Thursday, April 19, 2007

1,001 Ways To Say "I Don't Remember"

No one wants to see an innocent man get hung, but no one wants to see a guilty man go unrestrained either.

I'm going to have to read the transcripts more than once after the hearing is finished before I can come to my own conclusion. Initial impressions of the first part of the hearing are below.

Republican Senator Arlen Spector told Gonzales near the beginning of his hearing that “I’d like you to win this debate, but you’re going to have to win it.”

Indeed, for someone who spent weeks preparing to testify Attorney General Alberto Gonzales seemed ill prepared for the hearing.

-"I have no recollection of how that occurred."
-"I don't recall."
-"I don't recollect."
-"I'm having trouble recalling."
-"I don't recall being aware"
and my personal favorite - "I don't recall remembering."

And any other combination of words that can express a person not remembering something.

Over 50 times before the lunch break Gonzales claimed that he had no memory of events that had transpired surrounding the forced resignations of US attorneys.

For someone who is in charge of the Justice Department Alberto Gonzales seemed to know and recollect remarkably little about what was happening in the Justice Department and what he did or didn't do or when he did or didn't do it.

Does Gonzales have that bad of a memory? Does he really have that little of involvement at the Justice Department? I find all that pretty hard to believe, and if his memory is that bad I can hardly see how he is fit to serve in such a high office.

Furthermore it was painful and confusing trying to listen to Gonzales explain himself. Many of his own statements seemed to contradict and eat themselves reminding me of "doublespeak".

To risk sounding presumptuous it does appear at times (specifically in his interaction with California Democrat Diane Feinstein) as if Gonzales is playing dumb and stalling for time. After all Gonzales is an attorney so he knows all the tactics. He also knows that each member only has a limited amount of time to question him.

We are getting nowhere slowly.

The hearing was expected to resume at 2 PM. You can watch it on this link at C-SPAN.