Alberto Gonzales willing to ‘cooperate’

ALBERTO GONZALES WILLING TO ‘COOPERATE’…. We don’t yet know whether, and in what form, there will be an investigation of alleged Bush administration wrongdoing. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) has raised the specter of a “truth commission,” but nothing’s imminent.

David Weigel caught up with former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today and asked whether he would participate in a probe along the lines of what Leahy has proposed.

“My view has always been to be as cooperative as possible,” said Gonzales, “and that’s what I’ve been with respect to everything. As far as I’m concerned I’ve got nothing to hide and I’ll cooperate. Every time I’ve been asked to cooperate, I’ve cooperated. In terms of what happens in the future, I’m not going to comment on that, but that is what I’ve done in the past.”

Gonzales went further: “I think only a fool would be unconcerned about any kind of commission or investigation in this political town and in this political climate. Having said that, again, because I feel like I’ve got nothing to hide and I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m not worried about the truth, so long as what we’re talking about is the truth and things don’t become politicized.”

Interesting. As Greg Sargent noted, “Obviously Gonzo couldn’t have answered this question with, ‘Cooperate? No bleep-ing chance. Now beat it.’ But still, he’s on record now, so that’s something.”

Agreed. My biggest concern, though, is what Alberto Gonzales considers “cooperation.” As I recall, he thought he was “cooperating” with the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007, when he started having memory trouble.

Explaining his role in the botched firing of federal prosecutors, Gonzales uttered the phrase “I don’t recall” and its variants (“I have no recollection,” “I have no memory”) 64 times. Along the way, his answer became so routine that a Marine in the crowd put down his poster protesting the Iraq war and replaced it with a running “I don’t recall” tally.

So, when the disgraced former A.G. says, “I’ve cooperated … in the past,” and vows to offer similar “cooperation” in the future, it may not be as encouraging as it sounds.

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