Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

Defending the Constitution After Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales was deeply involved in the scandals that may yield contempt of Congress citations for members of the executive branch. But will Congress step up and issue those citations?

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announces his resignation at a press conference at the Department of Justice yesterday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Look at any of the myriad ways in which the Bush Administration has compromised, trampled on and otherwise twisted the text of the U.S. Constitution, and you will find the fingerprints of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales somewhere in the margins. There's Fredo (as his commander-in-chief calls Gonzales), who was then White House counsel, making the case for torture and trying to strong-arm his incapacitated predecessor at the Justice Department into signing off, from his hospital bed, on a plan for spying on Americans without obtaining search warrants. And later, after replacing John Ashcroft as attorney general, we find Fredo firing U.S. attorneys and fibbing to Congress about the reasons that he did so. Despite a litany of iniquities, we're all quite surprised by Gonzales's sudden departure. By "we" I mean both political journalists and Hill staffers. As one well-placed staffer explained it to me, Gonzales was so completely discredited that there was really nothing you could do to...

SANJAYA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.

SANJAYA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. Six years into the tenure of television's hottest "reality" show, the wags were calling it all but cancelled. Then an asexually cute but incompetent contestant kept enough viewers from changing the channel and so, we're told, American Idol will live to see another season. Surely Alberto Gonzales is to the Bush administration what Sanjaya was to Idol , a useful fool who kept the Fox television fan base from straying too far. But, like Sanjaya, Gonzales was destined to be voted off the show as the viewers grew hungry for something real. No amount of thick, brown hair or teddy-bear eyes could obscure the fact that when he got in front of the hearing-room cameras, Alberto still hadn't learned to sing very well. After Sanjaya's exit from American Idol , the contest finished with a wholly unsatisfying victor. I can't even think of her name . But the series was renewed for yet another year. Even with ratings significantly lower than what they once were, Idol...

TRADING A LIAR FOR A DISSEMBLER?

TRADING A LIAR FOR A DISSEMBLER? With reports of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales barely an hour old, wags were already naming Michael Chertoff , secretary of homeland security, as the likely nominee for Gonzales's replacement. For Democrats -- and the American people -- this should be the perfect week to shoot down that idea. Marking the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, scrutiny of the government's abandonment of the people of New Orleans should be turned on Mr. Chertoff. A former prosecutor and judge, Chertoff either misled reporters in 2005 or displayed an unforgivable lack of understanding when he asserted that no warnings had ever been served by scientists of a storm with the force of Katrina approaching New Orleans. Here , from CNN on September 3, 2005, just days after the storm: WASHINGTON (CNN) --Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that government...

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS GETTING INTERESTING.

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS GETTING INTERESTING. In Pakistan, that is. There, the Supreme Court, headed by the recently restored Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry , has cleared the way for the immediate return to Pakistan of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , whom Gen. Pervez Musharraf removed in 1999 in a bloodless coup. Musharraf had forced Sharif into a 10-year exile, which he's been taking in Saudi Arabia. In elections widely believed to have been rigged, Musharraf "won" Pakistan's presidency in 2002. Sharif is a rival not only to Musharraf, but also to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto , who is said to be the U.S. choice for a power-sharing arrangement with Musharraf. Already compromised by his alliance with the U.S. in the so-called "War on Terror," Musharraf was recently weakened further by the unrest that followed his removal of Chaudhry from the Supreme Court; clashes spread across the country, forcing him to return the chief justice to the bench. Word was that...

FIRST TO GO.

FIRST TO GO. Were there ever any doubt about the Bush administration's contempt for the U.S. Constitution in general, and the First Amendment in particular, two stories from the morning papers stick it right in the reader's face -- not that we'd be inclined to do anything about it. An extraordinary piece by the Washington Post 's Peter Baker tells of a White House manual for dealing with protesters at presidential appearances. The manual was released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which got hold of it as evidence in a case brought against the federal government by a West Virginia couple who were arrested for wearing tee shirts bearing anti-Bush messages to a Bush event for which they had tickets. Among the tactics outlined in the manual is the creation of "rally squads" who will surround and obscure demonstrators from the cameras. While other attendees of presidential events are forbidden to carry any form of sign or banner, these form the rally squad's arsenal. "These...

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