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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Responsibility

“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged that mistakes were made and accepted responsibility Tuesday for the way eight federal prosecutors were fired.
At a news conference Tuesday, Gonzales said he would find out what went wrong but said he would not resign. ‘I acknowledge that mistakes were made here. I accept that responsibility,’ Gonzales said amid growing calls for his own termination.”
-Associated Press, March 13, 2007

“He uses the word ‘responsibility’ in a way that I am unfamiliar with. Usually when one is responsible it means that when things go horribly, terribly wrong and you are forced to lie to Congress you must pay some form of penalty. Maybe Gonzales just doesn’t see this as a bad thing. Maybe to him this is just another day in the office..”

“In the vetting process [of Bernard Kerik], which was conducted by the office of White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, Kerik also never mentioned that a New Jersey judge had issued a warrant for his arrest in 1998 over a civil dispute over unpaid bills, the sources said.”
-MSNBC, December 12, 2004

“His office screwed up vetting Bernard Kerik, the man who Dubya wanted to head Homeland Security and who turned out to have mob connections, a government-bought love nest and an illegal nanny. Apparently ‘vetting’ to Alberto meant just asking Kerik if he had ever killed anyone (personally that is).”

“Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, intervened directly with Justice Department lawyers in 2002 to obtain a legal ruling on the extent of the president's authority to permit extreme interrogation practices in the name of national security, current and former administration officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Gonzales's role in seeking a legal opinion on the definition of torture and the legal limits on the force that could be used on terrorist suspects in captivity is expected to be a central issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings scheduled to begin on Thursday on Mr. Gonzales's nomination to be attorney general.
The request by Mr. Gonzales produced the much-debated Justice Department memorandum of Aug. 1, 2002, which defined torture narrowly and said that Mr. Bush could circumvent domestic and international prohibitions against torture in the name of national security.”
-New York Times, January 4, 2005

“He’s the guy who said that torture (you remember Abu Ghraib) was ok and that Fearless Leader didn’t need to worry about it…”

“The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes - and that it might even apply to Bush administration officials themselves - is contained in a crucial portion of an internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by Newsweek. It urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the provisions of the Geneva Convention.”
-Newsweek, May 19, 2004

“And if something did come up.. well, those Geneva Conventions (constitutionally the highest law of the land) were ‘quaint’ and didn’t apply.”

“Now, in terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence.”
-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, December 19, 2005

“He lied about the Administration illegally spying on American citizens, and then justified it by saying that Congress had already (without realizing it) authorized it…”

“Q: If FISA didn't work, why didn't you seek a new statute that allowed something like this legally?
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: That question was asked earlier. We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be -- that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that -- and so a decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program.”
-Press conference with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, December 19, 2005

“…despite stating, on the very same day, that they didn’t go to Congress to clarify because they didn’t think that Congress would authorize it.”

"We respect civil liberties but we have to harmonize this so we can get more information.”
-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, September 19, 2006

“And believing that constitutionally protected civil liberties aren’t all that important.”

“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security.
The nation's top law enforcer also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation, but officials would not do so routinely and randomly.
‘There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility,’ Gonzales said, referring to prosecutions. ‘We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected.”
-Associated Press, May 21, 2006

“And really, screw the free press. The press can’t stop him, and he honestly doesn’t believe that the courts can either.”

“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says federal judges are unqualified to make rulings affecting national security policy, ramping up his criticism of how they handle terrorism cases.
In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Gonzales says judges generally should defer to the will of the president and Congress when deciding national security cases. He also raps jurists who ‘apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences.’”
-Associated Press, January 17, 2007

“No, Alberto isn’t planning on leaving any time soon. He’s been screwing up for a long time, and so far nothing has happened.”

“Curiously, it was in his role as legal counsel to then-Gov. Bush that Gonzales penned yet another memo pertaining to international law, only in that case his advice was designed not to avoid death sentences, but rather to expedite them on Texas' heavily populated death row. On June 16, 1997, Gonzales first showcased his proclivity for torturing international law when he sent a letter to the U.S. State Department in which he argued that, ‘Since the State of Texas is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, we believe it is inappropriate to ask Texas to determine whether a breach … occurred in connection with the arrest and conviction’ of a Mexican national. Or, put another way, he asserted that an international treaty just didn't apply to Texas.”
-Slate, June 15, 2004

“A wonderful use of ‘responsibility’.”


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