Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gonzales in Boiling Water

Washington Post's Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein present yet another lead article on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and like some of the others before this one, it does not bode well for him.  The article, titled Gonzales Truthfulness Long Disputed, traces his history in a position associated Bush both before and during this Presidency.  It contains criticisms from several key Republicans. 

But irrespective of whether Gonzales has been candid with Congress, it is important to consider whether the standard he applies to corporate CEOs is being applied to him.  Was there wrongdoing occurring under his watch?  Was he the responsible corporate officer?  Did he have knowledge and fail to take action?  Should he have had knowledge?  Did he fail to secure the appropriate information to make certain that those under his watch were complying with the law?  Did he have in place an appropriate compliance program?

It is also interesting to examine the Office of the Attorney General and ask whether this office has become an arm of the President, as opposed to an office that operates independently above the political system.  Are we seeing the independence of this office slowly diminishing from the days prior to and including AG Janet Reno, to AG John Ashcroft, and now AG Alberto Gonzales.


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