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Defending Incompetence

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007 1:17 AM

President Bush lauded his good buddy Alberto Gonzales and his service to the country.

Why, did you know we have Alberto to thank for the USA-PATRIOT Act, and the Military Commissions Act? (As the latter basically approves torture, I'm not sure this is an accomplishment.)

Then there's Al's hard work protecting our kids from internet predators. (But obviously not working hard enough to find Rep. Mark Foley diddling Congressional pages.)

Who could forget the midnight ride of Alberto Gonzales to wrest approval for illegal wiretaps from an incoherent John Ashcroft? Such courage!

And Alberto admits he was honored to meet so many of the men and women who served the Department of Justice ... but can't remember why, how many, or who, exactly, was dismissed without cause. (Even the phrase, 'at the pleasure of the President' implies accountability, folks.)

Then, the capper is Mr. Bush bemoaning how his buddy's good name has been dragged through the mud as a political exercise, that he hasn't been stonewalling - why, he sent thousands of pages of documents to Congress - and that there's no proof of wrong.

Think about that for a moment.

If you're an honest person, and someone accuses you of wrongdoing, what's the first thing out of your mouth?

Is it, "There's no proof of wrong!"?

We've been over the 'no proof' tapdance with Mr. Bush before, with his famous, "The SEC says there's no case." - which is different from "I did nothing wrong."

But, for a moment, let's consider the likelihood of Alberto Gonzales being the Last Honest Man Amongst Thieves. Thus, when President Bush chose to ignore FISA and authorize illegal, warrantless wiretaps, his then-counsel said ...?

Then, during his confirmation hearing, when asked about such wiretaps, Gonzales dodged the question by saying it was a hypothetical ... when he quite likely knew it wasn't.

And when the abrupt dismissals of several U.S. attorneys came to light, Al suddenly came down with severe memory problems. The use of a GOP-provided server for over 5,000,000 e-mails which have subsequently been 'lost' also came to light. Did Alberto advise his former client that such activity violated the Presidential Record-keeping Act?

Perhaps Al was just confused. After all, he thought his job as Attorney General was to represent the Administration to the American people ... instead of upholding the law, even within the Bush Administration.

And Al wasn't exactly certain about that whole Constitution thing. Like habeas corpus, which he insisted was not guaranteed by the Constitution. (However, since it talks about suspending it, its existence is implied.) Nor did he step forward to clarify the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause when his buddy George wanted broader spying powers (or, rather, a whitewash of the fact that he'd broken the law).

Maybe he thought the Constitution, too, is just a quaint and outmoded document.

But as for being an honest man whose reputation was simply dragged through the mud for a political point?

Not buying it.

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