The confirmation hearings for Bush's Attorney General nominee Alberto R. Gonzales are another cruel assault on the basic human values of truth, decency and justice.
This article by Mark Danner in The New York Times captures the horrible reality:
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans began torturing prisoners, and they have never really stopped...By all such accounts, in spite of his abhorrent past, Gonzales is likely to be approved by a GOP-dominated Senate, with the continued compliant support of Democrats without courage, morals or principle. Washington Post highlights exactly why Gonzales has risen so far so quickly - a illustrative tale of our times - and that is his immoral lawyerly capacity for using legal tricks to avoid TRUTH:
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, 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.
On the other hand, perhaps it is fitting that Gonzales be confirmed. The system of torture has, after all, survived its disclosure. We have entered a new era; the traditional story line in which scandal leads to investigation and investigation leads to punishment has been supplanted by something else.
Wrongdoing is still exposed; we gaze at the photographs and read the documents, and then we listen to the president's spokesman "reiterate," as he did last week, "the president's determination that the United States never engage in torture." And there the story ends....
After Gonzales is confirmed, the road back - to justice, order and propriety - will be very long. Torture will belong to us all.
Gonzales said he could not recall key details of his involvement in the production of an August 2002 memo that narrowly defined the tactics that constitute torture. He also declined repeated invitations to repudiate a past administration assertion that the president has the authority to ignore anti-torture statutes on national security grounds.
Gonzales testified that while he disagreed with portions of the Justice Department memo, he could not recall whether he conveyed those objections to other government lawyers at the time. He said he did not quarrel with its general findings.
Gonzales said he could not remember who had requested the legal guidance on permissible interrogation tactics -- many officials have said it was the CIA -- but he acknowledged under questioning that high-pressure interrogation techniques were discussed in White House meetings at which he was present."