Saturday, August 4, 2007
The president won't fire Alberto Gonzales. He needs him to protect White House secrets, including the scheming roles of Cheney and Rove.
By Sidney Blumenthal
"Omertà (or a code of silence) has become the final bond holding the Bush administration together. Honesty is dishonorable; silence is manly; penitence is weakness. Loyalty trumps law. Protecting higher-ups is patriotism. Stonewalling is idealism. Telling the truth is informing. Cooperation with investigators is cowardice; breaking the code is betrayal. Once the code is shattered, however, no one can be trusted and the entire edifice crumbles.......
Even Nixon, in asserting executive privilege in the heat of the Watergate scandal, did not claim that it applied to decisions made in the Justice Department. Attorney General John Mitchell, found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, could not be protected from prosecution for his part in what he called the "White House horrors."
Dick Cheney, the greatest exponent of the Nixonian concept of the presidency, more successful than Nixon, has usurped in his grasp of executive power even command of domestic legal policy. But we have seen only a flicker of a shadow of his power. And Bush knows that Rove, too, has played puppet master. Losing Gonzales would raise the curtain on this era's "White House horrors." So Bush throws executive privilege over everyone he can. The yes man has become the indispensable man."