The Dirty Right Hand of George Bush

In his relatively short tenure in the public spotlight, Alberto Gonzales has made a name for himself; a very bad name. It began with an uproar from the left, most of which seemed to be centered around his disregard for the Geneva convention in a set of memos written while serving as the president’s aide.

Gonzales’ dirty tactics were not limited to his stint in DC; while serving under then Governor Bush, Gonzales had his hand in one of the most prolific Texas administrations in regards to capital punishment. Violating the Vienna convention at least once (executing a Mexican citizen without allowing his government to represent him at trial), allowing the execution of at least one mentally retarded convict, Gonzales made possible what his employer wanted; a quick and lucrative career in state executions.

In fact, as I’ve written twice here, clemency briefs sent from Gonzales to then Governor Bush were not particularly concerned with the facts of the case but instead wore often a retelling of the crime, the harshest details emphasized.

The pattern from this Attorney General has been made clear; his concern is not with the law, but learning to circumvent it at the behest of his perpetual employer, George W. Bush, without whom Gonzales would have a considerably thin resume.

One would expect a lawyer to be able to parse words, but for Gonzales, that has been his entire career. And that is exactly what was to be expected when a disgusted Senate made clear that the Attorney General could face some severe consequences if he didn’t come clean.

Gonzales has performed true to form. Coming considerably later than a deadline set by Senator Arlen Specter, Gonzales sent a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy outlining that, essentially, he understands that what he said was confusing, and he’s really sorry. There’s little more substantive explanation beyond this other than to allude that to actually clarify his testimony would be a breach of National Security.

Of course.

Interestingly enough, the shenanigans that provide the underlying foundation for much of this uproar continue unabated. If Gonzales’ primary function is to facilitate the growth of power of the Executive, particularly in regards to national security, at least in this one aspect has the Attorney General widely viewed as incompetent performed admirably.

Last night, as I waited for my brother-in-law’s flight to land, I overheard on the airport’s PA system that the current threat level was “Orange”.

“Huh,” I thought to myself. “I thought they had done away with that.” The color coded threat level system seemed for the most part useless. But when I got up this morning and in this very article read that the White House was negotiating with Congress over the expansion, not the reduction, of the warrantless wiretapping program, it all seemed a little too coincidental.

Not that this administration has ever used the color coded system for political purposes before, right?

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