Friday, March 09, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Should Be Fired

There's a lot of news coming out of the Justice Department over the past few days and none of it is good. For starters, there are the eight federal attorneys who were fired last fall. The reasons are still a bit murky at this point, but it's clear that this was a political move. That is actually legal, since the attorneys serve "at the pleasure of the President". But legal isn't always right, and some of the moves were clearly payback for doing their jobs too zealously. An example is the attorney who successfully prosecuted Republican representative "Duke" Cunningham, who was convicted of bribery last year. The eight firings got the attention of Congress, and Tuesday all eight testified before a Senate committee. Then the Justice Department, which had threatened retaliation if the eight testified, made good on their threat, and publicly embarrassed each of the attorneys with personal details as the ostensible reasons for their firing.

And if that wasn't bad enough, today comes news that the FBI has grossly abused their snooping powers under the Patriot Act. They've collected far more personal information than they've previously admitted, they routinely collect information without any oversight whatsoever, and more than half of their snoops have been against American citizens. These are the very things that Gonzales assured Congress (during the Patriot Act hearings last year) weren't being done.

So now we have an Attorney General who uses his office for partisan political maneuvers, intimidates federal attorneys, abuses the authority granted by Congress, and lies about what he and his people are doing. Am I surprised? Actually, I've just been waiting for this to happen. When Bush & Co. were brow-beating Congress into giving them extraordinary powers, it was clearly just a matter of time before the public found out what was really going on. Every time an administration thinks it's above the law, they prove that they should never be. As Nixon found out, for example. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

Gonzales has blown what little credibility he had as an Attorney General. He should be fired. Immediately.

No comments: