Alberto Gonzales: Pathetic? Deluded? Crazy?

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Short fiction writer Alberto Gonzales is confused, asking in a recent interview, “What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?”

If Gonzales is trying this unctuous nonsense in an attempt at image-rehabilitation, he needs to hire a professional PR company. If he’s asking this question in earnest, he is demonstrably insane.

As Think Progress points out, the answer to Gonzales’ question includes: corrupting the DOJ by insiting on ideological purity tests in hiring; firing US Attorneys that refused to toe the Bush Administration line; signing off on torture as White House Counsel; trying to strong-arm a hospitalized Attorney General into authorizing domestic spying despite widespread opposition within the federal government; lying about said episode and the domestic spying program in general; and lying about pre-war intelligence. Gonzales also stonewalled Congress when they sought answers on a number of these subjects and had his aides do the same.

So the question is, was Gonzales this pathetic/insane when he joined the Bush Administration, or was there something about the experience that affected his brain? Did he do so much mental work to convince himself that what he was doing was acceptable, even needed, that today he simply has no ability to engage with reality? Did he go so far down the rabbit hole that he has no ability to get out?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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