Professional prosecutor, to Karl Rove, means ReThuglican, in-the-pocket, taking orders from Rove, prosecutor. Nothing more and nothing less.

Posted by: Cal Gal | May 10, 2007 01:47 PM

JR - You are forgetting the insane gas / utilities prices, halliburton, alienating usa from the world, sad state of healthcare, etc, etc, etc...

Worst part is that I no longer have confidence even in the Dems... the corruption is blatant and even after winning the house/senate they are sitting on their ASS.
"
9/11, Iraq, declining dollar, massive debt, hugh trade imbalance.

Funny how every child in America is held accountable by BUSH and his bending buddies, but he is accountable to no one. Especially not the voters.

I guess our once great nation is no more.

Posted by: JR | May 10, 2007 12:34 PM
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Posted by: witch-rina.com | May 10, 2007 01:50 PM

I say, let Gonzales stay and remain a symbol of this administration`s corruption and indifference to the will of the PEOPLE. Does anyone think Fredo`s replacement will be any better? Bush always makes sure that the backup is a horrible choice, which is probably why Cheney is VP. No Congressman would dare to unleash that fool in the Oval Office, so Bush is truly safe from impeachment. Look at history, JERK John Ashcroft was replaced by the even worse Gonzo. Gonzo`s replacement will probably be Harriet Miers or Ann Coulter. LONG LIVE ETERNAL GENERAL GONZALES -- THE BIGGEST JACKA$$ IN WASHINGTON!

Posted by: Frank | May 10, 2007 01:50 PM

Utter trash. This isn't a news story it is an opinion piece on belongs on your personal blog.

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 01:50 PM

No the story isn't long over Gerson. He broke the law and fired employees because of their political views. He needs to be impeached along with the rest of the bush Administration. Illegal war or illegal firings... either way its illegal. Impeach them all! Unfortunately its hard for the Democrats to try and turn the country around with king george in office. Come 2008 when we get a Democrat in office we will finally start to see forward movement and positive progress in this country. This is suppose to be a gov't for the people -- not war profiteering presidents.

Posted by: Jay | May 10, 2007 01:51 PM

"Serve at the pleasure of the President". I love how people get ahold of a little buzz phrase and throw it around like they know what it means. US attorney positions are subject to the authority of the President, but partisan politics is not a permissible reason to fire a prosecutor. That's called "tampering with the independent judiciary", if you need a new buzz phrase. The issue is not that the AG fired attorneys, the issue is that several of them are claiming they've been fired for not playing ball with the Republicans. That's illegal, and it ought to be investigated. I don't like the Democrats any better than the Republicans, but if this administration is tinkering with our justice system the same way they've tweaked the powers of the executive branch, I'm outraged and so should you.

Posted by: KM | May 10, 2007 01:52 PM

Rob,

Get your facts straight. Gregoire won the popular vote by a very narrow margin and took the election. Of the votes that were deemed illegal and thrown out in the recount, Rossi ended up losing by an even wider margin than before the recount and in the end it was Rossi's correct decision not to pursue the challenge further.

Compare this to the 2000 election where the 'winner' lost the popular vote and tell me who stole what election.

Posted by: ~N | May 10, 2007 01:54 PM

QUOTE I am not a lemming. ENDQUOTE

Said by a true lemming. And a ReThuglican lemming at that!

General Gonzales has lied to Congress. The senior staff at the Justice Department did NOT form a consensus to fire these prosecutor, and they have so testified. It is quite clear that these orders came from the White House, and why Gen. Gonzo is lying about that is clear. To save his phony baloney job, that is why. If he told the truth, that these names came straight from Karl Rove, he would be fired.

The only thing that can get you fired from this White House is crossing Karl Rove.

Posted by: Rob's Brain | May 10, 2007 01:54 PM

You have a Rove-designed scheme to lean on federal prosecutors to bring trumped-up "vote fraud" charges on behalf of the GOP, and when the prosecutors resist, they are unceremoniously dismissed. The U.S. Attorney General, the top law enforcement officer in the land, appears as a bumbling idiot before Congress. (And why not? Bush doesn't keep him on hand because of his daring intellect or his unwavering commitment to justice. It's because he's like a legal ATM, doling out rubber stamp after rubber stamp for Bush's policies, be it preemptive war or warantless wiretaps.)

For the country's sake, we need a competent AG, one who knows the law and loves the Constitution and can remember back three months ago. Or we can kiss the last remnants of our constitution, and the separation of powers, goodbye.

Posted by: Evan | May 10, 2007 01:59 PM

The details obscure the real story. Things still look like themselves for a while even when they're falling apart. Denial may be comforting, but the dream's been stolen, sold and and buried. This is not more of the same and will look better with time. America as we grew up thinking of it is gone and the future is not what it used to be.

Posted by: cpm | May 10, 2007 01:59 PM

Great article! Thanks

Posted by: Your dad | May 10, 2007 02:00 PM

Impeach Cheney, Bush, then try both of them AND Rummy, Wolfie and Condie for war crimes. Alberto should rot in prison next to these other fascists.

Posted by: Lofi | May 10, 2007 02:02 PM

[No one cares that Clinton did the same thing?]

See? Just SEE how the ReThug talking points trickle down.

Man, it is SO obvious that ReThuglicanism attracts people who cannot think. The BIG LIE is their primary tool, and unfortunately for American, too many voters fall for the BIG LIE. I guess if Rush says it or O'Lielly says it and if they repeat it enough times, it must be true.

The BIG story here is violation of civil service rules prohibiting using partisan political affiliation in the hiring of career prosecutors. Gen. Gonzo allowed it to happen routinely throughout the Justice Department, at the behest of He Who Must Be Obeyed, Karl Rove.

The Consensus Excuse is a smokescreen that will soon be blown away but the very testimony of those who were supposed to have reached the Consensus.

Lying to Congress is a crime.

Posted by: Rob's Brain on Smack | May 10, 2007 02:03 PM

Where's the beef?

Posted by: Simon | May 10, 2007 02:08 PM

um, 4th from the top, please don't normalize and dignify the administration by calling their calculating, shameless, and unchecked travesties "stubborn" (or has been done in other circumstances, "macho")

Posted by: Dan | May 10, 2007 02:09 PM

I fired U.S. attorneys who were investigating me and Hillary because I did not want to get busted.

Posted by: Clinton | May 10, 2007 02:12 PM

It doesn't matter why they were fired or if Clinton/Reno did the same thing or not. Bush/Gonzales did fire them and they didn't NEED a reason to do it.

Posted by: Mike | May 10, 2007 02:15 PM

I only see doom and gloom. I blindly accept and follow all liberal positions/people and I automatically reject all non-liberal positions/people, regardless of facts or consequences. If I cannot find problems, I invent them.

Posted by: Democrat | May 10, 2007 02:17 PM

Exactly, gasmonkey, esp. as far as whether changing the majorities made much difference. When Specter did his coverup last week, after the token shows (I'll bet, for show and in sympathy the public mood of the moment) of outrage, I knew this would happen. Ultimately it becomes in America, just follow the leader (doesn't matter how revealing events in Afghanistan are, or the responses to them -ex post facto cash payments!) What well-"trained" (operative word) children we are! The administration knows just how to handle us; they always presume themselves right in substantive actions, but will allow the people to " vent" inconsequentially ("let it out" as the psychologists coaxingly and patronizingly tell a child, who, even though they may be in the right, is ineffectual by definition to do anything one way or the other). What the f.. is it going to take?

Posted by: Jim Richman | May 10, 2007 02:23 PM

Dave, 12:44 PM seems to make a good point; maybe that explains things. If so , what a
slick, shamelessly self-congratulatory... we have. But many already knew that.

Posted by: Ted | May 10, 2007 02:29 PM

Re: Rob's Brain On Smack

And Congress lying to US is OK?

Posted by: Mike | May 10, 2007 02:36 PM

What GW is saying as the prime directive is that his ex post facto "pleasure" overrides the clear intention of the law ( even if not carefully enough explicitly worded to avoid deliberate misrepresentation), and he, in fact, celebrates that, as a personal triumph. Can we PLEASE finally do something about the flagrant, free license of "subjective"/personal ideologies/pretexts legitimized in this country?

Posted by: Jim | May 10, 2007 02:36 PM

Henri, blame the chic French existentialists and Marxists (Sartre, Derrida, Foucault etc..)who first Ok'd the destruction of organicism and humanism (whatever happened to the great tradition of Voltaire, Montesquieu etc.. whose principles are self-evident in the design of the government), and dissociate the intention/label from action, cause from behavior; first the American Studies Yalies of the 60's, ever accelerating through the 80's, and then most of the prestigious big-name schools successfully indoctrinated many of this country's best and brightest, and then when these students became leaders and teachers themselves, most of the masses. The assumption of critical thought and rational discussion and decision(particularly expected in the elected republic's representatives) to temper freedom of choice [which includes the freedom to be a fool]inherent in the initial government's design is, alas, most tenuous, in fact I would say today, almost nonexistent. Opinions, the personal, rights, bah!

Posted by: Leroy | May 10, 2007 02:51 PM

In response to EnoughIsEnough | May 10, 2007 12:33 PM

So when the Republicans spent so much time and money going after the Clintons, they were actually getting other work done? There is not a Republican in this administration or under the son who can serve me and I am one of the AMERICAN PEOPLE you speak of>

Posted by: | May 10, 2007 02:54 PM

Ah, doesn't that tell us so much about the audience and purview of the "patriot" (quotations most definitely intended) act, that this provision was snuck into it, and of the administration's level of taste and sleazy provincial self-congratulation in its attempt to do so. Whenever those in the administration affect their pose (on cue)of pious "dignified" respectability, they are still given credence?! Also, since they freely think they can take whatever opportune positions on different areas just as reaction of the moment, can someone please compile whether the stated positions fit together plausibly? Otherwise that is just not acceptable, and are gleefully getting away with murder, often not far from literally so.

Posted by: Douglas | May 10, 2007 03:04 PM

I'm a Republican and a conservative, but I'm starting to believe my crazy liberal friends who say that the Bush Administration is hiring people to spin in the comment sections of major blogs.

A major aspect of spin is to ignore, at least partially, the facts. Saying this is a partisan witch hunt is ignoring the facts. Saying this is a molehill being made into a mountain is ignoring the facts. Saying that there is precedence for this is ignoring the facts (especially in the case of one poster above who is suggesting that the fired attorneys where partisan Democrats. That's just insane.).

If Gonzales doesn't resign soon, I suspect that there will be an impeachment. Not of the President, but of Alberto Gonzales himself. Yes, 2nd tier government officials can be impeached, and the process is much more streamlined than impeaching a President.

So, to the Bush astroturfers, I say one thing: Yes, you have a job which you are paid to do, but please stop insulting our intelligence. Your talking points are way past their freshness expiration date, and the whole DoJ situation stinks on ice.

Posted by: marcos | May 10, 2007 03:07 PM

This is very funny: ONE DAY after a column entitled " Gonzalez needs to go now", comes "Get over it, I'm staying". Assuming both are accurate indicators of the situation, where is reality? One day one extreme, another day another extreme, and yet both accepted as normal?

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