Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Gonzales hearings: “We are nothing like our enemy; we are not beheading people.”


The Gonzales confirmation hearings are ongoing as I write.

Gonzales says, “Torture and abuse will not be tolerated by this administration.” Tolerated? He’s still pushing the “a few bad apples” theory, and we’re way past that. “This administration” ordered torture, wrote memos justifying torture, and dotted every i in those memos with little smiley faces.

G. refuses to say whether the torture at Abu Ghraib was criminal, because there might be court proceedings. Oh please, Ashcroft did a little victory dance in public every time a shoe bomber or Al Qaeda gofer was arrested.

“We are nothing like our enemy; we are not beheading people.” Phew.

To apply the Geneva Conventions to Al Qaida “would really be a dishonor to the Geneva Conventions. ... It would honor and reward bad conduct.” The Geneva Conventions are about the laws of war: war is not “good conduct.”

I wish the D’s would stop praising Gonzales’s “rags-to-riches” story. Patrick Leahy: “The road you traveled... is a tribute to you and your family.” That road was paved over dead bodies in Texas and broken ones in Guantanamo; the toll on that road was too damned high.

Gonzales refuses to answer questions on torture, since all such questions are hypothetical, because “the president has said we’re not going to engage in torture.” There’s something faulty in that logic somewhere, but I just can’t put my finger on it....

The distinction he keeps making between his role as White House counsel and that of the attorney general seems to be an acknowledgment that in the former role he always told Bush exactly what he wanted to hear.

(Update: More on the hearings in my next post, above.)

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