Archive for the ‘Gonzales’ Category


But will he fizz when he pops?

May 10, 2007

I had another one of those hypnopompic microdreams this morning.

It looks like my subconscious and my rational mind have different evaluations of the state of the Purgegate probe. What I think is, since Alberto Gonzales (AGAG) is the only firewall between Karl Rove and the truth, Bush will retain him at all costs. That will last until the Congress sees fit to impeach him, or if the fires have not died down, until late next spring, when the election will be close enough that Congress won’t have time to break down the White House stonewallthat stands behind the firewall.

But my dream was of Rove’s face. On it was plastered the usual smug smile, and he was apparently unaware that there was a large corkscrew planted in his mouth.

So my subconscious believes that Rove will not be able to keep a cork in it much longer. He will somehow be dragged to the Hill to testify. I earnestly hope old SC is smarter about this than I am.


Transcript of Carol Lam’s written response

May 3, 2007

Josh Marshall on TPM yesterday linked to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s document giving Carol Lam’s written answers to followup questions on her testimony.

Lam, you’ll recall, was the US Attorney for the southern (San Diego) district of California, who was among the eight fired on Gonzales’s Day of Infamy. She had successfully prosecuted the Duke Cunningham case, and was following the threads of corruption. As we learned from the first DoJ document dump, when the threads reached Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the campaign to oust her accelerated.

Because the Senate’s document was put on the Web as a series of page images in pdf, I spent a couple of hours transcribing her testimony into text format, which can be searched and copied and pasted.

The whole thing is chock full of refutations of Administration talking points. TPM has already highlighted the most surprising and potent answer, to the Democrats’ question 20. It reads in part:

After a follow-up call with Mike Battle a few days later, I requested additional time to ensure an orderly transition in the office, especially regaridng pending investigations and several significant cases that were set to begin trial in the next few months.
On January 5, 2007, I received a call from Michael Elston informing me that my request for more time based on case-related considerations was “not being received positively,” and that I should “stop thinking in terms of the cases in the office.” He insisted that I had to depart in a matter of weeks, not months, and that these instructions were “coming from the very highest levels of the government.”

This tells us, first, that Lam’s departure was being pushed, and pushed hard, directly from the White House – by Rove if not by the President. It tells us, second, that the firing was not driven by concerns about misplaced policy priorities. Had it been, there could have been no objection to having Lam stick around a few months to provide continuity on existing cases. It was not driven by concerns about management style, because she was not proposing to remain as a manager.

It also explodes one of the prominent excuses bandied about by the Justice Department: that the whole firing exercise was simply an attempt to give some promising eventual candidates for judgeships a bit of juice on their resumes. Elston made it clear that, whatever the merits of the incoming USA, the “very highest levels of the government” wanted above all else to get Carol Lam out of operation.


Prepping for Comey

May 2, 2007

I love maps, and so of course I love their temporal equivalent, timelines.

The incomparable Marcy Wheeler (aka emptywheel) has put up on firedoglake an extensive (but of course still very selective, this whole USA purgegate mess having more appendages than a nest of centipedes) timeline of purge history. It concentrates especially on how events fit in with the tenure of James Comey, who will be testifying tomorrow (Thursday).

If there weren’t such a thing as honest Republicans, even honest Republican political appointees, there never would have been a purge of US Attorneys. There would have been no one to purge. Comey is one of the finest of the breed. Among other things, he’s the guy who, as Ashcroft’s second in command when Big John was sidelined in hospital, refused to authorize the NSA spying. He’s also the guy who appointed Fitzgerald to look into the Plame affair, and insisted on giving him genuine independence. His testimony tomorrow is sure to be, as Marcy asserts in dazzling understatement, “very interesting”.

If you’re a junkie on this scandal like me, her timeline is a helpful tool for ordering what has become an intimidatingly chaotic landscape. If you’re just getting up to speed, it’ll point you to a few of the threads to start googling along to get the story the mainstream press had been missing for years, while it built up in the blogosphere. Rest assured, Gonzales’s discomfiture did not spring full-blown from the brow of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.


Gonzales downfall predicted in the Bible

April 25, 2007

Unspared Rod
The blogosphere in its terseness has taken lately to referring to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as AGAG. It had been tickling something in the back of my brain, something which finally surfaced this afternoon.

No doubt the reason it took so long is the exceeding cuddliness of the man. Yes, he stood at Dubya’s side, ruthlessly railroading God knows how many Texas innocents into the death chamber; yes, he strove manfully to help maximize the number of shattered souls driven to madness in Cheney’s secret oubliettes around the world; and yes, he has dedicated himself more single-mindedly than any AG in history to replacing the rule of law throughout the precincts of Justice with the rule of lackies. But, hey. Not for nothing has he been the runner-up for three years straight in the national Pillsbury Doughboy Lookalike Contest.

But his doom has been prefigured in holy writ. There, in I Samuel 15, we learn of another government official (a king of the Amalekites, in this instance) whose merciless and lawless ways deeply offended God. And his name was AGAG. The chief executive of the country (King Saul) wanted to shield this AGAG because of his royal blood – basically on grounds of executive privilege. Saul’s instinct cut no ice with God, who directed His prophet to deal with the matter:

I Samuel 15:32 Then said Samuel, bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord.

Last week Gonzales came delicately (both mincingly and carefully) unto the Judiciary Committee. And God had no need to raise a prophet, because Alberto proceeded to hew himself to pieces before the committee more effectively than anyone else could have.

Nothing now remains to be done except to gather up the hacked limbs and give them a decent burial. As fine as they’ve been diced up, though, collecting and identifying them all will probably require some months of intensive labor.


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. “