Sunday, November 21, 2004

Talibornagains vs. the Constitution: More Gonzales memos surfacing 

In this corner, the glory of the Enlightenment, the oldest written Constitution in the world, the document that founded the world's first representative government, the cornerstone of our rights and liberties, the rock on which our secular democracy is built! And the tag team: Ben Franklin! James Madison! Alexander Hamilton! And G-e-o-r-g-e Washington!

And in this corner, making a long, long comeback all the way from the Middle Ages, the Talibornagains, hellbent on seizing power no matter what it takes, the think-tank master-debaters, the Sabbath-day gasbags, the Jeebofascist clerics of theocracy—one nation, under them! And the tag team: Pat Robertson! Jerry Falwell! Richard Mellon Scaife! R.J. Rushdooney! Karl Rove! And a man who needs no introduction, the man the other executives call "Chief"! Raise your right arm and give it up for Mr. AWOL Himself— G-e-o-r-g-e Bush!

And there's the bell!

Round 1: Will Bush be able to park Alberto Gonzales at Justice before nominating him for the Supreme Court?

Think this is a little over the top? A little too lambert-esque? Recall that Gonzeles was the author of Bush torture memos. Most of us have focussed on the fact that the memos justify torture ("worse than a crime; a blunder"—Talleyrand, not to mention WWJD). Far more dangerous is the fact that the memos purport to reveal the "inherent authority" of the chief executive to ignore the law (recall that the Geneva convention is the law of the land, a treaty ratified by the Senate). The torture memos not only justify torture, but destroy the system of checks and balances that protect all of us againt cruel and unusual punishment.

It turns out that Gonzales was busily working to trash the Constitution when he was Bush's bum boy Counsel in Texas, too. Alan Berlow reports in today's Post:

Gonzales is perhaps best known for a controversial January 2002 memorandum to the president in which he argued that Geneva Convention proscriptions on torture did not apply to Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners, and that the conventions are, in fact, "obsolete."

This interpretation of international law, which many have linked to the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, will no doubt be a focus of confirmation hearings. Senators might also want to quiz Gonzales about a less well-known June 1997 memo involving another treaty, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Written when Gonzales was counsel to then-Gov. George W. Bush, the memo puts forward the novel view that because the state of Texas was not a signatory to the Vienna Convention, it need not abide by the treaty. Or, put another way, Texas is not bound by Article VI of the Constitution, which states that U.S. treaties are "the supreme Law of the Land."
(via WaPo)

Lovely. Blue staters do some muttering about leaving the country, and the wingers, all at once, almost as if on cue, get all hysterical. Write a memo that claims, in effect, that Texas is a sovreign state, and become Counsel to the President! Sounds like yet another case of WPS, eh?

If the Dems roll over on this one, the Constitution is toast. That means we're toast. Will they cave? Or will they rediscover what it means to have a spine?

Let's watch them duke it out! Talibornagains vs. The Constitution!

By 2005, it may all be over!

UPDATE Xan comments:

I think Gonzales is a stalking horse for Estrada. Rove's Red Cape at work again.

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