Thursday, March 15, 2007

bring me the head of alberto gonzales

... and the ass of karl rove.

during the next two years, our nation must address critical questions affecting the investigation, pursuit, and prosecution of terrorism at home and abroad. in this effort, we must have a strong, credible attorney general who holds the confidence of congress and the american people.

i do not believe alberto gonzales can fill that role. the president should fire the attorney general and replace him as soon as possible with someone who can provide strong, aggressive leadership prosecuting the war on terrorism, running the department of justice, and working with the president and congress on important homeland security matters.

senator john sununu (r-nh)

for the justice department to be effective before the u.s. senate, it would be helpful [if gonzales resigned].

senator gordon smith (r-or)



cafferty:

... and it's not enough that the attorney general of the united states is a glorified water boy for the white house. the bush administration also is admitting now that its number one political hack, karl rove, passed along complaints from republican lawmakers about u.s. attorneys to the justice department and to the white house counsel's office — a political adviser playing a role in the hiring and firing of u.s. attorneys. it's disgraceful.

here's the question: should u.s. attorney general alberto gonzalez resign? e-mail your thoughts to caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to cnn.com/caffertyfile.

if you look up the word weasel in the dictionary, wolf, you'll see alberto gonzales' picture there.

blitzer:

you don't like him?

cafferty:

that's correct. i don't.

[snip]

cafferty:

don writes from florida: "jack, a better question is: how soon should alberto gonzales resign? and what should be the punishment for his crimes?"

ralph writes: "nah. they would just replace him with somebody more dangerous, someone who knows how to run a police state without getting caught."

john in philadelphia: "actually, he should have been fired. we all know how long that takes, though. remember rumsfeld? this worm is exactly the type of hatchet man that bush likes. don't ever do the people's work. just do my dirty work."

larisa in seattle: "alberto gonzales should have resigned yesterday or last year or two years ago. look at the guy's legacy: torture memos, spying on americans, and now substituting gop cronies for lawyers who are supposed to be defending the public good and upholding the constitution."

robert writes from ohio: "resign? he ought to be perp-walked."

j. writes: "jack, of course he ought to resign, but we both know he won't. his role right now is to cover the backside of the most corrupt administration in history, which is a tall order for such a little man."

jody in tennessee: "yes, he ought to, but that won't happen. he's a bush buddy. every time i see him on tv, he looks like he's laughing at us."

and jenny in new york: "from this administration? no way. he's doing a heck of a job."

we got no letters suggesting that alberto gonzales was doing a great job, and that we were out of line by quoting some of the people, like chuck schumer in the senate, who are calling for the man's resignation. nobody wrote and said, "this guy is doing a good job."

blitzer:

out of how many? about hundreds did we get, thousands?

cafferty:

i don't know. yes, it was 800, 900 e-mails. i didn't read eight or nine hundred of them, but i — i spun through probably a couple of hundred. there were none — none. nobody wrote to say, "alberto gonzales is doing a good job as the attorney general of the united states."

i mean, that alone says something, doesn't it?

blitzer:

it certainly does. jack, thank you very much.



blitzer:

let's check in with jack cafferty. he's got the cafferty file — jack:

cafferty:

i want to see patrick leahy interview karl rove under oath in front of the senate judiciary committee. i don't care who wins. i don't care who comes out of it unscathed. i just want to watch it. it would be — it would be like watching ali-frazier iv. it would just be terrific theater.

blitzer:

sort of like a pay-per-view moment.

cafferty:

the same idea, yeah, you know, like geraldo getting hit in the face with a chair.



leahy:

... in some cases i have not gotten answers that appear even to be honest.

blitzer:

well, do you think someone...

leahy:

i want to have those.

blitzer:

do you think someone committed perjury?

leahy:

well, we'll find that out. that's not always the easiest thing to prove. but we can certainly prove that we have not gotten complete answers. it's a lot more. i think the american public deserves to have answers on this, instead of every day a little bit more dribbling out. let's get all of the facts. but let's have it under oath. it's interesting, sometimes, when people are sworn in. it focuses their attention a little bit more.

blitzer:

the white house counsel, fred fielding, was up on the hill today. i don't know if you had a chance to meet with him. but he's not necessarily ruling out allowing some white house staffers, maybe even karl rove, to come and testify. do you want karl rove to testify before your panel?

leahy:

i've never met mr. fielding. i don't — frankly, i don't care whether he says he's going to allow people or not. we'll subpoena the people we want. if they want to defy the subpoena, then you get into a stonewall situation i suspect they don't want to have.

blitzer:

well, will you subpoena ...

leahy:

i have ...

blitzer:

will you subpoena karl rove?

leahy:

yes. he can appear voluntarily if he wants. if he doesn't, i will subpoena him. and we had — the attorney general said well, there are some staff people or lower level people i'm not sure whether i want to allow them to testify or not. i said, frankly, mr. attorney general, it's not your decision. it's mine and the committee's. we will have subpoenas. i would hope that they will not try to stonewall subpoenas.

blitzer:

the white house, the president, the attorney general, they insist there was no politics involved in these decisions to get rid of these eight u.s. prosecutors. but you've seen some of the e-mail, the traffic, the paper trail, where there do appear to be some political decisions involved. what's going on?

leahy:

i'm surprised that they're saying that there's no politics involved and we're still two-and-a-half weeks away from april fool's day. there was obviously politics. i mean this is something both republicans and democrats know. you go in the cloak rooms, you hear both republicans and democrats saying it. everybody knows there's politics involved. everybody knows — in one instance — arkansas, you had a very highly rated u.s. attorney. they were told they had to get rid of him because karl rove had an acolyte of his that had to be put in his place. how can they possibly stand there with a straight face and say that's not politics. of course it's politics.

blitzer:

but is there anything illegal in putting one of karl rove's associates in and making him the u.s. attorney in arkansas?

leahy:

there's nothing illegal in a president firing, by itself, firing a u.s. attorney. what it does say, however, to law enforcement, you either play by our political rules — by our political rules, not by law enforcement rules, but by our political rules — or you're out of a job. what i am saying is that that hurts law enforcement, that hurts fighting against crime. and if it is done to stop an ongoing investigation — and this is something we don't know — if it is done to stop an ongoing investigation, then you do get into the criminal area.

blitzer:

and so that's the focus of your investigation, whether or not somebody committed a crime?

leahy:

the first thing i want in my investigation is to find out exactly what happened, sort of the old just the facts. i want to find out what the facts are. but i don't want to have somebody come up in a briefing and say well, no, here's really what we think happened. no. i want them in public. i want both democrats and republicans able to ask the questions. but those answers are going to be under oath or they're not acceptable to me.



the new e-mails show conclusively that karl rove was in the middle of this mess from the beginning. it is now imperative that he testify before congress and give all the details of his involvement both in the proposal to fire the 93 u.s. attorneys at the beginning of george bush's second term and his involvement in the firings of the individual eight u.s. attorneys who were fired throughout 2006.

the bottom line is: if the white house prevents karl rove from testifying, it will be thumbing its nose at the american people and at the rule of law. and the reason it's so imperative that people testify under oath is that every time new information comes out, it proves that the white house was not telling the truth in their previous statements.

white house presss secretary tony snow told people on tuesday that miers had suggested the 93 — firing the 93 — and quote: "it was her idea only." now it's clear that karl rove is involved. so statements from the white house press office and others involved proved to be false, false, false, time after time after time.

the only way that we can get to the truth and clear up this sorry mess is when the white house and the justice department release all the documents involved in the firing of the u.s. attorneys and when the parties who were involved testify under oath before congress.

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