Gonzales -- Will He Stay or Will He Go?

As a result of the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, the White House continues to back Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a fellow Texan and longtime friend of President Bush’s. Even though Gonzales’s Nov. 17 schedule showed that he attended an hour-long meeting at which, aides said, he approved a detailed plan for executing the purge, the White House does not believe Gonzales’s statements were inconsistent with what his calendar showed. Gonzales’s credibility has been unraveled and many feel he should resign. Even congressional Republicans are speaking out against his effectiveness as an administration supporter. If Gonzales should throw in the towel and leave the administration, it will be a strong reminder of the Donald Rumsfeld fiasco that occurred when our president fired him after the November elections instead of a week before. Democrats have accused the Justice Department and the White House of removing the prosecutors for political reasons. The Bush administration maintains the firings were not improper because U.S. attorneys are political appointees. Three of the U.S. attorneys said they have concluded their firings were politically motivated. There is no more room for errors in this administration once you have assured Congress that politics wasn’t involved in kicking eight U.S. attorneys to the curb. Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican from Pennsylvania, stated “we have to have an attorney general who is candid, truthful. And if we find out he has not been candid and truthful, that’s a very compelling reason for him not to stay on.” If Gonzales should stay on as attorney general he will have to re-establish his credibility before Congress and the American people.

Because of the war in Iraq, the Scooter Libby controversy, and the issues surrounding the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, it appears that the president is bleeding and everyone wants to pounce upon him to force his hand at firing Gonzales. The president is not always wrong. If you were a betting man, would you place a wager on Gonzales going or staying?

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