Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Sleazy Gonzales

Via Pudentilla from WaPo:

A dozen high-ranking retired military officers took the unusual step yesterday of signing a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing "deep concern" over the nomination of White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general, marking a rare military foray into the debate over a civilian post.

The group includes retired Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The officers are one of several groups to separately urge the Senate to sharply question Gonzales during a confirmation hearing Thursday about his role in shaping legal policies on torture and interrogation methods.

[. . .]

The letter signed by the retired officers, compiled by the group Human Rights First and sent to the committee's leadership last night, criticizes Gonzales for his role in reviewing and approving a series of memorandums arguing, among other things, that the United States could lawfully ignore portions of the Geneva Conventions and that some forms of torture "may be justified" in the war on terror.

"Today, it is clear that these operations have fostered greater animosity toward the United States, undermined our intelligence gathering efforts and added to the risks facing our troops serving around the world," the officers wrote, referring to the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies.

[. . .]

"Repeatedly in our past, the United States has confronted foes that, at the time they emerged, posed threats of a scope or nature unlike any we had previously faced," the letter reads. "But we have been far more steadfast in the past in keeping faith with our national commitment to the rule of law."

[. . .]

The hearings start tomorrow. Make sure your senators get an email making them aware of your feelings on this matter. General Hoar:

[. . .]

I think that the key thing, the thing we are asking the Senate Judiciary Committee, is to ask a series of questions of Mr. Gonzales during his confirmation hearings, that will fully illuminate Mr. Gonzales's role in the development of these policy papers, that had to do with the abrogation of Geneva Accords in the Afghan campaign, and the use of torture for detainees. And I think it's imperative that these issues be fully illuminated at the hearing. And this is what we hope will happen: Is that the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will recommend to the Senate as a whole, whether or not Mr. Gonzales should be confirmed as the Attorney General, really needs to bear down on these issues, and taking the documentary evidence that we have, and connect the dots, to find out what Mr. Gonzales's role has been in these very troubling issues.

[. . .]

This is a great interview and you should read it. (Link via american street.) The good General makes his opinions known on the clusterfuck in Iraq and the leadership at the Pentagon.

Update: 05:05:

Kos has more:

[. . .]

. . . Officials dispute how much senior Justice Department officials knew of the memorandum as it was being prepared. A former official and a current one said that neither Attorney General John Ashcroft nor his deputy, Larry D. Thompson, were aware of the memorandum until it was about to be submitted to the White House.

Can you fucking imagine that? They had to hide it from Ashcroft?!?!?!?

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