Friday, January 07, 2005

Alberto VO5 -- Greasy AG Stuff

Look I'm not a lawyer, and I never played one on TV. I really don't even watch all the legal shows on TV. But the Alberto Gonzales confirmation hearings seem like law-gone-a-whack to me. There's a terrific piece on Slate by Chris Suellentrop you should read, but in the meantime, let's examine the heart of Gonzales' defense in the hot seat: he repeatedly claimed he couldn't discuss the authorization of torture, since the U.S. didn't do torture, so therefore the questions were hypothetical.

1A) Didn't this guy go to law school? Aren't hypotheticals how they teach the law in law school? Why does he act like a hypothetical is a spitting cobra, then? A Google search on "hypotheticals and the law" turns up over 45,000 entries, mostly from exercises from law schools. Maybe someone needs to vet Gonzales more closely and make sure he didn't get his degree from the same institution from which poet Quincy Troupe and football coach George O'Leary graduated.

1B) Oh, yeah, Gonzales does the vetting. When asked about the Bernie Kerik two-do, as it were, he first said, "It was an announcement of an intent to nominate," not a nomination. That's sort of like saying "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities." Then Gonzales remembered an even better way out--since Kerik was no longer a proto-nominee, he didn't have to act like he ever was a nominee. Bernie Kerik is hypothetical! (We wish.)

2) The U.S. doesn't torture people? Excuse me but there are pictures, Al! How much evidence do you need?

3) And then there's the part that made it clear why Gonzales was nominated as part of this Cabinet whose main qualification is fealty: "This president has said we're not going to engage in torture under any circumstances, and therefore that portion of the opinion was unnecessary and was the reason that we asked that that portion be withdrawn."

Or, if W. says it, it is. Perhaps that's why God speaks through Bush, so Bush can finish the job of creation. You shudder first.


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