Alberto Gonzales, the new appointee, is another piece of work. He can be credited with the benign view of torture as a permissible approach to discipline in our military prisons...
I'll take "Nutjob Appointees" for $300, Alex.
Alberto "Seedy" Gonzales is an old friend of W's, having served as his in-house attorney back in the good old days when Bush was only destroying Texas. He won an appointment to the Texas Supreme Court based on his slobbering fealty to the House of Bush then, and has been padding his resume' ever since.
He also had a stint as the general counsel to...
...wait for it...
One of Bush's most important duties as Texas Governor (besides acting as judge in the Laredo Chili Cook-Off) was signing the death warrants for convicted capital criminals. Gonzales was with him every step of the way, "counseling" Bush during his reign as el jefe
of Texas with the greatest number of kills of any governor in modern US history. According to a report by Alan Berlow of the Atlantic Monthly
, Gonzales "repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence."
But Gonzales is perhaps best known (as D'art suggests) as the author of the memorandum
that gave the green-light to the prisoner tortures at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. To wit, Gonzales said the war on terror "in my judgment renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."
He also called Geneva "quaint".
Gonzales is the man responsible for the phraseology 'enemy combatants', in order to slide around the term 'prisoners of war', which carries the weight of implied human and civil rights codified by the Geneva accords.
But we needn't worry that our next AG is merely a death-penalty zealot, or an ethically corrupt and just plain shitty lawyer, or even an advocate for rejecting inconvenient international agreements like the Geneva Convention -- it would be too simple to portray him as an evil incompetent. He also hates government transparency. For example, Gonzales likes to bury "disturbing" records, such as those pertaining to Dick Cheney's energy task force. "He has been a major advocate of virtually untrammeled presidential prerogatives," said Elliot Mincberg, general counsel for People for the American Way.
Oh, well. We needn't worry. As our good fellow Larry 434 has reminded us a million times -- going all the way back to his days as pragmaticone on Abuzz -- we have a strong system of checks and balances.
Somebody is bound
to oppose the nomination, right?