Let’s focus on a real issue: Alberto Gonzales

040709gonzalessm.jpgOne would think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would have already thrown in the towel. His two top staff members have resigned and Congress is demanding more documents from him, and his anticipated testimony before a Senate hearing is expected to produce fireworks.

So, what makes him tick? What’s back there?

He is under pressure to quit after eight U.S. attorneys were fired allegedly for political reasons. However, the deeper issue is whether Congress was lied to about the reasons. The stuffing hit the fan when Monica Goodling, counsel to the attorney general, said through her attorney she would take the Fifth if asked to testify before Congress.

Pronouncements like that lead to Constitutional dramas. Congress has the unimpeachable right to look over the shoulder of presidential administrations in how they conduct the people’s business. Staffers just cannot tell Congress to stuff it. It’s especially true if a cover-up is suspected to protect White House involvement.

Gooding subsequently resigned.

That comes after the AG’s chief-of-staff Kyle Sampson, after resigning, told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I don’t think the attorney general’s statement that he was not involved in any discussions of U.S. attorney removals was accurate.”

Whoops. That’s big. And this is when the public should become less giddy about individual partisanship and think nation.

But leave it to the buffoons to muck it up and divert attention where it is needed.

Don Imus in one recent broadcast had his microphone oaf doing an impersonation of Gonzales with a Cuban accent. The attorney general speaks with an easily recognizable East Texas inflection.

Again, this is a matter of nationhood. It is not about predisposing the public, as Keith Olbermann did on MSNBC. No real expert on that program stopped James Moore, author of “Bush’s Brain,” when he tried to misdirect the audience by characterizing Gonzales as a non-entity before meeting Bush.

Wrong again. The Harvard law grad became a senior partner with Vincent and Elkins, a prestigious firm. And, yes with Bush, he became Secretary of State of Texas and was elected to statewide office after his appointment to the state supreme court.

The fastest way to end the looming confrontation between the executive and legislative branches is for Gonzales to resign. But I hope he doesn’t, at least not until Congress drills down to find out this administration’s MO.

There is a suggestion that the firings have a strange similarity to how the torture protocols and domestic spying policies came about. Gonzales was involved in orchestrating both. But staffers’ fingerprints, not his, are all over the written record, and not his.

Biographer Bill Minutaglio said in his book “The President’s Counselor” of Gonzales, “It’s not that he was a silent assassin; he was more of a facilitator and a calm presence.”

That’s his shtick, his MO, and even his defense at the moment.

While advised to spend his time in Washington on Capitol Hill looking for political friends, Gonzales went instead to Houston to get close to family and his old buds. He appeared as an unannounced guest at a friendly Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce luncheon March 28.

Among the one thousand who attended was businesswoman Dalia Moreno Groh. “You could hear the ahhhs” in the room, she said, especially after Gonzales acknowledged “traveling another bumpy road.”

This audience knows there are contradictions. One of them is how he has been characterized as a person. The other is the administration’s resistance to more open disclosure and public accountability.

Uncharacteristically open, Gonzales told the audience that as a Cub Scout, one assignment he had was to build a boat. He decided to hollow one out from a tree trunk. Of course it was a formidable task for a small boy. As he worked and worked at it, his father encouraged him.

“It has to work,” he remembers being told.

As the president’s lawyer and the people’s attorney, Gonzales has contradictory interests to serve. How he tipped the balance of justice and making a full disclosure are the issue. That, too, just has to work.


(Josi de la Isla, author of “The Rise of Hispanic Political Power,”writes a weekly commentary for Hispanic Link News Service. E-mail joseisla3(at)yahoo.com.)


  1. Ray

    Just has to work? Gonzales is freedoms enemy. He considers the constitution, like Bush, just a pain in the butt. He does not uphold fair and equal justice for all. The man should be fired and possibly jailed for subverting the basic freedoms and rights of american citizens. He is a crook just like his pal GW.

  2. Renee

    It would be useful for the American people to read the history of the Bush Crime Family– at least starting with Prescott Bush, a Nazi collaborator, in order to gain insight into how the Bush gang operates.

    Firstly, the Bush Crime Family has never made their money in an honest manner– they are gamblers (the current euphemism to make it sound slightly more respectable is “traders”). The sordid & squalid “relationship” (sell-out to a foreign power) of Bush 41 & Bush 43 with the Saudi Royal Family is chronicled in “House of Bush, House of Saud” by Craig Unger. It’s amazing to me that both the father & son have not been put on trial for treason! Of course, they have made the corporate raiders (Halliburton, Bechtel, Big OIL, Carlyle Group, the Military Industrial Complex [arms manufacturers, defense industry, mercenary security firms, etc.]) fabulously rich by plundering the U.S. treasury & abusing the U.S. military as their private army.

    Each generation has their consigliere:– Bush 41 has James Baker, and Bush 43 has Alberto Gonzales. They know that they need lawyers to twist the law to their own end, and to keep them from facing prosecution. In fact, Gonzales got Bush & his daughters’ records expunged in Texas.

    Gonzales is a “good soldier”. Gonzales is not the brightest-light-in-the-universe, but he is completely loyal to Bush. And, if there is one thing (the only thing, really) that the Bush Crime Family is good at– it is finding loyal toadies willing to commit crimes & cover-up crimes in order to serve their masters.

    Condi Rice is no different. Rice has committed treason by leaking classified information to AIPAC spies Rosen and Weissman who passed it off to extreme-right-wing thugs in the Israeli government. Rice even called Bush, in an unguarded moment, at a dinner with NY Times staff, her “husband”.

    Bush has surrounded himself with an inner-circle of thugs & goons, liars & traitors– all loyal to him, and disloyal to their oaths of office; who treat the American people with disdain; and the US Constitution & Bill of Rights with contempt.

    Without slime like the Bush Crime Family, Gonzales would be a mediocre ambulance chaser & Rice would be sitting at Stanford whereby she could play “Mommy Dearest”, for her pathetic incompetence hasn’t worked in world affairs.

    Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice & Gonzales all deserve the same fate:– trial for treason.

  3. C. Nemo

    Renee a truly, all-encompassing post concerning the Bush Crime family and it’s “on-the-mark”…! Carl Nemo

  4. Mark-NC

    I’m not convinced that Gonzales is much different than Col. Oliver North. North was being a “good soldier” for Reagan/Bush by following orders and executing the bidding of his superiors.

    Gonzales, like North, is doing what Bush wants. The fact that he is apparently willing to trash the country along the way and then lie about it is the reason Bush picked him.

    Removing Gonzales from office is mandatory, but will just produce another snake of Bush’s choosing.

  5. Richard F Olveda

    Being a “grad from Harvard” does not imply quality! Cronyism, money and 4 or more years of your time can get you a degree…and a job you are not qualified to hold. the old adage,
    “Garbage in….garbage out!”, seems to be appropriate in this case.

  6. gene

    (Renee) above very good post and few people in the know would disagree with you. Just saw another documentary on the World Trade towers…clearly shows that they were professionally blown down and guess who new about it. Bush and his thugs are truely criminals and will do anything (murder tens of thousands of innocent people to include american soldiers]….anyone to continue their goal of world domination. Gonzales will more than likely resign (soon) because he is bringing to much attention to their evil plans. These evil individuals will stop at nothing and congress surely has been asleeep at the wheel. Of course many in congress know whats really going on and many are players on this evil stage. “Having a form of godlyness but denieing the power their of”. Their hearts are filled with evil that only will lead (eventually) to their destruction. TRUTH is an enemy of this crowd of killers.

  7. rebecca Bank

    It’s funny how these people usually find something good to discribe themselves i.e. Christian or boy Scout. Nothing would make me happier then to see them tried for war crimes.

  8. sadsack

    After Sampson testified that Gonzo lied and Goodling swore to take the 5th, I have been waiting for the Gonzales resignation. I expect him to try to avoid testifying by resigning. And, I’m afraid that the committee will let him off the hook if he resigns.

    Everything is coming to a head now. Very soon we are going to find out just what the democrats intend to do. Their true colors are going to be shown. Contrary to what many have voiced it is not a matter of them having the courage to do the right thing. They know what that is and they also know they are in a position to take control away from the Bush crime family.

    All they have to do is continue with the attorney firing issue force Gonzo to appear before them and answer their questions. From that, they would subpoena everyone else involved (especially Rove) to expose as much wrongful and embarassing behavior as possible, cause more resignations, and, hopefully, evidence of criminal or constitutional infractions. At the same time they should not alter their stance on the war funding bill and force Bush to accept it. If they do they will break the back of this criminal enterprise called the Bush administration. Will they?

    Their decision will be be based upon the same thing that all of their decisions are based. What benefits them. If their concern is purely political they will see both of these issue through and establish the democratic party in complete control of the government when the 2008 election results come in. But, if both parties are tied into the Corporate Crime Enterprise, they will find some excuse like “well Gonzales is gone now and that settles it” and “we had to support the troops” to back off and let things continue as they are. They would still appear to be the good guys that are trying.

    So, it won’t be much longer, now. We will know which it is. Whether we are going to have a better government than the one we have now or if the corporate takeover is complete and we are in the position of having to decide what to do about it.


  9. Yeah, ‘good soldier’. Blindly obedient, but, what happens when the shit hits the fan? Who is going to serve the jail time? I’m sure Prescott is laughing in his grave at the American voters right now. We stood idly by while 43 stole both elections without batting an eyelash. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”, right? Diebold should have be included in these proceedings as well.

  10. Richard F Olveda

    These days Alberto Gonzales looks more like a corndog in a microwave than a lapdog in a blue suit!