Save Al Gonzales

During yesterday's swearing-in ceremony for Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, President Bush made sure to praise his longtime friend Alberto R. Gonzales, the man Mukasey is replacing. "Al Gonzales worked tirelessly to make this country safer and to ensure that all Americans received equal justice before the law," Bush said. "Over many years, I have witnessed his integrity, his decency and his deep dedication to the cause of justice."

Maybe Gonzales can rely upon that ringing endorsement to help recruit donors. The Washington Post's Dan Eggen tells us this morning that a "defense fund" has been set up on behalf of the former attorney general to help pay his legal fees, which are said to be large and mounting from investigations linked to the U.S. attorney scandal. If you want, a contribution form suggests, you can contribute in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000.

It gets better. From Eggen again, here's part of a fundraising e-mail: "In the hyper-politicized atmosphere that has descended on Washington, an innocent man cannot simply trust that the truth will out... [Gonzales] must engage highly competent legal counsel to represent him. That costs money, money that Al Gonzales doesn't have." Cue the violins. Cut to the President's laughably unwarranted praise. Fade to black.

Even though this story writes itself (as they say in the business), let's briefly (for the sake of my editors) go through the many reasons why this development is so cheesy. First, and obviously, Gonzales brought all of this upon himself, and the nation, when he incompetently handled the prosecutor purge. Second, Gonzales made it worse by coming to Capitol Hill and over and over again infuriating lawmakers with his evasive or contradictory answers to simple questions. Third, even though he is largely responsible for the scandal, Gonzales is by no means the most legally vulnerable of the people caught up in it. Think he'll be willing to share the proceeds of the fundraising drive with his former junior associates? Me neither.

Gonzales deserves scorn, not donations. And, if he had shown one iota of "dedication to the cause of justice" during his years in Washington (or in Texas), he would today have many more potential donors than he does. Don't cry for him.

By Andrew Cohen |  November 15, 2007; 7:33 AM ET
Previous: The CIA Ate My Homework | Next: The Real Barry Bonds Outrage


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Boy, you couldn't make this stuff up. A guy who has disgraced himself and the high offices he was privileged to hold is described by George Bush as a paragon of personal and civic virtue. Reminds me of the aptly name "Dick" Cheney describing Rumsfeld as the greatest secretary of defense in the history of the world. If ever there was a guy who deserved some 'hard time' behind bars it is surely Alberto Gonzales who played Dr. Faustus to George Bush's Mephistofeles. He betrayed his office, he betrayed his profession, he betrayed his honor to do the bidding of his patron. One may be forgiven for feeling little sympathy for him, or for his law-despising bossman.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | November 15, 2007 09:15 AM

Too true: like an earlier comment said, you can't make this stuff up. Dr. Strangelove and Orwell's 1984 have nothing on the Bush administration.

AGAG's doublespeak had to be heard to be (dis)believed. The truth could knock him down and take his lunch money, and Gonzo would not recognize it.

That said, it'll be a sub-zero day in Tijuana before A. Gonzales gets one red cent from me.

Posted by: CRix | November 15, 2007 09:54 AM

You would think that somewhere in the Bush mafia there would be a loyal neoconservative attorney who would be willing to take on the defense of Gonzalez on a pro-bono basis for the good of The Cause. Are they starting to toss each other overboard? Or was Gonzalez always the House Mexican, useful but disposable, and never taken seriously by the power brokers?

Posted by: rich97 | November 15, 2007 09:56 AM

Calling Ken Starr! Calling Ken Starr!

Or maybe Ken has carried enough water for the right wing and wants someone else to do it now.

Posted by: Nellie | November 15, 2007 12:06 PM

It would be appropriate for Speedy's defense fund to have Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar, as its spokesman.

Posted by: DC | November 15, 2007 01:16 PM

To quote from Mr. Eggen's article:

"David G. Leitch, a Gonzales friend and general counsel at the Ford Motor Co., wrote in an e-mail solicitation to potential contributors last month that Gonzales is 'innocent of any wrongdoing' but does not have the means to pay for his legal defense after a career spent mostly in public service.

'In the hyper-politicized atmosphere that has descended on Washington, an innocent man cannot simply trust that the truth will out,' Leitch wrote. 'He must engage highly competent legal counsel to represent him. That costs money, money that Al Gonzales doesn't have.' "


I find it ridiculous to suggest that Alberto Gonzales has spent his life "in public service." He's spent his life as the toady of W. Insofar as that had him on the public payroll, we are that much the poorer. People talk about gov't waste, fraud and abuse....can we get the tax dollars shelled out to Big Al back?

Second, I love the fact that the second para, while true, also ends up being a shot at Big Al. I don't remember who said "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client" (Twain, perhaps?), but the idea that he needs "highly competent legal council" inadvertantly highlights the fact that he's perhaps the most incompetent lawyer who hasn't sleep through a Texas death penalty appeal.

Posted by: Bob | November 15, 2007 01:24 PM

I suggest contacting Arlen SPecter, John Warner, Orrin Hatch or other mealy mouth enablers for

Posted by: Jim from Mass | November 15, 2007 03:21 PM

Although there's little doubt that Little Al was incompetent and perjured himself before Congress, I'm not sure he's worth the time and energy of another investigation.

This guy was an embarrassment to all, especially to the Congress who "approved" his appointment. And it will take years of effort to repair the damage he did to DoJ. But the same is true for other government agencies.

Will Mukasey be an improvement--or how many lies did he tell to win his approval? As I've indicated before, anybody willing to take the post-Little Al job for a few months can't be trusted to do the right things.

Posted by: pacman | November 15, 2007 04:23 PM

Niggling point, but why refer to w as W?

Posted by: box175 | November 15, 2007 04:29 PM

"W" was a nickname he developed years ago among acquaintances to differentiate him from the dad. It's used by the general public now as a term to ridicule.

Posted by: J-Rod | November 15, 2007 08:04 PM

I cannot imagine why he is bothering. If Shrub "pardonned" Scooter Libby, I would expect him to do the same for the man he refers to as "mi abogado."

Posted by: Va_Lady2007 | November 15, 2007 08:16 PM

An upper-case 'W' may be the nickname he developed years ago, but a lower-case 'w' is what he's turned out to be. (Where's a 'base case' when you need it?)

Posted by: box175 | November 15, 2007 11:36 PM

My prayers are that Alberto raises enough money to hire the Lawyers he will need when he is tried before the Hague for his part in the Kidnapping and Torture of the citizens of other countrys without knowing their guilt. His part in the Bybee Memo and other yet unknown memos or orders that has cause the death and permanent disabilities of of those tortured under his authority will take the best defense money can buy just to make sure he only gets life in prison. The defense of "I was only following orders" has never been a accepted defense in this country, never. Maybe with a good Lawyer he could plead Insanity because God knows he acted nuts over Bush.

Posted by: Smiley | November 16, 2007 01:27 AM

I think the best solution would be for him to represent himself. I realize that any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client, but in this case that's already been taken care of. :-)

Posted by: Al | November 16, 2007 10:08 AM

> the man he refers to as "mi abogado."

That's entirely correct, and the essence of the problem. SeƱor Gonzales was, indeed, el abogado del Shrub. Even after he became AG.

Posted by: Aguacate | November 16, 2007 04:39 PM

I hate to spoil the party, but if you want to indict and convict someone for firing US Attorneys, the Clintons would still be in jail. They fired ALL of them.

Gonzales committed no crime. It's pathetic that he's run up huge legal fees for doing something that was perfectly legal.

Liberals love to use the law to persecute their opponents, but when the law is used to persecute them they squeal like pigs.

Posted by: | November 17, 2007 10:58 PM

I wanted to contribute to the Alberto Gonzales Defense Fund, but I forgot.

Posted by: Titov1 | November 18, 2007 11:28 AM

AG was part of the Bush crime organization taking apart our constitutional society, in a position designed to thwart this very kind of activity, the gall for people asking for donations for this thug!

Posted by: | November 23, 2007 12:34 PM

I always knew that the appointment of Albeto Gonzalez was nothing more than "window dressing" by the Bush administration, and that he would be nothing more than a puppet in the hands of Bush and his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And now they want people to contribute for his defense? Get real. Personally, I think he brought a great shame on all Hispanic people and he deserves to do some hard time in the pen.

Posted by: boone001 | November 23, 2007 07:40 PM

hey there look here hot new pic .funny wow

Posted by: ffffffff | November 30, 2007 11:48 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company