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Serving at the pleasure

April 19, 2007

The papers have been telling us that our esteemed Attorney General, Alberto “Abu” Gonzales, has done nothing for two weeks except prep intensively for today’s Senate hearing. Nevertheless, within minutes, he was swimming in flop sweat. It was as if he had been introduced to the game of chess three weeks ago, and spent the last two of them being coached, interminably and exasperatedly, in the basics of the Russian Defense, the French Defense, and the Ruy Lopez, a little of which he finally retained. And sure enough, four moves into the match, the poor lunk’s out of his book.

He was quick to assure the Senators that he had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with deciding which US Attorneys would be fired; knew nothing about the decisions except that the reasons, whatever they may have been, were entirely proper. And of course, neither did Karl Rove help decide, and certainly not the President. Or at least, if they did, he wanted the Senators to rest entirely assured that the fact has by now slipped his memory. (As a precautionary measure, Gonzales, like Scooter Libby, recently had his limbic system replaced with cuttings from Spongebob Squarepants. Seahorses, clownfish, and colorful nudibranches flutter gaily through its pores.)

No individual made these decisions, his testimony reveals. They were made, Abu G. is forced to assume, although of course not having been even slightly involved he can’t be absolutely certain he remembers, by “the consensus” of “senior officials” in the DoJ.

(Did any Senator have the presence of mind to ask for the names of those senior officials? If so, the certainty that Abu G. would answer “I don’t recall” apparently drained his or her will to pose the question.)

Shorter Alberto Gonzales:

“Nothing improper took place here. Senators, you have to understand: By law, the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of a faceless, indeterminate group of Justice Department ‘senior officials’, who may fire them for any reason. I would tell you their names, but the same law authorizes them to train forgetfulness rays on the Attorney General, in order to protect their identities.

Anyway, no one among even them knows why these USAs were fired; that would be a holographic piece of knowledge held only by their joint consensus. Holographs can be fuzzy. Sort of like my testimony today, and, as you may recall, every other day I’ve sat before this committee.

If I were you, Senators, and wanted to get to the bottom oI all this, I would subpoena their consensus to come testify. Good luck serving the papers. “

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