I don't recall, I cannot remember, it wasn't my decision. A poor excuse for the head of the department? Actually I think Gonzales' answers were realistic and expectable.
Gonzales was a widely regarded as a lap dog for George Bush. His appointment was a travesty in the first place, tainted by Enron money in Texas and roundly criticized for designing legal loopholes for torture and rendition, he also never should have been confirmed by the Senate.
This was the expected course of events, with Bush trying to get as much mileage as possible out of his personal lawyers before they are drummed out of office. If you didn't notice this when he tried to appoint Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court, you must not be paying attention.
Since Gonzales couldn't jolly well admit the firings were political and he was in the know, he did the best he could using style over substance, and it showed. The interesting points were his emphatic repetitions of "I take full responsibility", contrasted with his relatively weak "I feel I can continue to do the job" statements.
The hijacking of the DOJ shows by the many reports detailing not only what the fired prosecutors were working on, but also what the many lawyers who were allowed to stay on were working on.
Since this agenda does not mesh well with the actual mission of the Attorney General position, it was only a matter of time before this had to come to a head. We had the report of the government opening and inspecting private mail. Then we heard of DOJ initiatives to record and report all web site visits by private individuals to the government, under the guise of protecting society from child porn -- despite the fact that the issue was never a stated administration priority before.
Most of all, I was surprised Gonzales wasn't fired for the NSA wiretapping scandal, in my mind a more egregious and indefensible violation of U.S. laws, newly and creatively interpreted by Bush's former lawyer in his favor. We still are absent the explanation of why those hearings all came to an immediate stop without any explanation.
So I'll offer today my "thought balloon" translations for Gonzales statements. "I cannot recall" means I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU. "I take full responsibility" means SO FIRE ME. It's clear the Attorney General sat there taking lumps to "protect the prez". As with many of these high crimes and misdemeanors, all roads seem to lead back to Karl Rove, whose influence in the DOJ seems to have exceeded that of Gonzales.
The only difference is that Karl Rove isn't stupid enough to accept any appointment for which he could be held responsible.