A week ago in a USA Today editorial, Alberto Gonzales said the following:
While I am grateful for the public service of these seven U.S. attorneys, they simply lost my confidence. I hope that this episode ultimately will be recognized for what it is: an overblown personnel matter.
In a press conference yesterday, he claims that the firing of eight US attorneys who a week before had lost his confidence happened essentially without his knowledge.
These were the same people he claimed represent “the face of the department,” but then claimed he essentially didn’t know who they were because this all was done by his chief of staff. I mean hey…there are 10,000 people working for me. How can I possibly know what my CHIEF OF STAFF is doing?
Yeah right Alberto. Undoubtedly, your chief of staff was spending his nights with Arlen Specter’s chief of staff re-writing the Patriot Act to give you powers you didn’t know you had to fire people you didn’t know for reasons you didn’t understand.
And you want us to believe you deserve to stay in your present position why?
Having said that, I think those US attorneys deserve to be fired. Yeah call me crazy but the untold story in this developing saga is that none of the purged attorneys would have say or do anything about the politicization of their offices and the legal system in general if they were not relieve of their jobs, power and livelihood.
Case in point is this testimony from David Iglesias [the purged U.S. attorney in New Mexico]:
Iglesias said criticisms of his performance by the Justice Department “are demonstrably untrue statements.” He added: “We all have a right to defend our honor. I felt like my honor and the honor of my office was attacked….” http://www.washingtonpost.com/…
Oh poor David. They were impugning his honor. He is not worried about the bush administrations frontal assault on our constitutional rights. In fact he was looking for a positive recommendation from Gonzales as recently as January 10th as he looks for a new job. He sent an email to Gonzales’s chief of staff looking for one: If you want to read it, it’s at the very bottom of this document: http://judiciary.house.gov/…
How about H.E. Cummins, U.S. attorney for Arkansas’ Eastern District from 2001-2006, who said the following:
“If given the choice, I’d elect to stay home and mind my own business,” Cummins told The Associated Press. “Now that I’m under subpoena, I’ll go and give cooperative, truthful answers.”
When asked if officials in the Justice Department or White House had asked him to decline the earlier requests, Cummins said he had no comment…http://www.msnbc.msn.com/…
If you still think he deserved the job wait until you read this quote from the same US attorney:
Cummins said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he appreciated Pryor’s [Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark] defense of his service, but that he remained a Bush loyalist who had considered leaving his post regardless.
“In my case, it’s fair to say it was handled poorly, because they could just have easily called me and said ‘You haven’t done anything wrong. You’re a champ. You’ve been a great performer for the president, and we’d like you to cooperate with us and give this other guy a job for two years,'” Cummins said… http://www.nwaonline.net/…
They would rather go into lucrative practice with Gonzales’s recommendation than go to bat for the American justice system. That is why despite the ineptitude of Alberto Gonzales, [I will not shed any tears if he is canned]: I believe the purged attorneys deserved the fate that befall them.