(CNN) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales conceded Wednesday that mistakes were made in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and that he should have been more involved in the process.
CNN.com asked readers for their opinion on the firings and how they think the Bush administration should respond to the controversy. Below is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:
Kelvin Johnson of McMinnville, Oregon
I believe that Mr. Gonzales is to be appreciated for his candor at this time. And that we should not allow him to resign until he makes every effort to repair the damage he has allowed to be inflicted by the rest of the Bush administration on his department.
Dan Minnerly of Highland, New York
I think that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' statement that he acknowledges mistaking mistakes doesn't go far enough in taking responsibility. His statement implying he didn't know what was going on shows dereliction of duty and he should step down. In the wake of this news he shouldn't have to wait for the president to make the decision. After all we already know he isn't going to fire anyone on his staff. Hopefully, come the 2008 elections, we'll finally clean house
Richard Kabaker of Middleton, Wisconsin
U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president without the need for Senate confirmation. They serve at the pleasure of the president and can be removed by him at any time and for any reason. Neither the president nor the attorney general has done anything wrong in deciding to remove and replace certain U.S. attorneys, and calls for the resignation of the attorney general are off the mark.
The problem is that the law as it is may not be what we would like the law to be. Our federal judges are placed above political considerations (maybe) by being given lifetime tenure. Perhaps our federal prosecutors should receive similar insulation from political pressure. That would be a very interesting policy debate. Until we are prepared to consider that, however, U.S. attorneys will continue to be subject to political pressure, as they have been since the founding of our republic.
Betty Egger of Camano Island, Washington
The attorneys were fired because they did not cooperate with the Bush administration's political motive, which was to convict Democrats and let Republicans off the hook. It's that simple.
Bonnie Duane of Knoxville, Illinois
The practice of allowing these positions to be at the whim of politics at any time should stop. Especially in light of recent allegations of crooked elections on the federal level, packing your own people in seems like it would just facilitate the covering up of more and more tainted election results. It would also tend to stop prosecutions in the future of crooked politicians like Tom Delay -- we could never expect to see justice done. People out here are becoming more and more afraid of circumstances being aligned for a political takeover of our democratic governance. This is undermining our democracy.
Elaine Derrick of Cordova, Tennessee
We have a mind-set here: federal government = job forever. In the private sector if you get sacked, you get sacked. You don't whine about it.
Bill Christy of Tallahassee, Florida
Don't all of these attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president? I thought they did, so what is the big deal? I work in government, and this is the way it is for these types of positions. I think Bush should ignore this -- Dems and the media are blowing it out of proportion, gearing up for the election.
James Tucciarone of Larchmont, New York
We don't need a repeat of "stay the course" and Donald Rumsfeld. Gonzales made some mistakes, and he should tender his resignation like a true American leader. President Bush should accept his resignation to attempt to establish some credibility with Congress and the American people.
Mark DeKoch of Corpus Christi, Texas
It appears to me that this is the use of the Justice Department for political advantage. That should not be allowed. This type of action undermines the public's faith in our judicial system specifically and generally our government as a whole. Our justice system is the best the world has ever known. It has systematically been under assault by those seeking political advantage for their political party.
No matter what political party one is a member, this type of action should concern you. It appears that it is likely the next president will be a Democrat. If not [the] next election, certainly in the future. It is time for our leaders of both parties to be more concerned about the welfare of our country than about their political party. President Bush should fire Gonzalez and possibly Karl Rove, thereby sending a strong message that political advantage will not surpass the welfare of our country. The people in power need to understand that their loyalty should be to the American people, not to who happens to be president at the time.
Stuart Askew of Cavalier, North Dakota
This is a nonissue. U.S. attorneys serve at the president's pleasure. No reason is needed to fire them ... just ask Hillary [Clinton], Bill [Clinton] and Janet Reno. Some of us don't forget. I find it highly ironic that Hillary is leading the charge to have Gonzales removed from office. It is exactly this kind of hypocrisy that prevents me from ever voting for a Democrat in national elections. Republicans are only slightly less offensive, and it is my firm belief that we need at least one more party.
Robert Morgan of Columbus, Ohio
It would be nice to hear a frank response from this administration, but it would not be consistent with its history of hiding the truth regarding its motives -- even when the truth has become obvious to everyone but career politician Dick Cheney. Bush was once appealing as an honest "this is how it is going to be" kind of guy. Now the administration does whatever it wants but is afraid to step up and admit its actions or defend itself with the truth. This is the worst style of leadership and the reason we should remain suspicious of our government.
Maureen Fudger of Lisle, New York
Once again the media and the Democrats try to inflict a "shame" on George Bush's White House. There is absolutely nothing untoward about the firings of these attorneys.
Shimon Schwarzschild of New York City
Vacating top positions to reward moneyed campaigners after an election is one of the ugliest practices in our political system. Often very competent office holders are sacrificed for less competent newcomers. Usually it's practiced after the takeover of the "out" party. Even under those circumstances, this ongoing practice smells; it does a disservice to the taxpayer and voter.
The Gonzales affair is much worse. It's happening between elections, with the victims from the same party, who have good performance records. Worse, the targeted U.S. attorneys are the people who are charged with protecting the law, protecting us all from injustice. So they are subjected to the most supreme injustice themselves: punished for protecting the system and us.
Bruce Smithhammer of Victor, Idaho
If there were any doubt left about whether the attorney general's loyalties lie first and foremost with this administration or with the integrity of our federal justice system, this latest example should prove unequivocally that it is the former. He has been entirely partisan in his position, not to mention the legal architect of a number of policies that fly in the face of international treaties and conventions. He apparently is not willing to step down to preserve the integrity of the office he holds, and so he should be forced to.
Wendy Davis of Visalia, California
Partisan bullying is what this is all about. "If you do not agree with us, you are out." This is everything the Founding Fathers tried to prevent from happening when they created the U. S. of A.
Jeff Stinson of Boston, Massachusetts
This is perfectly reasonable. Look at past presidents and look at how he is handling it. It is not disgusting; it is politics. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Tom Ross of Flagstaff, Arizona
Six of the fired attorneys are from Western states. Five of the attorneys were within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, which has been notoriously viewed as liberal biased and out of step with the rest of Planet Washington. The president does have the right to hire and fire, but the timing sucks and it looks to me to be "Let's rein in the 'Wild West' and teach them a lesson that they need to be in step with the rest of us." We are part of your country out here Mr. President, just a little different, just like you.
Joe Santini of Monkton, Maryland
It is at the pleasure of the president as to whether these attorneys are fired. Is this the first time it has happened? Is it the first time politics played a role? Are we worried they won't find another job? I think we should all move on to more important issues. The American people are tired of this political nonsense.
John Bentley of Chicago, Illinois
What is most disturbing about this whole issue is that Attorney General Gonzalez allowed the integrity and the independence of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. attorneys across the nation to be violated by the White House and Republican members of Congress seeking to use the machinations of justice for partisan advantage. In a nation where the rule of law and the impartiality of justice are paramount, this is simply unacceptable. For this reason alone, Alberto Gonzalez should resign.