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United States Government Politics

U.S. Attorney General Resigns 845

willie3204 is one of many to mention that U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned. One of Gonzales' main opponents praised his decision stating that: "'For the previous six months, the Justice Department has been virtually nonfunctional and desperately needs new leadership,' said the Schumer statement. 'Democrats will not obstruct or impede a nominee who we are confident will put the rule of law above political considerations. We beseech the Administration to work with us to nominate someone whom Democrats can support and America can be proud of.'"
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U.S. Attorney General Resigns

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  • by thdougherty ( 633759 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:55AM (#20370885)
    Fortunately for Gonzales, he will probably soon forget he held the position and made a mockery of the judicial system...
    • Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:15AM (#20371169) Journal
      For starters, W. will try to put one person forward, the dems will nix them, and W. will appoint in the middle of the next vacation of congress. This person will simply replace gonzales and will ensure that no real investigation occurs until the end of W. time. The dems need to go after after W. AND obtained convictions, then it would make future presidents about doing such actions. But congress, and the dems in particular, have shown that they will allow it to drop. Nixon and reagan were allowed free walks due to the succeeding presidents being republicans. But the next president will almost certainly be a dem. If so, they need to not pardon and allow justice to prevail. Otherwise, we will see that each republican will continue to screw US at will.
      • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:36AM (#20371449) Homepage Journal
        If the Democrats think they'll get the White House next, they don't have much incentive to limit the power of the White House.
        • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rabbit Time! ( 807699 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @11:17AM (#20372037)
          August Pollack has come up with 'The Hillary Rule [],' which I think is kind of awesome.

          This is very simple: as a conservative, you are only allowed to defend things like this if you can say- in the same breath- that you have no problem with President Hillary Clinton having the exact same level of power
          Sort of brings home the point that we have limits on power because the person wielding that power is not always on your side of the issues.
          • An old sentiment (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MythoBeast ( 54294 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @12:34PM (#20373141) Homepage Journal
            Federalists passed something called the "Alien and Sedition Act" in 1798 which allowed prosecution of anyone who said bad things about the current government. This particular governmental power was hastily repealed in 1802 when it became likely that Thomas Jefferson (a staunch opponent of the act and those who passed it) would win the next presidency.

            Politics is like football. We've been at it so long that we forget that fitness was the original purpose of the game, and just care about winning.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by hondo77 ( 324058 )

              This particular governmental power was hastily repealed in 1802 when it became likely that Thomas Jefferson (a staunch opponent of the act and those who passed it) would win the next presidency.

              Is this the same Thomas Jefferson who was elected President in 1800?

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by ultranova ( 717540 )

                This particular governmental power was hastily repealed in 1802 when it became likely that Thomas Jefferson (a staunch opponent of the act and those who passed it) would win the next presidency.

                Is this the same Thomas Jefferson who was elected President in 1800?

                Well, you see, they didn't have Diebold machines back then, so they had to do the recounts by hand, and that took some time; so why Jefferson was elected in 1800, they didn't know it until two years later. That's why you need electronic voting

            • Re:An old sentiment (Score:4, Informative)

              by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full,infinity&gmail,com> on Monday August 27, 2007 @02:00PM (#20374145) Journal
              Actually, the law was written so that it would pass out of effect after the end of the presidential term. They planned to just pass it again after another Federalist became president.
        • Re:Not likely (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Leftist Troll ( 825839 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @12:12PM (#20372823)
          It's more than just visions of the next term, both parties are dedicated to maintaining a strong Federal government led by a powerful executive. They occasionally bicker about the details, but their fundamental belief in executive power is shared.
      • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @11:05AM (#20371881)
        There's an agreement [] between the president and the Senate Leader Reid to no longer due this. If the President breaks that agreement, it'll upset folks, plus the Senate can be kept perpetually in session by having a senator come in every few days throughout the normal recess. It's not legally binding, of course, but if the President wants to accomplish anything in the next year, I suspect he'll keep his word.
    • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @01:26PM (#20373753)

      I always felt that Peter Gabriel's song "I don't remember"
      could have been Gonzales' theme music:

      I don't remember,
      I don't recal,
      I have no memory
      of anything at all.

  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:56AM (#20370903) Homepage
    Right now, the opposition party has failed in it's watchdog duties. This resignation is only good news if they finally gain some moxie and push for a hard Atty Gen, one that will actually ensure oversight of the branches of government as the position is supposed to be doing.
    • by slughead ( 592713 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:02AM (#20370991) Homepage Journal
      Right now, the opposition party has failed in it's watchdog duties.

      Political parties have no duties, only the need and desire to keep themselves in power. Congress (controlled by Democrats) has one of the lowest approval ratings ever at present. They aren't pushing for anything now.
    • There's no way that the Bush administration will put forth an actual watchdog. The best the Democrats can do is to block the nomination of one Loyal Bushy in favor of the next. No, I think they'll make a show of their resistance, but unless Bush puts forth someone who can't read or burns a copy of the Constitution on the steps of the Capitol Building before the hearing, the nomination will likely go through.
  • by TrevorB ( 57780 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:57AM (#20370911) Homepage
    The Daily Show starts a 2 week break this week.

    Is anyone noticing a trend where resignations seem to occur while The Daily Show is off on break?
  • Lightbulbs (Score:5, Funny)

    by dws90 ( 1063948 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:58AM (#20370923)
    How many Alberto Gonzaleses does it take to change a lightbulb?

    One, but he'll end up doing it multiple times because he can't recall doing it before.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:58AM (#20370929) Journal
    Good! About damn time!

    One of the most frustrating, maddening things about this administration is disregard for the people's will. Bolton was a good example. He was only supported by the president and Republicans. When appointing someone that represent the American people you need to have the support of the American people not just your party.

    It's in that same spirit that I'm voting Republican in the next presidential election. Do you REALLY think one party rule is going to better under Democrats? I like the idea of one party controlling the White House and the other controlling Congress. It forces people to work together. Something this country BADLY needs now... and for the world as well before we damage things even more.
  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:58AM (#20370933) Homepage Journal
    Actually Gonzo and I were at the same school at almost the same time. No way he could have graduated with such a weak memory, so I've basically been wondering what happened to him. He still has his wits and he's just faking the idiocy? Or was is some kind of mental disease from excessive mental gymnastics and brown nosing?

    Anyway, I'm still amazed that Dubya let him resign, even if Chertoff is the replacement (according to rumors). The last thing the neo-GOP wants now is a functional DoJ. Everything is coming unraveled for them.

    One more thing. Don't let the door hit ya' on yer way out.
  • by base3 ( 539820 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @09:58AM (#20370937)
    Remember how excited everyone got when Ashcroft was fired^W^Wresigned? That's when Gonzales was put in. Be sure there will be someone just as pliable and loyal to the Party--and probably smart enough not to get caught perjuring himself. So I wouldn't get too excited.
  • by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:03AM (#20371009)
    They were the ones who first latched onto the US Attorney firings. It was through their investigative reporting that congress got involved.

    Talking Points Memo []
  • It was about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:05AM (#20371039)
    What a stint Mr. Gonzales had with my president's White house...but I thought he'd hang on. I will remember him for his 63 times he invoked the "I don't recall..." mantra. On the other hand, I wonder whether any slashdotter can tell me what good has been accomplished by my president to-date. Sincerely, I am at a loss to find anything worthy of a mention.

    Here's another one...the VP also used this "I do not recall..." slogan while under fire. It's about time our constitution was amended to automatically have a senior official resign when the all of a sudden they cannot recall matters so important and held so dear to these United States.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:13AM (#20371153)
    The President shouldn't have to nominate someone that the democrats support, but someone that is competent, experienced and has a history of obeying the law. If the democrats can't support that then they've got no hope in November of 2008.
  • by mattkime ( 8466 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:13AM (#20371155)
    From the article: "Bush will likely nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to the position"

    Events like this remind me to donate to the ACLU.
  • until i heard that story of him rushing to the side of the previous ag, john ashcroft, who was ailing in hospital, himself no friend of the rights and freedoms americans hold dear, and the bastard was seeking an extension of the secret wiretapping program from a sick man []:

    In a December 2005 article[31][32] in The New York Times, it was revealed that the NSA was eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without proper warrants. This led to an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility in the Justice Department. This investigation was shut down after the President[33] denied investigators the security clearances necessary for their work. Some critics have alleged that the President did so in order to protect Gonzales from the internal probe.[34]

    According to May 15, 2007, testimony by the former deputy attorney general, James B. Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee (as reported in the New York Times[35]) on the evening of March 10, 2004, Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr. (then Mr. Bush's chief of staff) tried to bypass him by secretly visiting Mr. Ashcroft. The purpose of this dramatic middle-of-the-night visit was to reauthorize the secret wiretapping program, which Comey (as acting AG) had refused to reauthorize. (Mr. Ashcroft was extremely ill and disoriented, Mr. Comey said, and his wife had forbidden any visitors.)

    " In walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly, and then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there, to seek his approval for a matter. I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me.[36] "

    Comey's testimony laid out that "contrary to Gonzales' assertion, there was significant dissent among top law enforcement officers over a program Comey would not specifically identify."[36] He added that some "top Justice Department officials were prepared to resign over it."[36]

    it takes some effort to make john ashcroft look like a brave defender of american's freedoms. and ag ag did that, by acting like some sort of blitzkrieg operative for the extension of capricious and dubious powers. all very shady, all very slick, all very despicable, and forever afterward in my mind ag ag was worthy of not just resignation, but prosecution and punishment

    now it looks like, like a previous white house operative [] (ag was the general counsel of gw bush in texas), that he's just the fall guy for his higher ups. resigning and taking the heat that rightfully should lead to dick cheney, karl rove, and gw bush

    i'm not one for impeachment, it's a radical act, but i'm wondering where all the self-righteous a-holes who were ready to pillory clinton for whitewater and getting a blowjob from an intern are on the subject of gw bush, (or iran-contra, for that matter). or is it just a partisan game to get the other team at all costs, regardless of any actual judgment of the scale of wrongdoing?

    personally, clinton could have had roman orgies on the scale of caligula in the white house. compared to what bush has done to this country's image in the world, orgies in the white house ranks as an impeachable offense a couple of orders of magnitude below what the shocktroops of chicanery the gw bush team has given us

    gw bush: the usa's worst president, ever. he's just a moronic drunk rich kid. he wasn't even rightfully elected by the will of the american people. can you imagine how different things would be on the world stage today if al gore was in the white house?

    the 2008 elections cannot come fast enough
  • Ablative Armor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:28AM (#20371355)
    That's what Karl Rove and Gonzales are trying to be for Bush and Cheney. I wish to god there was someone in the Democratic party with the balls to bring Rove, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and all the gang to justice. Letting these guys resign and skate away to enjoy the spoils of their crimes is just as deadly to our democracy as the crimes themselves, because our system of checks & balances and faith in the rule of law remain compromised. Impeach, try, and convict. That's the only way to begin to untangle the disaster they've visited on us and the world.

    To those who call themselves Republicans and resist this idea, just imagine Hillary Clinton as president with all the powers Bush and Cheney have arrogated to themselves. It should give you screaming nightmares, because it sure does me.
  • by humankind ( 704050 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:46AM (#20371599) Journal
    Gonzales is yet another example how the Bush administration values loyalty over competence. In virtually every executive-appointed office, Bush has installed people who are not qualified to do the job, but are unconditionally loyal to him and his party.

    While this may have always been true, it's never been more true now and this exemplifies the weakness of the American system of government. You elect a president, and then he puts incompetent cronies in positions of huge responsibility in important areas of the government. We've also seen that Bush has no reservations against using loopholes like congressional recess appointments to get around the checks and balances in Congress.

    In other countries like Switzerland, heads of each major area of government, from transportation to defense, are independently, democratically elected. The next time an American starts talking about "democracy", remind them that they need to look elsewhere, far outside of their own country, to find a more true example of the democracy.
    • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @12:20PM (#20372937) Homepage Journal
      >installed people who are not qualified to do the job

      What's really fun/annoying about this is the win/win nature of it for the ones who did it.

      They've got their cronies in all of these positions and are tilting the agencies agendas in "loyalist directions" besides. Clearly a WIN.

      On the other hand, if those agencies are called upon to fulfill their primary missions, as understood by the rest of the nation...

      Those filling the positions are not fully competent to do so, and the agency falls down on its job. How is this a WIN? Simple, the folks selecting the appointees also like to say that they're in favor of smaller government, and that anything that can be privatized, should be. If the agency fails in it's job, it's clear evidence that government is incapable, therefore it should be privatized. Of course you're supposed to ignore the fact that their appointees caused the failure in the first place. It becomes a WIN.

      What's truly sad here is the decimation of institutional memory. Some of that may be bad, but not all, and at the very least if the institutional memory is gone, you can't learn from it to improve. The top tier has always been political, but what's happened this time is that the second and third tiers have resigned because they couldn't stomach what the top tier was doing. There's the real problem, the core agency competence has left.
  • by boxless ( 35756 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:50AM (#20371657)
    This is the guy who testified to the Senate that the right to habeas corpus is not guaranteed to US Citizens.

    What a strange 6 years we have lived through since 9/11. I'm hoping it will be over soon. At least the Gonzalez chapter is.
  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:52AM (#20371697) Homepage simply outsource the DoJ to somewhere offshore which can perform its non-function for much less money?

    Just wondering.
  • by glassware ( 195317 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @12:30PM (#20373113) Homepage Journal
    Congress has only barely worked up the will to investigate these misdeeds, and I am saddened to realize that Alberto Gonzales' resignation will completely end somehow push everyone to "move on." If ever there was an administration that deserved to be hounded until the end of its days, it would be this one - but they are practicing strategic resignations. Every time there is a lull in an investigation, the official under fire resigns, to be replaced by an equally inept and loyal official who simply isn't under investigation yet. The fact that the obvious target of hatred is gone saps the will of the investigators, and everyone involved gets away with no jail time and no penalties.
  • by Analogy Man ( 601298 ) on Monday August 27, 2007 @03:31PM (#20375195)
    Now that Rove is available I am sure he would be confirmed with no problem. Certainly a man that can put the law before partisan considerations.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.