Monday, January 03, 2005

Gonzales Torture Memo Controversy Builds

"WASHINGTON - Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales' confirmation hearing this week may become more contentious because the White House has refused to provide copies of his memos on the questioning of terror suspects.

'We go into the hearing with some knowledge of what has occurred because of press reports or leaks but without the hard evidence that will either exonerate or implicate Judge Gonzales in this policy,' complained Sen. Richard Durbin (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, on Monday.

Durbin and other Democrats plan to question Gonzales on his involvement in the crafting of policies concerning questioning — policies that the Justice Department (news - web sites) has backed away from.

Still, the issue probably won't be enough to stop Republicans from confirming Gonzales as the first Hispanic attorney general.

Republicans hold 55 seats in the new Senate, while Democrats control 44 seats and there is a Democratic-leaning independent. The Democrats have not yet decided whether to try to block Gonzales' confirmation.

'I think the hearing will be contentious, but in the end Judge Gonzales will be confirmed because he deserves to be confirmed,' said Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, who will introduce Gonzales at the confirmation hearing.

The Justice Department in 2002 asserted that President Bush (news - web sites)'s wartime powers superseded anti-torture laws and treaties like the Geneva Conventions. Gonzales, while at the White House, also wrote a memo to President Bush on January 25, 2002, arguing that the war on terrorism 'renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.'


Durbin, who sits on the Judiciary Committee (news - web sites), says the White House has refused to give those memos to Democrats so they can determine exactly how the policies were crafted.

'We asked them to produce the memos that they have and can release that were given to Judge Gonzales or were generated by him, and so far they have not claimed executive privilege but have refused to produce this documentation,' Durbin said.

The White House says it has shared several documents with the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) of Vermont, and plans on working with Democrats to see if their questions can be resolved.

The Justice memos have since been disavowed and the White House says the United States has always operated under the spirit of the Geneva Conventions that prohibit violence, torture and humiliating treatment."

The "conventional wisdom" on this is that the Dems will make a stink and Gonzales will go in. "Conventional wisdom" also dictates that the real struggles will be over judicial nominees this term.

I say, fuck the conventional wisdom. There's no fucking "controversy" here. The time for the Dems to draw the line in the sand is Right Now, with Gonzales. I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut about his rags to riches background, and I don't give a flying fuck at the moon as to how the Reps will play that like a violin (along with his Hispanic background) to make the Dems look meanspirited. This guy has a long history of twisting, subverting and ignoring the law to meet his masters' agendas all the way back to Texas. His reprehensible opinions regarding the treatment of detainees at home, abroad and at Gitmo are so well known that the Dems don't need those memos to link the terms "Gonzales" and "torture" so closely that they appear as synonyms of one another in the next edition of Webster's Dictionary.

The only appropriate place to send Gonzales is back up Bush's ass. It's an obvious, slamdunk decision. If Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and the current crop of Democrats can't find their way to block the nomination of a guy who endorses torture by the state, then they need to get the hell out of the way and let some competent men and women who remember what this country is about take their place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guys at the longshoremen's convention in the blog next door are complaining about the language in here....

8:10 PM  
Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

Hey, I only used the "F" word four times, and not once as a noun. They don't make Democratic senators like they used to, and apparently they don't make longshoremen like they used to, either.

8:39 PM  

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