And, as usual, Bush tried hard (it's hard work) to make the imaginary, debunked connection between 9/11 and al Qaeda in Iraq:
"I presented intelligence that clearly establishes this connection," said Bush. "The facts are that al Qaeda terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they're fighting us in Iraq and across the world, and they're plotting to kill Americans here at home again."
Terror, terror, terror - but it's the same old story and certainly didn't stop the press from reporting on Gonzales' shady testimony.
Senators from both sides of the aisle attacked Gonzales:
"The attorney general has lost the confidence of the Congress and the American people," Leahy said. He said the administration "has squandered our trust" and told Gonzales bluntly, "I don't trust you."
Specter said there was "evidence of low morale" at the Justice Department and blasted what he described as Gonzales's lack of "personal credibility." He called the department "dysfunctional."
I imagine that what they're saying when the mics are off is much more scathing than that.
And the wrangling over the US attorney firings continues:
Gonzales again depicted himself as largely detached from controversial personnel practices, including the firings of the nine U.S. attorneys last year. But in a video message to Justice Department employees on Friday, he said, "I am sorry, and I accept full responsibility."
But that's the nature of most, if not all, of his answers - constantly contradicting himself. If he bobbed and weaved physically as much as he did verbally today, he would have collapsed from sheer exhaustion halfway through the hearings.
With his legal advisors in tow, sitting right behind him throughout the hearing, I got the sense I was watching a mob boss testifying. That's not much of a stretch considering the lengths Gonzales has gone to try to stretch and obfuscate national and international laws. And, even though he insists he's determined to stay on and "fix" the problems in the justice department (to which one senator responded that at least he's admitting there are problems), the best thing for all sane and law-abiding people involved would be to impeach the bastard and find someone who actually believes that the law isn't a partisan, political tool. Not an easy job in DC but, at this point, they couldn't do that much worse than the lying attorney general they have now. His arrogance knows no bounds and his disrespect for the law and international treaties out to be enough to disbar him for life.
CSPAN has the video of today's hearing.
Update: Code Pink was on hand at the hearings to protest against Gonzales. You can see a video of that protest here.