If Gonzalez Said That, He Shouldn't Have Been Given An Opportunity to Resign

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned today. But he'll still be around for another month. After what I've just found out, I'm not sure why he wasn't fired about 3 years ago. Interestingly, Orrin Hatch disagrees with me. It's time to can Senator Hatch as well.

I picked up a copy of the book Our Endangered Values by former US President Jimmy Carter some time ago, and have been reading it here at work whenever I get a free moment. It is an interesting coincidence that I read the following statements just today, on page 127 of his book, just minutes after hearing on the radio the news that US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned effective September 17th.

The first quote by President Carter was a statement by the Department of Defense about torture, which I also found on the internet:

the president has the authority, as commander in chief, to approve almost any physical or psychological error actually doing interrogation up to and including torture.

Admittedly, at that time John Ashcroft was Attorney General, but soon thereafter Gonzales came on board in that post. And Gonzales was already around the Bush Administration at that point--as White House counsel. And he didn't say anything about it. That's wrong. That's bad.

Continuing on page 127, President Carter quotes Attorney General Gonzales, (which I also found on the internet):

In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.

He also said

"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians."

In light of the Department of Defense memo, such a statement by Gonzales is unconscionable. But the worst part is it's not even accurate. If George Bush was doing his stinking job by reinforcing our coasts and borders, we wouldn't even be talking about this problem. Apparently, the Bush Administration relishes the bogeyman of "further atrocities" so much that secure borders would thwart his world-view--the necessity of (a) a Security and Prosperity Partnership and (b) America as the military colossus of the world.

Yet despite all this, Gonzales was essentially given an opportunity to resign, rather than being fired on the spot. Obviously, he wasn't fired, because his boss agreed with and was seeking just such a statement of endorsement. Maybe his boss should be fired.

What does it signify, when Orrin Hatch expresses support and appreciation for a job well done on the day of Gonzales' resignation?

"I hope that history will remember Attorney General Gonzales for his honorable service to his country, rather than for the absurd political theater to which some critics have subjected him," Hatch said in a statement. "He has overseen the Department of Justice's efforts to protect children from Internet predators, to combat human trafficking, and to prevent the spread of meth in our communities."

It signifies that Orrin Hatch needs to be fired, too. Remember that in the next election.


  1. I tried to remember that in the last election when I actively campaigned to get someone besides Hatch elected. I'd be happier now if Hatch would be given the position of AG an gracefully end his time wasting one of our two senate seats rather than hanging around for another 5 years and hoping he retires or gets ousted.

  2. I am very surprised that it took this long for Gonzales to resign. But I guess overstaying one's welcome is common in the Bush II administration because the President values loyalty above competence.

    Hatch's kindly words about Gonzales may reflect his desire to take Gonzales' place. He has made it clear to administration officials and Senate colleagues for months now that he is interested in the AG position. Badmouthing Gonzales would probably be a good way to ensure that this desire would go unfulfilled.

    It sounds really weird, though, for Senator Hatch to get himself elected to a sixth term, only to turn around and abandon it in its first session to accept a 16-month stint as AG. Although I doubt Bush will take the bait, it could end up being a good thing for Utah, depending on whom the Governor would appoint to fill the resulting Senate vacancy. And since we're talking about Governor Huntsman here, that is certainly a big IF.

  3. Whenever Bush mentions that if we don't stop the terrorists in Iraq they'll be in our cities, I find myself yelling at the TV about the border.

    I don't care who gets voted in with the next election, as long as they are honest. Of course I guess that would only leave us with Ron Paul, ....

    Well at least that makes the decision easier!!

  4. David,

    I wish I would have campaigned harder. I'm not sure what it is about American/Utah voters and the status quo--could it be...laziness?


    I guess I do wish Hatch would bow out and become the AG, despite what Huntsman might do. At least we'd get someone in there who might be better, and he/she wouldn't have the entrenchment in office that seems to entrance so many Utah voters.


    "I find myself yelling at the TV about the border"

    Me too.

    "that would only leave us with Ron Paul, ....

    Well at least that makes the decision easier!!"


  5. I was astounded when Gonzales got confirmed as AG because everyone knew about the torture memo already.

  6. I'm starting to come around to some of this history that I missed during my two OIF deployments...I wish I had paid better attention back then, but I guess my mind was on more personal things.

    I didn't realize either that Gonzales worked for Governor George W. Bush in Texas.


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