Apr 19, 2007

Memo to Gonzales: The US Attorney General's Job is to Defend the People's Rights--not Political Hackery

Gonzales suffers amnesia while testifying, but otherwise he's doing a heckuvajob! [up to the usual Bush standards]

I've been reading and listening to the testimony of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the Senate, and I have to say that I'm seeing the same Katrina-like cronyism and political hackery. The same pattern of turning another branch of our government into another political arm to serve BushCo regardless of the harm done to our country.

To me, it's obvious that Gonzales is a shameful example of unchecked imperial (self-assumed) presidential power and a representative of a clan of people whose allegiance is not to the country but to caesar, regardless of the law of this land.

"I know nooooothing"
Accountability for illegal actions means consequences, not just a general statement of "accepting responsibility." Gonzales needs to resign. He should be prosecuted for lying to Congress, for firing US Attorneys for political reasons only, and for lying to the American people and to Congress. We should have confidence in our legal system and not think of it as an extension of the ruler's wishes--this is not how democracies operate. Yet, this A.G. infected our legal system with "Bushies" bent on a neoconservative ideology that holds the means are always justified by the ends. Those "ends" don't even have to be generally accepted either, as long as the current administration thinks of them as appropriate. A country of laws turned upside down, into a country of an arrogant power elite.

Gonzales's mean streak should have been detected much earlier and been dealt with--although under Republican leadership Congress wasn't interested in protecting our rights and our country's interests. This man argued that the "enemies of the state" should be kept outside the mainland, on GITMO in Cuba so the US Constitution--which speaks of persons, not citizens when it comes to individual rights--wouldn't apply. He changed the definition of what torture is--anything goes as long as there's no danger of death or a failure of a major body organ. Yes, pulling fingernails out, waterboarding, etc, are not torture methods.... It's the same A.G. who violated the Fourth Amendment (despite Congress making it extremenly easy for the government to obtain warrants), he did not stand up to defend the people's constitutional right to be secure in their domains against any unreasonable search & seizure.

Further, Gonzales has failed to protect our rights, because, although he's selected by the president, he should enforce the law and protect our civil liberties. He has not done the latter. He has, instead, helped create a very bad image of America to the world. Even our long-standing allies have been horrified by our practices, and the failure of our legal system to prosecute all those criminals (including white-collar ones... yes, there's such a thing as economic violence) and promote the public interest. This is the job description for a US Attorney General. But, words, even those in the Constitution, don't mean all that much to him and his boss--unless the language is turned into Newspeak, to confuse and to deceive.

Yes, it matters how we do things domestically and what image we project to the world. Democracies make mistakes, some deadly, some correctable. I don't know how much this Congress can do to control this imperial--and often unlawful--presidency (since the president has veto power), but Gonzales should be forced out. And, that Congress should use its subpoena power to shed some more light into the many abuses of this administration. Our citizens--at least those who care to know--have a right to be informed and given the choice to rectify a few things in the 2008 election.