Monday, February 06, 2006

Connect the Dots: Alberto Gonzales Should be Under Investigation,

Not Overseeing Them


Many moons ago, when George W. Bush, was governor of Texas, Alberto Gonzales replaced James Baker as the Bush family consigliere.

Gonzales's most famous act of early loyalty was when he got Bush out of Texas jury duty, while he was serving as governor, because the jury screening form would have required Bush to disclose his prior arrest for drunken driving.

It was, as Claude Reins tells Humphrey Bogart in the classic film "Casablanca," the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

On February 6, Alberto Gonzales testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the un-Constitutional illegal wiretapping programming that he had a big hand in creating.

Gonzales will tell the Judiciary Committee that the program was entirely legal. He will be the loyal consigliere. He has no choice; he helped create the program.

According to the New York Times, even right wing whacko and infamous anti-Clinton cheerleader, former Congressman Bob Barr says, ''Clearly, people know his testimony reflects the same view as the White House counsel, and that it's not so much reflecting anything approaching an independent legal analysis. He's there as a lawyer for the president, as opposed to being an advocate for the Constitution and the laws of the country. It's a fine line, and I'm not so sure in his current capacity he has a great deal of credibility.''

''Nothing in Al Gonzales's public statements, legislative proposals or anything else suggests that this is an individual who operates outside of the political gyroscope of President Bush,'' said Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, according to the Times.

The Rovian media machine has once again bested those who would stand up for the Constitution by redefining illegal wiretapping as "terrorist surveillance." Only Russ Feingold shouted loudly enough in rebuttal to undercut the Orwellian phrasing that has echoed over the past two weeks.

Sure, Arlen Specter is getting some press for claiming that the wiretapping was probably illegal. But Specter is a snake in the grass. He is a master at playing a public skeptic while setting up the White House for a victory for tyranny. In this case, Buzzflash suspects that Specter is setting the stage to either have Congress pass enabling legislation for Stasi like powers to be given to the White House or for the FISA Court to grant the same powers to Bush.

Then Specter will say, now that the White House is in compliance with the law, all is forgiven. (Specter is also the author of a "Patriot Act" provision that "would allow authorities to haul demonstrators at any 'special event of national significance' away to jail on felony charges if they are caught breaching a security perimeter." So don't trust the dissembler for a moment.)

With the Supreme Court now packed by Busheviks, who is going to stop the continual slouching of America toward a Pinochet style state of dictatorship?

But here's the bottom line. The Democrats will question Gonzales hard, but what will they do in the end? That's the question.

Gonzales is the architect of the legal justification for torture -- and then claims he didn't authorize "torture," despite the disclosure of a White House Counsel document signed by him proving that he did.

Just last week, news stories re-emerged that Gonzales took no steps to prevent White House Staff from destroying e-mails and documents relating to the Valerie Plame outing until it was too late. Then he finally "warned" them to maintain all relevant documents after they had several days to shred and delete them.
Gonzales also played a likely role, as White House Counsel, in the removal of a career Department of Justice prosecutor who was close to indicting Abramoff on one of his White House connected lobbying efforts -- this one relating to Guam.

And guess what? Just a short time back the White House "promoted" the chief DOJ Abramoff prosecutor to a judgeship. It's clear that the White House wants to insulate the Abramoff prosecution from clear connections to the Bush Administration, right up to Rove, Bush and Gonzales.

36 Democratic senators politely called for a special prosecutor in the Abramoff case, because right now Gonzales is ultimately responsible for an investigation that probably includes himself. But, at the very least, Gonzales, as the Bush consigliere, is out to suppress the Abramoff illegal ties to the White House, not expose them.

We imagine that the same Bush-connection damage control is going on with the federal prosecution of Ken Lay and Tom DeLay. You know how it goes, you cut a deal with Abramoff, Lay and DeLay that if they don't rat out the White House, Gonzales will make sure that they get a lighter sentence, if not probation and a stiff fine.

And we could go on and on.

As Bush himself recently said, connect the dots. A second grader could do it.

Gonzales is acting as the consigliere for the Bush family, not as the U.S. Attorney General.

Our nation has been mobbed up with injustice at the highest position in the land entrusted with fairly administering justice.

If Bush comes out of this with congressional authority to conduct illegal wiretapping legally, the Democrats will just have put another nail in the coffin of the Constitution, so shortly after nearly sealing it with their failure to filibuster the Alito nomination.

For those Democrat senators who feel uncomfortable that they are being "put on the spot" to stand up for our laws, our Constitution and justice, we say that is what you were elected for.

Don't fail us, yet again.

Gonzales will, once again, be part of a scripted Republican show to sell the Bush drive for an imperial presidency approaching a dictatorship. Alberto will sell fear and the rebranding of illegal activity as "terrorist surveillance." Like Alito, he will come off as an earnest, likable guy.

The Republicans win at theater all the time. They know that image sells on television -- and television still is what molds the polls.

The Democrats better finally start learning how to draw down the curtain on the Bush drama of betrayal.

Because it's just about endgame, as a pall of darkness and betrayal settles on the land.




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