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Ben Franklin's bifocals February 3, 2005

Generally Wrong

Equal Justice Motto on US Supreme Court

Today the Senate confirmed Judge Alberto Gonzales as the next Attorney General of the United States. The Good News is that John Ashcroft is finally gone. He was quite possibly the worst Attorney General in recent memory (a distinction previously held by Ed Meese in the Reagan administration). The further good news is that we are beginning to see Hispanics moving to higher ranks in the political establishment. The bad news (if there is any, and only time will tell) is that Judge Gonzales, while serving as White House Counsel advised President Bush after 9-11 that he was now above the law when it came to the treatment of those he chose to label as enemy combatant terrorists.

equal justice under law

Do we really want as our chief law enforcement officer a man who thinks that the Geneva Conventions (that those of us who served in military relied on as the gold standard for the treatment of prisoners) somehow do not apply to al-Qaeda or the war in Afghanistan? Some of the Geneva Convention provisions may indeed be "obsolete" or "quaint," as Judge Gonzales termed them, but as long as the rest of the world seems to think they still have meaning, we unnecessarily jeopardize the lives of our troops now serving at risk of capture by summarily repudiating them. Nor should we be thrilled that Judge Gonzales defended the administration's policy of detaining terrorism suspects indefinitely in Guantanamo without access to lawyers or courts until the US Supreme Court rejected that imperialist notion. Finally, the Gonzales testimony during the Senate confirmation hearings was evasive and equivocating, hardly of a nature to inspire confidence in his ability to stand up to his Presidential Patron.

judicial scale and law books
We are afraid that the jury is going to be out, Judge, until we see what you do and how you do it.

gavel banging

William's Whimsical Words:

Remember that the last loyal and true servant of the President (instead of the People) who went over to the Department of Justice (and who shall remain nameless except for his initials: John Mitchell) ended up in federal prison.

John Mitchell Mitchell with Nixon and Ziegler

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