Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gonzales to Senate: Beseme Culo

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales dug himself deeper into the abyss when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, and it seems that the only person who has any confidence whatsoever is President Bush. Unfortunately, he’s the only one that matters.

Mr. Gonzales seems to be aware of it as well, so when he testified, he didn’t really care whether or not he pissed off anybody, including Republicans. He obfuscated, stonewalled, and basically told the senators to kiss his ass. Watch this little exchange between him and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) where the senator asks Mr. Gonzales a rather simple question:

It’s clear that Mr. Gonzales is doing this stonewalling at the behest of the White House, probably from the president himself. The president has made it clear to the Congress and the world what he thinks of the balance of power and the role of the other branches of government: they all exist to serve him and his interests, and if they don’t bend to his will, then the hell with them.

The problem with that is not just that the majority of the Senate, including some very exasperated Republicans, doesn’t trust anything that Mr. Gonzales says and that they clearly believe he holds them in contempt to the point that he is willing to commit perjury and shrug it off. It’s that he will be head of the Department of Justice until noon on January 20, 2009. A lot can happen in eighteen months.

For example, what if there is another terrorist attack? The right-wingers’ big talking point has been that there hasn’t been another terrorist attack since September 11, 2001, so Mr. Bush’s policies must be working. (They’re conveniently forgetting the anthrax attacks in September and October 2001; how’s that investigation going, by the way?) In the aftermath, one assumes that there will be some sort of investigation to find out why and how it happened. Congress and the people will want to know whether or not the much-vaunted policies undertaken by the Bush administration after the attacks on September 11, 2001, were effective and what the Department of Justice is going to do to prevent another attack in the future as well as learn from the mistakes we made leading up to this attack. But that seems to be a very low priority for this administration. Oh, they talk a good game about protecting America and preventing another attack, but so far all they’ve done is gin up a lot of fearmongering, find ways to get around the laws in place, and accuse anyone who questions their actions and priorities of being unpatriotic. And if there is another attack, whether it’s from al-Qaeda or the blond-haired blue-eyed batshit crazies of the Aryan Nations, all of that talk about the global war on terror will have been nothing but that: talk.

With the cooperation being demonstrated by the White House and the Attorney General, not to mention the distrust between the executive branch and the Congress, it’s hard to imagine that they will magically come together and try actually do the job that they are charged with doing: protecting the citizens and bringing the criminals to justice.