Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will leave office Sept. 17 with a reputation for being untruthful. During his repeated appearances before Congress earlier this year to explain the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, Gonzales answered "I don't recall" or some variation as many as 70 times at a sitting. When his replacement comes to Capitol Hill for confirmation, lawmakers hope they will hear nothing but the truth.
But one of the men most often mentioned as his replacement may have some of the same trouble with the truth. Since rumors of Gonzales' departure surfaced last week, speculation about his successor has centered on Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Just as Gonzales, under oath before Congress, failed to recall whether there was dissension within the Bush administration over a controversial war-on-terror-related policy, so Michael Chertoff seems to have suffered a similar lapse of memory while under oath before Congress when pressed on a different terror-related policy. Gonzales pleaded ignorance of a rift within the administration over warrantless wiretapping; Chertoff has denied knowledge of interrogation techniques that are tantamount to torture, despite regular attendance by his top aides at meetings on the subject.
"If Mr. Chertoff is nominated, the Senate needs to ask him some very tough questions about what he knew about the abuses at Guantánamo," said Hina Shamsi from Human Rights First.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Is Michael Chertoff a Perjurer?
Another recent article, this time from Salon, and this time about the man rumored to be Bush's next pick for Attorney General: