Gingrich: Both the president and country are better served if the attorney general is a figure of competence. Sadly, the current attorney general is not seen as any of those things. I think it’s a liability for the president. More importantly, it’s a liability for the United States of America.
But Gingrich isn't the only, every prominent Conservative that Fox asked to give "Gonzo's Side" of the story refused to do it.
Chris Wallace: “By the way, we invited White House officials and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend Attorney General Gonzales,” said Wallace. “We had no takers.”
Frankly people, that is stunning. I didn't think I'd see the day when the cabal of Neo-ConArtist inside the Beltway would actually put down Bush's water, but it seems they just might have finally done it.
More from Thinkprogress.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), appearing on ABC’s This Week, said “of course” Gonzales has a credibility problem. On MSNBC’s Hardball on Friday, Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), the ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, squirmed when asked by host Chris Matthews if he thought Gonzales “is a good attorney general?” Cannon refused to answer the question, offering instead, “He’s a good guy.”
National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg, a reliable partisan defender of the Bush administration, admitted on Thursday that the evidence against Gonzales is compelling. “I think Gonzales has long, long, long outserved whatever usefulness he might once have had,” wrote Goldberg. “And — hey — maybe he actually did perjure himself.”
But it's not a total shutout, riding high where all Republicans Now Fear to Tread you can count on the New York Times to come to Gonzo's rescue.
A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.
The N.S.A.’s data mining has previously been reported. But the disclosure that concerns about it figured in the March 2004 debate helps to clarify the clash this week between Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senators who accused him of misleading Congress and called for a perjury investigation.
Y'see, strategic leaks from the Bush Admin indicate that the dispute between Gonzo and the Senate was simply about the "Data Mining" program which is an extention or portion of the "Terrorist Surveillance Program". Rather than tracking international phone calls without a warrant as the NSA does, this is a process used to track international/domestic e-mail traffic using various telecom providers such as AT&T Bellsouth and Verizon, not to mention millions of terabytes of personal information about American Citizens which the FBI has simply gone out and bought.
Right, it's a completely different program of warrantless eavesdropping on American Citizens that Comey, Ashcroft and over 30 DOJ officials were going to resign over. This one doesn't violate FISA, it just violates the Telecom Act of 1996 which states that private information about suscribers can not be shared with the government without a warrant.
Problem solved, right?
Urm, not quite as Glenn Greenwald points out.
This leak would be arguably exculpatory for Gonzales only if it reported that data mining was the only source of the Comey/Ashcroft objections, not merely one of the sources. But both articles explicitly states that there were other grounds for those objections besides data mining, leaving open -- rather than resolving -- the only relevant questions: did those objections, contrary to Gonzales' sworn testimony, relate to the "TSP's" warrantless eavesdropping?
Of course there is one person who continues to defend Gonzo, and that of course would be ole' Snowjob.
Following extremely damaging testimony by FBI Direct Meuller indicating that it was the same program that Comey described, Tony Snow said that Gonzales “was speaking consistently.”
Snow has also stated when asked about Gonzo's credibility problems.
QUESTION: But has it reached the point for the attorney general to — he’s lost his effectiveness and his credibility?
SNOW: Well, you know, what’s interesting is that there have been all these hearings on the attorney general and yet nobody’s really laid a glove on him. [...] At this point, we have hundreds of hearings that have produced bupkis.
"Bupkis"? Really Mr. Bahgdad... er. Snow?
You might get some strenuous disagreement to that in some surprising places. Like the NYTimes, showing that they haven't completely swallowed the Kool-aid today, with this editorial that calls for Gonzo's Impeachment.
As far as we can tell, there are three possible explanations for Mr. Gonzales’s talk about a dispute over other — unspecified — intelligence activities. One, he lied to Congress. Two, he used a bureaucratic dodge to mislead lawmakers and the public: the spying program was modified after Mr. Ashcroft refused to endorse it, which made it “different” from the one Mr. Bush has acknowledged. The third is that there was more wiretapping than has been disclosed, perhaps even purely domestic wiretapping, and Mr. Gonzales is helping Mr. Bush cover it up.
Democratic lawmakers are asking for a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Gonzales’s words and deeds. Solicitor General Paul Clement has a last chance to show that the Justice Department is still minimally functional by fulfilling that request.
If that does not happen, Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales.
Amen to that.