Congressional leaders and all Presidential
candidates should announce they will adopt
the proposal of my former boss Senator Lloyd
Bentsen and make all future Attorney Generals
independent of partisan and political interests.
If there is one core principle that should unite
true conservatives and liberals it is to preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution, so help us
If there is one profound tragedy and danger
since 9-11 it is the use of secrecy, ignorance
and fear to surrender, without serious debate,
core principles of time honored Americanism.
Historians will be astounded that Congress
passed the original Patriot Act that so few
had read before they made it law.
Historians will be astounded that America was once gripped with such
fear that our Capital was deluged with panic-ridden Washingtonians
buying duct tape, gas masks, and bottled water
while our Vice President hid in undisclosed locations and our
Constitution was under siege, in secret.
Historians will be astounded that America would ever engage in acts that
became the world-wide symbol for torture while the Geneva
Convention was openly discarded over the
objection of every leader of our military service.
Historians will be astounded that any executive
branch would engage in the massive use of extra-legal eavesdropping
systematically kept secret from our judicary, legislature, free press
Historians will be astounded that on more than
800 occasions a President would sign laws
with a statement that claimed the unilateral
power to violate those laws.
Historians will be astounded that while our
country faces a terrorist threat at home the
entire upper echelon of the Justice Department
would be dismembered and destroyed with
firings, resignations and scandal.
Historians will be sickened that when the
Attorney General and acting Attorney General
believed executive actions were fundamentally
illegal the White House Counsel would rush
to the hospital, hoping an Attorney General
under sedation would approve them.
Think about it: when Acting Attorney General James Comey went to the
hospital to prevent what he believed could be illegal actions promoted
by the White House Counsel, the FBI Director had to order his agents to
prohibit him from being forcibly ejected from the hospital room?
Think about it: when the Acting Attorney General was angrily summoned to
a White House meeting, he refused to meet without
bringing the Solicitor General as an honorable
This is not what should happen in the United
States of America.
What else dont we know?
Alberto Gonzales was the highest legal officer
in the White House, and then the highest legal
officer in the land.
At every stage, year after year, from the beginning of his tenure until
this hour, he
has been at the epicenter of extreme deviations from traditional notions
of American justice, constitutionalism and law.
The House Judiciary Committee should initiate
an investigation to determine whether articles
of impeachment are warranted.
I do not raise the idea of impeachment lightly.
Nor should this be partisan, or a mattter of
liberals versus conservatives. Nor should
we prejudge the outcome in the House.
These matters strike at the heart of our national
system of government and constitutional values
that have served us well for more than two
They have been abandoned far too casually, far too often, by far too
many. There has been
far too much secrecy, partisanship, and fear
on matters that have united the diverse fabric
of Americans from the moment that Jefferson
first put pen to paper.
Our country is based on the rule of law. Our
Founding Fathers wisely created checks and
balances, to protect our republic from those
who would impose their power above our law, our values and our
As Thomas Paine wrote, in nations that do
not share our values, the King is Law, but
here in America, the Law is King.
It is time to consider the impeachment of
Alberto Gonzales and to consider the facts
without fear or favor, and reach a decision
based on the rule of law.
It is time to belatedly begin the serious national discussion that
should have begun the hour an ignorant Congress passed a Patriot Act
too few had read, before they made it law.