Two senior Justice Department officials said yesterday that they kept Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales apprised of FBI violations of civil liberties and privacy safeguards in recent years.
The two officials spoke in a telephone call arranged by press officials at the Justice Department after The Washington Post disclosed yesterday that the FBI sent reports to Gonzales of legal and procedural violations shortly before he told senators in April 2005: “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse” after 2001.
It is a sign of how dysfunctional our government is that this man is still in office. ( Not to mention that the same questions must be asked about Gonzales's boss.) The question presented is whether these are truly exceptional times, or whether the current crisis — the public's complete loss of trust in the government, the government's complete lack of interest in whether the public trusts it — is a sign of some deeper structural failing in our form of government.