Alberto Gonzales before Senate Judiciary
I watched this last night on C-Span. The Judiciary committee, Democrat and Republican alike, pretty much ripped him a new one--mostly in a nice way. Coburn (R-Okla) suggested he should resign.
Gonzales was continually evasive, and when directly asked, could not or would not identify who selected 7 out of the 8 AG's fired. But "I take full responsibility for the decision". But he didn't really.
In my opinion, they ought to be going after Gonzales for the torture-memos, but I guess this is the low-hanging fruit.
Originally Posted by matclone
The AGs serve at the pleasure of the President, and the President and Gonzales don't need a reason for firing them. I don't recall the Clinton adminstration being dragged in front of a Judiciary committee when they axed a boatload of AGs. Some of those AGs were actively working on cases against the Clintons, but no one said a peep (other than opinion pages).
If the White House would have had a consistent message from the start, this probably would have blown over. As is often the case with this administration, especially over the last two to three years, their message is muddled, confusing, and constantly changing.
In the end, Gonzales will probably go down for this, although I would rather have seen him be skewered for enabling the US to use torture and rendition pretty much at will.
I've watched some of the questioning from the other day. I'm still trying to figure out how a guy like that ever passed a bar exam or graduated from law school.
71 times he said he didn't remember something. Either didn't remember if he was present at a meeting, or what happened at the meeting, or when a decision was made, or who even made the decision, etc. I understand that he's busy and has lots going on, but to not remember a single thing about the whole situation is simply blatant lying. He says he's sure he made the final decision, but how can we be sure? He can't remember anything else about the whole process of coming to the decision, so WTF?
It reminded me of Ronald Reagan during the Iran/Contra scandal. He fell back on the same line, "I don't recall".
I'm sure if he can't remember anything about things that happened in December of last year that he'll have absolutely NO recall of the torture memos from months before that.
Last edited by therick; 04-20-2007 at 04:53 PM.
I don't recall the Clinton adminstration being dragged in front of a Judiciary committee when they axed a boatload of AGs
Try to recall Clinton himself being dragged into impeachment.
That is a little bit stronger than Gonzales, wouldn't you say?
I didn't say that I agreed w/Clinton being impeached. However, you can make the case (and it was made) that Clinton lied under oath. He didn't deserve to be impeached, but going by the letter of the law it was justified. It was a colossal waste of time, just as this escapade is.
Originally Posted by Password
Gonzales fired the AGs "just because", and that's all the explanation he needs. Reno fired AGs "just because", and no one raised a stink.
Very good point Flop
I don't think that anyone would have cared if they had just said something of that nature i.e. just because. What made those on the hill curious was when the AG's office claimed they were fired because of "performance issues". Just tell the truth and all of this goes away. Weave a web of lies about the why and how and you give the opposition ammo to continue to waste time and money investigating.
"U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President" so says Mr. Gonzales. So, why not just say that they were let go because the man who appointed them no longer desired their services? End of story
Let's be clear, what this is all about is the independence of the AGs. It's fine to say the President has the power to dismiss AGs for any reason, if your intent is only to show part of the picture. The AGs are appointed by the President but they must be independent of political influence to carry out their job. If not, that sends a bad message to the other AGs, and to the American people. The Justice dept stepped on their d*** by giving the appearance that the firings were politically motivated. Gonzales' testimony did nothing to dispel this notion (in fact, it probably bolstered it). One of the Senators (I don't remember who) talked specifically of the tradition of independence.
This has nothing to do with Clinton. As I've read, he fired all of his AGs in one swoop. Correct me if I'm wrong. No Senator that I heard on the committee mentioned Clinton, or questioned the reason for the hearing.
Last edited by matclone; 04-21-2007 at 12:34 PM.
"This has nothing to do with Clinton."
I only brought up Clinton as an historical parallel. Would it make you feel better if I had gone back to Reagan, Carter, or Kennedy?
I don't get your point when you say that I'm only bringing up part of the picture. What part am I leaving out? The only part that matters is that you don't need a reason to fire them. If a Democrat wins the next Presidential election, those AGs will be gone, as will the VP, as will SecState, SecDef, etc... They all serve at the pleasure of the Pres, regardless of whether it offends certain Senators or people on this board.
If you have some other inside information (the other side of the story), please enlighten me.
I thought I explained: the other part of the picture was the independence of the AGs. I didn't hear that idea expressed by anyone here, yet I thought that was the salient point of the whole matter. But maybe you already understood.
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