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Worse Than Ashcroft


— November 30, 2004

I do not approve of filibustering presidential nominees, no matter who is president, because the Constitution, along with the Federalist Papers, makes clear that the whole Senate is to give advice and consent to these presidential nominees. But if I were a senator, I would be sorely tempted to filibuster Alberto Gonzales. The Democrats, still shell-shocked by their second loss to Bush, and by the size of the Hispanic vote for the president, are not likely to filibuster Gonzales. But since Gonzales will be more dangerous to our liberties than Ashcroft, I will begin here to show how low the standards have become for the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. Maybe at least the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York will stand up against Gonzales.

I must credit National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg, an experienced analyst of constitutional law and a reporter who never stops digging to get to the core of Gonzales’s ominous record as White House counsel. On November 11, she pointed out: “Gonzales was responsible for developing the administration’s policies on the treatment of prisoners; for developing a new definition of torture to allow more aggressive questioning of prisoners. He developed the policy that allowed the indefinite detention of American citizens deemed to be enemy combatants without [being charged] or [having] access to counsel. . . . The Supreme Court, though, rejected that [Gonzales] theory . . .

The above from Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice.


I do not approve of filibustering presidential nominees, no matter who is president, because the Constitution, along with the Federalist Papers, makes clear that the whole Senate is to give advice and consent to these presidential nominees. But if I were a senator, I would be sorely tempted to filibuster Alberto Gonzales. The Democrats, still shell-shocked by their second loss to Bush, and by the size of the Hispanic vote for the president, are not likely to filibuster Gonzales. But since Gonzales will be more dangerous to our liberties than Ashcroft, I will begin here to show how low the standards have become for the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. Maybe at least the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York will stand up against Gonzales.

I must credit National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg, an experienced analyst of constitutional law and a reporter who never stops digging to get to the core of Gonzales’s ominous record as White House counsel. On November 11, she pointed out: “Gonzales was responsible for developing the administration’s policies on the treatment of prisoners; for developing a new definition of torture to allow more aggressive questioning of prisoners. He developed the policy that allowed the indefinite detention of American citizens deemed to be enemy combatants without [being charged] or [having] access to counsel. . . . The Supreme Court, though, rejected that [Gonzales] theory . . .

The above from Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice.

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