January 07, 2005

What Gonzales Says About America

Digby is right when he says that Democrats must understand a vote for Gonzales is a vote for torture. Let the Republicans stand up for torture; it is time for the Democrats to say no. Because as Digby says, our country has always known that torture is wrong.

Every person alive in America today grew up with the belief that torture is wrong. Popular culture, religion, folklore and every other form of cultural instruction for decades in this country has taught that it is wrong, from sermons and lectures to films about slavery to photographs of Auschwitz to crime shows about serial killers. It is embedded in our consciousness. We teach our children that it is wrong to torture animals and other kids. We don't say that there are exceptions for when the animals or kids are really, really bad. We have laws on the books that outright outlaw it. The words "cruel and unusual" are written into our constitution.

Torture is not just morally wrong, it is completely ineffective in getting good information. The only reason people torture is because they think that cruelty is justified. If one understands the uselessness of torture and still tortures, the only reason is because the torturer has a sadistic streak.

Voting for Gonzales is an affirmation of his moral failings. And this indictment is worse because he is unfit to server. Listen to Mark Danner:

But what we are unlikely to hear, given the balance of votes in the Senate, are many voices making the obvious argument that with this record, Mr. Gonzales is unfit to serve as attorney general. So let me make it: Mr. Gonzales is unfit because the slow river of litigation is certain to bring before the next attorney general a raft of torture cases that challenge the very policies that he personally helped devise and put into practice. He is unfit because, while the attorney general is charged with upholding the law, the documents show that as White House counsel, Mr. Gonzales, in the matter of torture, helped his client to concoct strategies to circumvent it. And he is unfit, finally, because he has rightly become the symbol of the United States' fateful departure from a body of settled international law and human rights practice for which the country claims to stand.

This is Bush's America. And if Gonzales is confirmed, it is the America that the American people have ratified.

Posted by Mary at January 7, 2005 01:38 AM | Law/Justice | Technorati links |

The WAPO asked the right question about Gonzales yesterday;

The country needs an attorney general capable and confident enough to stand up for the law and deliver arm's-length legal advice. Before voting to confirm, senators need to satisfy themselves that -- notwithstanding his history -- Mr. Gonzales can and will deliver such advice.
I think we all know the answer to that question. This administration is rotten to the core and the problem with Gonzales is he is just another yes man.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at January 7, 2005 07:02 AM