Category Archive 'Alberto Gonzales'

25 May 2007

One Manufactured Scandal, and More to Come

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Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal explains the game plan.

If there’s a smarter guy in Washington right now than Sen. Chuck Schumer, Republicans haven’t noticed. The New York Democrat is doggedly working to dismantle what’s left of the Bush presidency, with barely an ounce of pushback from the other side.

Mr. Schumer was the instigator of the Democrats’ probe into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, although note that the question of who fired which prosecutor is already yesterday’s news. The attorneys mess was just an opening, a hook that is now allowing Mr. Schumer to escalate into an assault on the wider administration, as well as presidential authority over key programs, such as wiretapping.

The ultimate goal? Surround the Bush presidency in a mist of incompetence and corruption, force Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to go, get a special prosecutor appointed to examine the many supposed misdeeds, and then sit back and ride the steady drip-drip of negative Bush headlines all the way to more Senate seats and the Oval Office.

11 May 2007

Too Few Really Stupid People and Criminals Voting

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Former Harvard Crimson editor, now law professor at the University of Oregon, Garrett Epps demonstrates the classic form of the dementia afflicting members of the democrat nutroots in this spectacularly self-righteous and paranoid rant in Salon.

By evil chance, I spent the Saturday night before Election Day 2000 at a jolly dinner for high-level Republicans. Most of the talk over the entrees concerned why then-candidate George W. Bush had been too pusillanimous to tell the voters that Al Gore was not just a liberal, but a Soviet-style Marxist-Leninist. But as the desserts circulated, so too did a piece of comic relief — an anonymous leaflet explaining to voters that because of heavy voter registration, the rules had been changed: Republicans would vote on Tuesday, Democrats and independents on Wednesday.

I think of that dinner whenever I read about the widening scandal of the U.S. attorneys and the politicization of the Justice Department under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzo is probably the most endangered man since William Tell’s son Walter. The pattern behind the scandal, however, transcends Gonzales’ fate or that of his underlings.

At least part of the U.S. attorneys plot seems to derive from the “election fraud” hoax that Republicans are trying to perpetrate in order to gain control of the country’s voter lists. So nailing this inept crew of thugs won’t be good enough. We need laws protecting the right to vote from the kind of phony, partisan prosecutors that Gonzales, Rove and Co. were trying to put in place, and from the punitive, restrictive voter-ID laws that are a prominent part of the far-right political agenda.

Republicans do cherish their little practical jokes — the leaflets in African-American neighborhoods warning that voters must pay outstanding traffic tickets before voting; the calls in Virginia in 2006 from the mythical “Virginia Election Commission” warning voters they would be arrested if they showed up at the polls. The best way to steal an election is the old-fashioned way: control who shows up. It’s widely known that Republicans do better when the turnout is lighter, whiter, older and richer; minorities, young people and the poor are easy game for hoaxes and intimidation.

Mr. Epps does not even seem to realize that he is telling us in so many words that he is an enthusiastic partisan of the claim to power of a coalition in which people so gosh-darned stupid that they can be made to believe absolutely anything, and people actively fearful of arrest, are essential components.

Voting returns from urban areas characteristically featuring democrat percentages resembling the margins achieved by dictators in the mock elections conducted in one-party states would tend to suggest that democrats don’t really have any such problem. But, personally, I am quite prepared to argue that anyone successful at persuading the cluelessly stupid and the inveterately criminal elements of society to stay out of politics was doing the Lord’s work.

Leftists, like Professor Epps, have long since abandoned any pretence of desiring a democratic process consisting of a rational debate based on Constitutional principles. For them, democracy simply consists of getting together a large enough mob to overwhelm any opposition so it can get down to work looting the means and property of others.

There is no issue about the quality of judgement or the purity of motive of the democrat voter. Stupid is fine, and selfish and greedy is even better. From the viewpoint of the left, Society is just a collection of warring factions, all fighting for the largest possible share of the spoils. The left doesn’t care if its constituents are dishonest or dumb, it just wants them numerous, loud, and aggressive.

02 May 2007

Gonzalez Implicitly Resigns

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The Left has been accusing the Bush Administration of trampling Americans’ Constitutional rights with little basis for some time. So, what do you know? Alberto Gonzalez, the Attorney General currently considerably under fire from the Left, really is trying an Constitutional endrun.

The Second Amendment Foundation yesterday issued this press release:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ troubling support of legislation that would allow him and future attorneys general the arbitrary power to block firearms purchases without due process is cause for him to step down as the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officer, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

The bill, S. 1237, was introduced last week at the Justice Department’s request by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), one of the most extreme anti-gunners in Congress. Called the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007,” this legislation would give the Attorney General discretionary authority to deny the purchase of a firearm or the issuance of a firearm license or permit because of some vague suspicion that an American citizen may be up to no good.

“This bill,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “raises serious concerns about how someone becomes a ‘suspected terrorist.’ Nobody has explained how one gets their name on such a list, and worse, nobody knows how to get one’s name off such a list.

“The process by which someone may appeal the Attorney General’s arbitrary denial seems weak at best,” Gottlieb suggested, “and there is a greater concern. When did we decide as a nation that it is a good idea to give a cabinet member the power to deny someone’s constitutional right simply on suspicion, without a trial or anything approaching due process?

“We’re not surprised that General Gonzales has found an agreeable sponsor in Frank Lautenberg,” Gottlieb observed. “The senator from New Jersey has never seen a restrictive gun control scheme he did not immediately embrace, and S. 1237 is loaded with red flags. It would allow an appointed bureaucrat the authority to suspend or cancel someone’s Second Amendment right without even being charged with a crime.

“Attorney General Gonzales has no business asking for that kind of power over any tenet in the Bill of Rights,” Gottlieb said. “He took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not trample it. Perhaps it is time for him to go.”

When you are being actively attacked by the Left, and you proceed to stab-in-the-back your own base on the Right which is defending you, I would call that “implicitly resigning.” Mr. Gonzalez might as well make the implicit explicit.

26 Mar 2007

Gonzales Won’t Be Missed

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Debra J. Saunders, at the San Francisco Chronicle, explains why conservatives will not be crying if democrats’ attacks force Alberto Gonzales to resign.

If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns over the U.S. attorneys flap, many Republicans will not be sorry to see him go.

It’s not just that some believe Gonzales made a huge mistake in claiming that he asked for the resignations of eight U.S. attorneys for “performance-related” reasons — which was bad form. Or as Washington attorney Victoria Toensing, who worked in the Reagan administration, noted, “Replacing at-will employees should be Government 101. This is not a difficult process. They flunked smart.”

Forget the U.S. attorneys flap. Many on the right believe that Gonzales has been lax in enforcing immigration law, not been sufficiently partisan, and that he’s not particularly competent, either. They wonder: With friends like this, who needs enemies?

For example, some Republicans wonder why Gonzales did not include U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of the Western District of Texas on his got-to-go list. Sutton, you may recall, prosecuted two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, for shooting at a fleeing drug smuggler, covering up the incident and depriving the Mexican smuggler of his constitutional rights. Many voters are outraged that the two agents are now serving 11-year and 12-year sentences.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntingdon Beach, is incensed that Gonzales did not stop Sutton from throwing the book at two good agents — strike one — while Sutton granted immunity to a man who was smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana into the country. Strike two.

Rohrabacher told me that his frustration with the Bushies had been mounting. “I kept quiet for a long time,” he said. “But when he put the lives of these two Border Patrol agents on the line and decided he was going to squash them like a bug, that was the end of it.”

The cherry on top: Gonzales failed to protect Ramos and Compean when they entered prisons filled with the sort of criminals they used to put away. One night, gang members at the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex in Mississippi beat up Ramos. Said Rohrabacher, “The attorney general knew and knows today that these two men’s lives are at risk. Instead of moving forward to try to send them to a minimum security prison or let them get out on bond (while they appeal), he has dug his heels in.” Strike three. …

Then there is former Clinton adviser Sandy Berger. It drives conservatives crazy that the feds prosecuted Scooter Libby for lying about leaking the identity of ex-CIA operative Valerie Wilson, when the feds cut a generous plea bargain with Berger for destroying classified documents.

Berger, who in 2003 destroyed classified National Archives documents relating to the Clinton administration’s terrorism policies, received no penalty: No jail time, just a fine, 100 hours of community service — and he even gets his security clearance back after three years.

Earlier this year, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., charged the Justice Department with giving Berger a “free pass.” …

As one conservative lawyer, who did not want to be named, told me, the right wants an attorney general who is a “pugilist.” As for Gonzales, he said, “All he does is walk backward and apologize.”

Read the whole thing.

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