Thursday, November 11, 2004

Help For Democrats 

In my continuing desire to provide assistance to the underdog I must say that the Democrats are approaching the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general using the completely wrong approach. From today's Washington Post story, Dan Eggen writes:

Democrats and Republicans alike predicted a relatively easy confirmation for Gonzales, who came to Washington after serving as a Bush aide and as a state Supreme Court justice in Texas.

But wait. It appears that Mr. Gonzales was at least one of the architects behind this country's breach of basic human rights regarding our treatment of war prisoners here and in Cuba, actions which were later struck down by the Supreme Court. According to Mr. Eggen:

In one January 2002 draft memo, Gonzales argued that the war on terrorism made the Geneva Conventions' limitations on treatment of enemy prisoners 'obsolete' and 'renders quaint some of its provisions.'

And more:

His office also played a role in an August 2002 memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel advising that torturing alleged al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad "may be justified" and that international laws against torture 'may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations' conducted in the U.S. war on terrorism.

So when Mr. Gonzales gets confirmed by the Senate we will have as the U.S.'s chief law enforcement officer the man whose policies led to the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

John Kerry said in his campaign that he would have fought the war on terror differently. By strongly opposing the nomination of Mr. Gonzales the Democrats could demonstrate that this statement has meaning.

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