The Speech Gonzales Didn't Give

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post

I doubt whether most "loyal Bushie" Alberto Gonzales would have questioned why it is that, with so many law-trained people around, so many in these last few years haven't used their critical thinking skills better to uphold the rule of law in our country. So when AG Gonzales got too busy trying to remember things and couldn't make their commencement, I decided to tell the 2007 Iowa law graduates what he probably wouldn't have. (What a pleasant surprise to learn, only a couple days after my speech below, that government lawyers like Deputy AG Comey, FBI Director Robert Mueller and even former AG Ashcroft had, in fact, been using their skills to resist Gonzales' lawless ways.)

No Time for Pettifoggery: Too Many Challenges Await! (Law Commencement at Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, Iowa, May 12, 2007)

Thank you for the great honor today of being able to congratulate you and hopefully give you some words of wisdom and encouragement as your graduating class heads off to face the difficult, mind-boggling challenges of this new millennium.

A funny thing happened on the way to this forum. A few weeks ago a Google hit popped up that told me I was not first pick for commencement speaker but that I had only been asked after embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was unable to make it. Guess the Attorney General got too busy studying or something. So that reminded me of one of my favorite ethics quotes by Mark Twain who once said: "Never lie. And then you don't have to remember anything." Of course, the only other way around this problem, as Alberto must have figured out, is just not to remember anything. In any event, someday, if YOU remember, you'll be able to tell your grandchildren that instead of having one of the most "loyal Bushies" at your commencement, you got one of the least loyal Bushies. (It should go without saying that all of us who swore oaths to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, could never make political loyalty our top consideration.)

What a deal. This is just unbelievable to be invited back to my alma mater 27 years after I sat in the same place as you. Especially since I was one of the non-conformists of my class.

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