November 11, 2004

Exit Ashcroft, Stage Left

Ashcroft is gone, but his replacement, Al Gonzales, is not much better. As Oliver Willis reminds us, Gonzales was the author of the infamous memo to Bush, suggesting that totrure of prisoners would be legal, since the Geneva conventions were outdated and "quaint", and only apply for REAL wars on tangible countries, not the current, ambiguous war on Terror:

"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians." Gonzales concluded in stark terms: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."
Link (Newsweek)

1 comment:

  1. I am familiar with the words of this memo, and am most bothered by the way he dismisses the highest document in international law as unimportant when it interferes with policy goals. That would be like dismissing the Constitution if it got in the way of the war on drugs . . . Hey, wait a minute . . . that isnt such a distant analogy now is it?

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