In honor of Alberto Gonzales' compelling testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this past Thursday, in which his memory failed him 64 times, here's The Wounded-Courier article that explored the attorney general's painstaking preparation.
WASHINGTON – In preparation for his scheduled appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning eight fired U.S. attorneys, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is cramming like he’s back in law school, pulling all-nighters and subsisting solely on Red Bull, cold pizza, Snickers, power naps and foosball.
President Bush, standing firm in his support of the attorney general, called Gonzales’ grueling preparation for his testimony “one more example of his strong work ethic and commitment to fight partisan attacks on his character.” Bush added, “It reminds me of when Alberto disappeared to write that torture memo. He showed up in my office two weeks later – full beard, strung out on guarana, Vivarin and Malomars. Looked like Jim Morrison near the end. But that memo was A+. Making a legal case for torture was hard work. Colin Powell said it couldn’t be done. But Colin didn’t know Alberto’s heart. The law’s no barrier to this patriot. And I have every confidence the attorney general will once again rise to the occasion.”
Part of Gonzales’ intensive preparation includes mock question-and-answer sessions with outside legal advisors, a methodical re-reading of Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four and Machiavelli’s The Prince, tutoring with a team of Kaplan SAT instructors, a spa day with Henry Kissinger (involving a detoxifying Dead Sea wrap, ginger-lemon body polish and couples massage), team-building exercises with members of the National J. Edgar Hoover Fan Club at an undisclosed paintball facility, and a global endangered species hunting expedition with a panel of Stalin-era legal scholars (game will include proboscis monkeys, marmosets, African giant frogs, northern hairy-nosed wombats and puffins).
Responding to Gonzales’ studying regimen, Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy warned, “Mr. Gonzales seems to think this is going to be some kind of multiple choice test. Someone needs to tell the attorney general this is true or false. Pass-fail. I don’t care if this administration pumps him full of performance enhancing drugs, Stephen Hawking gives him a damn mind-meld and he channels Harry f**king Houdini. Time is running out for Torqamada.”
Leahy then criticized Gonzales for not answering 200 written questions following his January appearance before the committee. In response, a Justice spokesman confirmed, “We’re working round-the-clock to complete those questions for the record,” before howling with laugher. “No really,” he continued, convulsing and snorting, tears streaming from his eyes, “we’re all over that – hahaha!! No really…ba-hahaha!!”
Los Angeles Times columnist Ron Brownstein believes that Gonzales has his work cut out for him but still has a good chance to keep his job. “It might be evident he’s lied and broken federal law in firing these U.S. attorneys for failing to do this administration’s bidding,” Brownstein said. “So for Congress and the American people to embrace the kind of amnesia and acquiescence to fascism necessary to overlook these crimes, Gonzales is going to have to deliver an impressive performance before the committee – a mix of airtight labyrinthine logic, Svengali-like body language and subtle yet pointed death threats. Sure, it’s somewhat of a challenge. But I wouldn’t count him out by any means. The American people love a fighter.”
Speaking with Today anchor Matt Lauer, NBC's chief political analyst and Meet the Press host Tim Russert cautioned, “The real danger here for Democrats is looking overly beholden to the rule of law. This betrays a certain inflexibility that makes Americans uncomfortable. Remember, Matt, the Revolutionary War forced our leaders to “break the law” in order to form our democracy. Democrat leaders forget our country’s own history at their peril." Added Russert, "Don’t be surprised to see a devastating backlash to this pursuance of justice in the next presidential election.”