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View Diary: Alberto Gonzales's Little Problem (258 comments)

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  •  More Gonzo Problems: Gonzales' Dueling Op-Eds (19+ / 0-)

    In anticipation of his make-or-break testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday regarding his role in the partisan purge of U.S. attorneys, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took to the pages of the Washington Post to save his neck. But by contradicting his own March 6th USA Today op-ed, Gonzales may have simply tightened the noose.

    In his April 15 Washington Post piece ("Nothing Improper"), Gonzales resorts to the dual defenses of revisionist history and hazy memory. President Bush's Attorney General summarized his case:

    "To be clear: I directed my then-deputy chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to initiate this process; fully knew that it was occurring; and approved the final recommendations. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process.
    During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign."

    Sadly for the soon-to-be former Attorney General, that statement directly contradicts his primary assertion from his on March 6th screed in USA Today. He must have made "decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign", because as Gonzales wrote then, "they simply lost my confidence."

    "While I am grateful for the public service of these seven U.S. attorneys, they simply lost my confidence. I hope that this episode ultimately will be recognized for what it is: an overblown personnel matter."

    For the analysis, see:
    "Gonzales' Dueling Op-Eds."

    For the latest news, document dumps, email archives, hearing transcripts and other essential materials in the firings of U.S. attorneys, see:
    "The U.S. Attorney Scandal Documents."

    •  I love the waffle words (7+ / 0-)

      "to my knowledge" in this statement (which he also repeats in his written testimony:

      During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.

      Translation: I never made any decisions, but, of course, my out-of-control _________________ could be affecting my memory.

      To fill in the blank, CHOOSE ONE:
      A. prescription painkiller habit
      B. alcohol problem
      C. early Alzheimer's disease

      Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

      by thebes on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 12:10:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, that is beautiful - action without awareness (4+ / 0-)

        Consider the implication!

        "I did not, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, make decisions about who should resign...."  but it is entirely possible that "I MADE THOSE DECISIONS AND HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF HAVING DONE SO!"

        What a perfect coda for a member of the unitary executive, in which all decisions are ultimately Presidential decisions, and all sub-Presidential actors act with the authority and direction of the Office of the President.  They are automatons, capable of making decisions without awareness that they are doing so!

        It's a perfect expression of this administration's philosophy.

        Consider also the line from the Washington Post in which Gonzo claimes to have engaged in no "improper" action, as if it were the witness's job to define his actions as proper or improper!  

        You try to stick with the facts Mr. AG, and leave it to the nice Senators to let you know what was proper and what was not.

    •  DOJ has op-ed problems, don't they? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, jimreyn, greenearth, willb48

      This from a link at TPM to a law.com article about a retired DOJ official - Metcalfe

      Q: Was the politicization a contributing factor to your decision to retire?...
      The day that I decided to retire, for example, was one on which I was asked to participate in a matter in which a significant part of the department's position was aiming to be -- there's no other word for it -- false. Briefly stated, someone in the White House had determined that it would be a good idea for an op-ed piece on the subject of government secrecy to be prepared, and although its subject matter extended beyond the Justice Department's jurisdiction in multiple respects, it was decided that the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs would take on that task nevertheless. I was perfectly able to make several corrections and substantive improvements to a last-minute draft that I received but drew a line at even attempting to "improve" a Defense Department-related paragraph within it that was incorrect by a full 180 degrees.

      Knowing what the facts of that matter actually were, I flatly refused to aid that part of the enterprise, pointedly observing that the Gonzales-era political appointee who was behind the draft did, in fact, to my own certain knowledge, know them as well. I suppose I can take some small satisfaction that the false part of that "final draft" was then entirely replaced with something that was at least arguably true, but that's hardly the point. (That political appointee, by the way, did indeed receive his promotion, but is no longer in Washington.)

      [Editor's Note: The op-ed in question appeared in USA Today on March 13, 2006, and was titled "Committed to Being Open."]

      emph added

      law.com article

    •  Oh, come on. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shirl In Idaho, greenearth, Mary2002

      Seven U. S. Attorneys out of 93 lost Gonzales's confidence.  His assistant, with no recommendations from him, decided that exactly those same seven should be fired.  Why are you so skeptical?

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 01:21:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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