Gonzales' Eulogies are Obvious -- and a Hoot
The eulogies for the about-to-be-gone Alberto Gonzales continue to sound. Over the past few days two such more articles made their way into our public discourse.Bottom line?The Justice Department can and will recover from his disastrous tenure as attorney general -- but it won't be easy. Duh.
The best part of these pieces?The parts where the intrepid journalists sought out and found lame Gonzales apologists to offer their upbeat perspectives on his tenure -- an attempt at offering "balance" to a story that really, in truth, is pretty straightforward. Which brings us to a fellow named Viet Dinh, an early architect of the legal response to the war on terrorism and the acclaimed (or vilified) author of the USA Patriot Act.
Dinh was quoted at law.com as saying this: "As for his [Gonzales'] legacy, the ironic thing is, I think he did a pretty good job as attorney general..." With that kind of judgment -- if he were smart he'd say he was misquoted -- it's no wonder the Justice Department is in shambles and the government's legar war on terror is a mishmash of missed opportunities and poor policy choices.Gonzales did "a pretty good job"? Sure -- and Mrs. Lincoln had a "pretty good time" at the play.
From Law.com: "Demoralized. Discredited. Dysfunctional. These words are among those used to sum up the state of the Justice Department under the watch of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who last week announced he will step down Sept. 17. Much like a wounded patient in an intensive care unit, the department is in need of critical attention to revive its core mission: law enforcement.
"Exactly how much influence Gonzales exerted throughout the department is still open to debate, but as his 2½-year tenure comes to a close, this much is clear: Main Justice is in disarray. Current and ex-career employees, former political appointees, legal scholars, detractors, and supporters all tell the same story: The shortcomings are numerous and the successes few and far between."
From US News and World Report: "The resignation of embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was never a question of if but of when. So when Gonzales finally announced last week that he will leave the Justice Department, his departure offered a glimmer of hope that the beleaguered agency would at last have a chance to remake an image sullied by months of scandals.
"Gonzales's inability to explain --or even, he said, remember -- whether politics played an undue role in the department's hiring, firing, and prosecution decisions turned the former Texas Supreme Court judge and presidential confidant into a symbol of all that was wrong inside the 110,000-person bureaucracy.'
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