Acting more like King George than President Bush, our Commander in Chief personally blocked the investigation of his warrant-less surveillance program, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledged today.
When asked why investigators from the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (a department Gonzales oversees) were denied clearance to investigate the classified program, Gonzales answered, "The president of the United States makes the decision."
This whole thing begs the question: Who or what is the Attorney General sworn to protect?
Like all agents of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General takes the following oath:
"I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and
defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,
foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental
reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully
discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So
help me God."
That would lead one to believe the Attorney General is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. He must defend it against all attacks, including those perpetrated by President of the United States, no?
But the US legal code says:
28 USC § 503: "The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, an Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General is the head of the Department of Justice."
So, make no mistake, the Attorney General acts as an agent for the President, who is Constitutionally appointed to enforce the laws. The President is the one who is entrusted to perform this duty and can direct his agents as he sees fit, which makes me wonder what happens when the President himself breaks the law? Who is he accountable to? Congress? Perhaps, but they would require an investigation and the DOJ is our investigative arm. What happens if the DOJ is directed by the President to halt any investigation? See above.