Friday, March 30, 2007

On Gonzo's loose management style

Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales, erstwhile Attorney General of the whole United States - as opposed to his previous job as personal attorney to George W Bush - has once again muddied the waters by claiming that while he did his job properly in signing off on the recent firing of a group of federal attorneys, he didn't know who or why he was firing them. All he did was "review" the list of targeted federal prosecutors and approve those firings.

“I didn’t focus on specific concerns about individuals,” he said. “My primary focus was insuring that the White House was kept advised of what we were doing and that Kyle [a lower-level flunky] was consulting with the appropriate D.O.J. senior officials who knew about the performance of the U.S. attorneys.”

[By implication, Gonzo has no idea about the performance of his employees. How's that for a management style?]

He said, “at the end of the process, Kyle brought recommendations to me. I considered them his recommendations as well as recommendations of senior officials he consulted with.”

He said that he signed off on the recommendations and the implementation plan, and “that was the extent of my involvement.”

If what he is saying is correct, the "extent of [his]involvement" is the career termination of highly prominent federal officials. The impression that Gonzo is leaving (at least in my mind) is that he didn't ask who these people were or why they specifically were being recommended for termination. Additionally, their actual firing seems to have happened more or less magically. I mean, who does the actual firing? Gonzo again leaves the impression that he has washed his hands of the termination of these rather important federal prosecutors.

And based on what? He "didn’t focus on specific concerns about individuals." What criteria did he use? Did he have concerns? Criteria? What? Or did he just say, "Hey, our budget is tight so let's lose some prosecutors, and I don't care about the who they are?"

If the latter is the case, then Gonzo is derelict in his job on yet another

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