Think back a few years to when Judge Alberto Gonzales was being considered for Attorney General. Colorado’s then freshman senator, Ken Salazar, escorted Gonzales into the Senate for the first day of his confirmation hearing. And Salazar ultimately voted to confirm Gonzales. As a result, the Justice department went through years of upheaval. U.S. attorneys were fired, allegedly for political reasons rather than for performance. Career Justice employees left, and those who stayed were given ambiguous messages about torture, the right of habeas corpus, and the legality (or illegality) of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. And through it all, Sen. Salazar said that President Bush deserved the cabinet that he wanted.
Today, during the Yahoo!News/Denver Post/Politico breakfast, Sen. Salzar said something quite a bit different. He said he made a mistake with Gonzales. He said that Gonzales had given him written assurances that Gonzales would uphold the constitution and not be a puppet of the Bush administration. And then Gonzales became that very puppet.
Salazar admitted he made a mistake supporting Gonzales. It’s not enough – we really need him to apologize and admit he’s made multiple other mistakes too – but it’s a good start.