Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Thing About Gonzales

What's the big deal about Alberto Gonzales? Why should consumers care? The latest revalations are that Attorney General Gonzales has, in the words of Stephen Colbert, a truthiness problem. But why is that such a big deal--don't all politicians lie?

It's easy to be jaded and to suffer political scandal fatigue. And that's true no matter who is in power. As someone wiser than me once said, "Politics suck." The other thing is that many commentators fondly point out that US Attorneys serve at will and past presidents, including a recent former occupant of the White House who sinned by lust, fired a slew of them, too.

Here's the problem and why it matters. When prosecutors are hired and fired based upon who they do and don't prosecute, we have a problem. Prosecutors now ask things like,"Did this guy/gal commit the crime?," or "Can we prove that they did it?" Under the current regime, they apparently needed to ask, "Did the president's chief of staff want me to prosecute?," or "Will I piss off the White House if chase this guy or gal?" That's no way to run a criminal justice system.

That by itself is enough for all of us to say that the guy has to go. But it gets worse with the evasions, cover-up and denials. Mr. Gonzales wasn't out of the loop. And the decisions to fire these people were made based upon these illegal considerations. The rest of us should care because protection of the public shouldn't turn on who gave money to the current occupant of the White House.

David F. Sugerman
Paul & Sugerman, PC

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