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Loose Ends

The fact remains that some former Bush officials still owe us some answers.

Carrie Johnson writes in The Washington Post: "House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) issued a new subpoena yesterday to former Bush White House aide Karl Rove, months after Rove deflected an earlier effort to compel his testimony about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and other political disputes that swirled around the Justice Department.

"Conyers's committee subpoenaed Rove on May 22, calling on him to testify about his contacts with department officials in the Bush era. But Rove rebuffed the summons, saying he was barred from testifying because of executive privilege.

"Yesterday's subpoena may test the limits of that power for the first time since George W. Bush left office, legal experts said. Some Democratic lawyers have suggested that an executive order issued by President Obama last week governing presidential records could make it easier for citizens and lawmakers to gather information about Bush administration controversies.

"'Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it,' Conyers said. 'After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk.'"

Meanwhile, NPR's Liz Halloran reports on former attorney general Alberto Gonzales's interview with Michel Martin.

"'I deeply regret some of the decisions made by my staff,' he said, referring directly to former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who resigned over the controversy after telling a Senate committee that the attorney firings were performance-related. . . .

"'Sometimes people identify someone to target. That's what happened to me,' said Gonzales, who served as President Bush's White House counsel before becoming attorney general in 2005, replacing John Ashcroft.

"'I'm not whining,' he said. 'It comes with the job.'"

Mark Silva blogs for Tribune with more from that interview, including Gonzales's expression of confidence that neither he nor others will be prosecuted for the administration's interrogation practices.

By Dan Froomkin  |  January 27, 2009; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Comments

Hey Dan, love the new format!

Posted by: EBC1 | January 28, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"'Sometimes people identify someone to target. That's what happened to me,' said Gonzales, who served as President Bush's White House counsel before becoming attorney general in 2005, replacing John Ashcroft.

"'I'm not whining,' he said. 'It comes with the job.'"

Not whining? Oh Pleeaze! This clown seems to think that wholesale abdication of the responsibilities of his Office to the likes of Cheney and Addington, and those un-named "aides," makes him into some kind of victim.

It's worth looking at the Mark Silva piece to see what's behind Gonzo's "expression of confidence that neither he nor others will be prosecuted for the administration's interrogation practices."

Here it is: "Because again, these activities.... They were authorized, they were supported by legal opinions at the Department of Justice.”

Yeah, right. The "opinions" were an illegal sham from the start. If a lawyer writes, “In my opinion it’s OK to shoot terror suspects in the head during interrogations,” that doesn’t make it legal.

The prosecutions I want to see are the ones against Addington, Yoo, Gonzo, et al for a criminal conspiracy to violate the anti-torture laws of this country through the issuance and sanctioning of “opinions” that were utterly without legal basis.

Justifying these disgraceful “opinions,” as Gonzo does, through reference "the threat that existed at the time these opinions were offered, and the opinions of the intelligence officials about their belief in a particular detainee having very important, valuable intelligence information that might save American lives," merely underscores his ends-justifies-the-means mendacity.

Posted by: Redhand2 | January 29, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

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