Friday, January 07, 2005

Gonzales: Torturer-in-Chief

Slate has a good article on Alberto Gonzales' refusal to clearly answer questions on the legality of torture during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of Attorney General.

Do you think Gonzales doesn't understand that there is a difference between the President not enforcing a law he deems unconstitutional and authorizing government agents to break the law? If the executive branch really has the power to immunize its agents against laws passed by Congress at the discretion of the President, then, essentially, the separation of powers ceases to exist, since the President can simply ignore any laws limiting the power of the executive branch.

And more scary is Gonzales' refusal to discuss the legality of torture on the grounds, basically, that "we aren't going to do it, so it doesn't matter." So, according to a guy who wants to be the chief law enforcement officer in the US, we should get rid of all these pesky laws and go back to the honor system? Why do we need a law against murder? Just get everyone to agree they won't murder anyone, and you're done.

Oh, but people will still commit murder, won't they? And we're expected to believe that a regime which has already allowed people to be tortured under its auspices and who wants a guy who wrote the legal opinion that torture is okay to be Attorney General won't do it again? Come on.

Senator Feingold asked Gonzales, "So the president's above the law?"

El Presidente Bush believes the answer to this question is, "yes." And Bush doesn't value dissent. He found this guy, Gonzales, who wrote memos on this subject, and his answer then was, "Yes," and his answer yesterday was no different.

I love the morality at play here. Getting a blow job in the Oval Office is grounds for impeachment. Torturing prisoners in violation of US law, international law, and the Geneva Conventions? Well, that's God's work!


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