The AP had an interesting item over the weekend, highlighting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ perspective on being close friends with the president. As the embattled Gonzales sees it, his close relationship with Bush, which spans decades, is inherently “a good thing” for everyone.
“Being able to go and having a very candid conversation and telling the president: ‘Mr. President, this cannot be done. You can’t do this,’ — I think you want that,” Gonzales told reporters this week. “And I think having a personal relationship makes that, quite frankly, much easier always to deliver bad news.”
“Do you recall a time when you (were) in there and said, ‘Mr. President, we can’t do this’?” Gonzales was asked.
“Oh, yeah,” the attorney general responded.
“Can you share it with us?” a reporter asked.
“No,” Gonzales said.
Now, I think there are two ways to look at this. 1. Gonzales is lying about this little story, and there’s never been a time in which he’s had to keep the president from going too far. He’s the quintessential “yes man,” who does as he’s told. Or 2. Gonzales is telling the truth, and the Attorney General/WH Counsel — the one who’s approved of abandoning the Geneva Conventions and the rule of law — believes some of the president’s other requests are beyond the pale.
I’m struggling to decide which is worse.