An old joke about liars has surfaced in Washington:

Q: How do you know when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is lying?

A: When his lips are moving.

Gonzales has a long history of lying to protect his job and his boss and his boss for most of his years as an attorney has been George W. Bush.

In fact, Gonzales’s reputation as a professional liar goes back to his days in Texas when he worked for then governor Bush.

Reports The Washington Post:

The accusation that Gonzales has been deceptive in his public remarks has erupted this summer into a full-blown political crisis for the Bush administration, as the beleaguered attorney general struggles repeatedly to explain to Congress the removal of a batch of U.S. attorneys, the wiretapping program and other actions.

In each case, Gonzales has appeared to lawmakers to be shielding uncomfortable facts about the Bush administration’s conduct on sensitive matters. A series of misstatements and omissions has come to define his tenure at the helm of the Justice Department and is the central reason that lawmakers in both parties have been trying for months to push him out of his job.

Yet controversy over Gonzales’s candor about George W. Bush’s conduct or policies has actually dogged him for more than a decade, since he worked for Bush in Texas.

Whether Gonzales has deliberately told untruths or is merely hampered by his memory has been the subject of intense debate among members of Congress, legal scholars and others who have watched him over the years. Some regard his verbal difficulties as a strategic ploy on behalf of a president to whom he owes his career; others see a public official overwhelmed by the magnitude of his responsibilities.

Gonzales's Truthfulness Long DisputedWhen Alberto R. Gonzales was asked during his January 2005 confirmation hearing whether the Bush administration would ever allow wiretapping of U.S. citizens without warrants, he initially dismissed the query as a “hypothetical situation.” [Washington Post Political News]

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