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Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has outlined the Justice Department's priorities. Public Enemy Number One: Obscenity.

Other priorities:

  • Ending Senate blocking of judicial nominees, a "broken process that must be fixed" before there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
  • Renewing provisions of the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year, saying the law has been an important tool in preventing terror attacks in the United States.
  • Amending the Constitution to give crime victims the right to participate in prosecutions and sentencings.

I think Gonzales is out of line. All three of those are up to Congress, the legislative branch, not the Justice Department or the executive branch. Gonzales should focus on enforcing the law, not creating it.

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  • Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:55:59 AM EST
    gonzales has already proven himself a minor league intellect, a yes man, and a lackey for his superiors. he has nothing resembling a mind of his own. and if he thinks HE'S going to solve the gridlock of judicial appointments, he has his head further up his tush than cliff's gerbil from a few posts down. we are a deeply divided nation for a long time to come. that's the period of our history we are in. wishing it would go away, like a gnat buzzing in your face, is not only wishful thinking, it's a denial of the concrete political realities of america. divided we stand, united we fall. that is what we are today.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:57:40 AM EST
    I have to disagree a bit. The first is within the executive purview, if the means undertaken are to nominate candidates acceptable to the Senate. The second is something the executive has a legitimate role in advocating for or against to the Congress, though I think the position he takes is the wrong one. The third is neither something the executive ought to be involved in, particularly, or something that, IMO, ought to be done. Accept as witnesses, alleged victims have no proper role in criminal prosecutions; inasmuch as they have personal interests that need vindicated, that is what the civil justice is for.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:58:14 AM EST
    "Except" not "accept". God that was dumb.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:11:45 AM EST
    Oh please! It is now deemed inappropriate for the Attorney General to opine on what he sees as needed reforms or urgent concerns in the government? I very much doubt TalkLeft would support such a position if and when a liberal Democrat is sitting in that position again.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#5)
    by DonS on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:15:30 AM EST
    TL, you're right. He stated a political agenda. But these Bush suckups have no shame, so what do you expect.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:28:19 AM EST
    He could start with upholding the law in Guantanamo. He opposes torture and- he said so - and I want to see him prove it. We have anti-torture laws and agreements that he should be enforcing, not twisting.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#7)
    by dennis on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:31:23 AM EST
    The purpose of the filibuster is to insure that the rights of the minority are protected. If the minority feels that a specific appointee is going to trample on the rights of the minority then consent should be withheld. That is what we are trying to do in Iraq. don't you think we should do the same in the greatest country in the world?

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#8)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:40:44 AM EST
    He is in charge of enforcing the law, not changing or making it. And yes, I'm pretty darn sure that TL and most libs would have serious objections if a 'dem' were to try this violation of checks and balances. The last point should call for a renaming to the Department of Revenge. Congress makes the law, judges decide the law and AG's enforce the law. Simple, no? Freakin' activist prosecutors!

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:48:11 AM EST
    Sounds like a good start to me!!!

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#10)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:59:59 AM EST
    deemed inappropriate for the Attorney General to opine Except this isn't an "opinion." It's and agenda, and one that's not appropriate for the DOJ. You wanna play "what if it was a Dem"? Imagine the same list written by Ms. Reno.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#11)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:00:30 AM EST
    So when is Jose Padilla going to walk? It's been going on to three years.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:13:39 AM EST
    Huh. Stopping torture isn't on the agenda. Funny that.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:31:50 AM EST
    dadler - You must have just read, "You Gotta Play Hurt," with all those gerbil comments.... From the post, "not the Justice Department or the executive branch." Anybody want to tell me why the executive branch, shouldn't be involved in these things? It seems that the President has a constuitutional right to press for, or against, laws that congress may, or may not, pass. Sailor - The Justice Department is a member of the Executive Branch. The AG's office involvement in making/changing laws goes (at least) back to Robert Kennedy's civil rights enforcement to Jamie Gorelick's infamous memo putting more obstacles between the CIA and FBI, greatly slowing terrorist investigations. You're just complaining because it is not a Demo in power.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#14)
    by Johnny on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:32:16 AM EST
    Yes Ginger, but stopping "obscenity" is... Define it please, Mr. Gonzalez. Because I think SS reform is obscene, and I think killing the filibuster is obscene.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#15)
    by wishful on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 11:22:59 AM EST
    Johnny and Ginger; torture is obscene. There are pictures of "detainees" in Iraq that those in congress have seen that can't be shown to the general public because the PICTURES are obscene. Are those photographed actions obscene? I understand that pictures of wounded and dead soldiers and civilian Iraqis can't be shown either because it would offend the sensibilities of the American public. Maybe so. If true, imagine how the sensibilities of those who love the victims must be affected. Maybe Gonzales should seek out and try to stop ALL obscenity within the purvue of the U.S. And BTW, victims' inclusion in sentencing is limited for the purpose of limiting vigilantism, and for the other purpose of maintaining that quaint concept, "the rule of law". I guess according to Gonzales, quaint = bad.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 12:36:20 PM EST
    I bet it's quite titillating to prosecute an obscenity case. More fun than white collar crime, that's for sure. And, plus, I'm sure it's not a lot of stress for those US Attorneys, 'cause after all, who gives a damn if they lose?

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:06:56 PM EST
    Quaker, Calling for reforms when one is in no position to enact them is hardly changing the law. As for "what if it was Ms. Reno", I'd still be in favor of allowing her to speak her mind. Would TalkLeft? Would you?

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#18)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:31:16 PM EST
    justpaul, the CNN article and TL's post describe these as the DOJ's "priorities." If that's accurate, then it seems Mr. Gonzales believes he is in a position to do something about these issues. If, as you say, he's not in such a position, then we agree. He's no less entitled to opine than either of us.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#19)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:40:28 PM EST
    "The AG's office involvement in making/changing laws goes (at least) back to Robert Kennedy's civil rights enforcement to Jamie Gorelick's infamous memo" Actually, John Kennedy proposed changes in the Civil Right Act when he was running in '60. RFK just enforced the laws he had, with an emphasis on civil rights, he didn't propose more. You've used 'the memo' as a strawman before but it was so far outside of the topic I just ignored it, but aside from your wingnut meme, the memo said nothing like what was typified by RW echo chamber. The memo was an clarification of FISA, passed because of domestic spying by the gov't during nixon & raygun administrations. Here is the law along with links to her '94 testimony. It was designed to prevent domestic spying by the FBI and CIA. International terrorism was acknowleged to be law enforcement and intelligence matter. The law never stopped the cops from sharing information with the intelligence community; in fact, it specifically said sharing could take place. If fact, aside from Asscrofts misstatements about it, the only prohibition on sharing information was about when secret grand jury information could be shared with the CIA. The AGs office has NOTHING to do with confirming judges, passing laws or amending teh constitution.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:50:53 PM EST
    Gonzales can say anything he want to. It's a free country. However, he's way out of line if those are his priorities. Changing the Constitution? Changing the way judicial nominees are appointed in the legislative branch? Is obscenity really more of a problem than violent crime or corporate fraud? (The Patriot Act is within his purvue, certainly, but he doesn't exactly have a great record on civil liberties and may not be the best person to measure the effectiveness and costs.) Given that he just said these ARE his priorities, he is out of line. Perhaps "out of line" was a poor choice of words. Maybe "grossly misguided" is closer to the mark.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 02:03:20 PM EST
    Sailor - I would assume the AG's involvement would be on an advisory position to Bush, and Bush can have anyone he wants in that position. As to Gorelick, we disagree so vividly there is no need for discussion. The fact remains that instead of helping, the memo hurt.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 03:26:46 PM EST
    ppj, been reading stephen greenblatt's new top-notch shakespeare bio, "will in the world" actually. as for cliff and the gerbil, he made himself the, ahem, butt of that joke. peace.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#23)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    Gonzales is of course free to say whatever stupid thing he wants to (AFAIC, but not accoding to this 'brave new world'), but he was saying what the DOJ was going to do. Re advising Bush, that's not what he said, he said it was a priority for the DOJ. ppj- the Gorelick memo can make you as mad as your bp can stand, but it didn't have anything to do with why 9/11 wasn't stopped. See August briefing memo, R Clarks memos, see condiliar ignore "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the US", see planes will be hijacked and used by suicide bombers. These admin folks said there was no specific intelligence, what the hell were they waiting for, the flight and seat numbers!? The DOJ does not make law, they have to enforce it whether they want to or not ... except apparently under king george.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#24)
    by rMatey on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:13:38 PM EST
    Yeah,sure. That's why they're using the Patriot Act to go after gambling and prostitution, instead of the real terrorists. Just look at all of the success they've had. One, or two, convicted???

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 07:33:38 PM EST
    above by me

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#27)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:05:03 PM EST
    PPJ, it wasn't snark, it was outrage. Now you're are just trying to hijack the thread about Gonzales. If you have a neutral ground, I'd be happy to discuss the Gorelick memo in detail, and any internal failures of the FBI and what 'highest alert' means to the vacationing GWB, but until then, please try to address the topic at hand.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:27:29 PM EST
    Now this is real "entertainment" what a life just stand around and beat people to death. But that is why Bush called on our boy Gonzales and think of what he can do for the main guy, and what he will do to you in time.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:47:59 PM EST
    Sailor writes - "what the hell were they waiting for, the flight and seat numbers!?" I think it was in 7/01 that all agencies were put on the highest alert, so yes, flight and seat numbers would have helped. The problem was the atmosphere created by Gorelick's memo that caused the FBI to be afraid to do anything. PC touchy feely, afraid to target Moslems, etc. Tolerating Moslem agents who wouldn't spy on other Moslems, etc. So you can be snarky, but that is well known by those of us in the Red`States. But hey, we get FNC.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:39:55 AM EST
    don't mention gerbils to ppj, he and cliff just separated, and all jim got out of their time together was a raging case of butt herpes and joint custody of a gerbil.(who they named george w, by the way)

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:43:35 AM EST
    Damn activist attorney generals.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 03:05:25 PM EST
    You said a mouthful aslauf. Lets just say when you lefties get rid of your activist judges and justices, then we'll reconsider Gonzales. Until then choke on it.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#32)
    by Sailor on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 03:57:20 PM EST
    dagma always has such reasoned discourse. On another thread he wrote "Read the constitution, Judges don't legislate, legislators do that." OK, and then the executive branch executes the law; Here we have a member of the exec vowing to make law. Oxymorons anyone? ricky - please knock it off, you don't serve yourself or the discussion by such remarks on this site.

    Re: Alberto Gonzales Outlines Priorities (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 04:39:20 PM EST
    "Known to those of us in the red states" - those of us that KNOW pro-wrestling should be an Olympic sport,"Left Behind" is a major breakthrough in theology,oh yeah,and the I-raqis attacked us.