I picked up a copy of the book Our Endangered Values by former US President Jimmy Carter some time ago, and have been reading it here at work whenever I get a free moment. It is an interesting coincidence that I read the following statements just today, on page 127 of his book, just minutes after hearing on the radio the news that US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned effective September 17th.
The first quote by President Carter was a statement by the Department of Defense about torture, which I also found on the internet:
the president has the authority, as commander in chief, to approve almost any physical or psychological error actually doing interrogation up to and including torture.
Admittedly, at that time John Ashcroft was Attorney General, but soon thereafter Gonzales came on board in that post. And Gonzales was already around the Bush Administration at that point--as White House counsel. And he didn't say anything about it. That's wrong. That's bad.
Continuing on page 127, President Carter quotes Attorney General Gonzales, (which I also found on the internet):
In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.
He also said
"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians."
In light of the Department of Defense memo, such a statement by Gonzales is unconscionable. But the worst part is it's not even accurate. If George Bush was doing his stinking job by reinforcing our coasts and borders, we wouldn't even be talking about this problem. Apparently, the Bush Administration relishes the bogeyman of "further atrocities" so much that secure borders would thwart his world-view--the necessity of (a) a Security and Prosperity Partnership and (b) America as the military colossus of the world.
Yet despite all this, Gonzales was essentially given an opportunity to resign, rather than being fired on the spot. Obviously, he wasn't fired, because his boss agreed with and was seeking just such a statement of endorsement. Maybe his boss should be fired.
What does it signify, when Orrin Hatch expresses support and appreciation for a job well done on the day of Gonzales' resignation?
"I hope that history will remember Attorney General Gonzales for his honorable service to his country, rather than for the absurd political theater to which some critics have subjected him," Hatch said in a statement. "He has overseen the Department of Justice's efforts to protect children from Internet predators, to combat human trafficking, and to prevent the spread of meth in our communities."
It signifies that Orrin Hatch needs to be fired, too. Remember that in the next election.