2007/04/19

Gonzales hearing

What's probably the best, most concise summary of the Gonzales hearing, where Attorney General Alberto Gonzales valiantly attempted to explain (Or at least paper over) the many questions and contradictions in the testimony of both himself and his aides came from Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY):

"You've answered 'I don't know' or 'I don't recall' to close to 100 questions." Urges Gonzales for the good of the department and for the good of the country to step down.
"Gonzales says the burden of proof is on those alleging something improper happened here.
"Schumer: That would be true if this were a criminal trial, but we have a much higher standard for the Attorney General. And when you fire US attorneys, the burden is on you to explain why. The burden of proof lays with the person who took responsibility and did the firing." 

Generally, Gonzales gave very, very unsatisfactory answers, careening back and forth between appearing as a bystander in his own department, a man totally out of the loop and between saying "I'm responsible," but not being able to give any clear or convincing explanations as to why any decisions were made.

Pennsylvania's Senator Specter says in TPMMuckraker (Main site contains lots and lots of videos of hearing):

..."we haven't really gotten answers" from Gonzales. He added that there was unquestionably a morale problem at the department and that the message had been sent that U.S. attorneys around the country "ought to be on guard... for you to have said that this was 'an overblown personnel matter,' that can't be erased."

Lawyer-Blogger Glenn Greenwald comments that:


"Although Gonzales began with a combative tone, he quickly abandoned it, because it is not his natural approach. He has neither the instincts nor the abilities to engage in a full day of verbal combat with anyone. He is far more comfortable with highly practiced, slippery, evasive buzzphrases which he simply repeats -- with a pseudo-respectful and borderline-smug tone -- over and over and over. And he quickly reverted to form."

It'd be nice if this meant that Gonzales would soon be stepping down, but Greenwald points out that demanding things of Bush produces exactly the opposite reaction from what one would expect. Bush instead digs in his heels and fights and fights until there's absolutely no choice and then petulantly and arrogantly insults those who tried to make him see reason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So sad, but so true. Bush is stubborn, some say loyal, to a fault. Bush won't ask for Gonzales' resignation,just as he will never admit invading Iraq was a mistake. This is not leading--Gonzales is just parroting the words of the commander in chief. Cite terror, terroism and a threat to our national security and watch the electorate hand over whatever you want. Gonzales serves at the pleasure of the president. We can moan all we want, but until Bush says, "go" Gonzales knows no amount of calling for his resignation needs to be heard.