November 11, 2004

Worse than Ashcroft?

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 11, 2004 2:20 PM

Phillip Carter in Slate collects the arguments against Alberto Gonzales replacing John Ashcroft. These have been appearing in various blogs, so it's good to have them all in one place. The issue most disturbing to me is this:

One of the "torture memos," produced in this period by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel for Gonzales, argued that the president had the extra-constitutional power to nullify both the Geneva Conventions and the federal war crimes statute when he deemed it necessary, based on his inherent authority as commander in chief of the armed forces.

Here's an opportunity for Senate Democrats to demonstrate their relevance: Find out if Gonzales agrees with this memo that the President can disregard the law of the land at his own discretion. And if he does, well, they probably can't stop his confirmation, but they should at least attempt to make an issue of this. No American should be willing to trust a president—any president—with the kind of unrestrained power advocated by the torture memos.

Kevin Drum points out that Phillip Carter has a longer article on these topics in the Washington Monthly.

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