Usually, in any statement of any politician, you're going to find one or two such comments: little lies that aren't worth the time or effort to dig out. Enough to make some hay, but only that.
But in Gonzo's case, there are no less than five instances where he does nothing short of admit that, at best, he is of no use to the inquiry because his recollection and perception are useless or, at worst, he is telling a tale so improbable that he must be lying. Not only are these five statements remarkable for their sheer volume, to my mind they also lay out a simple fact: somebody, or something, somewhere can or will definitively prove that the smoke we've been smelling for the last few months isn't from a grease fire in the kitchen, but rather it is from a fire raging throughout the whole damn house.
That, or Gonzales is mentally unfit to be Attorney General.
In case you missed it, here's the statement:
Now, take a look at the five times he touches on anything more than the most vauge platitudes regarding the matter (I've put in capital letters what matters most). In each case, Gonzo does the same thing: he makes a definitive statement which seems to support the Bush Administration's position, but only after rendering it meaningles with one of those wonderful little qualifiers.
With no further ado...
"I know that I did not -- and would not -- ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I HAVE NO BASIS TO BELIEVE that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason"
Fine, he's not a supreme all-knowing, all-seeing being...we'll let that one slide.
All of these documents and public testimony INDICATE that the Justice Department did not seek the removal of any U.S. attorney to interfere with or improperly influence any case or investigation.
Indicate? You can't even bring yourself to say they "prove" it, can you? Fine, we won't detract points for this one...after all, compared to the shrill certainty of your cohorts this almost makes you sound reasonable.
I have nevertheless asked the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility to further investigate this matter. Working with the department's Office of Inspector General, these nonpartisan professionals will complete their own independent investigation so that Congress and the American people can be 100 percent assured of what I BELIEVE and what the investigation THUS FAR HAS SHOWN: that nothing improper occurred.
You won't even take a defintive position on what the investigation has shown, but in effect only what you believe it to have shown? And what's with the "thus far"? You know, when you say that, it makes me think that maybe the investigation will eventually show something different entirely. If all you can do is offer your opinion on what the investigation has shown (rather than commenting on the truth surrounding the underlying matter) you're on thin ice, Gonzo, thin ice.
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.
Couldn't you have used something a little more original? This "as I recall" is the poor man's fifth amendment, nothing more. It gives you a free pass...which is why people love to use it. Except, if your questioner knows what he or she is doing, it also prevents you from ever denying anything said or written which demonstrates the opposite. In effect, with this in pocket, Sampson is the only witness whose accounts on the issue matter...and here's hint: that's not so great for General Gonzales.
During those conversations, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.
This is my favorite. Think about this...he isn't saying he did make a decision or that he didn't make a decision. What's the third option, that he made the decision (or didn't make it) without realizing it? I could go on and on, but I'll let it rest at that: our Attorney General cannot even be certain about what decisions he's made (or not made).
Hopefully, somebody somewhere has picked up on this...I am sure this is the case.
But I thought it was interesting if only to show how much fun this Tuesday is going to be.
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