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Should Gonzales Go?
Human Events ^ | March 20, 2007 | John Gizzi

Posted on 03/20/2007 4:26:22 PM PDT by Reagan Man

“Albert Gonzales Is Spanish for David Souter” was a laugh-line heard and repeated frequently at meeting of the Federalist Society two years ago. That was a reference to the rumors of the time that President Bush would name Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales to a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Given Gonzales’ relatively small “paper trail” as White House Counsel and a justice of the Texas Supreme Court, members of the conservative legal group feared, a “Mr. Justice Gonzales” could well turn out to like another member of the high court whose background gave no clue as to how he would disappoint conservatives.

Gonzales never made it to the Supreme Court. These days, the nation’s top lawman is under even more fire from Democrats on Capitol Hill for the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys than he was two years ago from conservatives when his name surfaced as a candidate for the Supreme Court. The two cases of a “pile-up” on Gonzales are not mutually exclusive; where many conservatives strongly believe that the White House should not “push someone off the sled” because Democrats clamor for him, there is very little evidence that they feel this way when the official under fire is Gonzales -- who has never been trusted by conservatives and has done little to assuage the doubts they had about him when he was considered for the high court.

Thus, as one conservative Republican senator told me two weeks ago about a closed-door meeting of the Senate Republican Conference: “The feeling among us was that he [Gonzales] should go.” This sentiment, the senator explained, had little to do with the furor over the U.S. attorneys’ firing; most pundits and pols blamed Gonzales’ understudy, Deputy Atty. Gen. Paul McNulty, for igniting the entire controversy when he testified before the Senate that the firings were “performance-related.” This prompted several of them to go to the press and cite their excellent performance evaluations.

No, the sentiment that Gonzales should go that the senator (who requested anonymity) spoke of have nothing to do with the recent firings. Gonzales has done so many other things to anger conservatives that the current controversy, it appears, is just a convenient reason to call for him to resign.

Many conservatives burrowed within the Department of Justice have long complained that Gonzales has permitted career government employees and hold-overs from Democratic Administrations to remain in perches of power and thereby water down conservative directives from the top. As one conservative and Federalist Society member in the Justice Department told me: “This is definitely not Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department, I assure you. You have holdovers from Clinton calling the shots in a lot of places here.” He particularly cited the environmental division as a hotbed for holdovers.

In terms of high-level prosecutions, Gonzales has raised eyebrows among conservatives more for what he hasn’t done than for what he has. It took a long time for the Justice Department to launch the prosecution of former Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger for taking classified documents home from the 9/11 Commission hearings and then the prosecution ended in plea bargain and fine for Berger. Months after Rep. William Jefferson was found with $90,000 in cash in his refrigerator at home following FBI raids on his office and home, there is still no sign when the Justice Department will prosecute the Louisiana Democrat on corruption charges.

There is also no sign that Gonzales’ department will go after government employees and office-holders who leak classified information. After the country was subjected to the Plame leak investigation and the subsequent trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, it’s only fair to ask why other leak cases have never been brought. The seriousness of the Plame leak is, at best, questionable. But why hasn’t the Gonzales Justice Department investigated and prosecuted the leakers of the NSA terrorist surveillance program, the CIA secret prisons and the disruption of terrorist financing through the Belgian “SWIFT” consortium?

After the New York Times ran a front-page story last year on the top secret National Security Agency program, some news stories pointed fingers at Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.) as a possible leaker; when Sen. Richard Durbin was accused of disclosing classified information after CIA Director George Tenet briefed the Senate Select Committee on Intellilgence in ’03, the Illinois Democrat took to the Senate floor to heatedly deny the accusation.

But, as Jim Kouri, a vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police wrote last year, “[D]on’t expect too much to come from these leak investigations. When the leakers are Democrats, they are called whistleblowers; when they’re Republicans, they’re called leakers.”

“Terrible for border security” is how Phil Kent of Americans for Immigration Control deems Gonzales watch at Justice. He cited an address Gonzales made in March of ’05 to the National Council of La Raza, a vigorous open-borders group, in which he said “I have this organization to thank for support of my nomination for attorney general.”

Cecilia Munoz, vice president for policy at La Raza, told the Washington Post: “Many people were not aware of Judge Gonzales’ long history with our affiliates in Texas, and moving then-Gov. bush to the right posture, from our perspective, on key civil rights issues like anti-English only requirements, like anti-immigrant ballot initiatives, bilingual education, and affirmative action.”

As Kent recalled, “When Gonzales met with [then] Mexican President Vicente Fox this past spring, there was no discussion -- let alone a public response from Gonzales -- concerning media reports of Mexican military units guarding truckloads of drugs coming into the U.S. or the extradition of Mexican murderers or drug smugglers.”

Regarding the current U.S. attorneys’ furor, Kent simply said: “Gonzales should have instructed all of his U.S. attorneys, from Day One, to vigorously prosecute employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.”

But another issue comes of this. When Senate Democrats began objecting to the firings, Gonzales told them that neither he nor the White House would object to legislation that took the power to appoint interim U.S. attorneys away from the Executive Branch and vested it in a judge. This position seems Constitutionally ignorant, as the U.S. attorneys are Executive Branch appointees and judges aren’t part of the Executive Branch.

To be sure, Gonzales does get some praise from conservatives for his role in crafting the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which apparently enhances the hand of the Administration in interrogation of al Qaeda prisoners. But praise on these fronts is clearly drowned out because of the attorney general’s handling of personnel matters, national security prosections and borders security. The U.S. attorneys’ affair is actually non-germaine to the complaints from conservatives. For other reasons, as the Republican senator told me, “he should go.”

[John Gizzi is Political Editor of HUMAN EVENTS.]


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: rmthread

1 posted on 03/20/2007 4:26:24 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: Reagan Man

Not only no but HELL NO!


2 posted on 03/20/2007 4:28:51 PM PDT by jrooney ( Hold your cards close.)
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To: Reagan Man

I don't like the guy because of how he allowed the prosecution of the two border agents. Having said that, I'd hate to see him drummed out of office by the democrats for some stupid trumped up thing.


3 posted on 03/20/2007 4:40:44 PM PDT by Lucas McCain (The gene pool could use a little chlorine)
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To: Lucas McCain

And it won't slow up the Dems one bit if he did. First Gonzales and onto Rove.


4 posted on 03/20/2007 4:43:37 PM PDT by traderrob6
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To: Reagan Man

Yes, but only because of his refusal to enforce the immigration laws.


5 posted on 03/20/2007 4:49:13 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Reagan Man
I have a fear that if and when Gonzalez testifies about the firings, he will malign the reputations and characters of the United States Attorneys that were fired, after telling the USAs that they were being replaced, not because of performance reasons, but because the White House wanted to replace them with other individuals.

If the administration simply stuck with its plan to let these USAs go because they wanted to “give someone else the opportunity” to serve (as they intended), a lot of this would have been avoided.
6 posted on 03/20/2007 4:52:18 PM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Reagan Man

This story makes some very relevant points--some that have bothered me for a long time. The White House and the Justice Department have REFUSED to go after the leakers in the administration.

Heads should have figuratively rolled over the NSA and the NYT bank transfer leaks, and nothing happened. At all. And it seems we have an endless stream of pointless cases being brought against conservatives on a regular basis.

That said, it's too little too late with Gonzalez. Sending him down the river only harms Republicans more. In no way should he resign or be forced out of office. I see no reason to appease any Democrat at all. If anything, they should be called childish and left to strew in their animosity.


7 posted on 03/20/2007 4:53:03 PM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: Reagan Man

One of the Attorneys replaced was from nNevada..... is Dingy Harry worried?


8 posted on 03/20/2007 4:54:12 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P.)
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To: Reagan Man

One of the Attorneys replaced was from nNevada..... is Dingy Harry worried?


9 posted on 03/20/2007 4:54:12 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P.)
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To: HaveHadEnough
I have a fear that if and when Gonzalez testifies about the firings, he will malign the reputations and characters of the United States Attorneys that were fired, after telling the USAs that they were being replaced, not because of performance reasons, but because the White House wanted to replace them with other individuals.

The USAs were given no reason for their firings by anyone at the Justice Department, which is one of the reasons why this has blown up as it has. If you read through the e-mails released today, you'd see that the fired USA from Michigan was asking Justice Department officials why she was fired as recently as the beginning of this month.

I think Gonzalez has been soft on some key issues and isn't a hard-core conservative. But he ought not be fired over this nothing of a "scandal".
10 posted on 03/20/2007 4:59:20 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: Reagan Man
This is just the latest in a string of bogus "scandals". Lies about WMD, no bid Halliburton, uranium from Niger, leaking Valerie Plame, Tom DeLay, unsafe air at ground zero, Guantánamo Bay Torture, and on and on and on and on.....

It's all bullsh*t. We have to stop bending over. Gonzales has to stay.
11 posted on 03/20/2007 5:01:06 PM PDT by Jaysun (I took one look at her unfashionable eyebrows and thought to myself, "she's literally crazy.")
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To: Brilliant
Yes, but only because of his refusal to enforce the immigration laws.

But he is only doing the bidding of his boss, George W. Boosh.

12 posted on 03/20/2007 5:04:32 PM PDT by South40 (Amnesty for ILLEGALS Is A Slap In The Face To The USBP!!)
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To: Reagan Man

This is politics. Take the long view.

This is all about smearing Gonzales now to preempt any chance of his appointment to a Supreme Court vacancy that might arise in the next two years.

Pure and simple, it's all about the Democrats positioning him for the kill.

I wish the Republican Party leadership would remember how to fight. They just need to quit laying down for these idiots, and fight back.


13 posted on 03/20/2007 5:06:25 PM PDT by conservativeharleyguy (Technically, we're all Republicans.)
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To: Reagan Man
NO!!!
14 posted on 03/20/2007 5:06:44 PM PDT by tubebender ( Everything east of the San Andreas fault will eventually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean...)
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To: conservative in nyc

I've heard at least one of the United States Attorneys say on camera that he was told when he was fired that the administration had no problem with the job that he did, but that they wanted to give another individual an opportunity to perform the job.


15 posted on 03/20/2007 5:06:54 PM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: conservative in nyc
I think Gonzalez has been soft on some key issues and isn't a hard-core conservative. But he ought not be fired over this nothing of a "scandal".

So Gonzales does not deserve to be fired, but these United States Attorneys did deserve to be?
16 posted on 03/20/2007 5:09:29 PM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Jaysun

"Gonzales has to stay"

He should never have been confirmed, the quicker he's gone the better as far as i'm concerned.

Send him to Mexico where his loyalty is.


17 posted on 03/20/2007 5:10:27 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: Reagan Man

This is more of a separation of powers issue to me. Also going by more or less unnoticed in the MSM today was the Senate passing a bill that takes away the POTUS authority to fire the US Attorneys. I think this is the kind if thing Bush and Cheney will bare their knuckles on should win on.


18 posted on 03/20/2007 5:15:26 PM PDT by IamConservative (Any man who agrees with you on everything, will lie to anyone.)
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To: HaveHadEnough
That might have been said by Bud Cummins, who, contrary to media reports, is not part of the 7 pushed out in November/December. He was pushed out before that.

Everyone else, the Justice Department deliberately engaged in a campaign NOT to give them any reason for their removal, other than that they serve at the pleasure of the President.

There are memos that explicitly say this. I don't make things up.
19 posted on 03/20/2007 5:19:51 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: IamConservative
This is more of a separation of powers issue to me. Also going by more or less unnoticed in the MSM today was the Senate passing a bill that takes away the POTUS authority to fire the US Attorneys. I think this is the kind if thing Bush and Cheney will bare their knuckles on should win on.

To correct my mistake here, the Senate took away the authority of the AG to replace US Attorneys without confirmation by the Senate. Still a separation of powers issue which I would expect W to bare his knuckles on.

20 posted on 03/20/2007 5:30:02 PM PDT by IamConservative (Any man who agrees with you on everything, will lie to anyone.)
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To: conservative in nyc
There are memos that explicitly say this. I don't make things up.

The Justice Department laid out a five-step plan for firing seven U.S. attorneys on Dec. 7. entitled, “Plan for Replacing Certain United States Attorneys.” The step-by-step instructions were sent by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, as an attachment to an e-mail. Sampson resigned March 13, 2007. The e-mail was released that same day by the House Judiciary Committee.

On Dec. 7, the Justice Department was to simultaneously notify the Republican home-state senators of the impending dismissals, as well as those attorneys being dismissed.

In his calls to the prosecutors, Mike Battle, who oversees all 93 U.S. attorneys, was to say that the administration is grateful for their service but decided to “give someone else the opportunity” to serve in the post starting Jan. 31, 2007, according to the memo.

Titled “Prepare to Withstand Political Upheaval," this part of the memo predicted the fired prosecutors would make “strenuous” efforts to save their jobs by appealing to other officials in the Bush administration. The memo contained responses to likely questions from those fired and said “Recipients of such 'appeals' must respond identically.” Anticipated questons and suggested responses included:

“What?”
“U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president (there is no right nor should there be any expectation that U.S. attorneys would be entitled to serve beyond their four-year term).”

“Who decided?”
“The administration made the determination to seek the resignations (not any specific person at the White House or the Department of Justice).”

“Why me?”
“The administration is grateful for your service, but wants to give someone else the chance to serve in your district.”


“I need more time!”
“The decision is to have a new acting or interim U.S. attorney in place by January 31, 2007 (granting “extensions” will hinder the process of getting a new U.S. attorney in place and giving that person the opportunity to serve for a full two years).”

Justice Department officials are then directed to name replacements and submit them for Senate confirmation.
21 posted on 03/20/2007 5:52:51 PM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Reagan Man

Gonzales is toast...it is too bad that the Dems will get credit for getting rid of this weak failure of an AG...open borders are only one reason, lack of prosecution of Bergler, Davis, NYT/WashPost/ on & on. then this from La Raza VP & his buddy, Cecilia Munoz told the Washington Post: “Many people were not aware of Judge Gonzales’ long history with our affiliates in Texas, and moving then-Gov. bush to the right posture, from our perspective, on key civil rights issues like anti-English only requirements, like anti-immigrant ballot initiatives, bilingual education, and affirmative action.”

At least he may not get a shot at the USSC! I have had massive disdain for this guy since he became AG.


22 posted on 03/20/2007 6:00:08 PM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: HaveHadEnough
That's the memo I was talking about. You are correct - the USAs were told that the administration wanted to go in another direction. As the memo makes clear, the USAs were never given the real reason for their firings, though. It's unfortunate that all of this will become public now, but it has been brought on by Chuck Schumer's continuous demagoguery, trying to claim that the USAs were fired for investigating Republicans. That's simply not true.

There's even a draft list of the DOJ's reasons for each firing, along with bullet points of negative information from their office reviews in the materials released today. These were prepared in anticipation of a closed-door hearing of the House or Senate Judiciary committees. After reading it, I think the case for Lam's (San Diego) dismissal, for example, was very solid even if she could only have been fired for cause. Lam's office had a marked decrease in the number of immigration and gun prosecutions, which were two of the administration's key priorities. In fact, things got so bad that even Senator Feinstein was concerned about that office's lax immigration enforcement.
23 posted on 03/20/2007 7:26:38 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: Reagan Man

No, he shouldn't go because dimocrats demand it. However, he certainly should go for ineptitude and being a liberal. Immediately.


24 posted on 03/20/2007 7:30:38 PM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: Reagan Man

I for one think Gonzales should go. After all, he did authorize federal troops to go in and terrorize American citizens who were only trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Citizens were shot and killed. Elderly people, children and babies in their mother's arms were burned alive.

Oh wait, that was Janet Reno, nevermind.


25 posted on 03/20/2007 7:31:42 PM PDT by anonsquared
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To: dalereed

"Send him to Mexico where his loyalty is"

Send him down to help the Border Patrol. They need a couple of agents since Gonzales put two of them in jail.

This article hits it squarely. Gonzales will be a distant memory soon, just like the Harriet Miers. He can apply to be chairman of La Raza.


26 posted on 03/20/2007 7:55:36 PM PDT by tennmountainman
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To: Reagan Man

The guy shiuld have never been appointed.

Besides being not up to par for the job, he's pro 3rd world illegal and legal immigration.


27 posted on 03/20/2007 8:00:52 PM PDT by baubau (BOYCOTT Bank of America for Issuing Credit Cards to 3rd World Illegal Aliens.)
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To: Reagan Man

Fight the Rats over the US Attorney firings, win that battle, then fire him for being a lousy AG.


28 posted on 03/20/2007 8:29:40 PM PDT by RatRipper
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To: Reagan Man
"Many conservatives burrowed within the Department of Justice have long complained that Gonzales has permitted career government employees and hold-overs from Democratic Administrations to remain in perches of power and thereby water down conservative directives from the top. As one conservative and Federalist Society member in the Justice Department told me: “This is definitely not Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department, I assure you. You have holdovers from Clinton calling the shots in a lot of places here.” "

____________________________________________________

Every day lately my respect for President Bush diminishes a little more.
Upon reading this today, it has diminished a lot. What a colossal waste.

29 posted on 03/20/2007 8:37:45 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Howlin; Enchante; STARWISE; ReleaseTheHounds
(( ping ))

DO NOT MISS this one. Whew...!

30 posted on 03/20/2007 8:40:17 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: jrooney
Not only no but HELL NO!

Did you read this?

31 posted on 03/20/2007 8:48:39 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Reagan Man
[ Should Gonzales Go? ]

Should have never been appointed..
ALL of the attorneys should have been let go 7 years ago..
Bush is a wimp..

32 posted on 03/20/2007 8:51:47 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole)
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To: Reagan Man

It is amazing how many posters apparently read only the thread title before responding. This guy Gonzales has been a nightmare from the beginning. The scary part is that Bush is the person ultimately responsible for his own foul, corrupt Justice Department. Certainly Gonzales should go, but who would Bush appoint in his place? Somebody as weak and lame, or worse? Wow....

What a colossal waste.


33 posted on 03/20/2007 8:56:01 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: HaveHadEnough

Is it true that they really weren't fired, they were just not re-hired? Their terms were up?


34 posted on 03/20/2007 9:00:55 PM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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To: Reagan Man

Yes!! He has been a lousy AG!


35 posted on 03/20/2007 9:02:36 PM PDT by NRA2BFree (Duncan Hunter for President '08 - A genuine "Reagan Republican" for America!)
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To: jrooney


That's right. Never be rolled by the democrats.


36 posted on 03/20/2007 9:03:31 PM PDT by onyx (DEFEAT Hillary Clinton, Marxist, student of Saul Alinsky & ally and beneficiary of Soros.)
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To: Lancey Howard
have long complained that Gonzales has permitted career government employees and hold-overs from Democratic Administrations to remain in perches of power and thereby water down conservative directives from the top.

Would that be the very same "career government employees" that John Ashcroft left in place because the U.S. Congress wouldn't let him fire them OR demote them?

Don't blame Gonzales for that.

37 posted on 03/20/2007 9:03:45 PM PDT by Howlin (Honk if you like Fred Thompson!!!)
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bttt


38 posted on 03/21/2007 1:19:27 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Reagan Man

About the only good thing you can say about Alberto is that at least Bush only appointed him to be AG instead of a Supreme nominee. He really would have been another David Souter. And the Bush legacy grows and grows.


39 posted on 03/21/2007 4:07:20 AM PDT by ReleaseTheHounds ("Salvation is not free")
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