There is a terrible, mean, little cruel part of me that adores Alberto Gonzales with mindless ferocity. I love to watch him. I do. I admit it. They say the first step on the path to healing is admitting you have a problem, but if loving Alberto is wrong, readers, I don't ever want to be right. His boyish voice, his requisite Bush-loyalist smirk that sneaks out once in a while, but behind it all, yes, that stark recognition he's caught like a bug on a pin. I'd been looking forward to his hearing for weeks, rehearsed in my mind how I'd pop popcorn, settle in, and just wallow. But I didn't. Pop popcorn, I mean.
My friends, Clinton was widely, rightly criticized for the lawyerly parsing of his answers at times. At least he was skilled at it. Alberto, on the other hand, well, I'm trying to decide if his testimony was some kind of strange performance art. An epistemological freak show. It was beautiful.
It is a testimony to every senator's parents: only adamantium manners could have prevented them from flaying this little weasel alive. His answers, his "explanations," turned in on themselves like the unholy spawn of Dali and Escher in its first freshman comp. class. Essentially, it boils down to I can't remember being at all the meetings I previously stated I had not attended, was not involved in the deliberation process, trying to plot a nebulous position in which he could simultaneously claim to have nothing to do with the decision and everything to do with the decision.
It's apt, even poetic, that a man so enamored of torture would himself be forced to employ torturous techniques upon his "memory," upon himself.
That he's lying is a foregone conclusion. That, in the end, he just doesn't appear to be all that smart is the real news.