That memo also stated that the president has the power to toss aside anti-torture laws. Asked repeatedly whether he still thinks the president can order torture, Gonzales bobbed and weaved, insisting it's not an issue since the president would never do such a thing. Finally, he said, "I guess I would have to say that hypothetically that authority may exist." . . . A Post editorial says Gonzales left an "unmistakable" message: "As attorney general, he will seek no change in practices that have led to the torture and killing of scores of detainees and to the blackening of U.S. moral authority around the world." Not that any of this matters much: Gonzales' confirmation is what the LAT calls "a foregone conclusion;" the paper also suggests the hearings are now done.[Emphasis mine]Last night on the Daily Show, after mocking the more amusing absurdities of senate confirmation proceedings, Jon Stewart suddenly belted out, "Is anyone going to grill this M-----f---er?" Some Democrats and even Republican Lindsay Graham made a show of it. Patrick Leahy cut to the heart of a problem shared by most of Bush's advisors:
My concern is that during several high-profile matters in your professional career you have appeared to serve as a facilitator, rather than an independent force in the policy-making process. The job of Attorney General is not about crafting rationalizations for ill-conceived ideas.
You're in no way -- as you implied to two of the questioners, you're in now way jeopardizing a future case. That's malarkey, pure malarkey.Yet all this chitchat doesn't really matter. Gonzelez knows he ain't obliged to do anything. His number one listed qualification is loyalty to the president, and that trumps any sense of obligation to the Consitution. Rumsfeld is still around, and Gonzalez is only getting promoted. The few bad apples---mostly teenagers---are getting hung with the full weight of recent American autrocities. As Seymour Hersh wrung his hands on another Daily Show episode: we all just lay down and let these guys take over the country.
So we're looking for candor, old buddy. We're looking for you when we ask you a question to give us an answer, which you haven't done yet.
I love you, but you're not very candid so far.
And so please do not use the strawman, "Well, as the future attorney general, I may not be able to comment on what that law means." You are obliged to comment.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen