by Peter Freyne
The distinguished senator did not mince his words Thursday afternoon as he looked Attorney General of the United States Alberto Gonzales right in the eye and let him know exactly what he thought of Alberto's handling of the recent unexplained dismissal of eight competent, dedicated U.S. attorneys for political reasons:
“It was handled incompetently. The communication was atrocious. It was inconsistent.
“It’s generous to say that there were ‘misstatements.’ That’s a generous statement. And I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered.
"And I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation!”
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. You see, those words were not coming from the lips of Sen. Patrick Leahy, but from those of a conservative Republican senator from Oklahoma - Sen. Tom Coburn M.D. - recently featured here in Freyne Land when he got up on the Senate floor and blocked a couple million bucks for the Jim Jeffords Center up at UVM.
Read Sen. Coburn's official statement. And he wasn't the only Republican to suggest Gonzales needed better answers, credible answers or he might need to come up with fresh plans for his immediate future.
Despite weeks to prepare for his appearance before St. Patrick’s committee, George "WMD" Bush’s longtime Texas political crony continued to suffer from very wide and very deep gaps in his memory.
“I don’t recall” was the U.S. Attorney General's favorite line, uttered dozens and dozens of times, making him sound like what we used to call a "broken record."
It was unbelievable, literally.
"I must admit that this is a day that does not make me happy at all,” said Leahy as he soberly wrapped things up late this afternoon. “I cannot think of any time I’ve been more concerned,” said the Vermont chairman, “more concerned for the system of criminal justice in this country. With that we stand adjourned.”