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Wrong about Gonzales

September 02, 2007

Re " 'Better late than never,' " Opinion, Aug. 28

Jonah Goldberg seems to view Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales' worst faults as being self-absorbed and "politically tone-deaf." But the award for tone-deafness goes to Goldberg for his comment that Gonzales "has let the Democrats be-bop and scat up one side of the administration and down the other over largely imaginary Justice Department scandals." If that were the case, why would Goldberg be happy about his resignation? Goldberg gets it wrong on both counts. First, he demonstrates that he doesn't understand why the Gonzales resignation was needed. Second, the resignation of a member of an administration that Goldberg has worked so hard to defend would not be something for him to celebrate were it largely a cave-in to spurious political accusations, as he suggests it is.

Goldberg wants to climb on the "happy to see him go" bandwagon without quite knowing why. So he's trying very hard to come up with something bad to say about Gonzales -- resulting in the incoherence and petty name-calling we've sadly come to expect from his column.

Ruth E. Kastner

Greenbelt, Md.

Goldberg blithely tosses out a canard against the Clinton administration while ostensibly criticizing the Gonzales Justice Department. "Never mind," Goldberg intones, "that Republicans had invested a great deal in the (valid) argument that the Clinton Justice Department was too distracted and mushy-minded to recognize the Al Qaeda threat." What is "valid" about this argument? The abundance of evidence suggests quite the opposite: that the Clinton administration had set the Al Qaeda threat as its highest priority only to have its admonitions to the incoming Bush administration dismissed as hysterical. Just because Goldberg would have us believe that these contextual comments are apodictic, they are not.

David A. Grey

Beverly Hills

So Goldberg finds the bypassing of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant and the systematic termination of district attorneys who haven't done enough to further the Republican party's agenda "largely imaginary Justice Department scandals"? If bypassing the legal framework designed to protect our civil liberties and the blatant politicization of a department that's supposed to be independent from the White House are imaginary to Goldberg, he's even more naive than Gonzales.

John Wolfenden

Sherman Oaks

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