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 unConstitutional illegal wiretapping programming that he had a big hand
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
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.
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.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL