Bored viewers of Fox News may be wondering why former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has been on the last few weeks, saying essentially nothing — except occasionally defending Eric Holder. Given that the Texas native is now working at Nashville’s Waller law firm representing targets of criminal investigations, perhaps it isn’t surprising he has kind words for the contemptuous and dishonest current attorney general.
The Waller law firm’s webpage doesn’t list any clients for Gonzales, so it is hard to know if his media appearances have brought in any business.
On Fox, Gonzales characterized the criticism of Holder as a “distraction” and said it “just comes with the job.” He should be pointing out what has become clear to rational Americans: that Holder is a liar and has rightfully been found in contempt of Congress. Gonzales concludes that Holder “can still be effective” and says attacks on Holder can “be totally politically motivated.”
One former Republican Justice Department political appointee tells PJ Media, “These quotes show America what anyone who ever worked with Gonzales has known for years: he is a moron.”
But Gonzales’ boring appearances on Fox go beyond merely helping Eric Holder seem less dishonest and inept; they extend to defending the nasty Prism program.
Gonzales’ defense of Prism on Fox doesn’t surprise congressional staffers familiar with the story of how Gonzales worked to exclude his predecessor, Attorney General John Ashcroft, from the legislative maneuvering behind the laws enabling Prism.
When the Patriot Act was being negotiated in Congress, it wasn’t Attorney General John Ashcroft who captained the effort, it was then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.
One former Hill staffer reported to Tatler that:
John Ashcroft had essentially been cut out of the loop and Gonzales’ White House Counsel folks were actually in charge of writing and negotiating the Patriot Act. But then it turned out Ashcroft himself evidently did not support much of the Patriot Act — and for sure not Gonzales’ interpretation of it, at least not at Ashcroft’s hospital bed side. Once Gonzales became AG when the Patriot Act was reauthorized, Gonzales ran the reauthorization from Justice and made the law worse.
Other staffers describe congressional negotiations over the Patriot Act, where the movement conservatives working for Ashcroft were excluded from negotiations, and replaced by Gonzales.
They wanted “limits on that power to eavesdrop on domestic communications to be explicitly written into the statute itself and not left to the interpretation or discretion of unelected or ‘un-appointed’ government bureaucrats.” They thought “long-term concerns about Americans’ liberty demanded that government agents know that if they violated the law they could in fact be prosecuted no matter what excuses they made. We lost on those issues, of course. The Founding Fathers, the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were all bugaboos to the folks from Alberto Gonzales’ office.”
More about Gonzales from a congressional staffer familiar with the role of Gonzales in establishing the foundations for Prism:
Top IRS officials are in now in the headlines saying they knew nothing about what lower-level rogue government employees were doing — on a partisan basis — to restrict and target Americans for exercising their free speech rights. Back in October 2001, despite the current denials, many congressional staffers had in fact expressed the same concerns to their bosses and the White House folks about provisions of the Patriot Act that could in fact allow lower-level government employees the power to do the same exact thing the IRS is now doing — targeting Americans for special scrutiny based on their political views.
The next time Waller lawyer Alberto Gonzales delivers another snoozer say-nothing on Fox News defending Eric Holder and Prism, now you know why.