Friday, March 09, 2007

Roberto Gonzales, U. S. Attorney General, proves to be the center of gravity of most controversy in this Administration

Roberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General who is at the center of controversy again has proven to be a very central figure in the bad decisions at the heart of this Administration. He has been the person at the center of the changed interpretations of the use of torture on prisoners and hence, the Abu Ghraib atrocities. He now is at the center of the firing of U.S. attorneys because they were willing to decide cases on merit rather than based upon with this Administration was pushing for.

From the Washington Post comes a story on Gonzales and the reversal in policy of the President and the Administration under pressure from Congress now that Democrats are providing the necessary oversight that was lacking under Republican stewardship when thye were the majority for the past 6 years.

So now excerpts from the Washington Post story:
Gonzales Yields On Hiring Interim U.S. Attorneys
By Paul Kane and Dan Eggen
Friday, March 9, 2007;

"Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales agreed yesterday to change the way U.S. attorneys can be replaced, a reversal in administration policy that came after he was browbeaten by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee still angry over the controversial firings of eight federal prosecutors.

"Gonzales told Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and other senior members of the committee that the administration will no longer oppose legislation limiting the attorney general's power to appoint interim prosecutors. Gonzales also agreed to allow the committee to interview five top-level Justice Department officials as part of an ongoing Democratic-led probe into the firings, senators said after a tense, hour-long meeting in Leahy's office suite."

"...the administration has been battered by mounting allegations that several of the fired prosecutors -- six of whom testified before Congress on Tuesday -- had been the subject of intimidation, including improper telephone calls from GOP lawmakers or their aides, and alleged threats of retaliation by Justice Department officials. One prosecutor told lawmakers this week that he felt "leaned on" by a senior Republican senator, and Senate Democrats have readied subpoenas for five key members of Gonzales' inner circle of advisers."

"Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, seemed to suggest that Gonzales's tenure may not last through the remainder of President Bush's term."

"One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later," Specter said sharply."

"Democrats and some Republicans said they were concerned the Justice Department was attempting to use the new provision to appoint political cronies without Senate oversight and that the firings were a means to that end. Gonzales and other Justice officials have argued that the old replacement system was inefficient and unconstitutional."

"Emerging from what participants called a "frank" discussion, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the attorney general agreed to allow five senior Justice Department aides to be interviewed by the committee in an inquiry that will probably begin in a private setting."

"Specter emerged from the meeting saying he still had no clear understanding why the prosecutors were dismissed. He said he instructed Gonzales to take back remarks he made in an op-ed in Wednesday's USA Today, in which he called the issue an "overblown personnel matter." Specter also asked Gonzales to do something to help remove the "significant blemish" now on the records of the fired prosecutors."

(For the complete Washington Post story click here.

When more oversight is done by this Congress, more revelations will be made from how Halliburton cheated us by not providing the services contracted, not by Millions of dollars, but by Billions. I will predict that when all the investigations are complete, many senior Halliburton officials will be charged with crimes and do jail time.

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