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Seventy-One Failures, Plus One, Equals Seventy-Two

Alberto Gonzales is back on the stand today, once again ‘failing to recall’ dozens of conversations, emails, meetings and directives that led to the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for what were, ostensibly, political reasons.

Three weeks ago he couldn't remember much of anything (indeed, he said so no less than seventy-one times) – but you would think that in the intervening time, having reviewed carefully the allegations against him and his department, his memory might have been refreshed to some degree.

Apparently not. “My feelings and recollections about this matter have not changed," Gonzales told a Congressional panel earlier today.

Now this means one of two things. Either he's a lousy attorney, or he's lying.

An attorney doesn't conveniently forget entire tracts of their tenure. And in the unlikely event that they were called to account for claiming exactly that, they would rigorously pursue avenues that would lead them to truth and justice (and especially, exoneration). Mr. Gonzales has failed to do that. In three weeks, he has evidently failed to turn up any new information whatsoever regarding this case. Nothing. Nada.

This is a typical tactic of the Bush administration – fail to recall, and nobody can call you a liar. (Think Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, absent-mindedly dropping Valerie Plame's name into a few conversations here and there. Think Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld forgetting all about the dire warnings George Tenet gave them just a few weeks before 9/11 that Al Qaeda planned a massive attack within the USA.)

However, it's not so easy for an attorney. They are expected to research, to uncover, to discover. They are expected to show some degree of proactivity when it comes to finding the truth. Gonzales has failed dismally in his duty to figure out what he hadn't remembered. A simple investigation should have made it more clear to him what had transpired... but as a lousy attorney, he discovered nothing.

Of course that might not be the case at all. Despite suggesting that the Geneva Conventions were outdated and irrelevant, despite his assertion in January that the U.S. Constitution conveyed no right of Habeas Corpus to our citizens, perhaps he's not a wholly incompetent attorney, but simply a bare-faced liar.

Either way, Bush's intractability and defiance in the face of the will of the people and Congress is once again clearly demonstrating that Bush's priorities lie not with the country, but with his friends.

Mr. Gonzales may be a liar. Or he may be a sub-standard attorney. Either way, he does not deserve to be counsel to the President. Seventy-one inabilities to answer to the people, plus either of two good reasons not to continue, equals seventy-two abject failures.

Posted by Jon Rice at May 10, 2007 11:10 AM
Comment #219997

Loyalty over competence. It is a Republican hallmark.

That said, is the Attorney General going to investigate and prosecute the Attorney General?

Or, is the Congress going to assume those roles if appropriate?

Bottom line is the Congress pursues this at the expense of more pressing needs, or they write the AG off with the President as a lame and stupid duck, and get on with more pressing matters.

What would be your choice? Mine is move on to more pressing matters, like passing legislation that will not allow memory lapse as a defense for those responsible for the affairs of the people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 10, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #220000

What?!? You don’t believe Karl, Condi, Wolfy, Rummy, Alberto, et al, can be forgetful? That’s the nicest, sharpest bunch of senility sufferers I’ve ever heard of.

Ask any of them…they’ll tell you there are WMD in Iraq, that it’s okay to feather your girlfriend’s nest at taxpayer’s expense, that firing US Attornys for political purposes, wire tapping American citizens without warrents and throwing out habeas corpus/torture are all right and constitutional…but they can’t ever remember talking to anyone else about any of it.

Go! Cheney/Bush, Go!

Posted by: Marysdude at May 10, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #220020
Now this means one of two things. Either he’s a lousy attorney, or he’s lying.

My impression of this matter is that it is a combination of both options.

Posted by: Cube at May 10, 2007 3:09 PM
Comment #220126

David R. Remer

If your child lied to you, do you proceed on to more pressing matters, or do you just hand your
child five dollars an send him or her to a movie.
How would you explain to your wife why you just
paid her child five dollars an sent the child to
the movies because you did not have the moral character, to discipline that child? (Hypothetical

Question only]

Posted by: DAVID at May 11, 2007 10:48 PM
Comment #220157

Let’s face the facts here. Alberto Gonzales MUST GO. His total disrespect for the rule of law, his many miscarriages of justice, and his obvious and shameless lying to Congress has turned the Justice Department into the Injustice Department.

David Remer:
“get on with more pressing matters.”

What could be more pressing than maintaining our rule of law with an truly independent judiciary? Of making sure that the Attorney General of the United States isn’t allowed to keep his position when he’s been turning the judiciary into a fascist dictatorship driven by nothing but loyalty to his Neocon cronies and their radical, brutal, blatantly dishonest rightwing ideology?
Seems very pressing and important to me.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 12, 2007 1:36 PM
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