Duh, Redux, the Trials and Tribulations of Alberto Gonzales


These quotes are stolen directly from a "published" report.

"I knew my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers -- where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district, and that's what I knew," Gonzales said last week. "But that is in essence what I knew about the process; was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That's basically what I knew as Attorney General."

Later, he added: "I accept responsibility for everything that happens here within this department. But when you have 110,000 people working in the department, obviously there are going to be decisions that I'm not aware of in real time. Many decisions are delegated."

On March 13, in explaining the firings, Gonzales told reporters he was aware that some of the dismissals were being discussed but was not involved in them

I would, if I had the opportunity, point out to the Attorney General, that these firings did not involve the janitorial staff in the Atlanta office. I would ask him if these "eight" were not important enough to require oversight by the "boss?"
In apparent contradiction it was reported that:

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals."

"The November 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Justice Department officials said late Friday."

"There, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was crafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. Sampson resigned last week in the wake of the political firestorm surrounding the firings."

"The documents indicated that the hour-long morning discussion, held in the attorney general's conference room, was the only time Gonzales met with top aides who decided which prosecutors to fire and how to do it."
All of this qualifies for a gargantuan "DUH" for two reasons.

If Gonzales lied or misled the Congress he should resign or be fired.
If Gonzales allowed senior attorneys to be fired without his approval he should resign or be fired.
I wonder, as they said while I was growing up in New York, "which was woise."

Not complicated at all. Take your choice, lying or incompetence.

I must once again thank my daughter Eileen for introducing me to "DUH" when she was 8 as an operating philosophy. Duh, for those of you who did not raise smart ass daughters is used to express banality or obviousness.

Norman Horowitz