My husband watched U.S. AG Gonzales during the hearings last week. He told me that he had heard how bright Alberto was and wanted to see some fireworks but also some high level back on forth among the politicos and this smart attorney. After watching several hours, my husband was at a lost for why/how the Attorney General of the United States could be such a idiot. The reason is pretty obvious now, Alberto Gonzales was put in office precisely because he's a stupid tool of Mr. Karl Rove.
Howie at Down with Tyranny has the story:
Yesterday the National Journal published a must-read story by Murray Waas that lays bare the real Alberto Gonzales/Karl Rove/George Bush story. It really is horrifying. You might expect it in 1930s Germany. But in our country?As Newshoggers explains, "The reason Gonzales has come across as a know-nothing rubberstamper is because... he was a know-nothing rubberstamper.
Someone(s) at the White House had decided that they were going to control all appointments to the Justice Department, in order to stuff it with fellow travelers and cronies. To that end, Gonzales signed a highly confidential order in March 2006 delegating to two of his top aides-- Sampson and Goodling, both of whom have already resigned-- authority over the hiring and firing of most non-civil-service employees of the Justice Department.
"Clearly that "someone at the White House" was Karl Rove. Several of the fired Republican U.S. Attorneys have been less than reticent to put investigators on Rove's tail. Dave Iglesias was perfectly explicit where the investigation should go and he personally filed a complaint against Rove.
Waas wrote that "a broad effort was under way by the White House to place politically and ideologically loyal appointees throughout the Justice Department, not just at the U.S.-attorney level. Department records show that the personnel authority was delegated to the two aides at about the same time they were working with the White House in planning the firings of a dozen U.S. attorneys, eight of whom were, in fact, later dismissed."
An anonymous White House official told him that "It was an attempt to make the department more responsive to the political side of the White House and to do it in such a way that people would not know it was going on."Gonzales wasn't just acting clueless; he was clueless-- by design. "
An original draft of Gonzales's delegation of authority to Sampson and Goodling was so broad that it did not even require the two aides to obtain the final approval of the attorney general before moving to dismiss other department officials, according to records obtained by National Journal. And they covered it up every step of the way. Gonzales should be barred from ever entering the building again. And Rove should be in prison. Waas explains the dangers of having two political hacks like Goodling and Sampson-- each a fourth rate intellect and an obedient religionist zombie, reporting only to a vicious partisan like Rove.
A senior Justice Department official, who did not know of Gonzales's delegation of authority until contacted by National Journal, said that it posed a serious threat to the integrity of the criminal-justice system because it gave Sampson, Goodling, and the White House control over the hiring of senior officials in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, which oversees all politically sensitive public corruption cases, at the same time that they held authority to hire and fire U.S. attorneys."If you are controlling who is going to be a U.S. attorney and who isn't going to be,... firing them outside the traditional process... and the same people are deciding who are going to be their supervisors back in Washington... there is too much of a potential for mischief, for abuse," the official said.
Even if there is no interference or politicization of public corruption investigations, the same official said, "you are just going to have people questioning every prosecutorial decision, when all of the people in place have been put there for political reasons."
Typically, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division has five deputies who oversee political corruption cases and nearly all other federal criminal prosecutions. The assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division is a political appointee of the president and is subject to Senate confirmation. But two of the division's five deputies are not subject to Senate confirmation. Under the order signed on March 1, 2006, their fate was delegated to Sampson and Goodling. Based on a review of the delegation order, the official said, the Criminal Division chief's principal deputy, his counselor, any of his special assistants, and a score of other aides were also among those who could be fired and replaced by Sampson and Goodling, and then subject to final approval by Gonzales.
"It would be an act of insanity and, frankly, implausible that the attorney general would grant authority to Kyle [Sampson] and Monica Goodling to make these decisions," the official said,
"But it would be frightening if they were serving as proxies for the White House. You do not want to allow for the possible politicization of your Criminal Division like that."Why? Hitler did; and whatever he has done, tactically, is what Rove and Bush have tried to emulate.
Meanwhile Republicans like Heather Wilson (NM), Pete "Sneaky Pete" Domenici (NM), "Doc" Hastings (WA), Jerry Lewis (CA), Rick Renzi and others attempted top get the Justice Department and White House to use the legal system for narrow, self-serving partisan political purposes. These people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.Patrick Leahy blew a gasket yesterday when he found all this stuff out-- especially because these documents were not turned over to the Senate after they were subpoenaed.
“It is disturbing to learn that the Attorney General was granting extraordinary and sweeping authority to the same political operatives who were plotting with the White House to dilute our system of checks and balances in the confirmation of U.S. Attorneys. This development is highly troubling in what it seems to reveal about White House politicization of key appointees in the Department of Justice.
The mass firing of U.S. attorneys appeared to be part of a systematic scheme to inject political influence into the hiring and firing decisions of key justice employees. This secret order would seem to be evidence of an effort to hardwire control over law enforcement by White House political operatives."
I just can't understand how anyone who cares for this country could still consider impeachment "off the table."