Crime/Corruption

Endtime for Gonzo

By Martin Bosworth

The New York Times broke the story this morning: Alberto Gonzales is resigning.

The fact that this is happening bright and early on a Monday morning makes me think that it wasn’t done at Bush’s behest–if the White House had been in control of this, they’d have waited until the Friday of Labor Day weekend to bury it. So, then, what can we say about this development?

That Abu Gonzo needed to go is beyond question. The man has been one of the most embarrassingly, appallingly, unbelievably corrupt public officials in recent political history. He has openly lied and perjured himself before Congress, openly championed illegal, invasive, unconstitutional, and ineffectual surveillance programs, and turned the Justice Department into a cesspool of cronies, hacks, and GOP operatives who put political loyalty to The Decider above their duties to the country. The man’s obssessive loyalty to Bush, according to the NYT and other reports, not only prompted him to demolish the standing and respect of the DOJ, but to throw himself on his sword in order to give Bush cover, after his abysmally lame testimonies before Congress. (Of course, one has to wonder if all of these “unnamed officials” would have been so quick to toss Gonzo aside had he lied more successfully.)

Trial balloons were already being floated regarding the idea of DHS head Michael Chertoff replacing Gonzo, which would make for some pretty amusing confirmation hearings as we approach the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and would revisit Chertoff’s own series of failures. Whatever does happen, the Democrats have a responsibility to not roll over this time and just meekly accept whomever the Bush regime puts forth–indeed, as Glenn Greenwald says, the Dems already let themselves be played for fools on FISA, and the appointment of a new Attorney General demands not only a candidate who is truly independent, ethical, accountable, and principled, but much stronger oversight and inquisition during the hearings and afterward.

What’s really amazing about this is that it marks the near-total end of Bush’s inner circle. Rumsfeld is long gone, Rove is out, Miers is gone, Rice is ostracized–that leaves no one but Darth Cheney himself to guide the hand of Mr. 26%. Not only that, Gonzo’s resignation caps a mass exodus from the DOJ of his operatives and pawns. Think about that–as of right now, there may literally be no one minding the store at the nation’s highest office of law enforcement.

Then again, when you look back at the record of corruption, malfeasance, illegality, blatant political partisanship, and general stupidity of the DOJ under Gonzo’s tenure (and going well back to Ashcroft’s reign), it’s safe to say that no one’s been minding the store for a very, very long time.

12 replies »

  1. Gonzales should never have been confirmed in the first place. I’m tempted to be a bad winner and write another letter to CO. Senator Ken Salazar (who was annoyed with my first letter saying that Gonzales had to be denied) and cover it with “Told ya so!!!!”

    So Gonzales is gone, finally. I’d have preferred impeachment, but having him out of the AG position is more important than having him thrown out bodily, no matter how viscerally pleasant that would have been.

    As for Chertoff, I’d love to be able to ask him this question first at any possible confirmation hearing:

    “Mr. Chertoff, there are substantiated reports that the mercenary company Blackwater USA was hired by FEMA to confiscate the firearms of law abiding citizens in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Given this fact, I have a multi-part question I’d like you to answer for me. Were you aware of the use of private mercenaries to attempt to bypass the 2nd Amendment protections of the right to bear arms, and if so, what were the legal justifications made at the time? If you were not aware of the use of Blackwater USA, why not? If you were aware, did you agree with the legal justification or not? If not, why didn’t you use your considerable authority to remove Blackwater USA mercenaries from New Orleans and stop them from breaking the citizens’ civil rights? If so, how can we trust you to honestly enforce our nations laws when you permit private mercenaries like to deprive our citizens of their Constitutionally-protected civil rights?”

  2. Gonzales’s leaving is good news – sort of, I guess. I wonder if they’ve left such a mess – him, Rummy, Rove, et. al. – that no matter who wins it’ll take an entire first (perhaps only) term to unravel the knots they’ve created.

  3. Your comment on the timing is interesting, because that was the first thing I thought. Why now? The heat has died down a little. Monday morning isn’t the traditional time this kind of thing happens. Etc.

    All of which made me ask: what is this being used to cover? These people are masters at getting you to look one way while they do something unspeakable in the other, and this story guarantees that you could nuke Peoria without getting CNN’s attention.

    So my thought was that it IS WH-driven, but that it’s a diversion. If I’m right, what are the bastards up to now?

  4. When does Congress get back in session? Maybe Bush jumped on this now so he’d have time to push through another emergency appointment before Congress got back … not that they’d do much to stonewall him.

    Plus, when your approval rating is 26%, do you really care when news gets out anymore?

  5. Alberto Gonzalez, the legal genius who conspired with this administration to violate our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like “America Deceived” from Amazon.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
    They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
    They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
    They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov’t.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this country.
    Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov’t and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

  6. Gonzales and the administration were their own worst enemies here. All they had to do with this US Attorney flack was say, yes, we got rid of some people who served at our pleasure and who we could get rid of for any reason, just like every executive body that’s ever existed in the history of mankind, and no, we don’t owe anyone an explanation for it. The story would have lasted no more than one day. Instead, they evaded and stonewalled and made it look like there was something to hide, which just added fuel to the furor over this guy and his purported Constitutional abuses. The bulls*** piles up so fast you need wings to stay above it.

    It befuddles the mind, though, that out of all the morally and legally deficient things connected with this administration, this is the one that stuck for long enough for there to be tangible consequences.

    http://mikeelliottsblog.wordpress.com

  7. Regarding the timing issue and the crisis is it masking: I can think of one: Ravaging Appalachia to get every last scrap of anthracite for our energy consumption. More information here: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/24/1321257

    I love reading S&R and I thank Jim Booth, I believe, who mentioned Mountain Top Removal in an amazing piece of environmental writing.

    I have seen an area devastated by this practice. Not knowing exactly what in ‘tar-nation’ was going on, I did some research. There are environmental wrongs to the left and right of us but the fact that a whole mountain range is being destroyed under our noses just, well, pisses me off. According to Project Censored, this was one of the Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006

    I am contacting my congressman to implore him to vote for the Clean Water Restoration Act and am writing the local utility cos. ( yeah, I know, good luck) to request that they reduce the amounts of coal they buy and to continue to investigate alternative power sources. From what I gathered, NY uses 20% coal power, but that is still way too damn much considering what is being destroyed to get it.

    Apologies for diverting this subject, but I hope to gather enough information to inform more people about yet another legacy of crap left for us by the current administration.

  8. Who are the Democratic turncoats who voted to confirm that little weasel in the first place? We need to replace them ASAP.

  9. i hate this stupid man and any one who would his allay and friend .. they are all bunch of losers and jerks with no functioning cells in there brains that are used for any good in this world

  10. http://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/a-love-story-in-3-pictures/

    I’m putting that link here for you to compare the first pic of George and Condy with this one of him and “Did I ever mention how hard my life was? Really? Did I ever tell you about my Dad? Oh. Did I mention I’m Hispanic? Coz that means that everyone who supports the Geneva Convention during TWOT is actually a racist.”.

    I think that comparing the two pics does support the belief that Bush is an android.

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