Democrats & Liberals Archives

Gonzales and Justice

We have all seen the “picture” of justice as a blind lady holding a balance scale in her hand. In addition to being blind, Alberto Gonzales showed by his testimony at the senate hearing that he is also deaf and dumb and has no idea what is going on around him. The way he kept saying “I don’t recall” makes me think he is either a moron or a stooge following orders. In either case, he does not deserve to be head of the Justice Department.

At a one-day senate hearing, Gonzales said "I don't recall" more than 60 times. Both Democratic and Republican senators were upset with his performance and many of them are calling for his resignation. Though not calling for his resignation, Senator Arlen Specter, top Republican on Judiciary Committee, said this:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is harming the Justice Department and George W. Bush's presidency by continuing in office.

However, Gonzales' boss, President Bush, said:

The attorney general went up and gave a very candid assessment, and answered every question he could possibly answer - honestly answer - in a way that increased my confidence in his ability to do the job.

Yes, he answered every question, sprinkling his answers liberally with "I don't recall," "I don't recall," "I don't recall." If Bush thinks these are honest answers, he definitely thinks Gonzales is a moron. I guess he does not care about Gonzales' capabilities, as long as Gonzales follows orders from the boss.

One thing I'm not clear on, do the orders come straight from the boss or from the boss's right-hand henchman Karl Rove? Judging from the way Bush is fighting everything Congress is doing, he must be scared stiff of losing Karl Rove; what on earth will Bush do without Rove's advice? Without Rove, how could Bush maintain control of the Justice Department?

I believe the Justice Department is the most important department in the U.S. because it is responsible for meting out justice to the people of the U.S. And the Bush Administration has made the Justice Department an appendage of the White House. Sure, it started before Gonzales with the previous attorney general, John Aschcroft. One thing Ashcroft did is to stop discrimination suits brought by African Americans and to execute discrimination suits brought by religious-right Christians.

Gonzales kept this so-called civil rights program going. But he did a lot more for the boss. The boss wanted a way to handle "enemy combatants." OK, put them away in Guantanomo Bay and you have no more legal problems. The boss wanted to make some types of torture legal. It's done. How about spying on Americans without a warrant? No problem.

The boss ordered that Gonzales go easy on indicted Republicans. Gonzales complied. The boss wanted prosecutors to pursue Democrats accused of fraud and to do it before election. Those prosecutors who were honorable and did not do this were fingered.

Alberto Gonzales fired them whether he knew about them or not.

The Justice Department has been corrupted by the White House. Because we have an attorney general who is a blind, deaf and dumb stooge for the president, rather than a man of justice, he must be removed from office. Since he does not want to resign, we must impeach Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 23, 2007 8:35 PM
Comment #218197
…he answered every question, sprinkling his answers liberally with “I don’t recall,” “I don’t recall,” “I don’t recall.” If Bush thinks these are honest answers, he definitely thinks Gonzales is a moron.

Whether you think you know the answer to a question or not, saying you don’t remember is simply a way of avoiding a perjury trap. As Scooter Libby found out, that’s one of the main goals of a witch hunt and if your interrogaters can find one or two people willing to contradict you, whether they’re telling the truth or not, there could be trouble.

If you’re worried about people suffering amnesia under oath,this will leave you shaking your head.

Number of times Hillary Clinton couldn’t remember something while testifying under oath: 250.

John Podesta had her beat, though, with 264.

Now, I don’t like Gonzales at all. Frankly, I don’t think he’s up to his job, and probably a majority of Republicans don’t either. But impeachment? I don’t think so. It’s not as if he burned 79 Americans alive, including 21 children, as did his predecessor.

A major reason for keeping him in place at this point, with the Bush administration winding down, is to spare us all another show trial before the judiciary committee of Bush’s next nominee.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 23, 2007 9:52 PM
Comment #218221

If I recall correctly (chortle) Gonzalez is said to have uttered the words or reasonable facsimiles, “I don’t recall” 73 times.

You forgot two options, early onset of Alzheimer’s or senile dimentia of another cause. But, at his age, lying is the most likely explanation, and the simplest.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2007 11:57 PM
Comment #218226
saying you don’t remember is simply a way of avoiding a perjury trap.

In other words, Gonzales lied his ass off under oath before Congress.

And the concept of a “perjury trap” is just ridiculous. If you don’t lie, you can’t commit perjury — it’s that simple.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 24, 2007 12:12 AM
Comment #218228

Paul, unless their are severe consequences for
Mr. Gonzales by the Senate, this hearing will have
been nothing more than a film flam show, trying
to look good for constituents at home.


Posted by: DAVID at April 24, 2007 1:15 AM
Comment #218234

DAVID, no, it does much more than that. It serves notice to all in the White House to, from this point forward, observe the law, observe ethical governorship, and observe the truth as far as the limits of the responsibilities will permit. To do otherwise can have serious consequences.

Yes, these hearings do all that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2007 4:46 AM
Comment #218237

Reminds me of another Republican ran White House many years ago. That president resigned. Must be something in the Republican mind set, I don’t recall….

Posted by: KT at April 24, 2007 7:52 AM
Comment #218243

You are correct Paul. He must go and the sooner the better. His very presence in the justice dept can not be good for our nation. This is a very critical time and people of such incompetance have no business participating in our nations legal dealings at such a high level. This administration is allready so incapacitated by incompetance and scandal that it is hard to imagine that little if any good can come from them for the remainder of their term. Bush by his very statements of support for Gonzalez only helps to validate what we all know all too well allready with regards to his lack of good judgement.

Posted by: ILdem at April 24, 2007 9:50 AM
Comment #218244

If history holds true when the W saya ” Your doing a good job __insert name___” Its a good bet that person is on his last legs. If nothing else this Administration is consistent.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 24, 2007 9:55 AM
Comment #218254

Loyal Opposition,

For me it’s not the number of times but the questions he refused to answer. The reason for the hearing was to determine whether or not the firing of the justices was justified, but when Gonzales was asked why he let these people go, he said “I don’t know.” He had been preparing for this trial for months, and HAD to know this was a question that was going to be asked. Why didn’t he prepare an answer?

There are two possible reasons to my mind. One is that the truth sounds so bad the best option is to simply refuse, in violation of the law, to talk about it. Another, and this is the one I go with, is that everyone connected to this administration is so full of hubris, so bloated with disregard for the law, so used to a public that will give them a free pass so long as they murmer the words “war” or “troops”, etc. that they simply don’t bother preparing anything other than a “my dog ate my homework” type of excuse when pressed on anything.

Posted by: Max at April 24, 2007 10:37 AM
Comment #218257

Another point here is that instead of acknowledging the almost universal appraisal of Gonzales’ testimony as a poor performance, Bush lauds it. He says “in a way [his performace] increased my confidence in his ability to do the job.” I have nothing against someone having their own opinion, but in this case it leads people to question his judgment in a time of war.

The few people remaining who support Bush trust his judgment. They trust that the surge is good idea, because Bush says so. They trust there is light at the end of the tunnel, because Bush says so, even if it buts up against Generals’ or other expert opinions. It’s somewhat logical to believe the president has access to information others don’t and is therefore capable of making a better decision than those that don’t have that kind of access. But with this case, we saw everything he did, and he still claimed it was a slam dunk, great job, no reason to worry here performance, when everyone saw it wasn’t. More people will question his judgement everywhere now, including the war.
You’ve got to wonder what the president’s real agenda is when it’s more important to keep a political appointee than it is to protect his image and reputation during wartime.

Posted by: Max at April 24, 2007 11:43 AM
Comment #218276

Please, please, please!

It’s been what?…7 years GWB (a.k.a. Great White Bastard—I’m not a DJ so I don’t have any fear of being fired) has been allowed to live in the White House. And some people are STILL giving allowances to any member of this administration. THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION IS CORRUPT FROM THE TOP DOWN! Furthermore, if the “cheif” is a moron then it should surprise NO ONE that the rest of the bastards are morons as well—or just plain evil (as is the case with [the] DICK!).

Posted by: Kim-Sue at April 24, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #218281


The only answer that Gonzales should have given is: “They were fired because I wanted to replace them”. That’s all he had to say. Anything else the Dem’s wanted to know is just too bad.

Posted by: wkw at April 24, 2007 4:05 PM
Comment #218282

Clinton fired 93 as he came in. Nobody said a word. NOW it’s illegal?
Democrats have a strange sense of justice and a short memory. keep it up and lose all the gains you made in the election very quickly. The first 100 days have been a grand failure and a start the republicans can point at in the next election.

Posted by: john at April 24, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #218285
For me it’s not the number of times but the questions he refused to answer. The reason for the hearing was to determine whether or not the firing of the justices was justified

Was that really the reason for the hearings?

What if he said, “We fired those people because we don’t like their haircuts?” or “We fired those people because we think they’re too smart.” Or “We fired them because our soothsayer told us to.”

Since it’s okay to fire them for ANY reason at all except to impede an active investigation (for which there is no evidence at all, and which Gonzales did speak to—denying it). So what WAS the point if not to lay traps and snares in a fishing expedition?

I don’t say this to defend Gonzales, who I’d much prefer to be replaced. But that’s for reasons that go beyond the Democrats’ sham “investigation.”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 24, 2007 5:14 PM
Comment #218287

john, It is perfectly fine for a President to replace the US Attorneys at the beginning of the term. Replacing them seven years into a term raises eyebrows, it is only done to remove incompetent attorneys. When it happened, Gonzales was brought in for questioning and said that they were fired for competency issues, but other documents say otherwise. This is clearly perjury, The AG knowingly made incorrect statements under oath. He could have said what wkw said he should have, “They were fired because I wanted to replace them”. Although this appears to be a falsehood (see below), it could not be disproved at the time and no further inquiry would be the most logical decision by Congress

But today, there is the possibility that an obstruction of justice was committed because it appears these attorneys were removed because they refused to investigate certain Democrats when there was no evidence to indicate that voter fraud was occurring, or they were removed because they were aggressively investigating Republicans who were guilty of various corruption charges.

Posted by: Warren P at April 24, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #218293

I think that the Bush supporters are missing the point. If Gonzales had told congress the truth the first time he spoke to them there wouldn’t be an issue. He chose to lie about it to congress telling them that they were performance related. When you lie to Congress, especially when you are supposed to be representing the DOJ it is a serious problem. Then he lied again, under oath for sure in addition, he still hasn’t said why they were fired.

I know everyone likes to drag Clinton’s replacing all the GOP US Attorney’s but this is a red herring. I’m pretty sure Reagan did it to all the Dem US Attorney’s.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at April 24, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #218343

wkw, john, LO

Instead of just doing it Gonzales lied under oath and obstructed justice. Also, the replacements should have been approved by the senate. Gonzales got around this by perverting the Patriot Act. Clinton didn’t do that. There’s not one Democrat or Republican senator that compares this to what Clinton did.

Does it matter to you at all that Gonzales used the Patriot act to get around the law?

Posted by: Max at April 24, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #218355

Max, when did Gonzales lie under oath?

The statements he made which were wrong, and which even he admitted were wrong, were during a press conference. Since when does anybody put their hand on a bible, swear to tell the truth, and then get prosecuted afterwards for what they say in a press conference?

None of this compares to what Clinton did? That’s hilarious. He WAS under oath when he told lie after lie after lie and was subsequently impeached by the House for it.

Used the Patiot Act to get around the law?

You may not realize this, and you don’t have to like it, but the Patriot Act IS the law.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 25, 2007 12:26 AM
Comment #218380

Obstructed justice? The firings are a legal act that shouldnt have even been an issue.
Why are we wasting time and money on a non issue when the democrats have not even addressed one promise they made for the first 100 days?
I want my money back already. This congress, despite all the greatest of hopes, is consumed with revenge and we, the people, are definately a secondary consideration.

Posted by: john at April 25, 2007 9:08 AM
Comment #218402


“Max, when did Gonzales lie under oath?”
When he told congress that he was not involved in the firings. Then he had to come back and correct his statements and say the “he didn’t remember being involved” that is a lie on both accounts.

“None of this compares to what Clinton did? That’s hilarious.”
Uh, Clinton did lie under oath that is true, but he lied about an extramarital affair not the goings on in the DOJ - I would think that the DOJ is more important that an affair with an adult intern. While you are on the Clinton topic, none of his lies are even in the same universe as the pile of lies Bush and Cheney told the American people to get us into a war in Iraq, talk about impeachable offenses.

“Used the Patiot Act to get around the law?”
yes, they used a provision that allowed the appointment of US attorneys w/o congressional approval in the case of a terrorist attack killing or disabling the person. It wasn’t intended to get political hacks in office w/o oversight.

“You may not realize this, and you don’t have to like it, but the Patriot Act IS the law.”
Yes it is and it is an abomination and should be thrown out - has nothing whatsoever to do with patriotism and everything to do with fear mongering and civil rights abuses.

Granted, the “I don’t recall” lie has been well worn by both parties and shows how little integrity these people have that use it.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at April 25, 2007 11:58 AM
Comment #218405

Congress has voted to give immunity to Monica Goodling to get her testimony. The one who didn’t want to incriminate herself. Wonder how that will turn out.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 25, 2007 12:15 PM
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