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Happy Constitution Day from Gonzo to the incoming Harvard Law School class

Posted by stoptorture on September 17th, 2007


Alberto Gonzales - official DoJ photo

Greetings fellow Harvardees! I honestly can’t recall a finer Constitution Day than this one. Today, I quit my job as Attorney General, and everyone is cheering me on. I even got my first compliment from the New York Times! When I said I was resigning, they wrote, “Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally done something important to advance the cause of justice.” Whew, knocked one in there for justice just before the buzzer!

As a send-off, I decided to celebrate my Constitution Day by doing a few of my favorite things. First, I had your phone tapped. Just kidding! Well, even if I did, you’d never know, so stop worrying 😉 Second, I fired a few good senior prosecutors. Who? Funny thing is I don’t recall! Third, I instructed my staff to take the newbie, whoever he is, and give him a good old half-drowning, CIA-style. That’ll put him in the right mindset.

The folks at the office were real nice too. Cheney gave me Geneva Conventions toilet paper. I thought that was funny. Bush gave me Scooter’s old Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. That’s was a relief, though it might expire in 2008…gotta get before that grand jury soon. Ashcroft didn’t come to the goodbye party, which made me a little sad. He’s still angry about that whole hospital thing. Next time = flowers.

But nothing has been better than all the support I got at Harvard. Students wore some very festive orange costumes to greet me at my 25th reunion last spring. I’d like to thank you for that. Afterwards, a whole bunch of my Class of 1982 buddies wrote me a fine letter recognizing some of my achievements. Best of all, the Dean gave me a proud mention in her commencement speech last year: “One lawyer who issues expedient and unsupported legal opinions to justify whatever his client (in this case, the government) wants to do…” Read the speech, and you’ll see that was so me. One day, that could be you too! Just keep those priorities straight!

So friends, as you start your legal careers, remember what Archibald Cox, special Watergate prosecutor and former HLS professor, said in a press conference after he was fired by Nixon for subpoenaing the White House tapes: “Whether our government shall be a government of laws and not of men is now for the American people to decide.” Will you be an Archie or a Gonzo?:

Uphold the law, and get fired in glory. Bend it, and resign in shame.

Harvard Law Class of 1982 letter to Gonzales

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