Monday, November 22, 2004

If we are to have a Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales should not be confirmed as Attorney General. His record, according to the lead editorial of today's Washington Post ("Mr. Gonzales's Record," 22 November 2004), appears to speak for itself. From what it entails, Gonzales, in so many words, is a thug: a criminal parading as the nation's chief law enforcer, who is more than willing to circumvent the norms of international law, torture suspects, and appall any ethicist who makes nothing but a cursory glance at, say, his February 7, 2002, memorandum to President Bush in which he "determined that the [Geneva] conventions should be set aside for people deemed 'unlawful combatants.'"

In a word, because we have defined it as a 'war' although al Qaeda is not a nation it is justifiable to label suspected Qaeda members as combatants, thus with no legal rights whatsoever. With the current Senate ratio at 55 - 44 - 1, assuming that the vote is perfectly divisive among party lines (not very likely), Gonzales is guaranteed confirmation. The best hope, therefore, is to try to get as many Senate Republicans to vote against confirming him as possible.

I didn't think it was possible for Bush to pick an AG even farther to the right than Ashcroft; and, I have to admit, the name Gonzales fooled me: I thought, Oh, he picked a moderate. I was wrong, and we all will be sorry if he is confirmed. On a lighter note, maybe he will not be confirmed. We will all have to wait and see, I suppose.

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