Politics

Sure, Al. A Couple Hundred Tortured Detainees, 100,000+ Iraqi Citizens, the U.S. Constitution, and You.

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Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales actually made John Ashcroft look like the Bush administration's resident civil libertarian. By the time he left office, his zeal for executive power coupled with political ineptitude and general incompetence managed to win him contempt from both the left and the right.

Now Gonzales can't find a publisher for his book, and no one has yet offered him the cushy, high-paying job at a D.C. law firm that high-ranking public officials seem to think they're entitled to upon stepping down.

According to Gonzales, Gonzales is a victim. Check out this quote from his interview with the Wall Street Journal this week:

"What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?

. . . for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

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  1. Man. Republicans are really on some next-level shit as far as shameless denial of reality. They are just on their A game there. Remember when they made fun of Baghdad Bob? Now they are Baghdad Bob.

  2. What a tool. A man should know his own limits, and Alberto Gonzales should have known that the AG position was beyond his capabilities.

    I know if I were offered the job, I’d turn it down in a heartbeat.

  3. Not me. I’d take it, then I’d pronounce virtually everything unconstitutional. If the president ignored me, I’d go whine to Congress. I figure I’d make it two months before I got fired. Then I’d do the talk show circuit as the mavericky former AG.

  4. Sadly, RC, the job of the Attorney General as envisioned by Bush and Cheney was not beyond the capabilities of Alberto Gonzales.

  5. AGs almost always suck and do little more than rubber stamp executive actions. Bah.

    When I get the Censor in place, the average tenure of an AG will be six weeks.

  6. You’ll never be censor, ProL! Never! Sic semper tyrannis!

  7. Me, Censor? Not necessary. I’d prefer some cranky, Cato-like fellows or fellowettes with a zero tolerance policy for unconstitutional and/or unethical behavior. Buh-bye!

    Sic semper tyrannis is kind of the idea, by the way, just with less literal death.

  8. In a just world, Gonzales’ whining would be conducted via notes to his public defender passed through the mesh of his dog-run at Guantanamo.

  9. Don’t turn around, uh-oh!

    Der Kommissar’s in town, uh-oh!

  10. Is it small of me to feel schadenfreude?

    How about sauerkraut?

  11. I score the headline a perfect 10. Well done sir.

  12. I’m onto you, ProL. You’re “refusing” the position just like Caesar “refused” dictator a few times.

    I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

  13. What a pussy.

  14. Episiarch,

    Does that make you Marcus Antonius?

  15. As a long time and vocal critic of Gonzlaes in these here environs, I’m sure no one will confuse me with a defender of Gonzales or the “War on Terror”, but when he said he was a “casualty”, I took it to mean he was a political casualty. …that he was speaking metaphorically.

    Also, I find it kind of funny* to see that he’s more or less blaming this on his subordinates and/or others down the totem pole. I guess it’s a bit of a running joke that anytime someone commits a war crime, they always seem to claim they were just following orders. Interesting twist to see Mr. Gonzales claim he was just giving orders…

    I’d be interested to see Gonzales comment on the Schlesinger Report directly, which seemed to be quite clear about what his role was–it names him directly by title–in the formulation of the changes in interrogation policy.

    While it’s true that the policy changes he established and signed off on–according to the Schlesinger Report–were supposed to be used solely on illegal combatants in Guantanamo, and that people below him and out of the White House or Justice Department allowed them to be implemented on POWs in Iraq, that hardly excuses his role in establishing and implementing that policy…

    Indeed, expecting those interrogation methods not to migrate is a bit like expecting the bank bailout not to creep over into the auto industry and anywhere else the wind blows. I mean, seriously, if he didn’t see the likelihood of that happening, then he shouldn’t have had a place at the policy making table. …why he was elevated to Attorney General, again, after all this came out, shows how incompetent President Bush was. …just in case any of you needed further evidence of that.

    One last thing, even if what Gonzales is saying were true about the implementation side of the policy he crafted and signed off on, even if he were only guilty of what the Schlesinger Report said he did, that wouldn’t excuse the moral depravity the interrogation policies he helped craft and signed off on were based on.

    *I used “funny” sort of like Gonzales used “casualty”. Please don’t hate on me for speaking metaphorically. We should still hate Gonzales–just for the things he did, though, rather than for his metaphors.

  16. The buck stops over there, somewhere.

  17. “What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?

    That brought a tear to my reading that.

    No, wait, dust mote in my eye. False alarm.

  18. Does that make you Marcus Antonius?

    Well, I am banging Cleopatra.

    “”Jupiter alone is king of Rome.”

  19. That brought a tear to my reading that.

    Bingo! If Gonzales can’t find a publisher for his book, perhaps he would find an audience for his angsty musings in the emo community. Hide the black eyeliner and sharp objects.

  20. I’m onto you, ProL. You’re “refusing” the position just like Caesar “refused” dictator a few times.

    Maybe he just didn’t want to be referred to as “Mr. Tater”.

    (Reference explained here: part 1; part 2.)

  21. Well, I am banging Cleopatra.

    You say that like you were the first. . .or the 300th.

    People ask me, “Why are you always on about the Censor, Dr. Libertate?” It’s because people like Alberto and young George can behave so dramatically outside of the Constitution without any serious repercussions. The remnants of our checks and balances aren’t working any more, and there’s little chance of hitting the reset button. So the next best option is to add a new check, one with some real, personally painful teeth. And, as an added bonus, it offends Episiarch.

  22. For thousands of years, theorists of government have been faced with an unanswerable question: who watches the watchers?

    At last, thanks to Pro Libertate, we finally have our answer: the Censor watches the Watchers.

    That was easy.

    Now, onto the next question: who watches the Gatormenschen?

  23. Well, I am banging Cleopatra.

    Dude, everyone’s banging Cleopatra.

  24. If Gonzales can’t find a publisher for his book, perhaps he would find an audience for his angsty musings in the emo community.

    Don’t give him any ideas. Though, him cutting himself would have karmic benefits.

    So the next best option is to add a new check, one with some real, personally painful teeth. And, as an added bonus, it offends Episiarch.

    It’s your tone that offends me. Why are you so snotty?

    Now, onto the next question: who watches the Gatormenschen?

    An Eidechse-Beobachter, of course.

  25. I though HBO’s Rome series captured the real Cleopatra’s essence–Greek slut.

    joe et al.,

    If I could come up with a good way of appointing the Censors (gotta be a panel or group, of course), I’d seriously propose the new branch. My law review article would be entitled, The Censor, or I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!.

  26. Well, I am banging Cleopatra.

    Whoa. Cleopatra?

  27. Pro Lib,

    I’d make all the Inspectors General throughout the federal government agents of the Censor, rather than the executive branch.

  28. I though HBO’s Rome series captured the real Cleopatra’s essence–Greek slut.

    I rather liked the twist about who the real father of Caesar’s kid was. But then I found Pullo the only remotely likeable character in the whole thing. He might have been a mean, murderous motherfucker, but except for his slave’s fiance he only killed folks that needed it.

    And, damn you, you beat me to the Cleopatra joke.

    Oh, and as for Gonzales. Remember his name was seriously floated as a replacement Supreme.
    And lots of folks across the spectrum were saying nice things about him what with him being potentially the first hispanic justice and all.

    Think about that for a minute, kiddies.

  29. joe,

    That’s the idea.

  30. And lots of folks across the spectrum were saying nice things about him what with him being potentially the first hispanic justice and all.

    Yet another reason to despise the multi-culti affirmative action reflex.

  31. If Gonzales or any of the other senior Bush administration officials had an ounce of honor, they would commit ritual suicide, and donate their estates to tortured detainees and Iraq War orphans.

  32. Don’t worry, Al. I am sure history will vindicate you.

  33. As much as i agree with all that has been said… how can your own military dead be left out of the headline/story body?

  34. Ken Schultz, I can see Rod Marinelli describing himself as a casualty of the Lions’ 0-16 season in metaphorical terms, because no one was killed or wounded by that season.

    But describing yourself as a casualty of a war that really has killed and wounded people, just because you can’t find a job? That requires an incredible degree of self-absorption — but we’ve come to expect nothing less from Bush&Co, I suppose.

  35. “What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?”

    This is like a dog who keeps going on the carpet no matter how many times you rub his nose in it.

  36. Greek slut.

    Isn’t that redundant?

    (Nor for modern Greeks. Just the Classical ones. And maybe Yanni.)

  37. Franklin Harris,

    For Classical Greeks, yes for men; no for women.

  38. Franklin, that’s an awful thing to say about Marina Sirtis.

  39. Franklin, that’s an awful thing to say about Marina Sirtis.

    Ugh. Seeing a woman you jerked off to God-knows-how-many-times get older is a seriously depressing reminder of mortality and the rule of decay. Thanks for reminding me.

  40. I thought you were into Beverly Crusher, not Deanna Troi.

  41. I once saw a Skinemax flick featuring Beverly D’Angelo, about 10 – 15 years ago. She’s got some huge tits.

    Also a Skinemax flick with the chick from Jag. That was a pleasant surprise.

  42. I thought you were into Beverly Crusher, not Deanna Troi.

    You have a good memory. Either that or the mere mention of a crush on Crusher causes severe trauma, I’m not sure.

    But in truth, I was very promiscuous in my stroke-objectification. Well, I never rubbed one out to Dr Pulaski, but I did think about it. If she was good enough for that omnipotent fish head in space guy (Nagilum), she should be good enough for me, no?

  43. We can have the office of censor pretty easily if we bring back the Special Prosecutor law and simply use a triple mechanism for the appointment of special prosecutors:

    1. Either the House or Senate may by a simple majority vote appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any activity by the executive branch or any federal judge. The Senate’s votes on this subject can be offered on the floor by any Senator and are not subject to cloture votes.

    2. The Attorney General may appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any activity by a Congressman, a congressional staffer, or any federal judge.

    3. Any appeals court may by a simple majority of its members appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any activity by a Congressman, a congressional staffer, or any member of the executive branch.

    Voila. Censors as far as the eye can see.

  44. You have a good memory. Either that or the mere mention of a crush on Crusher causes severe trauma, I’m not sure.

    Both.

    Well, I never rubbed one out to Dr Pulaski, but I did think about it. If she was good enough for that omnipotent fish head in space guy (Nagilum), she should be good enough for me, no?

    In her case, there is in truth no beauty.

  45. For Pulaski, go back to the TOS episodes she appeared in.

    She was TEH HOT.

  46. Hmm, I’m not a Diana Muldaur fan, Fluffy. But somebody must have liked her because she got to do two episodes as two separate characters.

  47. I was the hottest guest star on Star Trek. Diana was on twice because she was shagging Gene.

  48. I was the hottest guest star on Star Trek.

    Sorry, Barbara Babcock (also on twice – in TOS) and Joan Collins have beaten severely. And Angelique Pettyjohn will pin you down and abuse you whilst I watch amused.

    “I’d buy that for a Quatloo!”

  49. That’s “have *you* beaten severely.” d’oh.

  50. Sorry, JW, wrong again. Feel my hotness flowing through you.

  51. Denied, Pulaski! Richard Dysart was right to let you walk into that open elevator shaft.

  52. Marianna Hill? Get serious. JW is totally right.

    “These would stop Joan Collins herself!”

  53. Damn you Dr. Noel! Now I have to go and punish myself for getting my TOS guest stars confused.

  54. Even now, JW is thinking about my womanliness as he “punishes” himself.

    Joan Collins is a man.

  55. Admit your identity, so we can know who has the horrible taste in women.

  56. Shit. Joke handle.

  57. Episiarch. There is something Glenn Danzig never told you. I am your mother.

  58. I’m going to have to go with Sherry Jackson as *the* hottest TOS guest star.

  59. She had a nice outfit, that’s for sure. I did her in a four-way with Shatner and Ted Cassidy.

  60. I did her in a four-way with Shatner and Ted Cassidy.

    You must have been pretty wasted that night. It was Conrad Bain and Jerry Mathers, not Shatner & Cassidy.

  61. Still, TNG had way moe hot guest stars…Ashley Judd, Teri Hatcher, Olivia d’Abo, Famke Jansen…

  62. …but made up for it with Muldaur and Whoopi fouling the brood.

  63. Pro Libertate | January 2, 2009, 10:46am | #

    Not me. I’d take it, then I’d pronounce virtually everything unconstitutional. If the president ignored me, I’d go whine to Congress. I figure I’d make it two months before I got fired. Then I’d do the talk show circuit as the mavericky former AG.

    Amen

  64. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales actually made John Ashcroft look like the Bush administration’s resident civil libertarian.

    Well, sure. Ashcroft was pretty good on civil liberties as a Senator, and as a host of books have pointed out, he was one of the better ones on civil liberties in the Bush Administration. Granted, he wasn’t great on pornography (though the juvenile bit about AP reporters insisting on framing him with a nude statue did no one any favors.)

    However, since too many people on the Left (and libertarians as well) were scared of him for being not only religious, but a Pentacostal, we got the incompetent Gonzalez instead, along with a lot of ridiculous attacks demonizing one of the few standing against the worst proposed abuses. And those attacks probably worsened civil liberties in this country.

    The absurdity of making Ashcroft into a hate figure is one of the low points of supposed defenders of civil liberties in this country. At least Reason belatedly realizes that Gonzalez was worse– that he was going to be was obvious at the time, for anyone who paid attention to policy, instead of identity.

  65. “I rather liked the twist about who the real father of Caesar’s kid was.”

    No – not Darth Vader!

  66. However, since too many people on the Left (and libertarians as well) were scared of him for being not only religious, but a Pentacostal, we got the incompetent Gonzalez instead.

    Uh, yeah…it was the awesome power of the Left (and libertarians as well) during George Bush’s first term that led to John Ashcroft leaving office. You know that Bush/Cheney administration – always getting pushed around by the Left (and libertarians as well).

    Um…what?

  67. If anyone ever deserved to eat a big bag of human shit, it’s ol’ Alberto.

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