Gonzales Rivals Rove as Chief Manipulator


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has fully demonstrated that he has become the most political law enforcer of the land since John Mitchell in those dark Watergate days of Richard Nixon's administration.

In Gonzales, the nation has a small-town lawyer in a big-time job. The dismissals of eight federal prosecutors for allegedly dragging their feet on political investigations has a distinct aroma. The odor is overpowering.

For openers, Gonzales was part of the Texas trio–along with George W. Bush and Karl Rove–that came to power in 2001.

We know from past experience that Rove has been the master manipulator. In both the 2000 and 2004 elections, he was pulling the strings that led to smears of Al Gore, John Kerry, and even fellow Republican John McCain.

In the book Bush's Brain, it's well documented that Rove's dirty work in campaigns started back in his days as a political operative in Texas and Alabama.

Now, we have Gonzales maneuvering to get&;U.S. attorneys who fail to do his bidding or that of fellow Republicans.

For example, GOP Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico, who has an otherwise good record in a long career, intruded in an investigation that may have affected a House race in his state. At Gonzales's urging, the U.S. attorney was relieved of his duties weeks later.

Using the justice system to investigate political foes is close to felonious in any administration, Republican or Democratic.

Gonzales should be called before the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain his actions. A vigorous examination is called for.

And to think Gonzales was cited as a likely nominee for the Supreme Court by his friend Bush. He should be lucky to hold his job.