Monday, August 27, 2007


"Mr. Rove acted as if he was above the law. That is wrong... Now that he is leaving the White House while under subpoena, I continue to ask what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are so desperate to hide. Mr. Rove's apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue." --Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy

Washington D.C.--Can't you hear the cries of anguish in the Hispanic communities of America? Me neither. Remember those huge parades that the Hispanic community had when he was appointed? Me neither. Like Black Americans with Colin Powell in the 1990s, this writer would wager that not many Hispanic people knew who this individual was before his untimely patronage appointment by George W. Bush as attorney general--unless they had the misfortune to stand before him as a corrupt and incompetent judge in Texas. This is a good day for America, and whoever the doofus-in-Chief appoints, they're going to have watch themselves, because House and Senate Judiciary Chairs Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Patrick Leahy will be watching, and round-the-clock.

It's perverse when the attorney general of the United States is so embattled, and so defiant of the rule of law. What's more, this attorney general has been nothing but an embarrassment to this country. To further embarrass all of us all, he's going to be pardoned. That's great for him, and once more, bad for the rule of law. Congress might consider ending the ability of the executive branch to issue them after this administration (and all the others). History will not judge the former-attorney general kindly, and that hurts for individuals like Alberto Gonzales who have always wished for some kind of immortality through fame, fortune, and power. He might escape with two of the aforementioned bounties, but his time as a powerful man is done. What's interesting is the timing.

September is coming for the ostensible assessments in Congress for how badly the war in Iraq is truly going (not the president's sheltered version of "reality"--someone should introduce them sometime). It's great that Alberto Gonzales praised public service today--he should try it sometime. What's odd is that one can almost see the logic in this abrupt resignation, and that it's going to somehow stop the investigations into the U.S. attorney firing scandal. It will not. Sen. Patrick Leahy is unlikely to let this rest, because he understands--perhaps as few others in Congress do anymore--that the criminal actions of the Bush administration and her associates cannot go uninvestigated, undocumented, and unpunished. The damage to the Consitution of the United States has been far too impaired to let any of this rest. Certainly, a pardon will be in-the-offing for Gonzales, but the timing will have to be extremely precise.

On Saturday night, Gonzales was contacted by his press spokesman to ask how the department should respond to inquiries from reporters about rumors of his resignation, and Gonzales told the spokesman to deny the reports. White House spokesmen also insisted on Sunday that they did not believe that Gonzales was planning to resign. Aides to senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said over the weekend that they had received no suggestion from the administration that Gonzales intended to resign. (IHT, 08.27.2007)

Yes, he lies about virtually everything, even when it doesn't matter, and has no solid benefit to the liar. This is what pathological liars do. What needs to happen next? A purging of literally every single Gonzales appointment by Congress, possibly through impeachment. This would include such luminaries as Jeffrey A. Taylor, the individual who was to obstruct justice if Gonzales had continued to stonewall, and the Justice Department U.S. attorney who will obstruct on all the subpoenas still coming for former Bush administration officials like Harriet Miers and Karl Rove. That problem isn't likely to go away, and he will likely have to be removed on constitutional grounds.

The attorney general's storied history of ignoring his duty to the Constitution (TORTURE) and the rule of law first and foremost cannot go unpunished, just as it didn't go unrewarded in the criminal echelons of the Bush White House. The Nation's John Nichols made a good observation of why the departure is occurring at this time: the natives were restless in Congress, and support for his continuing on as AG was eroding rapidly:

A proposal by Washington Democrat Jay Inslee, a respected former prosecutor, to have the House Judiciary Committee investigate whether Gonzales should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, attracted 27 cosponsors during the current recess and would have drawn many more with the return of the House in early September. The Attorney General was ripe for impeachment -- or, at the very least, the censure proposed by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin -- because of a rapidly broadening recognition that Gonzales had displayed a blatant disregard for the law since his arrival in Washington in 2001 at the side of his longtime friend and political benefactor George Bush. (The Nation/Yahoo, 08.27.2007)

As Nichols astutely points-out, the resignation is also to protect George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney from further exposure and investigation, not merely Gonzales and his cohorts in the Justice Department. In-the-end, it's all been petty moves that put personal loyalty above the time honored traditions of our Constitution--the primary responsibility of the executive branch, and by-virtue of this, the responsibility of the attorney general. This responsibility was forfeit upon his "confirmation" as attorney general. Watchdog group CREW's statement today also mirrors what most of us are thinking today.

Attorney General Gonzales' resignation is welcome – and overdue – news. His resignation should not, however, end congressional and Department of Justice investigations into misconduct by the Attorney General and his former top aides. Questions of whether Justice Department officials lied to Congress, conducted criminal inquiries to further political ends, illegally fired U.S. Attorneys and made hiring decisions based on political affiliation still merit investigation regardless of Mr. Gonzales' resignation. ... (

This sentiment can be found far-and-wide throughout the internet emanating from America today, with few-exceptions. Rags like the Washington Times are saying this is "partisan," but we know they're not the answer to any of this. They're its genesis. Now, it's time to take down this administration. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, a John Bircher, or a Black American, a woman, a Christian, or a Muslim, a Libertarian, a Socialist, a unionist, or an advocate for immigrant rights--it's time to save our Constitution and the liberties we all cherish. This can only come about by the downing of the Bush White House and everyone in it.

I'm not a Democrat, I'm an American. I'm not a Republican, I'm an American. It's time to be proud of this fact again, and it's time to make the promises of this nation real. Nothing less will do, and these crimes against our rights and our Constitutional traditions must be corrected. Those who did the damage must be punished, but judged fairly under the rule of law. There's nothing "radical" about this whatsoever. It's as American as apple pie. Good riddance, and prepare to be subpoenaed, former-attorney general. The president's allies in Congress--both Democrats and Republicans--are going to start feeling very-very lonely soon. That's why a number of them aren't running for reelection in 2008. Shut-up little man. Do-not-talk.

"The Caucus" (NYT blog) today:

John Nichols (The Nation) on the resignation: