Gonzo’s Journal-ism

TPMMuckraker highlights this quote from former AG Alberto Gonzales’ interview with the WSJ:

[F]or some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

We could, of course, spend all day pondering the fact that the guy who was theoretically responsible for prosecuting actual terrorists would compare himself to a victim of terrorism. He resigned his job in disgrace. A 100+ story building didn’t fall on top of him. He wasn’t hospitalized to treat anthrax from a random bit of mail. His Humvee wasn’t blown up on a road in Iraq, nor did al Qaeda forces ambush him in the Afghan mountains.

No, people called him evil for authorizing torture, for accepting the illegal and warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, and for illegally firing prosecutors who wouldn’t pursue a political agenda (focusing on counterterrorism or Republican corruption rather than nonexistent voter fraud, for instance). As a result of the growing evidence that he perjured himself before Congress, and that the actions he perjured himself about were illegal, Gonzales resigned his position, and is now, apparently, unemployable.

He may be a casualty of terrorism, but I’d say it’s a self-inflicted wound.


  1. #1 llewelly
    December 31, 2008

    … I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

    Clearly people who think torture is immoral are terrorists.

  2. #2 Art
    January 1, 2009

    “Gonzales resigned his position, and is now, apparently, unemployable.”

    Look for Gonzales, the loyal GOP warrior, to maintain the standard of living he has become accustomed to in the usual ways.

    He may ‘write’, probably ghost write, a book. This will be published by the usual right-wing publishers, distributed by the usual right-wing outlets, and sold to the usual people and groups. Typical is that each of the right-wing think-tanks will buy a couple of dozen copies as part of their dues and general support for the cause and get a tax credit for it.

    Look for him to get well paid speaking engagements and visits to the usual right-wing colleges, groups, and organizations. At a smooth $10,000 to $40,000 a pop.

    If any lucrative seats on corporate boards or charities open up he will be high on the short list of replacements. A quick $500 a week listed for ten hours work. Actual time spent is generously estimated at two. At an effective rate of $250 and hour or better to do next to nothing is considered ‘normal’ in those circles.

    Longer term look for his reputation to be rehabilitated as a anti-terrorists expert, culture warrior and, as this piece shows, a right wing martyr. This will reinforce his options as a writer and paid speaker and may eventually open up a profitable career as a ‘consultant’.

    Which will leverage a position on one of the many right-wing think-tanks and, if the rehabilitation of his public image over the next few years goes well, a position as a media commentator and talking head on Fox.

    The one thing that is a sure is that he will not, will not be allowed, to fall or be tossed too far under the bus. He knows too much. If he were to flip sides out of desperation he could spill a lot of beans and it could lead directly to trials for W, Cheney and others on high for war crimes and various other offenses.

    He is in no danger of starving. Look at the arc of Ollie North’s career for a guide.

  3. #3 Josh Rosenau
    January 1, 2009

    Art, I don’t disagree that wingnut welfare is a powerful force, and badly in need of reform. However, as the Wall Street Journal reports in the same article:

    The Harvard Law School graduate, onetime corporate lawyer and Texas judge also hasn’t been able to land a job. He has delivered a few paid speeches, done some mediation work and plans to do some arbitration, but said law firms have been “skittish” about hiring him.

    And yes,

    said he is writing a book to set the record straight about his controversial tenure as a senior official in the Bush administration. Ö

    Mr. Gonzales, 53 years old, doesn’t have a publisher for his book. He said he is writing it if only “for my sons, so at least they know the story.”

    The chapters on the Bush administration’s surveillance program, which involved eavesdropping without court warrants, and other controversial aspects of his work, remain blank. That is in part because he remains under investigation regarding allegations of political meddling at the Justice Department.

    There may actually be some justice in the world.

  4. #4 Art
    January 2, 2009

    “There may actually be some justice in the world.”

    I see very little solid evidence of it in this world. The desire for justice may be the main motivation for the creation of the idea of an afterlife. Unable to see it clearly in this life we create an imaginary afterlife where “truth, justice, and the American way of life” prevails.

    An imaginary place where imaginary creatures, perhaps supernatural being dressed in white or chiseled jawed guys in tights, make sure justice prevails and the trains run on time in a extra-corporeal Skinner box reality of interlocking rewards and punishments where everyone gets exactly what they deserve.

    I expect Gonzo to lay low for another three or four months to get him out of the media’s short-term memory. He will be working on his tan and come back rested and refreshed as soon as the memories tarnish enough to deaden the pain and blur the true horror of his actions.

    People can lengthen that time by recounting his sins every time he surfaces. Look for his rebirth to start three or four months after his name comes up and there is no heated response. Americans have short memories. Which is why the last fifty years has been a recursive rogues gallery of the same list of clowns pulling the same tricks over and over again.

    Anyone doubting this should look up Michael Milkin’s roll in the present economic disaster. Or how we still are living out the corrupt legacy of Nixon. Who, of course, was McCarthy’s right-hand man.

    Justice, if there is any, would sever these malignant beasts from doing any further harm and, ideally, undo their misdeeds. But nobody has the belly for the sort of auto-de-fe necessary. A complete, exhaustive, confession and penance that would be necessary to bring to light the full extent of the crime and precipitate the sort of regulations, oversight and controls that would prevent it from ever happening again.

    Problem is that Gonzo, as a culture warrior was largely successful in shifting the justice department’s ability to objectively see crime as crime to such an extent that we will see twenty years of pro-Christian slant and right-wing bias no mater what the following administration does. Rove et al have always been big on ‘capturing the system’. While the left talks about justice and fair play in rules they have replaced the referees with people who have no allegiance to objectivity or neutrality in their application of justice.

    He has done well for them and they will not let him suffer. Don’t mistake a year off laying low and an extended vacation for actual pain or even inconvenience.

    Perhaps he will slip in the shower while washing off the sunscreen. I don’t see justice now but I can still hope to see it in the future. I can still dream.

  5. #5 alufelgi szczecin
    January 2, 2009

    In my opinion the largest threat for California are cataclysms and ecological catastrophes. Not important is how many money we have because one tragedy can us take all.

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