U.S. News and World Reports (link):
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation caught the news media and the nation's political establishment by surprise yesterday morning. Up until then, the only public hint that the resignation may be coming was an item in this week's U.S. News and World Report's "Washington Whispers" column, which reported "the buzz among top Bushies" that Gonzales may be considering leaving his post. The New York Times says "there had been rumblings over the weekend," but "the White House sought to quell the rumors." In his "Washington Sketch" column for the Washington Post, Dana Milbank writes that faced with the rumors, "the attorney general directed his spokesman to deny" them. Adds Milbank, "For a man accused of lying to Congress, it was a fitting way to go out."
It was amazing the way Gonzales held on so long, and for all of the talk from the right throughout the many years we've enjoyed the Bush/Cheney's White House reign of terror -- about how GWB was such a consummate administrator -- Bush flat out let the Justice Department of the United States sink into a hell-hole of despair and low-morale, and was content to let it simmer in that sad cesspool, until Alberto got up the huevos to finally resign.
This may have helped him in his decision-making process:
The Justice Department's inspector general acknowledged Thursday he was examining whether departing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made false or misleading statements to Congress about the National Security Agency's (NSA) terrorist surveillance program, the fired U.S. attorneys affair and other subjects.
The disclosure by Inspector General Glenn Fine in a letter to Congress signals an expansion of the department's internal investigations into Gonzales' troubled tenure, probes that were not previously known to be focused so sharply on the attorney general and his testimony.
Fine's office also has expanded an investigation into whether senior Gonzales aides improperly considered partisan affiliations when reviewing applicants for nonpolitical career positions.
In response to an Aug. 16 letter from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Fine wrote: "You identified five issues and asked that we investigate ... The OIG has ongoing investigations that relate to most of the subjects addressed by the attorney general's testimony that you identified." [...]
In March, Gonzales denied he was involved in deliberations that led to the firing of nine U.S. attorneys last year. But internal Justice Department documents showed he attended at least one meeting where the firings were discussed and approved.
Gonzales also told Congress there was little dissent within the Bush administration about the legality of a warrantless electronic-surveillance program launched by the NSA after the Sept. 11 attacks.
But that appeared to be contradicted in testimony by a former deputy attorney general, who said several top Justice officials at one point threatened to resign over a disagreement with the White House.
Oh come on now... just because he attended the meeting doesn't mean that he was "involved"! He may have napped right through it....
- U.S. News and World Reports: The Mess He Left Behind - Gonzales's successor will face daunting challenges at a scandal-plagued agency
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