Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If Gonzales won?t resign, Congress should impeach him

The ultimate humiliation has now been inflicted on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the nation's demonstrably incompetent and intellectually corrupt chief law enforcement officer.

Virtually all major Latino activist groups that vigorously supported his appointment have now declared their support of Gonzales null and void.

Read the list: United Latin American Citizens ("We were in error when we supported him."); National Council of LaRaza ("He's "a follower, not a leader."); San Francisco Bay chapter of the National Lawyers Guild ("He's "a huge disaster."); National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (They refuse to talk about Gonzales).

This mass disaffection of Hispanics simply adds to the growing realization in Congress and the public that Gonzales is unfit ethically and intellectually to fulfill the oath of attorney general to be the people's lawyer, not the in-house mouthpiece for President Bush and his constitutionally dubious conduct.

Either out of misplaced personal loyalty or fear that Gonzales knows too much to be on the loose, the president stubbornly supports his longtime sidekick as just right for the job. And Gonzales, who lacks the personal fortitude and professional respect for the Department of Justice, won't resign even in the face of the disgrace he represents.

The obvious alternative is impeachment of Gonzales.

For the integrity of government, congressional Democrats and Republicans cannot allow Gonzales to remain. His appalling claims of memory loss when testifying under oath to Congress are but a few measures of the man's character. His willingness to place the nation's justice apparatus and the fate of professional prosecutors in the hands of child-like religious ideologues shows an abominable contempt for law.

Moreover, Gonzales does not believe in the U.S. Constitution's civil liberties. He is more faithful to the ad hoc impulses of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who act as though the law is what the White House says is law.

Congress should not be put off by White House spin that impeachment proceedings would sidetrack the nation from the importance of the "war on terror."

Nothing, absolutely nothing—not even the war—is more critical to the preservation of American government than restoring respect for law and for returning the Department of Justice to those with a profound regard for the Constitution. So too does the nation need legal professionals who understand the rights of citizens and who have the character to repudiate wrongdoing—even in the White House.

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