Inky & DN Join Phawker In The National Chorus Of Editorials Calling For Attorney General To Resign


INQUIRER: He should resign

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales should resign. If he ever does, the nation could take it as a clear sign that President Bush finally grasps the need to preserve core civil liberties while guarding against terrorism.

It would also be a sign that the president grasps that the Justice Department is at least one part of the government that should be free from the all-politics-all-the-time approach of his Karl Rove-led White House team.

Until the day Gonzales does the right thing — or it’s demanded of him — Americans must assume that their president doesn’t get these key distinctions.

That’s the inescapable conclusion after a week in which, first, some U.S. attorneys claimed they were fired for not being quick enough to prosecute Democratic politicians, and then, more civil liberties abuses were uncovered on Gonzales’ turf.



Any credibility left at the Justice Department has been obliterated and that has chilling implications for the nation – and Philadelphia. Richard Sprague, attorney for state Sen. Vince Fumo, has served notice that he will use evidence of “politicized federal investigations” as a defense against his client’s 250-page, 139-count indictment.

Sprague had pointed to a study by two retired professors showing that Democratic political officials were four times more likely than Republicans to be indicted by Bush-appointed federal prosecutors. The study buttresses other evidence that the fired attorneys were targeted because, in the eyes of the Bush administration, they were too hard on Republicans or too easy on Democrats.

So an apparent attempt on the national front to target Democrats could have the unintended consequence of bolstering the defense or otherwise affecting high-profile cases like uber-Democrat Vince Fumo’s. For that alone, Gonzales should lose his job.

There’s another disturbing aspect to this story: yet another, previously unknown power grab by the executive branch, made possible by a dysfunctional legislative process. There’s a local angle here as well.

An aide to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who was until January chairman of the Judiciary Committee, slipped a provision into conference committee version of the U.S. Patriot Act in late 2005 that stripped the Senate of its power to confirm replacements. Senators – including Specter himself — voted for the bill, not knowing what was in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *