Monday, August 27, 2007

Recess of August 2007

August 27

I've been commenting at various places about the functions of the FISA modernization. It's a radical change in privacy law relating to electronic communications that cross a US border. Now, all such communications can be obtained without a warrant. Those communications are presumed to contain foreign intelligence information.


Bit of news this morning, and the reason I started a new post, is that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned on Friday. The news broke on Monday morning (following a weekend of speculation that Michael Chertoff would be nominated to replace Judge Gonzales). See Gonzales Resigns as Attorney General - NYT (STEVEN LEE MYERS Published: August 27, 2007)

Hearings for the replacement will be interesting, and Judge Gonzales will no doubt be called to testify at numerous Congressional hearings from here on out.

News conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. MSNBC speculates the interim replacement will be Paul Clement, who is currently Solicitor General. Makes sense, he would be familiar will the legal issues and arguments that tend to perk to the top.

UPDATE @ 10:30

On CNN, Senator Cornyn says the resignation marks a sad day, that Judge Gonzales is a good man, and his resignation is the result of hyper-politicized political hounding. There being no proof of any wrong doing whatsoever, etc.

It'll be interesting to see the charge from the White House, that is, if it resembles the charge made by Senator Cornyn.

UPDATE @ 11:14

Text of Attorney General Gonzales's statement as spoken.

Good morning. Thirteen years ago I entered public service to make a positive difference in the lives of others. During this time I have traveled a remarkable journey from my home state of Texas to Washington, DC, supported by the unwavering love and encouragement of my wife Rebbecca and our sons Jared, Graham, and Gabriel.

Yesterday I met with President Bush and informed him of my decision to conclude my government service as Attorney General of the United States effective as of September 17th, 2007.

Let me say that it's been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice. I have great admiration and respect for the men and women who work here. I have made a point as Attorney General to personally meet as many of them as possible, and today I want to again thank them for their service to our nation. It is through their continued work that our country and communities remain safe, that the rights and civil liberties of our citizens are protected and the hopes and dreams of all of our children are secured.

I also remind our fellow citizens that we live in the greatest country in the world, and that I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as Attorney General have been better than my father's best days.

Public service is honorable and noble. And I am profoundly grateful to President Bush for his friendship and for the many opportunities he has given me to serve the American people.

Thank you, and God bless America.

Q: Why are you leaving?
Q: Why now?
Q: Why did you deny your resignation on Sunday, to the New York Times?

Playing the resignation forward, notice the inclusion of "huge FISA fight coming" in the below.

Rich Lowry - 08/27 11:54 AM Just talked to a DOJ source who says this is how he understands it: Gonzales went to Texas last week to spend time with his family and reflect. He thought the Josh Bolten rule about if you're going to stay on now, you should stay to the end of the administration applied to him too. He decided to leave based on the stress and impact on his family of staying on the job; on the distraction staying would have represented to the department; on the work he had done to get the department stabilized (put in place a new deputy AG, changed hiring practices, and referred entire mess to the IG); on the fact that, with a huge FISA fight coming, the department needed someone with 100% credibility leading it. He also has a kid in college and another coming up and wants to earn some money to pay college expenses. This source says of the resignation, "I have no reason to believe it wasn't fully his decision."

President Bush's remarks are at the White House web site. President Bush Discusses Resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales - August 27, 2007. Pretty much as Senator Cornyn's remarks. Gonzales is a great man, victimised by false and partisan accusation.

UPDATE @ 22:44

I bet Senator Craig is glad to have Gonzales steal the limelight for the day.

Some funny remarks on Senator Craig being caught, from, of all people, Jonah Goldberg at NRO.

Better stuff at Volokh Conspiracy, including a link to this July 2005 satire by Bruce Heffernan, which has me LOL.

Diogenes wouldn't be able to find an honest Senator ... give the guy (Craig) a break.

I can hardly wait for the circus to come back to session in Washington, DC.!