14 March 2007

Gonzo Justice

Call me crazy, but I think Alberto “Abu” Gonzales is about
to lose his parking space at the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales rejected
growing calls for his resignation Tuesday as
scores of newly released documents detailed a
two-year campaign by the Justice Department
and White House to purge federal prosecutors.

Gonzales acknowledged his department
mishandled the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys
and misled Congress about how they were fired.
He said he was ultimately to blame for those
"mistakes" but stood by the firings.

"I acknowledge that mistakes were made here,"
Gonzales told reporters at a news briefing after
he canceled an out-of-town trip. "I accept that
responsibility." He promised changes "so that
the mistakes that occurred in this instance do not
occur again in the future."

Fortunately for Gonzales, the only song they play in the
White House is Stand By Your Man.

Asked about the issue for the first time, Bush
said, "I do have confidence in Attorney General
Al Gonzales" but that his long-time aide needed
to go to Capitol Hill and straighten out the

"I've talked to him this morning. And we talked
about his need to go up to Capitol Hill and make
it very clear to members in both political parties
why the Justice Department made the decisions
it made; make it very clear about the facts,"
Bush said.

Bush said he had a right to remove U.S.
attorneys, and had heard complaints about some
of them that he had passed along to Gonzales.
But he said he did not tell Gonzales who should
be fired, although he believed the reasons for
the sackings were justified.

"I believe the reasons why were entirely
appropriate. And yet this issue was mishandled
to the point, now, where you're asking me
questions about it in Mexico," Bush said.

And he was so looking forward to hitting the bike paths and
playing some golf. But no, you guys in the press just ruined
the whole trip by asking some stupid questions about federal
prosecutors and congressional testimony.

Being president sucks!

Meanwhile, it’s not just Democrats who want to see Gonzales
do the Rumsfeld Shuffle.

"I think the president should replace him," [Sen.
John] Sununu said in an interview with The
Associated Press. "I think the attorney general
should be fired."


On Tuesday, he said firings of the prosecutors,
together with a report last Friday by the Justice
Department's inspector general criticizing the
administration's use of secret national security
letters to obtain personal records in terrorism
probes, shattered his confidence in Gonzales.

"We need to have a strong, credible attorney
general that has the confidence of Congress and
the American people," said Sununu, who faces a
tough re-election campaign next year. "Alberto
Gonzales can't fill that role."

For a succinct summary of the “falsehoods” peddled to Congress
and how Karl Rove and Harriet (could have been a contender)
Miers fit into this growing scandal, check out this morning’s
press conference with Sen. Chuck Schumer at TPM Muckraker.