Civil Liberties

Also, He's a Liar

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Although Alberto Gonzales is on his way out, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine yesterday said he will continue to look into the attorney general's stonewalling testimony to Congress regarding NSA surveillance and the termination of U.S. attorneys. The investigation, requested by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will consider whether Gonzales' statements were "intentionally false, misleading or inappropriate." Not to prejudge, but I'd say probably, yes, and yes. Assuming Gonzales is not suffering from an early form of Alzheimer's, he was lying when he repeatedly said he could not recall his own involvement in the U.S. attorneys' dismissal. And when he denied that there was any disagreement within the Bush administration about the propriety of the NSA's warrantless surveillance, he was either lying or being deliberately misleading (referring to one aspect of the surveillance that everyone thought was OK, as opposed to the part he argued about with John Ashcroft and Deputy Attorney General James Comey). Gonzales' testimony, which prompted incredulous responses from Republicans as well as Democrats, is yet another example of his willingness to subvert the rule of law (in this case, by violating the law against lying to Congress) in the service of executive power.

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  1. Don’t forget when he said that there were no abuses of National Security Letters after he had been told there had been abuses.

    His quote to the Senate on Aril 27, 2005:

    “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.”

    He probably was hanging a whole lot on the word “verified.”

  2. His support of torture makes him a lowlife scumbag unworthy of high office in my opinion. But since we knew about that when we gave him the job I don’t see how we can flog him with it now.

    I’d take more pleasure in seeing him fry if I had some reason to believe the next guy(s) won’t be worse.

  3. Do ex-Attorneys General get Secret Service protection, perchance?

    Just wondering… no particular reason or anything. He just needs a good ass-kicking.

  4. “””He probably was hanging a whole lot on the word “verified.””””

    And the word abuse. You got to remember, this is the same guy that was writing legal opinions to support the use of what most people would call torture, by not calling it torture.

    I’m guessing there was no abuse by his standard.

  5. I’ve got one word to describe this so-called “shocked development”…

    WHITEWASH!

    This whole thing is more badly scripted than professional wrestling!

  6. “Also, he’s a liar”

    Y huele a azufre.

  7. Is that a Hugo Chavez reference, Lamar?

    If so, bravo.

  8. Jake Boone,

    As long as you keep things on this side of organ failure, that should be just fine.

  9. I wonder if the DOJ uses one definition of torture if it’s citizen vs citizen, and another if it’s government vs citizen. It seems that someone charged with torture could use the AG’s definition to claim innocents.

  10. His support of torture makes him a lowlife scumbag unworthy of high office in my opinion. But since we certain politicians knew about that when we they gave him the job I don’t see how we those politicians can flog him with it now. We, on the other hand, have every right to do so.

    Fixed it.

  11. Prediction: Gonzales resigned with enough time left in the Bush administration so as if he is convicted of anything including Obstruction of Justice,Bush will Pardon him.

  12. TrickyVic,

    What they call “not torture” would still be assault when a citizen does it to another citizen, much as what the state calls “arrest” and “detention” would be “kidnapping” when a citizen does it to his neighbor.

    Bob Terry,
    I predict a whole Ford-Nixon general amnesty kind of pardoning in the waning days of the administration, maybe even with a 25th amendment hand-over of the presidency to Cheney for a reciprocal pardon.

  13. A few of you guys would benefit from a little torture

  14. Scooby, Sure that’s true, but I’m not talking about being charged with assault. I’m talking about being charged with torture.

  15. As long as you keep things on this side of organ failure, that should be just fine.

    Deal. If I accidentally cross that line, that’s okay too, because he won’t remember me doing it, and I won’t remind him.

  16. TV,
    I don’t know about your state, but mine doesn’t have a separate law against “torture”- the behavior would comprise at least two criminal offenses: kidnapping or unlawful restraint, and one or more assaultive offences (simple assault, aggrevated assault, sexual assualt, terroristic threat, etc.).

    The prosecutor would call it “torture” in press releases and his opening and closing arguments, but the crime(s) an offender would becharged with are one or more of the offenses I’ve listed above.

  17. Most states include torture as an aggravating circumstance, which can bump up the charge from first degree murder to capital murder, and/or the sentence from life to death.

    And you don’t have to prove anything about organ failure.

  18. Talk about a scandal about absolutely nothing. The phrase “tempest in a teapot” was invented for this type of bullshit. If anyone tries to claim with a straight face that these investigations over the attorney firings are not purely for political gain, they are fucking morons of the highest order.

  19. Ten years ago, would you have said:

    Talk about a scandal about absolutely nothing. The phrase “tempest in a teapot” was invented for this type of bullshit. If anyone tries to claim with a straight face that these investigations over the attorney firings a blow job are not purely for political gain, they are fucking morons of the highest order.

  20. Umm, Lamar, the investigation was actually a sexual harassment lawsuit. Feel free to call that a tempest in a teapot (I won’t disagree), but lets not rewrite history too much.

    And Gonzalez didn’t “support torture”; he merely argued that the usual controlling legal authorities in international conflict didn’t apply.

  21. “the investigation was actually a sexual harassment lawsuit”

    and an impeachment trial.

  22. Actually, the investigation was about a land deal in which the targets lost money. The investigator just decided that his brief was to investigate everything under the sun which had the slightest possibility of making his targets look bad, for partisan political gain.

  23. Oh, and if anyone tries to claim with a straight face that these United States Attorney firings over insufficiently partisan prosecutorial and investigative efforts were not done for political gain, they are a moron of the highest order.

    Bopo, I’m not even sure what your legal theory is. Don’t worry, I know you don’t get the reference.

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