Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Bush Administration Plays Limbo With The Law: How Low Can They Go?

When liars testify before Congress, surprise, surprise...THEY LIE. Alberto Gonzales is in hot water because he has repeatedly lied about his involvement in the firing of 9 US Prosecutors so why should we expect that he’d tell the truth under oath? The grilling Gonzales received from both Democrats and Republicans on Thursday did nothing to shed light on the truth, but the AG’s answers to the questions posed to him did highlight the lack of credibility of his current story which boils down to, ‘I fired them, but I don’t know how they made it on the list to be fired, but I can assure you that there were not improper motives for firing them, although I can’t tell you the proper reasons.’ In other words, trust me. Sorry Gonzo, checks written on your credibility account have been bouncing for years.

My favorite moment in the hearing was when Senator Chuck Schumer pointed out that the Attorney General had set the bar unbelievably low as to what constitutes improper behavior. Both Gonzales and his Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson stated multiple times under oath that it would be improper to fire a US Attorney in an effort to interfere with a specific case. No Mr. Gonzales, that would be ILLEGAL. One would think that what is improper would fall well below that egregious offense. But even that charge cannot be fully dismissed considering that Carol Lam was fired just as her investigation into public corruption had moved beyond the Legislative branch and was inching closer to the White House. While the interference in that case may very well be illegal, certainly firing Prosecutors that won’t carry out the political agenda as laid out by Karl Rove, is improper to say the least.

One thing we know about the Bush administration is that they suck at policy but they revel in politics. This administration has shown a willingness hell, an eagerness, to weaken government agencies in an effort to strengthen their political hand. It’s who they are. The fact that they have politicized the Justice Department, while not surprising, is detrimental to the functioning of our government on the most basic level. It recalibrates the dispensing of justice to favor a political party over the people. That is why this investigation matters and why we should care what it reveals. I don’t much care if Alberto Gonzales is nailed for the underlying crime, as long as he’s nailed for a crime and driven far away from our government and barred from dispensing his form of justice (torture and illegal wiretapping to name a few) ever again.

Like Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s obstruction of Justice, Alberto Gonzales’s lying to Congress could result in one more tumor excised from our ailing democracy. It doesn’t much matter how that tumor is discovered, just that it is removed. Now if we could just get Cheney for tax evasion (or war profiteering) and Bush for illegal use of prescription drugs (or reckless incompetence), then we’d really be on our way to a more perfect union.


Anonymous david said...


I was reading about Obama accusing Bush of not respecting the Constitution HERE.

The best the GOP could come back with was that Obama wasn't a professor but a mere 'senior lecturer'. Dear me! That's some rebuttal.

Bush screamed once, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a Goddamn piece of paper."

And Gonzales once offered the opinion the Constitution was "an outdated document".

And Justice Scalia goes purple whenever a lawyer calls it a Living Constitution. He too thinks it's a dead tree stained with ink.

Apparently, Bush has been seen trying out various powdered wigs and learning to properly pronounce, "L'Etat, c'est moi."

3:08 PM  
Blogger SM Schwartz said...


David, these are interesting claims. Can you provide cites?

11:42 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Happy to oblige, sm schwartz. You'll find all three charges in This ARTICLE. I have no handle on this website and I use it only because it contained all three. But you can google "Bush piece paper", "Gonzales outdated document", or "Scalia living constitution". You'll find plenty of reputable websites have covered these comments.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Oh, my line about Bush saying "L'etat, c'est moi" was a joke.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

AKA: décider, c’est moi!

And, no less funny for it's accuracy:

Published on Friday, January 27, 2006 by the Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)
Bush: 'L'etat, C'est Moi'
by Helen Thomas

"We are now learning what President Bush considers to be the limits of his power—nothing."

8:18 AM  
Anonymous david said...

I love Helen Thomas. And Naomi Wolf. I must say I took a double take when I read the byline on this GuardianUK article, I was sure it should have read Naomi Klein, but it definitely said Wolf: Fascist America, in 10 easy steps.

I quote: From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

Oh, I loved Obama's foreign policy speech yesterday. A moving and beautifully written speech. The Five Points toward an American Moment. Great.

But I immediately found GOP spinners claiming he was engaging in the 'blame game', using empty rhetoric, and --most upsetting-- borrowing from Ronald Reagan.

For some crazy reason GOP pundits have been linking Obama to Reagan since the fall of last year. I don't know why. And yesterday it was galling to read someone accusing Obama of stealing the line "the last best hope of earth" from Reagan. Sheesh! It's Abe Lincoln. And there are a dozen other Reagan catch phrases that were lifted straight out of American Rhetoric 101.

There's nothing wrong in quoting or referencing the Bible, Shakespeare, or the Great Leaders of America when delivering a public speech, but I do think the GOP spinners ought to google the lines before they claim copyright.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

"There's nothing wrong in quoting or referencing the Bible, Shakespeare, or the Great Leaders of America when delivering a public speech, but I do think the GOP spinners ought to Google the lines before they claim copyright."

David your supposition presupposes three things:

1) Googling implies a combination of intellectual curiosity and intellectual courage in the face of contradictory search results.

This type of activity can cause an uncomfortable and dangerous pulsation in Repug heads.

Picture the heads of the Martians exploding in "Mars Attacks" when exposed to broadcasts of Slim Whitman's songs.

2) The concept of 'copyright' implies respect for both the law in general and intellectual property in particular. Nuff said.

3) You're gonna love this one!
".. nothing wrong in quoting or referencing the Bible, Shakespeare, or the Great Leaders of America...."

THIS implies an understanding AND appreciation of the threads of the intellectual heritage of, ahem, Western Civ. Threads acknowledged, much less honored, FAR more in the breach than in the observance by both the Far Right AND the Far Left.

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