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pberq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:30 AM
Original message
Gonzales - a fight worth having
The continuation of the rubber stamp Senate:

I am shocked (not shocked, shocked but sincerely shocked) that Gonzales will get a single Democratic vote, much a relatively less easy confirmation. And I would have expected that some Republicans -- the ones who profess deep belief in the American mission of fostering Arab democracy, the ones who have renounced Secretary Rumsfeld, like McCain, Hagel, Lugar would be struggling with their votes, too. But no.

If the Democrats in Congress are willing to stand for anything, it seems to me, they ought to be standing against the Gonzales nomination. Fight was the favorite verb of the past two democratic presidential candidates: fight for the little guy, the patient, the pensioner and fight against the rich, mighty and powerful.

The Gonzales record, as it stands now, is clear and ought to be anathema to any Democrat:

his sanctioning of an August 2002 Justice Department memo that essentially condones torture in interrogation

his memo to the president that argued the Geneva Conventions didnt apply to aspects of the war on terror

his decisions to use military tribunals instead of courts and to designate U.S. citizens as enemy combatants"

Gonzales erred at every juncture. These decisions have all since been renounced by courts or by the relevant agencies. And, of course, they are closely tied to national embarrassments of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the abuse of Afghan and Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers. Thus Gonzales legal work for his client, the president, is tied to those failures.

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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. DAMN STRAIGHT he is worth fighting
I'm sick of DUers sayin "BUSH WILL ONLY NOMINATE SOMEONE WORSE". Well, we all f***ing know the incompetent POS is gonna nominate fascist thugs for Attorney General and it is the Democrats' duty to FIGHT ALL OF THEM.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:01 PM
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Desperadoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Facts?
If you want facts you have to do better than links to disreputable sites sucha s Briar Patch Revisted. What a load of crap and right wing propaganda.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:52 AM
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Doesn't Heather Mac Donald have strong ties to rightwing organizations?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:55 AM
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. his long service as chimpys personal lawyer is all most need to know
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 09:48 AM by KG
about his integrity.

if you're an apologist for scumbags, don't expect a warm welcome on this BBS
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I skimmed it.
In short, it consists of cheery claims without any significant documentation. It's doubtful that dear Heather located any firsthand sources on her own, although she might have used some handed to her by political operatives.

Here's a typical quote:

"Bush ordered .. that detainees be treated humanely and in accordance with Geneva principles ... This .. sank in: all of the war on terrors detention facilities chose to operate under Geneva rules."

News over the last nine months or so indicates that these rosy, sweeping generalities are simply false, but rather than pointlessly attempting to rehash history for you, I'll content myself with a recent news snippet:

"The International Committee of the Red Cross, which monitors wartime detention practices, alleges that medical personnel at Guantanamo shared clinical information with interrogators, in 'flagrant violation of medical ethics,' to extract more information from detainees. The Pentagon says the charge is false. But our inquiry into the role that health professionals played in military intelligence-gathering in Iraq and Guantanamo has found a pattern of reliance on medical input. Not only did caregivers pass clinical data to interrogators, physicians and other health professionals helped craft and carry out coercive interrogation plans.

Such conduct violated U.S. obligations under the Geneva Convention, which bar threatening, insulting and other abusive treatment of prisoners. There is also probable cause to suspect that some physicians were complicit in the use of interrogation methods that constitute torture under international law."

Note these charges of Geneva Convention violation originate with the Red Cross, that most staid of humanitarian organizations.

Of course, as long as transparency is lacking at Guantanamo, as long as the media access is almost completely forbidden, and as long as prisoners' legal representatives continue to have little or no chance to visit their clients, Guantanamo remains a dark corner in which almost any abuse can occur with impunity.

The situation in the gulag prisons located in our client states around the world must be worse, and reports from individuals who have returned from trips to these prisons following "extraordinary rendition" seem to confirm this.

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Oh, lookie here! Michelle Malkin says:
"You guys have a GREAT blog!" and favorite links (on the site you reference) include Michelle Malkin and Right Wing News, while for our media needs, they direct us to: Fox News, FrontPage Magazine, National Review Online, Townhall, and the Weekly Standard.

Speaking politely, present company considers Malkin to be a nutcase, probably lacking a soul, and the alleged "news sources" to be just trash.

The article you cite on that same page begins: "Yesterday's news stories about the Democrats' grilling of Alberto Gonzales generally made him sound chastened and more or less apologetic, promising to oppose torture as Attorney General, as though that were a change in his or the administration's position." It goes on: "Likewise, Times columnist Bob Herbert lays it on thick, calling Gonzales "the enabler in chief of the pro-torture lobby" -- despicable, even by the Times' standards ..." and then settles in for the mind-numbingly formulaic rightwing complaints about "heavy breathing" being "grotesquely misplaced" and "huffing and puffing," while cheerfully asserting, contrary to all evidence that the Administration has always supported the Geneva and has always opposed torture.

You seem to believe that this somehow merits serious discussion. I regard it as intellectually dishonest and deliberately misleading.

The administration actually produced many pro-torture memos, associated with its claims of dictatorial powers for POTUS, including the right to ignore statutes and treaty obligations. One memo author, Jay Bybee, has since been rewarded with a federal judiciual appointment, his Senate confirmation occurring before these memos saw daylight. Meanwhile, the Administration has acted as if its detention authority were subject to no Bill of Rights protection, a view which the current Supreme Court has disapproved; despite this judicial disapproval, the Administration continues its dangerous and ego-maniacal pretensions to unlimited executive power. It is disingenuous to claim that abuses at Abu-Ghraib and elsewhere are unrelated to these policy developments: "a fish rots from the head down."

The exact details of Gonzales' role in this deserve further elucidation. However, the White House has, for some unknown dark reasons of its own, refused to provide his related memos to the Senate, so that required information remains unavailable.

At present, we can certainly say that Gonzales' judgment appears to be questionable, as suggested not only by the torture memos but by his carelessness in the Kerik affair. And we can see that POTUS wants Gonzales because he is a reliable yes-man, a corporate loyalist whose indifference to Kerik's character and close legal ties to Enron and Halliburton suggest that he is not squeamish about ethical niceties.

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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Perspective
There are several issues here, the most important of which is whether Alberto Gonzales is a good choice for our nation's top law enforcement officer. Today's editorial in the Chicago Tribune (which endorsed Bush and consistently supported him on Iraq) had some worthy observations:

This is not the sort of office that should be given to someone whose prime qualification is a close personal relationship with, and a record of loyalty to, the president. As the most important law-enforcement officer in the country, the attorney general should be a model of independence--as well as the executive branch's conscience on such matters as individual rights, privacy and the rule of law.

Alberto Gonzales most certainly played a role in the legal aspects of sanctioning what the Red Cross described as "tantamount to torture", and his appointment as AG sends a message to the world that the United States stands by this policy rather than rejects it. It may or may not be unfair to closely associate Gonzales with what happened at Abu Ghraib, but perceptions are paramount in politics and the U.S. should be doing everything it can to regain some of the moral high ground we lost.

I read your article How to Interrogate Terrorists and found it less convincing than The Gray Zone by Seymour Hersh.
(whom your author dismissed as a "left-wing journalist)

Resistance by the FBI, the State Department, and many in the military to Bush's officially sanctioned interrogation techniques and the "migration" of these methods to Iraq in the person of General Geoffrey Miller suggests a policy that deviated from the Geneva Conventions considerably more than Heather Mac Donald (the author of your article) would have us believe. She reveals her ideological viewpoint at the end of the article in her rant against "evil" and I suspect her journalism is more biased than Hersh's.

Alberto Gonzales will be our next Attorney General, but Democrat Senators would be derelict in their duty to "advise and consent" if they hadn't vigorously questioned Gonzales on the torture issue.

We need to step back and look at the larger picture, and from this perspective I see Gonzales as a very poor choice for these times and circumstances.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. perhaps "Attorney General" should be changed to "Grand Inquisitor"
He believes torture is OK. 'nuff said.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. bush nominating this clown is as bad as when BushI said Thomas
was the most qualified judge to be nominated to the USSC.

Gonzales is no better than Thomas, both are RW neo-con jerks that need to step down and get out of the way.

The only things that 'qualifies' Gonzales for ANYTHING, is that he is a bush puppet.

His record in TX stunk, his record as someone that would even CONSIDER torture, shows me that he is sub-human at best. If torture is so great, why doesn't the Senate torture him to get an answer?
He couldn't complain...he says it's OK!!!!!

This creature is not worthy of cleaning the crap off of the shoes of those he would send off to an "undisclosed location" to be destroyed.

Gonzales is a piece of trash!!!!!
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Been Fishing Donating Member (161 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Torture is legal.
Alberto Gonzales stated that he now supports the humane treatment of prisoners under the Geneva Convention. What he didnt say was that the prisoners held in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in undisclosed locations, are enemy or unlawful combatants and are therefore not eligible for protection under the Geneva Convention. They can be held without trial or legal recourse for as long as the U.S. military or the Bush government desires. And the use of torture of these prisoners is thereby legal.
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