Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales delivered his $40,000 speech at the University of Florida last night. Gonzales’ first stop on a nationwide college speaking tour got off to a very rocky start, as he had to endure shouts of “criminal” and “liar” throughout his speech. The St. Petersburg Times describes the scene:
Embattled former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was a few minutes into his speech Monday night when the first two protesters took the stage, their heads covered and hands tied behind their backs like Abu Ghraib prisoners.
One of the young men stood silently beside Gonzales, who looked down at his notes and waited for two police officers to lead him away. Then came a young man in a military fatigue jacket, who stood directly in front of Gonzales with a sign declaring: “Habeus corpus.”
In the speech, Gonzales said his “only regret as attorney general” was that he did not have a “better process” in place for “changes in personnel at the U.S. attorney rank.” While clearly mindful that it was the U.S. attorney scandal that brought his tenure to an end, Gonzales still does not appear to understand that it was his highly-partisan water-carrying for the White House that was the root of his undoing.
Gonzales attempted to spin the college students by arguing that history will be kind to the Bush administration. “It will take years for the entire story to be told,” he said. “We know the first manuscripts of administrations are often incomplete, and they can be inaccurate, and they have to be discarded.” Gonzales is clearly banking on the hope that the next generation of historians will forget his numerous unconstitutional and illegal actions.
UPDATE: UF’s student newspaper The Alligator has more.
UPDATE II: FireDogLake has more, including a YouTube from the event.