Monday, March 26, 2007

Just following orders

Anyone who knows much about "Abu" Gonzales knows that he is GWB's guy. He is a Bush loyalist with no history of independence. It is no surprise to me that GWB is pledging unswerving support for Abu, after all, Boy George don't cut 'n run. But what is surprising is that any erstwhile BushCo supporter, who is willing to say that Gonzales should resign, could argue that this would close the book on the scandal because all this malfeasance originated with Abu. As everyone who has followed this business at all knows, this is a White House operation with Rovian finger smears all over it.

And anyway, what else could GWB do? There is no one above the rank of U.S. Attorney in the DOJ who isn't tarnished by now and besides if someone who was competent and principled (think Patrick Fitzgerald) were brought in, what do you think would happen to BushCo? They wouldn't find GWB's hand in a cookie jar, they'd find dozens of smashed jars all over the Oval Office floor and a crumb-speckled Boy George burping behind the desk. Any exposure to law enforcement from within would send Bushies scurrying like vampires from the blazing sun.

Josh Marshall:

For some, it is a matter of outrage that President Bush has renewed his support for Alberto Gonzales even after new evidence has emerged that the Attorney General has repeatedly lied about the US Attorney Purge. Myself, I see it more as a matter of confirmation and almost a welcome one in that it confirms the nature of the debate we're having.

This isn't a case where Alberto Gonzales has fallen short of the president's standards or bungled some process. This is the standard. The Attorney General has done and is doing precisely what is expected of him.

Consider this.

When Alberto Gonzales went up to the Hill earlier this year and answered questions about the US Attorney firings, he lied about why they'd been fired. When evidence revealed that what he had told the Senate was not true, he told the country in his televised press conference that he hadn't been directly involved in the process and thus had not knowingly misled the Senate. Friday's document dump showed that that too was a lie. These of course are only the most conspicuous examples and I leave aside the numerous instances of his aides lying on his behalf.

It is not too much to say that everything that has come out of Alberto Gonzales' mouth on this issue has been a lie. Sure, that sounds like hyperbole. But it's just a factual summary of what the public record now shows. On the very day his second lie was being exposed Gonzales was publicly claiming "it’s reckless and irresponsible to allege that these decisions were based in any way on improper motives."

And the president is fine with all of this. Fine with the fact that the Attorney General has not only repeatedly lied to the public but has also been exposed as repeatedly lying to the public. He's fine with at least two US Attorneys being fired for not giving in to pressure to file bogus charges to help Republican candidates.

Of course he's fine with it. Because it comes from him. None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.


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