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{promoted from the diaries by kid o.}

Great Newsweek article linked from the cover of MSNBC this morning:

Gonzales: Did He Help Bush Keep His DUI Quiet?

According to a Travis County Judge, Gonzales requested an in-chambers meeting to excuse Bush from serving on a DUI Jury, allegedly so that he wouldn't have to face questions about his own DUI. (Though this was not the reason given at the time). Now, Gonzales is lying about even requesting that meeting.

It seems that Gonzales has been caught in an outright lie about this episode.

Gonzales last week refused to waver. "Judge Gonzales has no recollection of requesting a meeting in chambers," a senior White House official said, adding that while Gonzales did recall that Bush's potential conflict was "discussed," he never "requested" that Bush be excused. "His answer to the Senate's question is accurate," the official said.
Also, see this historical article on the same subject from the St. Cloud, MN Times.

From that story:
Bush, announcing his selection of Al Gonzalez as White House counsel: "I understand how important it is to have a person I can trust. ... I know first-hand I can trust Al's judgment." In 1996, as Gov. Bush's general counsel, Gonzalez helped Bush avoid jury duty in a drunken driving case that could have forced the governor to disclose his own 1976 DUI arrest. Instead, the story broke in the press just days before Election Day.
I'm surprised that it even made the news, but of course if this were Bill Clinton this story would be splashed all over the front page headlines of every online news outlet, and probably be the start of an investigation in Congress.

I encourage all of you to go to this link and mail the article to everyone you know.  Why can't we Democrats keep this type of news circulating? This is exactly the type of thing that the Republicans seize upon and use to their benefit.  It's high time that we use the hypocrisy of the right against them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 01:29 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  could be his "nanny problem" (none)
    Nominees can get sunk for showing disrespect for the law and for acting as if the laws just apply for them.

    This is an issue that anyone can understand.  Bush got special treatment.  Gonzalez made that happen.  All the folks out there who had a DUI or know someone who did know that they didn't get special treatment.

    Let's not underestimate its potential importantance. Write letters, call talk radio, get it out there.

    •  Gonzales (none)

        it would be good if this were corrected in the title and diary (i've made the same mistake).

        it is important people writing to politicians and media to oppose him spell his name right.

    •  BIGGER. Did Gonz get Bush a new Dr.License# ? ? (4.00)
              What was Alberto Gonzales' role in the re-issue of a Driver's License  . .

               . . .    for   Governor George W. Bush on March 31, 1995 .
      Did the lawyer help Bush erase his past by getting him a new license number

         # 000000005 .  

      If you could erase your past, would you?

      Did the public have the right to know the public record of an elected official?

      Alberto Gonzales was named General Counsel to the Governor in 1994 and continued in that position until December 1997. (He became Sec'y of State of Texas; his judgeship came later.)

           The new number re-issue was first written about in the mainstream media on August 30, 1999 by MSNBC "Scoop" columnist Jeannette Walls - (a gossip column).

         MSNBC then revisited it, just a little, (see below) on November 3, 2000, after other disclosures came to light.

      Both of these MSNBC articles disappeared pretty fast in 2000.

                  Nov. 3, 2000
      The original link was but MSNBC took the story down quickly, so it's not found anymore on is site.

      Bush Arrest Now Credibility Issue    "[snipped]"


      Sources told's Jeannette Walls that Bush associates had been
      worried for several years about his arrest record and had hoped that
      because it was in Maine, and not Texas, it wouldn't surface.

      The sources said Bush took one step to keep it under wraps in March
      1995, when his driver's license number was changed. Walls first reported
      this in August 1999 in The Scoop, an column. At the time,
      the sources told Walls that Bush got his license number changed because
      he was worried about an arrest record surfacing.

      "He has an arrest record that has to do with drinking," a source said
      then. "He's worried it will come out, but his handlers keep assuring
      him it won't."

      The allegation was not disclosed by at the time because the
      arrest could not be confirmed.

      Also in August 1999, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told that changing one's driver's license number was "highly
      unusual" and that it is done only when the holder of the license can
      prove that someone is using the license number for illegal activities.

      Repeated calls to Bush's camp back at the time were unanswered, until
      a spokeswoman for Bush said the motor vehicle agency would have an
      additional comment. An agency spokesman then called MSNBC and said
      Bush's license number was changed for "security measures." He declined
      to comment further.
      A spokesman for Bush left a phone message Friday [Nov. 3, '00] saying
      license numbers are changed "as a matter of course and courtesy for
      statewide elected officials. It's offered to all statewide elected officials in

      A spokesman for the governor's office in Texas reiterated this and
      said other governors were also given the option of changing their
      license numbers.


      So supposedly it was for "security" reasons :

       But Bush's father, a former President and CIA director, didn't need his changed. Previous governors didn't. Other numbers 000000001 to 00000000xx were not given to previous governors.

  •  Jeebus (none)
    I'm shocked, shocked I say about someone wiggling out of jury duty.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

    by bluestateLIBertarian on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 07:37:57 AM PST

    •  That's not the point (4.00)
      The point is that Gonzalez, knowing about Bush's prior DUI, maneuvered to get Bush off a jury considering a DUI case so Bush wouldn't have to disclose his own.  That, in itself, is not illegal, sleazy but not illegal.  But Gonzalez compounds the issue by denying that he ever requested such a meeting.  If he was once again put under oath, would he deny it or not?  Or did he already deny as such to Congress? If so, and evidence that such a meeting was requested by Gonzalez can be shown, that's perjury, the same thing that sent Alger Hiss to the slammer for 5 years.
      •  Same thing (more or less) that was used (4.00)
        to impeach Clinton.

        yr frn,

        Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Compl

        by jsundman on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 10:03:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not the crime, it's the coverup (3.80)
        that gets you in the end.

        Too bad Bush's handlers can't remember those useful lessons from Nixon's Watergate experience.  Odd, really, since so many of them are the same people who were around Nixon.

        You can never be too rich, too thin, or too cynical.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 11:08:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lying to Congress Is A CRIME (none)
          see 18 U.S.C. § 1001

          whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully-- (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

          In testimony to Congress, this law applies:

          (c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to
          ..... (2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

          But, for some reason....this provision is never enforced AGAINST lying public officials....

          Fuzzy only works for pets.

          by NotFuzzy on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 06:41:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What was said to the Senate.. (none)
        TLS66 asked "Or did he already deny as such to Congress?"

        I agree with the view that it is not his action in trying to keep Bush off the jury that is the problem.

        Senator Leahy asked him to describe "in detail" what he did for then Gov. Bush in that case.

        According to the reports (because I didn't watch him testifying on TV that day), Gonzales described what happened in open court but he did not mention meeting with the judge and the lawyers in the judge's chambers.

        Now, a spokesperson says that Gonzales remembers the meeting but doesn't remember trying to keep Gov. Bush off the jury.

        There are several possibilities here:

        1. Gonzales lied to the Senate committee about his actions, by purporting to answer "in detail" while concealing this obviously important information about the meeting and what he said.

        2. Gonzales has a bad memory, so he does not recall what he said--but then that appears to be coupled with some lying, since he now admits that he remembers the meeting in chambers but doesn't remember saying these things. (That's if the spokesperson is telling the truth.)

        3. The judge and the two lawyers are the ones who are either lying or have bad memories. And possibly co-conspirators, to boot.

        I hope that the Senate checks out this story, to find out whether the Texas judge and the two lawyers are lying. If not, then it would be good for Senators to take the next step, to see if the nominee for Attorney General perjured himself, or just has an extraordinarily poor memory.

        Lies or lousy memory--either way, Gonzales looks like a poor choice for the job.

        •  Are the subjects of confirmation hearings (none)
          sworn to tell the truth?  If not, then a faulty memory will probably get him off.

          What I would ask is whether jurors were expected to fill out a questionaire at that time in Texas.  If so, was that what Bush wanted to avoid?  

          An admission on a juror questionaire to a prior conviction in a case similar to one that's going to be considered tends to be an automatic disqualification, as is familiarity with either the judge or the prosecutor or the defendant.

          If there were juror forms submitted by all potential jurors and Bush's is missing, then we have another example of the thing left out being important--or another missing document.

    •  The issue isn't skipping jury duty. (3.50)
      It's that, if Bush turned up, he would have had to go on record about his OWN DUI.  That could've been inconvenient for his later political career. So he gets Gonzo buddy to help him out of it. When later asked, Gonzo lies to protect Bush from the DUI story.

      That's how I understand it.  Somewhat deeper implications than "wiggling out of jury duty".

      Altho, skipping jury duty is pretty irresponsible, too.  

      Act Now to save the Community Reinvestment Act! - see this diary.

      by MH in PA on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 09:04:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  public funds (none)
      Ignoring the abuse of power, the lies, the coverup lies, and the perjury...

      Since Bertie was on GWB's staff, isn't this a misuse of taxpayer dollars?

  •  Just emailed it to myself (none)
    Easy action item. Everyone should do it.
    •  emailed it to yourself? (4.00)
      that * is * decisive action!

      ; )

      •  Just checked back here and saw your comment (none)
        Good one!
        OK, I look lame, but I loved Katrina's daily recommendations for rating stories up and down. (Remember her?) I had heard that the most emailed stories always get top billing, so I started doing that with any news item that I thought the RW media needed to notice.  
        Anyway, I am amazed that this article saw the light of day, given what has become of the fawning, lapdoglike media these days.  
  •  Huh (4.00)
    I'm suprised that this is making news, now. This has been out there for some time.

    Maybe there's an actual journalist toiling away somewhere...

    This is good because it shows that Gonzales doesn't respect the law (kind of important for an AG), and at the same time points out what a Bush loyalist he is, appointed for a post that SHOULD keep a professional distance from the Executive branch which it COULD potentially have to investigate...

    If that's not the definition of conflict of interest, I don't know what is.

    •  Right... (4.00)
      I wondered the same thing...and I think you're right...there is a journalist toiling away somewhere, and he spoke with Travis County Judge David Crain:

      While Gonzales's account tracks with the official court transcript, it leaves out a key part of what happened that day, according to Travis County Judge David Crain. In separate interviews, Crain--along with Wahlberg and prosecutor John Lastovica--told NEWSWEEK that, before the case began, Gonzales asked to have an off-the-record conference in the judge's chambers. Gonzales then asked Crain to "consider" striking Bush from the jury, making the novel "conflict of interest" argument that the Texas governor might one day be asked to pardon the defendant (who worked at an Austin nightclub called Sugar's), the judge said. "He [Gonzales] raised the issue," Crain said. Crain said he found Gonzales's argument surprising, since it was "extremely unlikely" that a drunken-driving conviction would ever lead to a pardon petition to Bush. But "out of deference" to the governor, Crain said, the other lawyers went along. Wahlberg said he agreed to make the motion striking Bush because he didn't want the hard-line governor on his jury anyway. But there was little doubt among the participants as to what was going on. "In public, they were making a big show of how he was prepared to serve," said Crain. "In the back room, they were trying to get him off."

      •  LOL (4.00)
        The best part is that the judge says that Bush was too "hard-line" for his jury, anyway... muaaaahahaha!!

        He's not qualified to be on a county jury, but 51% of America feel he is qualified to be President...

        What planet are we on?

        •  Actually, the defense lawyer (4.00)
          said Bush was too hard line for the jury.  The judge would typically not make a statement like that, and it's up to the lawyers, not the judge, to move to have people struck from the jury.  Of course Bush would be too hard line for any criminal defendant to have on his/her jury.  I do find it ironic that we all know Bush would have been the first to throw the book at this guy for a crime that Bush also had committed.
          •  My mistake (4.00)
            I don't know why I typed "judge" instead of the defense attorney...

            You're right about Bush, though. His whole values based anti-crime act belies this guys entire life. From his Guard duty, to his business dealings, to his lying about reasons to go to war, this is the behavior of a spoiled brat who has never, ever had to pay for any mistakes. None whatsoever.

            He would have no problem throwing the book at the defendent in that case...

    •  Michale Iskikoff is a real journalist. (none)
      I wasn't thrilled with some of his criticism of "Fahrenheit 9/11," but he genuinely searches for the truth.
  •  Is Crain on the witness list? (none)
    Were there even any witnesses at the Gonzales hearing? Ought we not to hear from this guy next week, in DC?
    •  God, I hope so. (none)
      In fact, I find myself glad that both Gonzo and Condi have been sent to plead their cases before the entire Senate. I think the prosecutors among their ranks will have a field day.

      "You with your big words, and your...small, difficult words!" -- Peter Griffin

      by Penny Century on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:01:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gee - DUI, Torture? (3.66)
    Which will disqualify the as%hole from being AG?

    Torture? Well, the President can choose his advisors...and well, you know - it's a bit murky.

    Lying about DUI? Off with his head!

    If this gets him disqualified, we are in the Dark Ages.

    Action: Help 75,000 more Americans learn the true cost of war.
    Click, download, email. (painful photo)

    by Tom Kertes on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 08:29:26 AM PST

    •  Well...lying is the issues I think (none)
      I think the main issue is that Gonzales is lying about his participation in this special treatment.

      And I agree....torture should be the most important issue where Gonzales is concerned...but let's take whatever we can get at this point.

      •  Lying? How dare you? (4.00)
        Man has no "recollection of requesting a meeting in chambers".  It is not his fault he has such a bad memory!  Poor guy obviously has a long-term as well as a short term memory loss - can't recall his role in torture memos either...

        And I afraid this is a contagious disease within Bush administration.  So many of them have no recollection of so many things.  Rice suffers of it as well...

        Show some compassion!!

    •  I agree in theory but (none)
      recall that when the feds were trying to bring down Al Capone, they discovered the easiest thing to nail him with was tax evasion.  Absurd?   Sure.   If it brings Gonzales down, I say let's be absurd.   For my money,  Nanny-gate was no more absurd.
    •  ...the President can choose his advisors? (4.00)
      Then what is this Constitutional business about "the Advice and Consent of the Senate"? I don't think this was intended to be a rubber stamp, despite what tradition has made of it.

      The medium shapes the message --
      we need better new media, more biased toward reality.

      by technopolitical on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 12:43:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this whiny assed exuse makes me sick (4.00)
        the Senate is clearly intended to have a substantive role in this process.

        Congresspeople that say they should defer to the president's judgment are just making a sad, embarrassing excuse for themselves, to avoid taking a position that the people in power won't like.

        our congresspeople (all but Boxer) seem to have never dealt with bullies before.  imho, the only successful way to respond is to stand up to them, not bring them EXTRA lunch money, for chrissakes.

        No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

        by LegalSpice on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:01:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I really don't care if... (none)'s jay-walking that gets him disqualified as long as he is.

      As for the Dark Ages, who is it that's trying to start another Crusade?

      "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

      by Jim Riggs on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 01:08:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that occurred to me, too (none)
      but experiences with trying to take down mob bosses show how slippery the self-proclaimed untouchables are.

      sometimes it's the tax evasion, or the mail fraud, that finally provides the hook they can't slip off of.

      the meaningfulness of this story lies, in part, in its potential damage to the "reg'lar guy" image W has sold so well (explaining why so many reg'lar guys identify with him, which also partially explains why they support and defend him).  abuse of power is not something many reg'lar guys have the opportunity to do.  make public that W was using his boss' (the state's) staff for personal reasons - those reasons being abusing his power to avoid discussion of his own past - and there is a risk that the popular support he has is undercut, possibly by a lot.

      or, maybe that's just wishful thinking...

      No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

      by LegalSpice on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:56:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me three... (none)
        Sometimes small issues are more important than big ones.

        A president can get away with starting a useless war because people will excuse him: "He has access to information that we don't. He got elected so he's the guy who has to make these calls, thank God it's not me."

        But a DUI? Dodging jury duty? Those are issues even we Little People have to deal with, so we have a better frame for. Even those who do these things themselves know they are wrong, and sleazy, and something only little people do. Interesting that there have been a spate of stories lately about the Rich and Powerful showing up for jury duty with the common folk.

        Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

        by Xan on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 04:32:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Now let's link Gonzalez and Chertoff and Rice (4.00)
    I'm dismayed that the Chertoff lying-under-oath story has faded from the even minor prominence it had achieved when his nomination was first announced. I think Boxer did a good job exposing Rice's lies; now we have to just keep piling on the connection among her, Gonzalez, and Chertoff: Bush selects blatant liars to the most sensitive positions in government.

    The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 09:01:03 AM PST

    •  Yep (none)
      The one or two Dems who have the balls to make noise about these criminals are too busy running around trying to light the fuse on each individual Bush appointee, when they are all inextricably linked. We need to keep pressing our representatives to vote the right way on these people, or we will hold THEM accountable when they are up for re-election.

      It's time to clean house of the old school apologist Dems like Joementum Lieberman, and replace these people with actual REPRESENTATIVES of the people who voted them in...

  •  Democratic News Machine. (4.00)
    We need a Democratic Noise Machine. Or a more accurate, a Democratic News Machine.

    I am a reform Democrat.

    by thinkdouble on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 09:11:35 AM PST

  •  Good going-- I'm senidng out to hundreds right now (3.50)
    including the note (feel free to take from this!):

    Hi folks.
    Let's not roll-over and accept that Bush's nominees are a done deal.
    Stand up the way our wonderful Barbara Boxer did (she's my new hero!).
    Put pressure on our reps to stand up with us and demonstrate conviction--
    unlike Diane Feinstein who kissed Condi's butt.

    Could we help turn this into nannygate for Gonzales?

    Gonzales: Did He Help Bush Keep His DUI Quiet?
    Please read and circulate.
    And call your representative and insist that they NOT confirm Gonzales -- as this would rubber stamp the use of torture.

    And while you're at it, please insist that they should also vote to NOT confirm Rice as it was under her watch as head of the NSA that our nation experienced the two most heinous blunders of National Security of our history: 9/11 and the claim of WMDs as an excuse for war.

    And tell them that you're voting in the future for representatives with conviction.

    Oh... And did you know that Rummy has endorsed death squads?
    See the Washington Post for more
    (on the headline sunday morning at

  •  We've also got to (none)
    consistantly spell the guy's name right: it is GonzaleS.

    And once we've got his name right, let's do everything we can to put backbone into as many senators as possible.

    America is a broken promise, and we are called to do what we can to fix it. -- Bill Moyers

    by janinsanfran on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 09:40:02 AM PST

  •  Jury Duty == TANG (4.00)
    You might want to point out in your LTE that Bush getting out of his duties as a citizen of this (once) great country is a pattern - first with the TANG, now with just simple jury duty.

    Freedom does not march.

    by ex republican on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 10:01:18 AM PST

    •  And then there's Presidentin' (4.00)
      His track record at showing up for that has been pretty sad, too. If I live to be 112 I'll never understand how so many conservatives admired him after witnessing his immediate response to 9/11: he got that deer-headlights expression, he went mute, he did nothing for the nation, he hid.
      •  It's pathetic (4.00)
        They really proved they will defend this guy's every move with that whole thing.

        The acted as if him possibly scaring those kids (bupkiss) was more important than acting as if he actually was Commander in Chief of this country.

        And then they tried to say (insert whiny voice here), "well Kerry did this, or Kerry did that..."

        It's just pathetic...

      •  he's great at brush-clearing, though. (none)
        you gotta give him that.

        though as I snow-blew and shoveled out of my driveway today (more than 2' in places), I was thinking to myself, if he were a real MAN, they'd show him clearing some SNOW, not just some sissy-ass brush.  

        No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

        by LegalSpice on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:03:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the laugh (none)
          I absolutely burst into laughter every time I hear about George Bush and his Freudian "brush" clearing on that godforsaken ranch of his... A futile exercise in self-flagellation for a man that sick, I imagine...


      •  Yes, and he feeds a horse and has a haystack, (none)
        and a barn.  

        When the fox preaches The Passion, farmer watch your geese.

        by reform dem on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:42:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually he doesn't feed a horse. (none)
          there are no horses on bush's ranch. bush is deathly afraid of horses. you will never see him on or a horse, or near a horse.

          This is not a mexed missage.

          by CityofGod on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 06:43:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (none)
            I didn't know about FratBoy's hippophobia.

            What else can you tell us about it?

            Maybe we should pitch in a buy him this book

            "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Robert Hare

            by RubDMC on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 08:43:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Did he lie to the judge also? (none)
    Sounds like he not only lied about not recollecting a meeting in chambers, but lied to the judge about the reason Bush would not qualify for the jury.  Isn't it a no-no to lie to a judge, even in camera?

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 11:00:13 AM PST

  •  Dean (none)
    Howard Dean said on one of the Sunday morning talk shows today that he isn't sure if he'll vote to confirm Gonzales. If you want to take some action, I'd suggest that Dean needs a huge wake up call.
    •  don't get it (none)
      Dean isn't a Senator - Do you mean someone else?
      •  right (none)
        I just realized the mistake I made. Dean said he wasn't sure whether or not Gonzales should be confirmed.

        I apologize for the confusion, but my point is still the same. I don't understand why any Democrat would have doubts about Gonzales, considering his track record.

        •  Dean on Snuffleopoulos (none)
          Stephanopoulos: And how about Judge Gonzales for Attorney General?

          Dean: I haven't made up my mind on that because it's too far out, but I'm inclined to agree with Senator Biden. I think Alberto Gonzales is a wonderful American story of somebody who started from nothing and has a tremendous career, but the torture memos are deeply, deeply concerning for any American Attorney General to have said it's okay to use torture under certain circumstances, which is essentially the thrust of those memos. That's of deep, deep concern to me.

          Despite the lead-in phrase, I'd wager he's opposed.

          Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

          by bumblebums on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 01:58:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was Joe Biden n/t (none)
  •  Wasn't St Laura's d.r.# changed too (none)
    To cover the fact that she was involved in the vehicular homicide of her then boyfriend.
    •  That might not be so that her DL was changed. (none)
      I've seen it reported both ways, that hers was and that hers was not changed.

      I'm assuming hers was not.

      No need to drag in the kitchen sink here.

      He's the elected official.

      Who else in this country is allowed to erase his past public records?

    •  Don't arouse the sympathy squad (3.00)
      Yeah, it's "St. Laura" and I think we'd be wise to focus on Bush and Gonzales. If you attack Laura on this then I think there would be a sympathy backlash - RWCM goes into full spin mode - and the real issue gets lost. (not like that sort of thing has ever happened before, huh?)

      Now if Gonzales had anything to do with it, and it really was inappropriate, then mention it in passing as an indication of a pattern. But if it looks like an attack on Laura, we lose.

      Act Now to save the Community Reinvestment Act! - see this diary.

      by MH in PA on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:11:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Her accident was pre-marriage, right? (none)
      Then I imagine she would get a new number when she changed her name.
  •  Unanswered questions (none)
    Incidentally, when called for jury duty, Bush left several questions unanswered in the jury questionaire, including this one:

    Have you ever been an accused or a complainant or a witness in a criminal case?

  •  Gonzales' Memory Problem (3.50)
    As I've written before, both of Richard Nixon's hatchet men, Haldeman and Ehrlichman, were convicted of perjury and went to prison for strings of "I don't recall" testimony to Congress.

    Really, they did.

    On the lighter side, huh huh, we could send Gonzales to Guantanamo and see if they can refresh his memory with some water boarding, or drugging, or stress positions, or cold cells, or hot cells, or sleep deprivation using loud rock music, or long solitary confinement, or forced enemas.

    (Lighter side? Funny, I don't seem to feel any lighter after writing the above. In fact, I feel heavier and slightly sick to my stomach.)

    •  Torture Czar (none)
      The premise behind your suggestion of refreshing Al's memory with some Guantanamo type interrogation is the very definition of irony.

      The Bush insiders know so many of the dark secrets of this criminal administration that when the shit hits the fan and they are all on trial, I wonder how they would feel about some of the interrogation techniques they approve of being employed on them to get them to talk...?

      I know it's wrong, but the thought of it makes me smile for a few seconds...

    •  It's not 'water boarding' anymore... (none)
      Doonesbury says it's "freedom boarding" now.


      "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Robert Hare

      by RubDMC on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 08:47:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  second front against Gonzales (none)
    I hope the left blogosphere can push this story. It helps to clarify why the "deference" approach towards cabinet appointments is particularly unsuited to the AG. As both this story AND the torture scandals make clear, the Attorney General, more than any other cabinet position, really has a kind of double position. Yes, the instrument of executive power for legal issues (as, say, the sec of agriculture is the instrument of executive power for agricultural issues; or the sec of defense for military ones). But ALSO a necessary part of defining the legal parameters OF the executive branch. Of all the cabinet position, it's most important that the Attorney General have some independence from the president, or, to put it differently, some credibility.

    Gonzales has none -- one would be hard-pressed to find any major cabinet member whose been so singularly, closely tied to the president. Resulting in both the tepid disgraces of a story like this and the searing outrage of legalizing torture.

    "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" -- George Bush, May 30, 2003

    by awol on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 01:11:34 PM PST

    •  Conflict of Interest (none)
      He definitely has a conflict of interest.  As a lawyer isn't he bound by Ethical Considerations, i.e. avoiding even the appearance of impropriety?  What about attorney-client privilege?  
  •  Oh Man... (none)
    Al, there are so many reasons to make sure you are never made the Attorney General, but people will bend over for you like they did Condi.

    The New Democrat

    Envision the future. Visit The New Democrat -

    by demburns on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 01:32:05 PM PST

  •  Biting My Style (none)
    What's with kid oakland biting my style here?

    I did a post on this very same topic a few weeks ago!

    It is true, though, this kind of thing needs to get out into the mainstream consciousness a little bit more...

    (and check out the rest of my blog while you're at it)

    I have a new reason to blogwhore and it's called Republican Sinners.

    by jmgotham on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:00:14 PM PST

  •  This is not (none)
    my wry observation but I think it bears repeating because its possibly true and amusing as well.

    How much ya wanna bet that Bush calls him "Speedy" when he's not in the room.

    •  I don't think (none)
      this will have much mileage.  "Everyone knows" that the privileged can delete obnoxious and/or damaging acts from the record.  The fact that I can't do it means that I am not in the right crowd, and if I object to it, I only prove that moreso.  It is an act of jealousy, and is distasteful.  Not as bad as talking about your opponent's lesbian daughter, but in the same realm.

      "No. I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK."

      by moltar on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:09:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd bet my future Social Security benefits on it. (none)
  •  I wrote Kennedy (4.00)
    urging him to oppose Gonzales's confirmation.  From his statement on his website, he does not appear to be favorably inclined towards Gonzales's nomination:

    January 19, 2005

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: David Smith / Jim Manley
    (202) 224-2633

    Mr. Gonzales should not be listed on the agenda today, because he still has not provided serious, consistent, and responsive answers to this Committee's questions.

    The questions which we have asked, and which Mr. Gonzales has declined to answer or evaded, address a matter of vast importance that goes to the heart of what America stands for in the world, and the world is watching what we do with this nomination.

    For decades, other nations have respected the United States as a leader on human rights, but the torture and other abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo have done immense damage to that reputation. The extreme and irresponsible claims in the Bybee Memorandum have raised questions about our commitment to the rule of law. How can this Committee not insist on full and forthright answers from the person who asked for the Bybee Memorandum in the first place, and who has been nominated to be the next Attorney General of the United States?

    The men and women in our Armed Forces are also watching. They know that the longstanding rules and traditions of the military have been undermined by this scandal. They also know that efforts by our government to weaken the prohibition against torture and abuse today lower the bar for their own treatment if they are captured in war tomorrow.

    Our service men and women also want to know whether accountability goes up the chain of command. Some of the soldiers responsible for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib are being punished. But they were not responsible for changing the legal definition of torture. They were not responsible for telling our military and the C.I.A. that the President and his subordinates do not have to comply with prohibitions against torture enacted by Congress.

    Mr. Gonzales is responsible for the promulgation of these extreme claims. He is also responsible for making them official U.S. policy. These facts are well established. Mr. Gonzales didn't give direct answers to many of our questions, but he did admit that he took part in discussions about the legality of certain interrogation methods. He admits that the final Bybee Memorandum was addressed to him. He admits that when he first saw it, and for the next two years, he thought it was a reasonable document. He admits that he did not object to its dissemination to "interested agencies," including the Defense Department and the C.I.A. He admits that it became the definitive policy of the Executive Branch - intended to govern how U.S. interrogators operate on the ground.

    Yet Mr. Gonzales has been nominated to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. Jay Bybee, the author of the torture memorandum, was rewarded with a lifetime appointment to a federal court of appeals, after this Committee was denied the essential information and documents it needed to evaluate his nomination. President Bush recently re-submitted the nomination of another architect of this scandal, William Haynes, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Our Committee can't keep looking the other way on this issue. Mr. Gonzales must give us straight answers to our questions. His written responses, provided to the Committee yesterday, don't do that:

    o I asked him what specific interrogation techniques were raised in his meetings on detainees. He said he didn't remember, and was not responsible for deciding which methods to use.

    o I asked him what he contributed to the development of the Bybee Memorandum. He said he didn't remember any specific suggestions, although he admitted that he participated in the discussions on torture.

    o I asked him whether he agreed with General Taguba that using "ghost detainees" is a violation of international law. He didn't answer.

    o He evaded answers to questions about his request for the Goldsmith Memorandum on "ghost detainees."

    o He evaded answers to questions about whether the C.I.A. can abuse prisoners, even if the military is prohibited from doing so.

    o He refused to say whether conduct mentioned in F.B.I. e-mails was illegal - such as burning detainees with lighted cigarettes, exposing them to extreme temperatures, or subjecting them to forcible enemas and prolonged stress positions in their own urine and feces.

    o I asked him several times to provide documents on his meetings, evaluations, and decisions on the Bybee Memorandum and also on the Goldsmith Memorandum on "ghost detainees," but he has not done so.

    Our Committee should not acquiesce in such gross evasion and non-responsiveness. If we are to meet our constitutional responsibility in the confirmation process, we must insist that Mr. Gonzales provide responsive answers to these fundamental questions. He should not be listed on the agenda for a Committee vote on his nomination until he does so.

    Gonzales is a disgrace and has no place in any position of authority in this nation's government.

    On some great & glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last & the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

    by lightiris on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:16:31 PM PST

  •  Simple answer (none)

    I'm surprised that it even made the news, but of course if this were Bill Clinton this story would be splashed all over the front page headlines of every online news outlet, and probably be the start of an investigation in Congress.

    The media does not have the public's interest in mind. They are all for Bush all the time. Maybe when   people start dying here for Bush's awful policies they will be guilted in to exposing the truth.

    Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

    by DrSpike on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 02:31:14 PM PST

  •  when the other three people in the room remember (3.75)
    the meeting but Gonzales claims he doesn't, that establishes beyond reasonable doubt that he is lying about his recollection.  I would certainly decide that way if on a jury hearing a perjury case.
    •  No, he just has a really bad memory (none)
      which is why he can't remember that we have a Bill of Rights and they we agreed to international conventions against torture, and ...

      oh, you get the picture

      Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:04:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's undoubtedly lying, but (none)
    he probably has a profound "respect for the truth", just like Condi.
  •  How can you tell (none)
    if Gonzales or any wingnut for that matter is lying, its easy, their lips are moving!
  •  Hound this story. (none)
    If Gonzales lied to Congress about this then this disqualifies him as being fit to serve as either USAG or as Federal Judge (at any level).

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 03:54:01 PM PST

  •  abbreviations (none)
    Putting the W in DWI.
  •  A December 2000 link (none)

    What an excellent day for an Exorcism...

    by DianeL on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 05:30:58 PM PST

    •  We could have really beat him up badly (none)
      with this in 2000, but Gore and Lieb decided not to. I remember Mrs. Lieb, when asked about GW's DUI during an interview saying, "oh that was so long ago, why bother with something that happened that long ago" (not exact quote). Back then atleast the media did their job because they exposed it. Then Bush tried to blame it on the Dems, so we didn't push it. Atleast that's how I remember it.
      •  Agree in part, (none)
        but in regards to the media, I recollect that there were a lot of omissions the public weren't filled in on (at least not on the front pages) until after it was too late.  For example, the link I provided above was post-election.  For another example, Time Magazine came out with a scathing 10 or more page article of damning info, (which was available to them pre-election), after it was too late, within a month of January 20th, 2001.

        What an excellent day for an Exorcism...

        by DianeL on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 06:31:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Insulation (none)
    You think there's a lack of accountability now?  If Mr. Gonzales is confirmed, Bush and Company will become even more insulated from the law.  America:  the best justice money can buy.  Laws are for us commoners.
  •  Regarding Gonzales (none)
    Why have we heard so little--on both sides of the political aisle--about his pro-choice and pro-affirmative action stances?

    I've been one of the slowest on the left to decry his nomination (who do they go with if he isn't appointed?  Do they just find a way to get Ashcroft back?) mostly because of those two things.  Even if you don't have similar feelings, his nomination could subdivide the Republicans.  I have a Republican political consultant friend who disliked this nomination and feels that too many conservatives are alienating their religious base (whether or not you consider this a code word for gay-haters/Bible-thumpers) and while this voter core won't go Democratic, it will likely stay home more with this kind of stuff.

    •  Hitler (none)
      apparently held a number of admirable opinions, that many would admire: anti-tobacco; lover of animals; vegetarian - nonetheless, he was also an executioner, Gonzales has shown himself to have that propensity.

      Further, since Puke has held high ambitions for Alberto since day one, I doubt there are too many more dangerous for the position.

      What an excellent day for an Exorcism...

      by DianeL on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 06:20:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nah (none)
      Gonzales is THE most loyal of all of Bush's lap dogs. The Brownshirts are willing to overlook certain things if you are willing to throw yourself in front of the bus for the team... It's one of their most endearing traits.

      There would be no dividing the Repblicans because of Al.  

  •  Gonzales at the Air Force Academy (none)
    I know this is a bit off topic, but just how did Gonzales not complete his degree at the Air Force Academy?  I thought you signed a contract when you entered into the military academies, and you can't just quit.  Did he flunk out?  Was he kicked out?  Did he pay back the taxpayer's for his free education, as the gay cadets must do if they get caught?
  •  Great diary. (none)
    I accidentally unrecommended it. How can I re-recommend what I feel should be front-page news worldwide?
  •  This guy can't "recollect" much. (none)
    He shouldn't be confirmed because he is senile if one believes all these responses.

    Resuscitate investigative journalism! Reality-Based does NOT mean investigations are wrong - it means investigations are essential.

    by nephalim on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 06:43:27 AM PST

  •  Update - Jeannette Walls (of today (none)
             confirmed authorship of the story about Bush
         getting a new Tex. Driver's License num, 1995

    [Today Jan. 24] –  Walls   confirmed to me the story of August 1999   (as picked up on other sites  <— such as the one linked here, a site that she mentioned to me today)   definitely was written by her in August 1999 as an item in's "The Scoop," basically as described upthread (see upthread by me.

    That is, she called and called sources in Texas to

       find out why Governor Bush was re-issued a new DRiver's License number 00000005 (the re-issued DL # is confirmed also in a Time article dated 11.13.2000 here by A.Cohen, J. Carney et al.).

            Walls said today they had told her it was for "security measures" and "as a courtesy" to the governor.

    I'm posting this confirmation from the MSNBC author today, since I can't give you an MSNBC working link back to the older story.

    She thought it was a "very strange number" for a bureacracy to assign – with just all those zeros.

        She also made clear that: the MSNBC article a year later, Nov. 3 2000, was an update not written by her, written instead by someone else at MSNBC. The issue of a legal record, or arrest record or whatever someone wanted to hide was not a part of her August 1999 story but was more of a reconstructed sequence by the November 2000 reporter.

        MSNBC does not keep archived copies of older stories, Walls told me. Walls was comfortable claiming authorship of breaking the story in 1999 that the new number was issued to GW Bush. But no original text-copies. Sorry.

        Anyway, this story does not prove or disprove whether or how (or not) Gonzalez was involved in the paperwork do-over. He was the governor's "General Counsel" at the time.

        Again, I ask, is there anything in your past you'd like to erase?

    Are there people in states that can't even vote for a President because their past can not be erased?

        If only the President's adviser(s) could wipe their slates clean, too.

  •  For the next "This Week in Fascism" (none)
         Tom P was first with the news about Gonzales' lies to keep quiet Bush's DUI. It seems that the judge on the trial where Alberto Gonzales got Bush out of jury duty has contradicted Gonzales' statement that he did not arrange a back room deal to get Bush out of jury duty.
         In separate interviews, Travis County Judge David Crain along with Wahlberg and prosecutor John Lastovica--told NEWSWEEK that, before the case began, Gonzales asked to have an off-the-record conference in the judge's chambers. Gonzales then asked Crain to "consider" striking Bush from the jury. [snip] "In public, they were making a big show of how he was prepared to serve," said Crain. "In the back room, they were trying to get him off."
    Someone needs to get a transcript of Gonzales' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and see if these statements actually contradict with what he said. I'm sure the Republicans think lying before the Senate isn't as bad as lying about a "Job."

    This Week in Fascism is now on Thursday and due out at 20:00 PST.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Thu Jan 27, 2005 at 05:02:08 PM PST

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